Regular Dark Web readers may recall that I have mentioned Jane the Killer here before, and spoke up on what I felt was rather harsh criticism from the Creepypasta community.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the first appearance of Jane online came back in 2012 when DeviantArt user MrAngryDog posted an image and short story that has come to be known as Jane’s Letter. In it MrAngryDog tells of a twisted character who is hunting the psychotic Jeff to gain revenge for an untold wrong, so driven in her desire to punish him that she is even prepared to kill his prospective victims before he can to spite her adversary.
In time, MrAngryDog published further updates as to what made Jane the character she was, including references to a covert Government experiment that utilised a mysterious drug known only as Liquid Hate, which gave Jane tremendous abilities.
This caused some confusion among fans of the character as the story of this Jane directed contradicted that of Mr Angry Dog. This confusion then led to conflict among the fandom, as different groups pledged their support to either Mr AD’s Jane Richardson or PS64’s Jane Arkensaw A.K.A. Everlasting. The rivalry between each camp became somewhat heated, while Creepypasta reader’s who took exception to either story would regularly vent frustrations on the wrong creator.
Furthermore, a particular hardcore group of Jeff fans also took exception to a character so opposed to their posterboy and proceeded to vent their own displeasure into an already pretty toxic situation.
In time Mr AngryDog had enough of PastaStalker64 using his original creation without his permission and contacted her over it. Unlike the vast majority of Internet communication, this was a conversation that was resolved in a surprisingly cordial manner — PS64 apologised to MrAD and the pair agreed that both characters could exist separately in the loose Jeff ‘canon’. You can read the whole exchange at Mr AngryDog’s Tumblr here.
However, even now Jane is a polarising character — drawing adoration from fans and pretty scathing scorn from opposition. As I’ve said before, I have tremendous respect for any artist who is brave enough to put their work out there, and while appreciation of art is certainly a subjective experience, all artists (especially those who blaze new trails) deserve to be commended for exposing themselves to the criticism of an audience.
Mr AngryDog created Jane, there can be no denial of this fact. Whether you love or loathe the character, Jane has inspired a strong emotional reaction among the Creepypasta community, and for that reason Jane and her creator deserve to be celebrated.
I wanted to give Mr AngryDog the opportunity to address his fans, his detractors and you, my readers, so I was delighted when he so generously agreed to discuss Jane with me.
Our interview follows:
UK HORROR SCENE: First, would you consider yourself a fan of Creepypasta?
MR ANGRYDOG: Yes and no. As far as being a fan of creepypastas themselves, I am a fan of Lost Episode and Ritual creepypastas (i.e. Rugrats Lost Episode "Chuckie's Mom", Midnight Man, etc.) On top of that, Theory pastas have always piqued my interest.
Those dealing with such things as true stories, crime, science, and space have always been my favorites. I am a fan of those such pastas.
I consider Eyeless Jack, The Rake, Sonic.exe, The Red-Eyed Spirit, Mr Widermouth, and The Uninvited Stranger legendary favorites because they are the cornerstones of Pastas.
As far as me not being a die-hard fan is concerned, that was the result of some fans being either unhinged, downright obnoxious, not differentiating fantasy from reality, Bad [Insert name of fandom here] Groups, the need to psychoanalyze everything right down to the very little detail, starting Kill [Insert name of author here] Clubs online, and sending death threats and threats of suicide to other users and creators old and new, myself included. I've been bombarded with so much hatred and death threats for over the last few years, it has just become laughable.
Back then, it would just take a toll on my mental and physical health, and that's what caused me to go through alcohol abuse during that time. I maybe an active voice in the community and know there are fans with big hearts out there, so there is a little glimmering light at the end of the tunnel.
UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta resonates so much with the fandom?
MAD: I think the reason why Creepypasta resonates so much with the fandom is because of the fans that are absolutely passionate and cheerful about their favorite Pastas, that drawings and fanfics just started popping up over night. Those fans are having fun, enjoying themselves.
