El Santo vs. The Vampire Women: Last Res0rt
Submitted by El Santo on October 26, 2009 - 05:00
The creatively spelled Last Res0rt is probably the oddest vampire woman-themed webcomics I’ve come across. First of all, our main character, who has the unlikely name of Jigsaw Forte, isn’t just a vampire woman … she’s a furry vampire woman. What sort of animal she represents is not apparent, though most characters here seem to be some sort of hybrid chimera. Second of all, the webcomic takes place in a science fiction setting. Finally, it’s a bout a reality show where prisoners have to fight each other for their chance at freedom. So, in summary, it’s a sci-fi/horror webcomic about a reality show starring a furry female vampire. And also sailor scouts. It’s almost like creator Rachel Keslensky put all her interests into a blender, pressed the “Puree” button, and boom, there’s Last Res0rt.
The story starts with Jigsaw applying for the position of “Executioner,” who keep the criminals in check during the game (a reality show called “Last Resort”). Cypress, a crocodile lady with pretty hair and the show’s producer, has her doubts. Jigsaw doesn’t look like much, being a member of a harmless looking species that looks like a cross between a house cat and an Ewok. The only thing she has in her favor is a guitar case, which everyone assumes contains a gun of some sort.
Cypress changes her mind, though, when she catches Jigsaw’s extreme case of red-eye. It is not, as you may expect, a result of too much chlorine in the pool, but is one of the surefire indicators of vampirism.
There are other clues. I’ll let crocodile lady explain in a very confusingly laid-out page:
Vampires lose their souls when they die, but unlike zombies, they return to life. They’re highly aware of this loss, but unlike the Djinn, they have trouble regaining a soul because of their hemophagy.
… They’ll show the ‘Dead Eyes’ in anger. But there’s more to it than that; they’ll gray up, they’ll get muscular… and they turn into little wild animals. They lose their self-control. But the real giveaway? The fangs. If you can get someone to bear their fans at you, you’ve got definite proof. Living to tell about it is another matter.
This is a tricky set of indicators for a universe populated by anthropomorphic aliens. I mean, dogs have sharp canines. Are they all immediately vampires? Is this why I felt slightly dizzy every morning while our golden labrador grinned goofily at me? I thought it was allergies, but if he turned out to be vampirism, then I feel less remorseful about giving him away.
One of the perks of vampirism is that it induces a berzerker rage. Jigsaw unknowingly uses this to her advantage. As a result, she aces her trial. Despite some very strong objections about allowing someone who is “dead inside” on the show, Jigsaw succeeds in a position among the Executioners.
During her exercise, she meets several of her fellow competitors. These include a fellow cat-Ewok named Slick Giovanni, a big quadruped panther lady who is a princess that hugs people, and some overly pierced human guy named Jason Spades who is supposed to be bad news but is really fooling nobody with that silly goatee.
Spades, by the way, is only this show for a chance to execute Daisy Archanis, a female criminal competitor with a bionic leg and a face of pure butter. (If Ms. Keslensky tells me she likes drawing furries because she has a hard time drawing humans … well… I wouldn’t doubt her.) Daisy is also autistic, which means that, unlike the other characters in Last Res0rt, she has a legitimate, psychological reason to run her mouth with gobs of exposition.
In the meantime, Jigsaw’s family cheers on while watching the show on TV. Jigsaw’s dad vows a more proactive course of action to get Jigsaw off the show. However, since nothing eventful happens on that front, we return to our regularly scheduled program currently in progress.
We move on to the next stage of the show, where each executioner is paired up with a criminal. I suppose this is the exciting twist for this season, like “Petite Models” cycle they have on this season of “America’s Next Top Model.” Not that I would know. Ahem. Each executioner gets their pick of the criminals to be their partner. The suspense is killing me. Which of these weirdos will be teamed up with Li’l Jigsaw-chan? Despite the yiff-a-riffic potential for a team-up with slick, Jigsaw finds girl power more appealing and teams up with Daisy instead by latching onto her like an excitable 8-year-old. I guess everyone just wants a piece of that bionic leg, eh?
With the partnership set, the duo has to go through the pre-game formalities. There’s the part about stripping naked to get fitted for their bodysuits (which is a pretty big deal for some competitors). There’s the part where they style their outfits like they were at a Cover Girl photoshoot. And then they pick their team names. Jigsaw and Daisy pick “Team Andromeda.” The other teams are named Corvus, Gemini, and the rather unpronounceable Equuleus.
The four teams go on to face their first challenge: facing a squad called the Galaxy Girl Scouts, who are furry versions of the Sailor Scouts. A battle ensues. Daisy, who is rumored to be a former Galaxy Girl, does some metaphysical magic to teleport out of the battle. Qin Xu, a vampire doctor, tends to the injuries. Slick unleashes an efreet to lobotomize one of the Galaxy Girls, who has to be put down after she becomes a zombie. And, in the end, the players triumph over the Galaxy Girl Scouts.
Generally the “Last Resort” producers are happy about the show’s ratings spike. (Eh. I would’ve given the show a C+. The action consisted mainly of folks hiding behind a giant concrete barrier.) They’re miffed that some of the prisoners, though, have previously unaccounted powers.
Meanwhile, Jigsaw gains a powerful admirer: some giant horse person with wings. Jigsaw looks really bored at meeting one of the galaxy’s godlike beings, but I suppose that’s par for the course when alligator people are bossing you around, some fairy creature tells you to put on an ugly dress, and a horse creature walks around calling himself “White Noise.”
Notable contributions to the vampire woman genre:
Last Res0rt shows that the idea that vampires have pointy ears is a strong fallacy. Sometimes, their ears are round and elephantine. Also, just because a vampire is furry doesn’t mean they enjoy you scratching them behind the ears and giving them belly rubs. While this is not explicitly mentioned in Last Res0rt, I assume it’s implied.
Jigsaw: “I don’t wear all skulls and black. Garlic does nothing. I don’t even sparkle. So… what am I then?”
Important life lessons:
Autistic people are also psychic. If you find yourself in a room with one, only think happy thoughts around them. Otherwise, there is a very good chance that they might use their powers to turn you into a flower pot.
El Santo’s predictions for where this story will go in the span of a year:
On the next episode of “Last Res0rt,” Team Andromeda almost collapses after Jigsaw accidentally dismisses Daisy that she doesn’t have a leg to stand on… right after telling her about a one-legged woman named Peg. Meanwhile, Jigsaw’s dad puts one of his kids in a hot air balloon in a desperate attempt to get on the reality show. (Yes! A balloon boy reference! I am so timely!)