Terrible Delicatessen -- 12.8.13

Taste This, It’s Terrible!

Life is a game. It’s a massive, surreal game. You’re playing it, I’m playing it. No one can opt out. Ever.

Not even Kreemie. 

Gary, on the other hand, is very… enthusiastic about life-games. As you see. 

NEXT WEEK: Massive comics celebrity Pee Oh Vesper is in town. Yes,this one! The real life guy! Inside The Deli! 

I’m serious!

Vivit post funera virtus.


Terrible Delicatessen -- 11.25.13

Ennui Of My Own Design, Part IV: If It Feels This Good Gettin’ Used…

We get used. We get taken advantage of. We use each other. We take advantage of each other. We’re sensitive and we’re irrational.

Just like these two drips. 

Have a good one, patrons. 

P.S. Listen to this while or after you read this week’s strip for the fully immersive experience. 

NEXT WEEK: Check out Gary’s new look in Ennui Of My Own Design, Part V: New Menu

Non capiunt lepores tympana rauca leves.


Terrible Delicatessen -- 11.18.13

Ennui Of My Own Design, Part III: Listenin’ To Jackyl

Good goddamnI love heavy metal music!

Before anyone asks: Yes, Gary was at Woodstock ‘94. If you look really closely you can see him next to the crowd surfer in this video. I’m serious! And there were chainsaws! Truths! All truths!

What else? Oh, yeah—Stevie Scungilli! What a hip young chap he is. Nice chin, too! You’ll be seeing a bit more of him in the future, I’m sure of it.

And poor Kreemie. Poor, annoyed Kreemie. He’ll live, though. Right? Right.

NEXT WEEK: Ennui Of My Own Design, Part IV: If It Feels This Good Gettin’ Used…

Hortamur fari, quo sanguine cretus.


Terrible Delicatessen 11.11.13

Ennui Of My Own Design, Part II: Podcrast

Kreemie’s drowning whatever sorrows he has into some serious podcast listening this week. Gary’s not on the up-and-up technology-wise, so he inquires. Then they squabble.

NEXT WEEK: Ennui Of My Own Design, Part IIIListenin’ To Jackyl

Cor boni concilii statue tecum non est enim tibi aliud pluris illo.



Terrible Delicatessen -- 10.28.13

Halloween Meats For Treats

Kids are jackals, aren’t they? It’s Halloween at The Deli this week and the boys are celebrating with fantastic costumes and meats. Have a Happy Halloween this week, patrons. 

NEXT WEEK: New arc! Ennui of My Own Design, Part I: Podcrast.

Cor boni concilii statue tecum non est enim tibi aliud pluris illo.


Terrible Delicatessen -- 10.21.13

 You Light Up My Life, Part VII: All’s Crap That Ends Crap

So, there’s that. Going to let this one sink in on it’s own without any additional exposition.

Oh, and yeah. Graham Norton

Since we left you with such a bummer this week, we’re going to make it up to you next Monday. Get ready for our special Halloween edition of Terrible Delicatessen, Halloween Meats For Treats!

Sometimes I put on a ski mask and dress in old clothes, go out on the streets and beg for quarters. - Mike Tyson 


Terrible Delicatessen -- 10.14.13

 You Light Up My Life, Part VI: Gone Kreemie Gone

In this week’s strip we meet Elix, the owner of Acceptable Collectibles. Hip guy, isn’t he? And yes, that is The Sorrows of Young Wolfman Vol. 6 omnibus! On sale now! Apparently.

But hey, what the hell happened to Ludmila? Where’d she go? Ah, those damn Serbian enigmas and their refined sensibilities and undefined social functions! What the hell, damn guy?!

Check back next week for the conclusion of You Light Up My Life. It’s a doozy, folks.

Oh, and yeah. Graham Norton.

I already wrote a log line for next week, ya goof!

Repetita iuvant.


Terrible Delicatessen -- 10.07.13

 You Light Up My Life, Part V --  Fricken' Broke

Kreemie's chomped off more than he can chew in this week's strip. As he and Ludmila--Kreemie's piquant new girlie-friend--walk down to the comics shop, he realizes who he is: a broke pseudo-intellectual.

OK, that's a bit harsh. He is  broke, though. Very broke. Oh, and Gary's mad parsimonious. 

Read on, patrons!


NEXT WEEK: Come heck or highseltzer, Kreems and Ludmila will  make it to the comics shop, money or no money.

