strong content warning for themes of suicide and drug use.

102

8th Jun 2017, 12:00 PM
102
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Author Notes:

Nobody 8th Jun 2017, 12:00 PM edit delete
Nobody
a raison d'être; a weigh of life.
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Comments:

Fen 8th Jun 2017, 12:13 PM edit delete reply
sugar’s dialogue here is seriously hitting me hard. i used to sound exactly like this.
i think her mention of anhedonia + the cost and benefits line is a really good look at how she sees the world. she’s analytical, she wants to calculate things and find categories and labels. i’m going to have to keep that concept in mind on a future reread. sugar sees the world like a nerd. my guess is she had a special interest/hyperfocus phase on psych stuff in the past, due to her inherent predisposition towards systematizing human interaction, and that’s why she drops so many psych terms. it could also just be due to her time as a psych patient, but ime patients don’t latch on to symptom labels unless theyre a systematizing type of person already.
a couple other things of note- lola’s use of past tense for both her and sugar. you ate good food, not you eat good food. you smiled at me. i loved that smile. it’s how you would talk about someone who’s dead, not someone who’s going to go on living and eating and smiling. so that leads me to believe that whatever lola wants, she at least thinks theyre really going to die.
then i want to note that lola is making eye contact w/ sugar with all 4 of their eyes in two of the later panels, and with the top two in their last 3 shots. meanwhile they’re avoiding her gaze in the top half of the page. the look away->eyes closed->eye contact sequence is i think important because lola is confronting sugar and directly asking her for something while making this eye contact.
last thing- i doubt it’s a coincidence that right before sugar asks about anhedonia, lola’s smoke looks like a big grin.
Guest 8th Jun 2017, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
I don't think a week has ever felt so long waiting for this page to come around. Questions about God, and by extension the belief of an afterlife, is an interesting topic to bring up immediately after Sugar asked if life itself had any purpose or meaning. For people of faith life automatically has inherent meaning, rather than the random tragedy and cruelty of the world just happening because. I wonder if Lola is afraid of going to hell as suicide is frowned upon in the major religions. Sugar seems to have always found her answers in logic and science that can be trusted in her mind.
Nobody 8th Jun 2017, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
this is true! some people are more willing to commit suicide because they feel like the first life is meaningless compared to the next, though.
thank you for the comment.
Guest 8th Jun 2017, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
man when lolas vision focuses, its so intense. it must be so uncomfortable for sugar, like having "eyes on you" paranoia and shame.

i feel like sugar's always hated all the attention she got, and wish she could fade into the background more, like 1. her unique eyes sticking out 2. all the special care sugar got just because of things out of her control, which can be really shameful
seedy 8th Jun 2017, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
"...you smiled at me..."
EVERY TIME I LOOK AT THIS PANEL I TEAR UP AGAIN
MysteriousJeff 8th Jun 2017, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
First of all this page is looking gorgeous with the cigarette glow and the smoke effects and it looks especially amazing with the panel where the smoke is the speech bubble!

I feel like, with what Lola is saying that the point is that pleasure exists, that it is a part of experience and it's good to remember that even when stuff is currently bleak? And like Sugar is sort of missing that point by insisting that pleasure that exists gets canceled out by the displeasure, thinking of life experience as a big sum rather than moments existing and not necessarily erased by subsequent moments?
Peach 8th Jun 2017, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
There's something painful about seeing Lola referring to herself and Sugar in the past tense already...
Anonymouse 8th Jun 2017, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
They're driving by the canyon here, right? On the passenger side, it looks like. For most of the first part of this page, Lola's top eyes are looking out the window at the canyon. She's running out of time.

I love the little things in this comic.
Nobody 8th Jun 2017, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
yeah, they are. sugar is following the curvature of the canyon to get to a spot she has learned by rote.
more like a RAISIN d'etre 8th Jun 2017, 6:40 PM edit delete reply
ahh, i love the way lola is looking at sugar in the last few panels.

