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Webcomic / Surreality

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"You're here all alone."

Surreality is an ongoing comic written and illustrated by an artist known as Ashes that began in 2011.

The plot of this psychological horror follows a girl named Jackie who has the unique and often destructive ability to warp reality by thinking (or not thinking) about it. Her short attention span and complete lack of control of her powers can cause problems ranging from minor physical changes to cataclysmic events. Later we find that Jackie is not the only one who has been affected by what comes to be known as surreality, others have become vessels and are affected in different ways. These children of surreality attend school at Zoopy High. When Jackie shows up however, they all very quickly become affected by her surreality. Flashbacks from any character perspective are experienced by Jackie as well as the reader, and if she is not focused enough or just doesn’t care, then that memory gets erased. The school begins to bend to Jackie’s careless will and everything descends into torment and chaos. Any attempts to fix what she has destroyed only seem to push reality further from what it should be. She knows something is happening, but she doesn’t know what it is...


Surreality contains examples of:

  • Abstract Apotheosis: Jackie is a living embodiment of the element known as surreality, as such she is able to manipulate the world around her in strange and terrible ways, often without meaning to.
  • Action Prologue: The comic starts with a murder scene and a life or death battle between Jackie and a potato. Jackie wakes up as if this was a dream sequence but due to the nature of surreality these events may have actually happened but were then reset. Could be interpreted as a Fake Action Prologue.
  • A God I Am Not: Jackie, despite her power, insists she is not a god.
  • Alien Geometries: This is seen heavily throughout the work due to the main character being able to warp reality. Jackie herself is drawn differently in almost every panel as a way to illustrate this.
  • Allergic to Routine: Jackie has a very short attention span. Due to her considerable powers, this becomes quite a problem for those around her.
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  • All Just a Dream: The VERY beginning of surreality.
  • Alliterative Name: Word of God is that Jackie's full name is Jackie Jones.
  • Alternate Universe: Surreality is a substance made out of pure reality that leaks out of cracks in the universe. If it doesn't find anything to store itself in, like a newborn infant such as Jackie, it sucks back into itself to loop forever, and touching it will crush a normal person but shoot a child of pure surreality into a different universe.
  • And Show It to You: The resulting death from a fight between two characters comes when one rips the others intestines out, holding them before the fallen combatant.
  • Anti-Hero: Jackie is a monster who thought the death that she caused was funny.
  • Arc Words: "Something is happening and you don't know what it is" and variations.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Jackie becomes a giant during her trip to fetus world.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: The school is populated by "Zoopy Robots" which is where the school got its name actually. The Zoopy bots are known for their proclivity to hop out and kill people.
  • Author Catchphrase: read my comic
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Jackie steals a gun from a different universe to murder everyone in the school despite easily being able to kill with her mind, which Grimm points out.
  • Back Story: Grimm has a considerable back story in comic starting from his birth and exploring certain events in his childhood.
  • Beneath the Mask: The character Alice is cold and composed while around others but when she is seen away from the school setting she seems more manic and deranged.
  • Berserk Button: Anything even slightly inconvenient or impeding to her goal of perfection in school that happens to Maggie is enough to make her panic, such as her pencil lead breaking. Jackie's dead pet lizard being run over by cheerleaders was enough to make her shoot everyone in the school.
  • Big "YES!": Grimm gives one as a child when his dad lets him outside for the first time.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Multiple instances of this in the beginning.
  • Blah Blah Blah: See "Great Big Book of Everything"
  • Body Motifs: Jackie's eyes produce a lot of symbolic imagery.
  • Color Motifs: While much of the comic is in muted colors, blacks, greys, and white, there are certain panels, pages, and instances where color is used for emphasis or to denote a shift in reality. This serves to give clues to the reader or to foreshadow later events.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Jackie does this several times.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jim and to a slightly lesser extent Grimm.
  • Double-Meaning Title: A surreal horror webcomic about a substance called surreality.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: In one flashback, Eelhead Man is shown to have been created by God as the first attempt to create a creature worthy of inhabiting His world, in His own image. Then God creates Adam when He realizes that Eelhead Man is a miserable abomination suffering because it was made in His image. Due to Jackie's relationship with memories and the implications made by the comic as well as certain theories, it can be reasonably assumed that Jackie experienced that flashback as well as the readers. Later, Jackie states that she doesn't believe in God as eels pour out of her eyes.
