To Save Her
|Original review author:||oddguy|
|Webcomic name:||To Save Her|
|Author:||Jennifer Diane Reitz|
|Start Date:||July 9th, 2005|
|End Date:||July 20th, 2009|
|Defining Flaw:||If you are familiar with the works of JDR you can probably already guess.|
Lazy, blobby, black & white.
Stupid and abrasive.
JDR is still as psychotic as ever.
The best work by JDR so far... Which is still pretty damn bad.
Say what you will about the old Portal of Evil, but they really knew how to pick their crazies. There is a special "honor" reserved for only the truly worst webcomic artists out there. You see, if your comic is bad you might get a few threads about you, maybe a review here or there, possibly some hate art. If it gets worse than that someone might make a blog dedicated to you or a video or maybe even draw his own parody version of your comic. But there are a few webcomic artists that are so amazingly bad and crazy that entire websites, forums and wikis are made focusing only on them. Only a few people have been so awful as to warrant that. Chris-chan has a few websites, wikis and forums about him. David Gonterman has a few sites and a dedicated forum on Portal of Evil and Tim Buckley has had attempts to make a wiki about him pop up every now and then. But there is one more person whose never ending dedication to sucking has lead to an entire sub-forum made solely for the sake of discussing him on POE. That person is Jennifer Diane Reitz, or as he is known online "J.D.R". His most infamous work is "Pastel Defender Heliotrope", which was so bad that years later it is still a laughing stock. But he has other awful comics that people often overlook like "Unicorn Jelly", which we have already reviewed and, finally, this last and most recent train-wreck.
On a side note, some of you may have already noticed that I am referring to this person as a "He" rather than a "She". I am falling in line with every other webcomic critic in maintaining that being a psychotic who admittedly lied to his psychiatrist to get his gender reassigned does not make you female. If there are any transgenders reading this review and are offended by this, take it as a compliment that I will not insult you by associating your community with this... thing called JDR.
The comic is bad all the way through. Still, the worst part comes near the ending when JDR can no longer contain his desire to make the story about him so it becomes a ham-handed allegory. More on that later.
There is little to say about the art here. JDR is not an artist and he never was one. TSH is all black an white, everything is, for lack of a better word, "Blobby" and the only artistic technique JDR seems to be aware of is smudging everything. The character designs are a joke. Since most of the characters are recycled from one of her previous comics (Unicorn Jelly), and that comic was drawn in some old DOS program, his attempt to adapt them into his new style without changing them too much proves to be futile. I wouldn't exactly say JDR has improved, but Photoshop allows for far more flexibility than what he was using to make UJ and as a result all the new and (sort of) detailed backgrounds don't go well together with the two-dimensional characters. What works even less well is taking said two-dimensional characters and trying to add some sort of depth to them by adding shading to their original design. Something that ends with one of the characters named "Pho" having a head shaped like a giant banana with a mustache.
Writing and Plot
Here is the formula for the plot writing of TSH:
Take the least likable character from Unicorn Jelly, add alternate universe versions of the characters from Unicorn Jelly that will require you to understand the already confusing plot of Unicorn Jelly just to understand this comic but make it more convoluted and multiply all that by 374 pages and countless alternate time-lines and you have this clusterfuck of bullshit.
The story goes like this: Kay-wai, the unnecessary addition to Unicorn Jelly who's only function was to act as JDR's avatar in his transgender moralizing, goes on a quest to save someone from another world in a fashion that will potentially destroy all life in all worlds because that's what she feels like doing. To do this she must collect some of the characters from a previous comic who look like themselves but don't really act like themselves, so unless you read the other comic you won't understand the context in which you are supposed to know them, and if you did read it, it will only make things slightly less confusing.