And then what?

 Salus aegroti suprema lex.


Terrible Delicatessen -- 9.30.13

 You Light Up My Life, Part IV --  Getting To Know You

So who is this bonnie lass Kreemie's been chatting up recently? We find out today!

Also, Kreemie quotes George Bernard Shaw all casual-like. What an a-hole. Compulsive hyper-intellectualism gets you nowhere, folks!


 NEXT WEEK: Kreemie's fricken' broke! Fricken' broke!

Dives est qui sibi nihil deesse putat.



Terrible Delicatessen -- 9.16.13

You Light Up My Life, Part II -- Shared Interests

The enigmatic girl of indeterminate ethnic descent is mega into comics. What more could Kreemie want from the opposite sex?  Who is this chick, anyway?  Are things actually looking up for Kreemie? And why do makeshift laundry-jaunts make Gary so damn happy? 

NEXT WEEK:  You Light Up My Life, Part III. Kreemie preps for The Date by spiraling into self-doubt. Good ol' Kreembo. 

Timendi causa est nescire.



Terrible Delicatessen -- 9.9.13

You Light Up My Life, Part I -- The Girl Of Kreemie's Dreamies

What would you do if an inscrutable young woman of Eastern European descent walked into your deli and wanted a roast beef sandwich? Would you fall in love?

Yes. Yes you would. Of course you would . You'd get all hot 'n bothered. You'd come to be delirious and euphoric. And delusional. Like Kreemie. 

And then your boss would walk into the frame in nothing but his skivvies. And you and your dream partner would be mortified. That's what would happen. Because that's how life is.

Isn't it? 

NEXT WEEK:  You Light Up My Life, Part II . I know it was you, Gary! You broke my heart! YOU BROKE MY HEART.

Quien me amat, amet et canum meum.


Snake Oil and the Saltiness of the Earth

I work hard. Harder than most people. Much harder than you, obviously. That’s why you’re here, right?  Wanted to know my productivity tricks? My “secrets?” Well listen, I’m going to burst your bubble: there’s no silver bullet, dummy. You’re just a Hard Worker or you’re not. Like me. It’s in the genetics, babe. I suppose there’s one thing I could do for you, though. Here, what I’ll do is walk you through my typical day: The day of a Hard Worker. Monkey see, monkey do, right? Heh!

Like I said, I work hard. Damn hard. All the time. It starts right when I wake up. I slap my face a few times. Not too loud, though. Don’t want to wake sleeping beauty. I walk to the bathroom and turn on the faucet. It’s a gold faucet on a brown marble I had installed just last week. It’s gorgeous. The fruits of Hard Work, that’s what that is. I turn the cold water on. I blast it. I splash my face and try my best to rinse yesterday off of it. Then comes the warm water. Need that warm water for the morning shave. I take a straight blade and scrape any excess hairs from my cheeks and my neck. Have to look sharp, crisp. Hard Workers have a distinct briskness to their faces, you know what I mean, babe?

I rinse again, hop into the shower for about five minutes. Step back out, go through a few more hygienic routines (teeth-brushing, hair-combing, arm-deodorizing, etc.). I put on a fresh pair of briefs and admire myself in the mirror for a bit; hard workers deserve a little bit of me-time, don’t they? I walk back into the bedroom, take a look at my lazy wife in a deep sleep. I sigh and throw my hard worker clothes. My suit. I think of it like my armor.

I bounce down the stairs. I’m already feeling spry. Yeah, babe. The coffee’s already brewed (you always set it the night before). I walk over to the kitchen table and suck down a protein shake: hydrolyzed whey isolate. (Two scoops with water and a fist full of vitamins. Venisya’s put it all out for me.) What a doll she is. She works hard. The wife should be more like Venisya. I take between seven and ten minutes breakfasting, sipping the coffee, reading the Times.

Alright, all set. Bring on the day. Yeah, babe.

God, I love Hard Work. I’m such a Hard Worker. Really surprises me sometimes, I have to say. Need some of that cold water to wake me up.

Off to the job. I step into a black Maserati Quattroporte. New toy. Guess how I was able to afford it?

Smart cookie. Damn Hard Work.

I cruise at a very reasonable pace, all leisurely-like. A man with power has no need to rush. Everything’s timed out in the head with precision, sharp precision. My internal clock is impeccable. The brain is a muscle, too, you know. I work that thing hard. All the time, babe.

