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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Matrix: A Life Less Empty The Matrix
"A Life Less Empty"
Matrix Comics Vol. 1
Story and art by Ted McKeever


A hacker recalls her one and only meeting with the legendary Morpheus and asks, “Why, oh why, didn’t I take the red pill?”


Read the story at the Internet Archive


Didja Know?


This comic strip originally appeared on the official Matrix website in 1999. It was later printed in The Matrix Comics, Vol. 1 published by Burlyman Entertainment, a comic book publisher founded by the Wachowskis.


The hacker main character of this story is not named in the story itself. According to the Matrix Wiki and some online reviews of this story, her name is Tiera but I've been unable to find the source of this information. Presumably, the name appeared in promotional material or author Ted McKeever revealed it in an interview. 


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story



Morpheus (in flashback only)

Neo (mentioned only)

Trinity (mentioned only)


Didja Notice?


Tiera lives in an apartment in the White Rabbit Hotel inside the Matrix. "White Rabbit" is a reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


    On page 1 of the story, Tiera has several books on her shelf: Memoreaze, Simulacra and Simulations, Interfazed, and Byte Me. Presumably, Simulacra and Simulations is meant to be Simulacra and Simulation, the 1981 book by Jean Baudrillard which examines the relationship of symbols to reality and society; the book is also seen in Neo's apartment in The Matrix. The other three books seen here are fictitious as far as I can tell.

   Underneath Tiera's bed is a copy of The Daily News. Possibly, The Daily News is the "official" newspaper of Mega City, though other papers called The City Defender and Mega City Sentinel are seen in The Matrix and Path of Neo, respectively.


On page 2 of the story, what appears to be a book titled Hackers Bible is seen. There are many real world books with variations of this title. The one here may be a reference to the Hacker Bible, published in two editions in Germany in 1985 and 1988.


A large sign on top of a building near the White Rabbit Hotel appears to read "Wachowski Brothers Incorporated". The Wachowskis are the creators of the Matrix franchise.


On page 4 of the story, a photograph shows a partial view of a sign on a building which may read "Hotel Lafayette". Though not named in the movie itself, this is the hotel Neo met Morpheus in in The Matrix (it is named later in the Matrix video game Path of Neo, which covers the events of the movie trilogy).


Also on page 4, Tiera has a 3-inch floppy disk labeled ME with a label written with a number of file folder names: Freud's Memos, Matrix JPGS, Happy Birthday JPGS, Porn Palace Downloads, In the Wake of Adversity, Coffee File, and List of Sins and Mistakes. Possibly, "In the Wake of Adversity" refers to the 1987 song by Dead Can Dance.


On page 7 of the story, a file on Tiera's computer screen has the partial name of "TRIN" visible. It may be some kind of communication or research related to Trinity. On the following page, she does mention she had wanted to be like Neo and Trinity and "all the other myths and legends."


On page 8, a poster for Bound is seen on the wall of Tiera's apartment. Bound was the feature film directorial debut of the Wachowskis.


On page 10, Tiera mentions Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Hitler, and Einstein. These were all considerable figures in human history.


On page 11, a book called Johnny Neumonic is seen in a stack in Tiera's apartment. This is presumably a play on Johnny Mnemonic, a 1981 short story by cyberpunk author William Gibson.


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