Kay-wai is a jelly thing so she puts on a robot skeleton to make herself look human as not to scare anyone. But she is really a male, interspecies transgender jelly thing, meaning that she not only wants to be another sex, but also another sex of another species. So she puts on the transformation skeleton and fawns over herself in the mirror and how good she looks as a girl. But her happiness is short-lived and this happens-
This is pretty obviously JDR lamenting his own failed sex-change operation that left him looking about as feminine as a Clint Eastwood. The malfunctioning robot leaves her looking like a half human and half jelly creature that is also sort of female and after that the sex change thing is not mentioned again for most of the comic apart from her meeting another character with gender identity issues who ends up having a sex-change operation off-screen while Kay-wai is asleep. So Kay gathers all the other crew members together, they fuck up space and time beyond repair, and then surprise surprise there is a plot twist and it turns out Kay was really trying to destroy all of humanity because she is mad at them. You see, she was born a deformed jelly in a society where humans are superior to jellies and both hate her for being deformed. Her only wish is to be a human and all of this is a metaphor for transgenderism which is more on-the-nose than a punch from Evander Holyfield. Except, it isn't really a metaphor because, besides being figuratively a transgender, she is also literally a transgender since she also wants to be changed from male to female.
This is some real, grade A hack writing. I guess JDR thought we wouldn't get his oh-so-subtle analogy and had to make his author surrogate transgender as well as trans-species. Well, the story goes on and there is a big plot twist involving time travel which is pretty clever...or at least it would have been if JDR hasn't already used the exact same plot device at the end of Unicorn Jelly a few years ago. It all ends when she is saved from committing genocide by the power of love. She realizes she doesn't need to kill everyone because she is in love with the male protagonist even though they haven't shown any indication of liking each other at any point. This is made worse by the fact she STILL hasn't told him she is actually a male. I wish the story went on a bit longer and we got to see her telling him that she is not only a sentient dessert, but also a dude. Turning the entire comic into a big "Turns out the prostitute had a dick" joke.
This comic really is a mess. And worse than that is it being a part of a larger universe. Pastel Defender Heliotrope is the sequel to Unicorn Jelly and To Save Her is a sequel/alternate version of both. I want you to look at this-
This was made by JDR himself to explain the world his stories exists in. Understand any of it? Well, tough shit because this diagram only describes the plot of UJ and PDH. Adding TSH into the mix would probably look something like this-
In the past, when reviewing this artist, we hand waved this section with "Oh, you already know who JDR is". But it has been a while since he has been the center of attention so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to delve a bit deeper into the insanity that is JDR.
Jennifer Reitz was once the proud owner of the gaming website "Happy Puppy", which he sold in the mid 90's reportedly for a sum between 1.5 and 2.4 million dollars (which was worth a lot more then than it is now). A sum which he has been able to piss away in a few short years on an insane collection of anime paraphernalia.
Later he lied his way through a psychiatric exam to have a sex change operation and opened a website that tries to convince others to do the same and even helps them by providing an answer key to help cheat psychologists (taking the infamous test on that site resulted in me being told I'm androgynous). There are actually testimonies by people who were almost misled by him and his site into undergoing irreversible operations. But it is the public's opinion that he now regrets this surgery since he is not, nor has he ever been, an actual transgender. He does not have Gender Dysphoria. What he really is, is crazy. Despite a rabid hate for men which extends to believing testosterone is literally poison, no longer being one still does not satisfy him and he admits his ideal body is actually a genderless, gelatinous blob (which explains the main character of this comic). In essence, he is the Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs of the webcomic world. Thankfully, someone allowed him to have his dick cut off to try and sooth his self-hatred before he started skinning women to wear as a suit.
So far this has all been discussed elsewhere. Therefore, before starting this article, I tried to research a little more in hopes of having something new to bring up. And I did not have to look for long. I thought I would have to read all his moronic stories, but the evidence to his insanity came in the form of a short comic called "Impossible Things Before Breakfast". Much to my dismay, a few weeks before I began writing this, Project A.F.T.E.R published a review of his other comic that beat me to the punch. But this all bears repeating and so I will.
"Impossible Things Before Breakfast" is JDR's comic about supernatural events that had (supposedly) happened to him that prove what a special snowflake he is. There are ten stories (with a "Coming Soon" sign on a few more in the index) that go like this-
- JDR meets a time traveling witch who deletes herself from existence after he exposed her secret.
- His mother, in a fit of madness, drives 350 miles to yell at an old lady and then places a curse on her.
- Jenny sees an opening to another dimension appear in his classroom.
