Joaquin "Jack" Mortez

Short, soft man with a pitiful past... and a bleak future


Jack has had a fairly unspectacular life.

His maternal grandmother nearly stabbed her daughter in the sternum with a butcher knife, but many people have had better family dramas than that. Grandma Isabella said her daughter was threatening to put her in a home where they would rape her. She wasn’t. But that’s not that bad.

Jack’s mom Lisa had an affair with a college football phenom, and produced a son named John, but hey, first-world problem. Even the fact that John has been in and out of mental institutions all his life is not that big of a deal. And since divorce is a very mundane, modern world, blase of the Netflix age problem, nobody seems to mind how much damage John had caused to his families marriage. Especially since his parents are still together, by some miracle.

Jack is an unspectacular co-worker, in a banal office building, making so-so ads for a modest company. Well, he’s unspectacular to NEARLY everyone, but not so to Hannah Goldman, Amanda Blake and Sylvester “Sly” Nesmit.

To Hannah, Jack is a man still recovering from his recent divorce, a creative, funny guy who is so alive with a special sadistic magic that is so often crushed by his supervisor, Blake. Hannah also sees Jack as completely oblivious to her obvious flirtations and overtures, and wonders why she is such a fool for pining for him. She also can’t help but suspect that she is just trying to stick it to Jennifer, the woman that crushed Jack when she divorced him so thoroughly. Of course, Hannah doesn’t understand that Jennifer thought (read: knew) that Jack was cheating on her with Hannah, his closest co-worker mate.

Sly thinks of Jack as his best idiot. He has been buttering up Jack for months, getting close to him, into his business, and stealing Jack’s ideas. Afterall, being the less scrupulous half of a small ad team sometimes requires that you make someone else do the work.

And to Blake, Jack is the unremarkable Graphic Designer that she tolerates only because he can at least be trained (i.e., she micromanages him, and he gives her fake smiles in return).

At least Squirrel (actually Jacob Moiya) is there, in body if not spirit. Squirrel, through a cloud of marijuana smoke and the influence of toxic mushrooms, offers cryptic, but potent advice to the lonely divorcee, who is find himself working on his Lizzy-Borden-in-the-Future web-comic less and playing World of Lovecraft more. He hasn’t even gone camping with his ultra lumberjock Ex-Brother-In-Law Freddy this year. And may never.

For unknown to Jack, to the Jack that sleeps in his tiny room, surrounded by posters with leering 80’s serial killers, chainsaw wielding checkout-clerks, Aztec zombie superheroes, and Things-That-Should-Not-Be-Named, there is a strange plan in motion for this decidedly un-strange man’s life.

And one fine morning, one of these fine days, will be the beginning to the Strange Days to come.

Joaquin "Jack" Mortez

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