I’m not sure if this comic has a formal chapter structure, so I’m not entirely sure how to label it. Nevertheless…

We open at some point during 2002! When this was published I was probably about ten years old.

This is pure black and white pixels, none of that antialiasing nonsense, kind of like many parts of MS Paint Adventures. Unlike MSPA, I don’t think this makes any use of sprites, and from the start it’s impressively detailed, making nice use of patterns to create tone.

Anyway there’s some kind of bubble thing. Someone says some Latin: “Deus iniqui infernus epastusaum super me” which Google translate helpfully renders as “God unrighteous hell epastusaum over me” and I cannot find any other use of of “epastusaum” except in a quotation on the Unicorn Jelly forums. The forum people seemed to view it as something about Earth already being hell? Classicists please help.

If you scroll up in that thread, by the way, you can see JDR getting involved in an online discussion on religion…

Moving on, we’re get a very pretty splash page. I don’t know what sort of drawing software was available back in 2002, but I know drawing even a small amount of grass with a mouse in GIMP is very tedious and fiddly. Plus conifers, and a detailed perspective drawing of a house. So props to the art here.

Oh yeah and the comic self-describes as a “A philosophical and metaphorical science fiction story with a definitive beginning and ending”.

Backgrounds stop happening on the next page.

Characters to begin with are the eponymous unicorn jelly and someone in a robe and anime hair carrying a staff.

The copyright has jumped back to 2000, and there’s a link to a retconned version of the strip where the human had a wizard hat. On that page we learn their names: Lupiko (human) and Uni(-corn jelly).

Some info about the lifecycle of unicorn jellies: they begin as puddles of slime, get pissed on by a unicorn, and eventually become unicorns themselves? And there is a hierarchy of ‘monsters’ of which Slimes/Oozes are the lowest rung, with Jellies just above them. Jellies have a city called Visco City.

For some reason there’s an AU side comic in which there’s a Jelly sex worker?

We can probably guess that given her email is on the domain otakuworld.com, JDR is something of a weaboo. Sure enough Lupiko casually drops Japanese words.

This feels like a trans girl narrative already.

Normally, UNICORN JELLY is supposed to be a pure, Black-and-White, MangaStrip artform. However, once in a rare while, it is interesting to play with painting the purity of the Black & White medium” ……nerd

Speaking of nerd, apparently JDR wanted to issue DnD stats for the various jellies. Looking at it…

Like most DnD game design I feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary clutter… but that’s DnD.

I think Uni did the Annihilation Charge power right then, because the town just got nuked haha

The angry mob of slimes disagrees on what gender to assign Uni… again shades of what transmisogyny looks like haha

The Jelly sex worker, whose name is KayWai (usually rendered with the -Kun honorific but honestly) recurs in the AU strips, and is generally a very sympathetic character. An AU strip uses ‘he’ pronouns for KayWai and Uni but this may be because it’s a yaoi parody.

Lupiko finally shows up as a ‘witch’ in a party of DnD style adventurers.

Verdict so far: it comes across like a DnD parody comic, but I’m a lot more interested in this one than your average DnD comic, partly because I know it goes more interesting places.