While there are really passionate fans who have fun and enjoy their favorite pastas, there are some fans who fuck up the fandom, acting like they know everything, and treat a well-written story like it's the biggest atrocity ever created by mankind, while some who look at a very badly-written Pasta — loaded with errors and anachronisms out the ass, and treat it like it's a pulitzer prize winner. The passionate and cheerful fans are basically the life blood of the fandom. :)
UKHS: What is your favourite Creepypasta by an author other than yourself?
MAD: Well, I have no favorite in particular, but if I had a choice, I would say Laughing Jack by Snuff Bomb. I wasn't reading a story, I was reading cinematic visuals, basically.
UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?
MAD: I've always been a big fan of Michael Crichton, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, R.L. Stine (yes, R.L. Stine), and Anne Rice. Michael Crichton, especially, since his books always have to come with a soda and hot buttered popcorn while you read. They're THAT cinematic! :D
UKHS: In your own words, can you explain the story of Jane, her relationship to Jeff, Liquid Hate etc?
MAD: Jane Richardson started as your typical girl, the talk of the town who's got it all — a hot girlfriend, a job she enjoys, excellent friends, a loving family, and a great future. But in 2006, her world changed when both of her parents, Paula and Bruce Richardson were murdered by Jeffrey Woods Keaton (Jeff the Killer).
Her relationship to Jeff — hate/hate. She wanted him dead and in the grave for what he did!
As for Liquid Hate, here's how it came to be... The L.A.P.D were in pursuit of Jeff The Killer, but remained unsuccessful in their manhunt. They enlisted the aid of the FBI, who had Jeff on their most wanted list, they [the FBI] turned to the CIA. The CIA, searching for a way to create an anti-killer unit, needed a test subject. The Department of Justice became involved with the CIA in the creation of Liquid Hate, funded by the American Science Association.
The fundings for Liquid Hate were a total of $6.9 million dollars. Subjects will experience for the first minute and thirty seconds, violent episodes and homicidal tendencies, but will act and appear normal once the episodes cease.
Over twenty-five test subjects died because of the effects of the serum that was codenamed "Liquid Hate". There is an increase in strength, stamina, health, speed, and agility. Other results included increased alcohol, drug, and tobacco tolerance, running faster than a track athlete on steroids, taking on human appearances, accelerated healing, limb regeneration, and increased metabolism.
Jane Richardson is the one who survived.
UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the story?
MAD: Jane really began as an idea and a CGI avatar made on the chat program IMVU (Instant Messaging Virtual Universe), as SaucyJaney (that was my avatar's name). Saucy Janey was the female version of Saucy Jack, or the infamous Jack the Ripper. Saucy Janey began as Jane the Ripper, basically.
After reading the story of Jeff the Killer, and the other stories in the Jeff mythos, Jeff needed someone to kick his ass. Who? Jane.
After finding out that Jeff the Killer's picture may have actually been a touched up version of an overweight goth girl who took her life after being mercilessly bullied on 4Chan for her weight problem, I later made Jane the Killer — Jane Richardson, to eradicate Jeff, and to have people leave the memory of the deceased goth alone. So, in a way, Jane is the poor girl's avenging angel. :)
UKHS: What do you think the appeal of Jane and her story is?
MAD: The appeal of Jane Richardson and her story is, for one — she is very popular among the guys and girls, and is the most talked-about character ever. Ranging from fanfics, to other works of art, and even fan-made movies, people see Jane as a woman with potential, plenty of sex appeal, and a frequent favorite of cosplayers everywhere.
As far as her story goes, many claim the "Born of Science" story was better than Jeff the Killer's story. I also think this is mainly because of the cinematic style I put into creating it.
UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the story. Are there any examples of fan art, such as films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?
MAD: Yes, Jeff the Killer vs. Jane the Killer by YouTube user Movieunleashers is my favorite fan-made film. As far as art works are concerned, there are some that have caught my eye and made me go: "OMFG, THAT IS AWESOME!"
Some of the art works I've seen were pretty shoddy, but I didn't care. It was the uniqueness and style of the artist that I was captivated by. Every piece of art by the artist themselves, their own style is unique. That's what makes them unique. :)
UKHS: I feel the character of Jane is wrongfully maligned by some segments of Creepypasta fandom. Have you read any of these negative comments? How do you feel about them? Have the fans been as vocal in their support as the dissenters?