I’m forced to sit and wait at a stop-light, one block away from the parking garage. Patience is a learned skill, friendo. It’s in the Hard Work toolbox. Gotta have it. I hate waiting, but I have to do it. I learn to love it. I learn to love it because it’s difficult. It’s Hard.

Young children playing hooky and working-class women love to stare at me while I wait at the light. I can tell they don’t see a black Maserati Quattroporte on a regular basis. They’re not used to excellence. Get it? I give each group a look. It’s essentially the same look, but a prepubescent hoodlum on a bicycle reads me much differently than a mediocre-to-poor looking female wearing a muted-colored work suit.  Either way, they get it. They understand The Look: You want this? You’ve got to work.

I pull into the parking garage. I park my black Maserati Quattroporte in the corner of the first floor of the garage. I park at an angle to make sure none of the other lazy jerks even think about placing their tin-can sloth-mobiles next to mine. Can I let you in on a little secret? People who work hard don’t drive Ford Escorts.

I walk across the street into my building. The Artist’s Den, I like to think of it. I give a tiny salute to the sloth, the one sitting at a desk reading a magazine. They wear a badge and they’re overweight. I can’t imagine what their diet’s like. I’m always disgusted at first, then quickly relieved because I’m not that person. I’m a Hard Worker. That’s how I’m able to crack a grin and a joke at these putzes. They love me. No wonder. They know that I always get the job done.

I take the stairs to the 8th Floor. That’s one thing you should know, you absolutely should know: Never take the fucking elevator. Don’t be a sloth. Work those hams, those quads. Stamp your feet like you’re in the damn Marines. I love walkin' the stairs. Gets the blood pumping. I can’t start the day if I don’t feel a slight burn in my hams before I’m in the office.

I always imagine I’m walking to my office in slow motion. I say “Hey!” and “Yo!” and “What’s happenin’?” and watch everyone’s head pop up from their cubicle. They’re glowing. When you work hard you infect other people with it, you see. The Hardest Worker is the oil that lubes the machine. I sense the office atmosphere shift into me, I feel the weight fall onto my shoulders. Bring it on, babe. I love it.

Colleen is my secretary. She’s 20-years-old, foxy as hell, dumb as rocks. Yeah, babe. Another one of those juicy fruits of Hard Work. She’s been with me for a few months. I’ve been showin’ her the ropes around here. I like showing her the ropes after lunch. Heh! Yeah, boss!

Colleen’s mouth yaps violently at me in the morning. She’s all teeth and words. Big ol’ grin on her doll face. She gives me a rundown of very general business: “So-and-so called and said ‘yadda-yadda’”; “Jack wants a meeting this afternoon.”; “We’re having _____ for lunch.” I like to sit on the edge of her desk and tune her out completely as I stare at her and smile. I look through her. She blushes. Once she’s done flappin’ her lips I ask her how she’s doing and she overflows with rainbow-colored drivel about her social life or her sick mother. I don’t listen. I stare. I just stare. Nod. Stare some more. Smile.

“Damn, look at the time! I’m gonna go meet up with Jack and his crew. Catch you after lunch?”

“Of course… Mr. Boss-man.”

Yeah, babe.

I walk out of my office and schmooze with some of my staff. They love it. I tend to play with my iPhone while I’m schmoozing. The underlings understand, though. I’m busy. And they know it. I like to Tweet while I fake-talk to those lovable dorks. I check my Facebook. I scan through a few pictures of myself. Solid. Yeah, babe. I wrap that up and head to a meeting.

I have between one and four meetings a day. They’re usually with Jack. He’s my boss and I don’t respect him. He respects me, though. He loves me. I’m invaluable. I’m indispensable. I get to the morning meeting a few minutes early. “If you’re early you’re on time--if you’re on time you’re late.” You know that saying, don’t you?

Woah! Hey, listen, bro: I don’t give a crap if you “fucking hate that idiom.” You don’t get it, do you? Ya know, you remind me of these two jag-offs that were at one of my meetings last week. Out of town guys. Yale cocks, I think. They thought I was tryin’ to upstage them. Those jags didn’t get why I was early. They don’t get it. They muttered things under their breath about me, gave me dirty looks. I called ‘em out as soon as I noticed. I ask them if they know who I am. I asked Jack, “Do they know who I am?” Jack laughed, then apologized for their rudeness. You’d be surprised how often this happens.

