For three years, a cartoon dog has sat patiently in a house fire. He smiles as he says, "This is fine." Today, however, the dog changes his stance. Today, says the dog, "this is not fine."
The "This is fine" meme comes from KC Green’s 2013 webcomic "On Fire." The meme rarely includes the final panels, in which the dog’s flesh melts from his arms and skull, like chocolate syrup running down an ice cream sundae. Instead, the meme serves, as we wrote earlier this summer, "as shorthand for when a situation becomes so terrible our brains refuse to grapple with its severity."
But in the past couple months, as the world seemed to collapse beneath the weight of terrible news, Green was inspired to create "an alternate take" or a "parallel universe." In the update, the dog screams "This is not fine!" As the dog extinguishes the flames, he continues, "The was no reason to let it last this long and get this bad. They shot a gorilla for godssake."
"ALL of 2016 inspired this," Green tells The Verge. "Every bit of insane news piece and the political climate made this follow up happen. It’s been a weird year and I think the election is not helping. Everyone’s on EDGE. There’s a breaking point, and I think we’ll find it this year. Also, the Nib asked me if I had any comic ideas to send to them and this one has been in the back of my head for a couple months, more so since the GOP tweet thing."
Green's referring to when the GOP used the "This is fine" meme to poke fun at the Democratic National Convention. The artist produced an updated version of his iconic comic, replacing the dog with an elephant symbolic of the Republican party.
The Nib has the entire "This is not fine" comic — along with many other great comics from a collection of talented artists. Perhaps it’s unlikely this update will become as popular as the original meme. In an interview with The Verge, Green reflected on why the two panels of the "One Fire" comic became so popular. "He doesn’t melt [in the meme.] It’s easier to sell the first two than the entire panel where the dog melts into nothingness."
Green recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for a plush toy version of the "This is fine" dog. Never has the threat of burning to death been so cute.