  • Flashback: Multiple ones. They're later shown to be important to the plot because jackie is shown to be experiencing them as we are as other characters memories, although she cannot directly affect them. She can, however, erase them.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: A rather hefty tome exists on the subject of surreality but when Jackie attempts to read it she finds it boring and, in losing her concentration on the book, turns all the text into unreadable "blah blah blah"s.
  • I am a Humanitarian: Jackie's Aunt and Uncle turn out to be cannibals who only took her in to fatten her up and eat her.
  • Implausible Deniability: Jackie insists that the gun she retrieved from a different universe is actually a chicken.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Zoopy robots, robots that yell "zoopy!" and then attack students at random. Also, the potato.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The Government Regulated Portholes.
  • Jerkass: Jim, Grimm and Alice. Alice is less snarky than Grimm and Jim, though.
  • Kill It with Fire: Jackie tries to do this to the potato in the beginning dream sequence but she ends up setting her house on fire instead.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Surreality -the reality altering substance and not the comic itself- has many rules, in fact there is a book about it detailing these rules, but Jackie ruins it.
  • Medium Blending: The main universe is drawn out in pencil then edited in photoshop.The other universes are mainly photoshop used in different ways, though this isn't always the case.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted as the story goes on.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: One of Jackie's more surreal forms demonstrates this in a very dramatic way.
  • Mr. Exposition: Grimm takes on this role in various ways.
  • Nobody Poops: Probably. Certainly not Jackie, her body doesn't have any physical needs.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: At a pivotal moment in the comic two different versions of the same character fight to the death.
  • People Jars: Many many fetuses -including zoopy student 37A, Alice 37B, and Maggie 37C, the ones whose jar labels we've seen- are being grown somewhere, but we don't know where yet at this time.
  • Percussive Prevention: Jim punches Maggie to stop her from freaking out some more when the teacher gives her a 98 and not 100 on a quiz.
  • Pseudo Crisis: When Jackie encounters a zoopy robot upon entering the school, it leaps into her face and extends ominous threatening tendrils, at which point a random parody narrator says, "OH NO! Our hero seems to be in a fix! I wonder how she'll get out of this one!" In the next panel she eats it.
  • Recruit Teenagerswith Attitude: Grimm eventually explains to Jackie that students of Zoopy High who exhibit high levels of surreality are expected to report to government regulated portholes that lead to other dimensions and solve problems there. Grimm makes a point to explain why bringing a more qualified professional along to better solve the problem doesn’t work because they can’t handle the mental strain of seeing these horrific otherworlds.
  • Resurrective Immortality: This seems to be the case for Maggie, although it could just be her high surreality content keeping her from dying.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: The school is subject to Jackie's world warping abilities, so if she is not in a room with another character or thinking about that room the other characters become trapped until she thinks about them again, leaving them, literally, in a sealed room in the middle of nowhere.
  • Shout-Out: To Harry Potter, twice.
  • Stylistic Suck: In the very beginning and somewhat throughout. The art changes to different sets of styles as the comic progresses though, and all instances of bad art are very deliberate and drawn to achieve a specific genre/style/mood of bad art.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Happens whenever Jackie experiences the memories of others.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Due to the constant stylistic changes which can often occur from panel to panel it is sometimes necessary to give characters specific types of clothing or clothing colors to let the reader know that it is the same character. This is true for minor characters who may have a small top hat despite being highly detailed in one panel then cartoonishly drawn the next. Also true for main characters like Jackie who is always depicted wearing what could be interpreted as an all black bodysuit with a specific white rib cage like pattern on her torso and parallel white lines on the fronts of her hips. Jim is always depicted in a sports jersey with a big number 1 on the front.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Jackie averts this somewhat, the changing styles of the comic sometimes give her feminine facial types and stylized eyelashes but for the most part the only indicator of her gender is her feminine name. Maggie and Alice however wear dresses and makeup and have long hair, and maggie wears lots of bows.
  • There Are No Therapists: It seems to be that way. Although Jackie does try to play as one for an alternate universal blood sucking creature and its victims. It sort of works.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jackie is often seen holding pizza. It has been stated by the author as an important note that despite her expressed affinity for the food, she has never been seen actually eating the pizza.


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