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Webcomic / Split Screen

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Jan Lumeneski and Jeremy Tanner were inseparable best friends from childhood through high school. But Jan wanted more, when she didn't see things going her way she cut ties with Jeremy, moved to Mahattan and never looked back. More than a decade later Jan's now a successful fashion designer and chance meeting throws her back into Jeremy's life. He's overweight and depressed but Jan can't help still feeling that old flame burning... will she get what she wants this time around?
— Synopsis from Jaymzeecat's profile page

Split Screen is a now-completed romantic Webcomic created by Jaymzeecat, running from August 2012 to February 2014. The central characters are fashion designer Janet Secret Lumenski and slacker Jeremy Tanner. They haven't seen each other in a decade when a funeral pulls Jan back from Manhattan to their hometown. Upon seeing Jeremy, she realizes the feelings she had for Jeremy were still as strong as ever. Unfortunately, so were the issues and seriously mixed signals coming from Jeremy. The comic is mostly about the two of them trying to see how, or even if, they fit into each other's lives, while both deal with past hurts and mutual issues.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter, a print collection with a new 10-page epilogue is on the way.

Split Screen provides examples of the following tropes

  • Abusive Parents: Jeremy's dad. The one night Jeremy finally stood up to him, when Jan found him he'd been kicked into a glass cabinet and was laying in broken glass.
  • The Alcoholic: Jeremy's dad.
  • Big Beautiful Man: In-universe, a lot of the female characters and some gay men think Jeremy's cute.
  • Big Eater: Jeremy eats as a coping mechanism, although it turns out when he was younger this was a Justified Trope. Before Jan really knew him, the Big Eater trope was played for laughs and Jeremy would joke that his mom referred to him as a garbage disposal. He was always so hungry because his dad would spend all their money on booze for himself.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Jeremy's mixed signals regarding Jan's obvious advances. He won't say why he reacted the way he did, she refuses to just ask him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The bartender at the wake at the comic's beginning? Natalie, Jeremy's high school girlfriend, who clues Jan in on what really happened with Jeremy before she left.
  • Chubby Chaser: Subverted. Following the night where she finally had sex with Jeremy, Jan has apparently been hooking up with heavier guys in attempts to recreate "the best sex of her life" and is unable to do so.
  • Cool Old Lady: Jeremy's grandmother. When she learned Jeremy's father was physically abusing him, she kicked him out. Unfortunately, a few years later she had a stroke and had to be put in a nursing home, so Jeremy went back to living with his dad.
  • Daddy's Girl: Alma before she died.
  • "Dear John" Letter: What Jan assumes Jeremy left her when she caught him trying to sneak out after they finally made love. She's very wrong.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jan's father is never mentioned.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jeremy tried to kill himself by overdosing on sleep medication after Randy and Alma died. The only reason he lived is because his mother-in-law realized something was wrong and managed to call 911 in time. Jer says he spent some time in a mental hospital afterwards.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone who's seen Jeremy and Jan in the same room can see their attachment.
  • Flashbacks: The comic jumps back and forth between the present and Jan and Jeremy's childhood.
  • Henpecked Husband: Discussed, and the author is worried she may have portrayed Jeremy and Randy's marriage as this even though that wasn't her intent.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jeremy's actual rationale for not returning Jan's feelings. He thought that if he confessed his feelings Jan would throw her energy into their relationship, rather than towards college and her career. The saddest part is that he was probably right.
  • Kavorka Man: Jeremy - though we really only have his Mother-in-law's word on this.
  • Little Miss Badass: Upon meeting Jeremy's dad after he assaulted Jeremy, Jan maced him and kicked him in the balls before the paramedics came.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Jeremy. It's a major part of why Jan made such a drastic break.
  • Missing Mom: Jeremy's mom ran away shortly after Jeremy was born, and his father blamed him for it.
  • Mistaken for Servant: Jan first meets her mentor, Sergio, when she slams one of his dress designs, thinking he was a substitute teacher instead of a famous fashion mogul.
  • Not What It Looks Like: We see a flashback of the night Jan left, where she spots Jeremy and his girlfriend waiting for her. She thought it too painful for her to be around him and her after she'd made her move on Jeremy (and was rebuffed again). Turns out Natalie was only there to make sure Jeremy confessed his true feelings to Jan. Natalie's also a lesbian
  • No Accounting for Taste: Jeremy's a fat loser with no prospects and a boatload of mental and emotional issues. And Jan would give her heart to him in a second, if he'd let her.
  • Posthumous Character: Jeremy's wife and daughter.
  • Really Gets Around: No-strings-attached sex is Jan's coping mechanism. Also, it seems Jeremy himself has this reputation.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The story's major conflicts stem from Jeremy's inability to express his feelings towards Jan and Jan's refusal to ask for answers.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Jan is miserable for a year after Jeremy ran out on her after they finally made love. If she had simply read the letter he gave her, she would have known he confessed his love, but said he had to get his mind right before he could try to have a relationship with her, so he was taking a year or so to seek professional help. Of course, Jeremy could've simply told her this before leaving.
  • Weight Woe: Jeremy is very ashamed of how heavy he's gotten.