- JENNY CAN CONTROL LIGHTNING!!! And once ran naked into a rainstorm to try and prove this.
- Jenny is possessed by a spirit who takes him to another world to show him how to draw Unicorn Jelly... If I had to guess I would say that spirit was Satan.
- JENNY REACHED THE END OF A RAINBOW!!!
- Jenny sees an alien spaceship.
- Jenny tries so kill himself and then sees his own ghost who has a glowing vagina, thereby proving he is really a girl.
- Jenny acquires telekinesis.
- A ghost kills Jenny's dog so he uses black magic to banish the ghost and bring her dog back from the dead.
These are all things Jenny actually believes happened. But I find the second one most interesting. You see, Encyclopedia Dramatica has a list of psychological conditions they think JDR has, and I believe paranoid schizophrenia needs to be added to that list because, if the entire ordeal was not another delusion, that means his mother is just as crazy him and whatever is wrong with him might be a hereditary mental illness. More evidence to that fact is that his mother tried to stab him when he told her he was a trans and told him that he was born as a result of rape by his evil father (further explaining why he hates men and himself to the point of having his dick cut off). Psychosis induced stress might also explain why JDR had a heart attack in his forties.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the information about what a maniac he is was lost when P.O.E was. The members of that site used to keep a close watch on JDR, documenting his lunacy. What remains of that are a few excerpts in other articles mentioning things like JDR admitting to being a chronic masturbator, JDR wanting to kill his employer, JDR begging his readers to give him 2,500$ to buy a new computer, JDR berating his husband for not spending every waking minute making a video game for him that no one but him cares about and drawing a comic wherein his husband apologizes to him for ruining his life and, finally, JDR believing his doctor is trying to murder him. The final nail was when John Solomon wrote a review of his comic to which he responded by telling Solomon that "[She] (should have been "He") is not afraid of him". When Solomon made fun of this as well JDR replied by telling him that he is going to kill him.
Today the JDR looks like a 50 year old man with a wig and a dress on and lives his sad little life in some sort of communal marriage with a woman, another transvestite and a man who is the only bread-winner in the bunch yet still gets regularly insulted by JDR in long, rambling blog posts because he is a man and all men are evil penis monsters. JDR doesn't work anymore because he has severe anxiety that prevents him from leaving the house (self diagnosed, obviously), which didn't stop him from attending an MLP convention. On a related topic, his most recent endeavor was joining the "The Conversion Bureau" fanfiction group. An infamous gang of psychopathic idiots who collectively write a story about how they wish the earth fell victim to some sort of genocide that forcefully converted humanity into ponies and killed everyone who refused. There JDR is held as a master writer (maybe since the rest of the community consists of 13 year olds), or perhaps it just seems that way because he deletes any negative comments about his stories. Not only that, but he had gone so far as to demand that the administration of FanFiction.net delete all Anti-Conversion Bureau groups and ban all their members.
What a fucking loon.
This comic might have been good if it was made by someone who could draw. It might have been good if it was made by someone who didn't feel the need to transform it into a lame pity-party for himself near its end. It might have been good if it was made by someone who is not completely crazy. But those are a lot of "If's".
As it stands, on the scale of JDR crap, To Save Her is worse than Unicorn Jelly yet not as bad as Pastel Defender Heliotrope (maybe because nothing on this earth could possibly be quite as bad as Pastel Defender Heliotrope). Which is a lot like saying that AIDS is worse than cancer but not as bad as the Black Plague.
Other comics by this person reviewed on this site
- His main site.
- His transexsualism propaganda site.
- His anime nerd site he thinks makes him a web celebrity - Sadly for him, this is not what he is famous for.
- JDR wins 4th place in a list of the 20 worst internet losers.
- Archived version of the Portal of Evil forum dedicated to her - You can only read the topic titles on the first page, but there being EIGHT PAGES of this shit speaks volumes about how crazy he is.
- Wikipedia article.
- First, second and third PDH review by Solomon.
- Psychological analysis of JDR on "Me and You and Mary-Sue" and another analysis of her misguiding gender identity test on the same blog.
- Old thread about him on Something Awful.
- Even Youtube agrees.
- Jenny makes a video about having projectile diarrhea.