MAD: Read them? Yes, I have. Some of the negative comments are sometimes playful banter, some are humorous, and others are just downright abhorrent, obnoxious, and pretty damn horrid.
I've had a few ask me: "Are you the creator of Jane the Killer? If you are, go die in a hole."
I've had others make idle threats, and spew death threats — some have even gone so far as threatening to slit my throat, hoping that I go kill myself, suffer anal rape, you name it. Do I lose sleep at night because someone in the fandom threatens to kill me or hopes that I go and off myself? Hell no, I sleep like a fucking baby. It's all horseshit from those who fail to do research and suffer from severe jealousy that something I made has become quite popular and went viral, to be quite honest.
Those who have made false assumptions that I created Jane Arkensaw without failing to realize PastaStalker64 did, I usually have to correct them. Most of the time, I'm really nice about it.
For some who prefer to not listen and get their facts straight, then that really pisses me off, you know? So, all the comments and death threats I receive, it's a combination of comedy and tragedy. Why tragedy? Because those who waste their time typing out death threats are a tragedy, and the tears I cry from the tragedy are not tears of sadness, but tears of laughter because of how full of shit one is making said threats.
Yes, the fans have been vocal in their support as the dissenters and it is spreading like wildfire everyday! :D Their support for me is highly extolled and very much appreciated. <3 I LOVE YOU GUYS!
UKHS: You mention PastaStalker64, who famously created her own version of Jane the Killer after you created the original. It seems things were soon sorted out between you both and now you're friendly. How did that come to happen? Have you had much interaction with PastaStalker64?
MAD: Well, at first, I wanted to confront PastaStalker64 for allegedly plagiarizing Jane the Killer in the first place because I got so sick and tired of the confusion. Many who speculate that I made Jane Arkensaw and made false assumptions. I made Jane Richardson, not Jane Arkensaw. When I went to talk to PastaStalker64, I had no response for quite some time. After telling her that I was the original creator of Jane the Killer, she didn't expect me to be kind and pleasant in my greeting. But I was. :3
We both had a good talk, and she said she made Jane Arkensaw just for fun and because she was bored. She didn't intend for her version to become popular and have poor reviews. PastaStalker removed her story from the CP Wiki and that was that. But somehow, on the JTK Wiki, her copy still exists, and I'm surprised that nobody removed it...?
She liked my version of Jane the Killer very much, and after things got sorted out between us, we became sort of like, acquaintances. I haven't spoken to her much lately because of so much going on, but we're still on good terms and there is no animosity between us.
UKHS: Do you have any other Creepypasta creations either in the pipeline or already out there that you'd like to share with our audience? And do you intend to return to/expand upon Jane's story in the future?
MAD: Yes, I do, as a matter of fact: The Elysian Theater and The Doctor Is Out... TO GET YOU!
As for my intention to expand upon Jane's story, yes. That's already happening. Me and a friend of mine are working around the clock to expand upon the story even further, even including a backstory and stuff that was left out. Part one is already finished, but part two is now underway!
UKHS: Can you tell me a little more about your other projects?
MAD: The Elysian Theater focuses primarily on what happens when an aspiring celebrity never gets her dreams of being famous realized and takes her anger out on everyone by killing, and imprisoning herself in the theater where she is under the dellusion that she is still a star.
The Doctor Is Out... revolves around a woman who becomes too amorously infatuated with her doctor to the point of where she has to pay her medical bill with her life. Moral of that story is — stay out of doctors’ offices and hospitals if you are horny.
UKHS: And finally, where is the best place for my readers to check out your work, especially regarding the expanded Jane story?
MAD: Well, as far as the expanded Jane story is concerned, I will be more than happy to send it to their email boxes in PDF format. As far as other stories are concerned, they are in storage on my deviantART page. If they want to look at them, I will be honored to note it to them. :)
Mr AngryDog is clearly a passionate, creative man and it’s genuinely uplifting to see such an individual taking pride in his work and continuing to create new and exciting stories for the Creepypasta community.
Who knows, maybe his next work will contain the next Jane the Killer?