I sat through the meeting. Painful, but hey—it’s Work. Hard Work. I re-Tweeted a few quotes about Hard Work during the meeting. Stuff I saw on celebrities’ Twitters. I looked through a few more pictures on my Facebook page. I ‘like’ a few things I don’t read into as Jack fingered the pie chart on a SmartBoard. I’ll be honest with you: Hard Work can be boring sometimes. Won’t lie about that, bro. You have to put on that Hard Worker face. Muscle through it like a big boy, you know?

Towards the end of the meeting I take a few points Jack’s made and rephrase them. I polished them up and made them sound like I added to the conversation; I gave everyone a different perspective on the company goals. Jack loves when I do that.

“That is exactly what I’m saying! This guy gets me.” Jack lets out a jolly laugh from his diaphragm. He walks over to where I’m sitting and slaps me on the shoulder. I laughed with him and shot him a grin. The meeting, like most of the others, ended in success.

After a meeting like that one I go get lunch. I suck down another whey shake before I get back to my office and fuck Colleen. I’m sated and feeling muscley and ready to show her the ropes.

And no, I’m not using a condom, idiot. I’m a Hard Worker. You don’t get it, do you? Those “rules,” they’re not for us. They’re not for me, babe.  They don’t apply. I’m tellin’ you, bro, you gotta work hard. You do work hard so you can have things. So you can have people. I worked hard to have Colleen, to have Venisya. To have my wife.

I have to muzzle Colleen when I’m screwing her. I only take her from behind while I’m at work—it’s more utilitarian. She squeals a lot. I cover her mouth with my palm. She drools into it. I yank on her hair, she drools some more.

What do you mean, “why am I telling you this?” Babe, I’m trying to walk you through my day. You’re getting impatient. I told you… ya need patience. It’s a big part of being a Hard Worker. See, that’s the trick, bro. You gotta make the Work a Fruit of Work. You gotta love the Work. The Work is the reward, bro. I was just gettin’ to that.

The rest of the day cycles over, more or less. I schmooze some more, I abuse the internet. I go over vague stats and figures with Jack, then with Donna later on. That broad loves me. She loves me because she knows that I love to Work. She appreciates my Work Ethic. It’s the key, babe. If there’s any secret I guess that’s it; you start to fall in love with Hard Work. I fuckin’ love it.

I wrap up at the office at around 6:00 P.M. It’s gym time, babe.

Keeping your body fit and lookin’ good is a huge part of Hard Work. There’s no cheatin’ with staying in shape. You gotta Work it. I love hittin’ the gym. I bolt from the Maserati Quattroporte to the gym locker room, throw on my gear—shorts, tank, lifting gloves, sweatband. Yeah, babe.

I start with some cycling; gotta warm the bod’. Move on to some donkey calf raises, pec flys, a couple dumbell bench lifts. Top it all off with a five mile run on the treadmill. Feeling good, feeling limber. Feelin’ Worked. I hit the showers.

I head home. I’m craving carbs but I wouldn’t do that to myself. I know better. Patience is virtual or somethin’. Willpower, ya know? I slam down another shake and wind down. Ready to repeat the cycle.

That’s that, bro. That’s my day. You could always… you know, copy it, right? You want to be a Hard Worker, don’t you? Well that’s a day of Hard Work, dog. Hard-ass work.

Alright, I gotta run. You can pay me tomorrow.

What do you mean, “Huh?” What’s that about?

You know I’m charging you for this, right?

Terrible Delicatessen -- 8.12.13

The Bro Sip is a thing. Kreemie witnesses an earnest Bro Sipand gets all churlish about it. Gary identifies with Bro-ass Bros. Usual nonsense at the Deli, you know.


Supplemental: The origin of The Bro Sip.

A History of Bro Sips

A History of Bro Sips

Bro Sip diagrams:

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

NEXT WEEK: Behind The Counter, S1 E1!Includes a making-of video and original Vesper sketches! Come behind the scenes with P.O. Vesper and I as we walk you through the visual Terrible Delicatessen's origins and processes. Docendo discimus.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 8.5.13

You never, ever mess with another man's anchovies. Down with crappy ironic-looking pizza men and the tricks they pull! Get 'em, Gary!


