31 Days of Comics Challenge: Day 19

Comic That You Quote From

I don’t know that I’ve ever dropped a comic quote into a casual conversation, but I do recall writing down quotes from Grimjack the first time I read the series.  And I remember reading them dramatically to my roommate at the time.  Nearly every issue contained some nugget of truth courtesy of Mr. Gaunt.

My favorite John Gaunt monologue comes from Grimjack #9, a story called My Sins Remembered.  A macrophysicist, Althea Mueller, creates a clone of herself to replace her shattered body.  However, the process to download her soul into the new body isn’t completely successful.  Both mind and body are healthy, just disconnected.  Some of Mueller’s associates take the doctor to the swirling Psyche Column, a tornado of psychic energy that interacts with the mind of anyone who enters.  They hire the mercenary John Gaunt, aka Grimjack, to take her inside, hoping the column will somehow complete the connection.

Grimjack leads her by the hand through her fears, manifesting in the form of children’s fairytales.  In the end, they succeed in uniting Mueller’s mind and body.  But that’s when the real danger begins, because all of Gaunt’s fears manifest as well.  The Psyche Column grows especially chaotic, as Gaunt is confronted by his future self: a ghastly, grotesque shell of a man.  Gaunt ponders, “I think, therefore I am — but am I therefore as I think I am?  Loyal to my word, faithful to my friends, seeker of the truth?  Liar, liar, liar!”

He goes on, “Strip away the sham, the lying self-justification, and look!  My friendship is a lie enkindled by fear.  The truth is, I dare not let anyone close lest they betray me!  I love no one, trust no one!  Call me a mercenary.  Call me an assassin.  Call me a villain.  I am all that and more and I will have you — ungh! — spitted on my sword and I’ll twist the sword and your life blood’ll run down it and that’s power, baby, and I’ll take it!”

The issue ends on a more positive note, as John’s best friend is waiting for him on the other side of the Psyche Column.  Gaunt does have friends, in spite of his flaws, in spite of his hard exterior.  But the monologue stands as a great examination of the mind of a mercenary.  And it raises an important question for all of us: “Am I as I think I am?”

Dialogue © NightSky Grimjack Rights and Production Vehicle (Four Wheel Drive Model), LLC
Ostrander, John. The Legend of Grimjack: Volume Three. San Diego: IDW Publishing. 2005.

Tomorrow: A Witty Comic