NEXT WEEK: Kreemie witnesses a Bro Sip live and in the flesh. What the hell does that even mean? Come back next week and behold... THE BRO SIP.

It's a thing, I swear.

Bene diagnoscitur, bene curatur.

You Will Always Be A Dogbot

Everything I’m going to do I’ve done already. Everything I haven’t finished I hadn’t started to begin with. And that’s just the way of things. So I made coffee while I was walking the dogbot whilst sipping the coffee that I’d made yesterday during the time when my dogbot pissed butane out at my leg and onto my Big Toe. I jumped away from it, annoyed, as I slumped on the couch.


This is what I screamed at my synthetic pet for letting organic liquid loose all over my foot (particularly my Big Toe).  I was conveniently taking a shower in that same moment, so I wasn’t too upset, even though I absolutely was.

Regardless of what Strange Dew—that’s my dogbot, don’t you know—squirted onto my low-limbs, I was completely happy with myself, albeit totally fucking miserable.

Strange Dew was clean-shaven with a long beard and people on the grassy bio-block would always notice this. They’d shout things like “Hey! Look at that smooth-faced dogbot with the long black and/or white beard that hangs down and drags across the muddy, sticky-dry pavement as he/she scuttles quickly at a slow pace!”

Keep it to yourself. Yep. That’s what I’d always scream under my breath. Keep it to yourself.

Conventional Dry Particle—also the dogbot’s name—and I (or You, depending on where you’re standing) were on our way to the local dogbot factory, which also functioned as the international morgue for dogbots. It all happens here, but not much goes on most days.

I’m serious!

It was raining inside, cool and dewy (yes, I know), which was fine because the two of us were equally outside where the both of us sweat like female dogs that are in season to mate and have babies.

I took Strange Dew/Conventional Dry Particle into that sun-shower of a birthing room and watched her (or him, depending on the time of day) die. I don’t know why I did this, aside from the fact that I knew that it positively needed to happen. I had no choice and limitless alternatives, so you see where I’m coming from, don’t you?

I looked at the tightly squinted eyes that were wide open and realized that at the end of the day, which is also when the cock roosts or something, that no matter what time it is, or whichever ground you choose to stand on you’ll always be a dogbot.

It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?

For further reading on multiverses and simultaneous realitiesgo here.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 7.22.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Gary will stop at nothing to make something of himself in this world. Which is why he ate all the rye chips.


NEXT WEEK: Double-sized strip! Kreemie goes to the gym and feels more or less inadequate! Gary flexes and acts like he uses Icopro! Macte animo! Generose puer sic itur ad astra!

Asinine Beliefs I Held As A Small Child

As a young boy I was rather insane. There were a handful of world views I held (and thankfully dropped) until the age of seven or so. Here is a short list.

  • I used to believe that it was possible to pick up a girlfriend or a wife at The Girlfriend Shop. I wasn't sure where it was located, but the three-year-old Justin knew it existed. It was probably somewhere in North Jersey. After I'd seized my woman I was convinced she would bore me three boys. I planned to name them Tommy, Joey and Dopey.
  • I thought "skim milk" was called "skin milk" and used to think it did wonders for my four-year-old skin. "Grandma, come feel my hands! They're so soft!"
  • I was under the impression that in a movie theatre the lights were to be kept on at all times. The first flick I almost saw was Return of the Care Bears, though we had to leave early because I kept screaming "Hey! Hey! Who turned out the lights?!?"
  • I was convinced that a giant fountain at a local mall was my grandfather from another planet. Anytime I'd go to the mall I say "Hello, Grandpa" in my head. I was telepathically communicating with the indoor geyser. Really glad I didn't share that with anyone at the time.
  • I used to think Poison were cool and The Grateful Dead were terrifying. That "Touch of Grey" video gave me the creeps. I suppose Poison were just less threatening because they looked like a bunch of Moms.
  • I'm pretty positive my first sexual feelings occurred for my Storm action figure. I suppose I got to second base pretty early if I'm allowed to count the foxy Ororo Munroe as my first hookup. My asinine belief was that she was my girlfriend.

That's all I can think of. I don't know why I thought about these things. I'm not sure where the ideas came from. They just happened and I remember them vividly. Alright, bye.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 7.15.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Gary's Monday Morning Miasma is extra rank. Why and how? Because he went dancing and got lucky! That's why and how!


NEXT WEEK: You never want to be That Guy. You should know this. Homo homini lupus est.