i'm so excited to see what happens next
t. 8th Jun 2017, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
as someone who was forced to attend two christian schools thru ages 5 - 9 and heavily believes in god and heaven because of it, i am somewhat Anxious™ for sugar's answer
Nobody 8th Jun 2017, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
don't worry, religion talk is brief in this comic. it's not a subject i like to write about much. i think it comes up most heavily in a story involving a jewish character who had experienced clinical death and been resuscitated, but even that is fairly light and won't be for a while.
ka-chow 8th Jun 2017, 11:25 PM edit delete reply
i really like the line weight of sugar in panel 12. i know i get that feeling when someones saying something that i guess is true but dont like, i do a weird visualization thing, make a little shield around me so that the words dont actually hit me and make me accountable for knowing what was said, if that makes sense, and even if it wasnt your intention it definitely conveyed that to me. this page is... a lot (in a good way) in visuals and dialogue its really incredible. i cant think of much else to say haha but wow
earthcell 9th Jun 2017, 4:11 AM edit delete reply
earthcell
every update brings us closer. it hurts
reader 10th Jun 2017, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
i love how this is a webcomic. if this was in print the experience of reading it would be completely different ... the intrigue would probably mean that you'd devour the entire story in less than the amount of time it sugar and lola to get to the canyon. and knowing me i'd probably be sorely tempted to skip ahead and glimpse at the end pages.

but i think this story can only really work best as a webcomic ... the experience of reading it this way is really important. knowing that you CAN'T just flip to the back of the book and find out the ending before you make the full journey properly is thematically important, i think. if you could hold this story physically in your hands and flip through all the pages at once it'd feel different, like compressing time.

but the fact that this relatively brief trip has been slowly released over a longer period of time has the opposite effect, i think. like expanding time - even as the story feels like it's about compressing time/running out of time. this roadtrip is the only window we get to learn about these characters and their histories, after which there will be no more to learn about, if not because they end, because the story ends. and the release schedule does really well to underscore that slow burn feeling, like that breather page of lola stalling. trying to stretch out each moment to buy time.

when i'm reading something that's exciting my eyes tend to jump all around the page to take in as much info as quickly as possible and if the next pages are already there for me to read i'll just tend to jump forward and not return to those previous pages to take it in more slowly. having to wait for the updates forces me to do that though, which means i notice things i otherwise wouldn't. and the anticipation of not knowing what happens next, and more importantly knowing that you CAN'T know what happens next even if you wanted, cause this isn't in print, i think also creates a greater sense of connection and investment in the story. you really do get the sense that you're being taken for a ride, one you can't control, one that feels longer and somehow shorter than it actually is cause of the relation between in-story time and IRL time. idk i just really love how well this story makes use of its chosen medium.
Nobody 12th Jun 2017, 4:39 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
thank you for the comment! unfortunately, once the comic is done, anyone will be able to skip to the end whenever they want to as well. it might be for the best.
i'm glad i decided to publish it page-by-page instead of trying to finish it privately before releasing any of it, too, though. i think the people who've followed along since it began have gotten a unique experience, and it's the reasons i enjoy webcomics so much (besides that i feel it's an incredibly accessible and flexible medium for both readers and content creators); the right story can give you something to look forward to every week for years.
due to how drop-out pages are much lengthier than most comic pages, if it were formatted for print, it would be well over 100-some-odd pages and would need to be segmented into several books instead. i think if i made a print version (i don't plan to), i would design it so that the last few scenes were contained to their own individual book.
for the detail thing-- i usually skim comics pretty quickly when reading them, either because i'm not invested or i'm invested enough that i want to know what happens as quickly as possible. i design drop-out pages to try to accommodate both types of skimming based on theory i've developed myself (and written a bit about elsewhere).
it's an "imperfect" method. but part of what i like so much about comics over animations or movies is that you cannot control how your viewer consumes the content... the speed, the order, the detail. it makes it kind of a fascinating way to convey information to me.
there are a lot of subtle details that i acknowledge will be missed even by readers who are taking their time to look at every panel. i try to balance this with the visuals, framing, and dialog-- occasionally there will be details that are bold enough to catch even a speedy reader's attention, and it encourages them to stop and realize there's a lot to take in, go back and look at how many times that detail happened more subtly, and so on.

hopefully this was interesting to read rather than sounding argumentative. thanks again!
grocer of despair 12th Jun 2017, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
Agreed that the serialized publication makes for a more absorbing experience, but I've also felt for a while that it's a stronger candidate for being translated into film than a lot of screenplays that actually do get made into films. The pacing is very un-webcomicy - there aren't any filler pages, and the building of the narrative is very concise & contained. For me, going back and reading straight through hits way harder than picking it up page by page. It'll definitely stand the test of time once it's completed.
Guest 14th Jun 2017, 11:58 PM edit delete reply
Only twelve hours until the update and I'm already hyped up for it. They've only got so much canyon left to drive next to.
Tori 15th Jun 2017, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
i keep checking back impulsively, hoping i'm wrong about the time or it'll have updated early.
Guest 21st Jun 2017, 3:19 AM edit delete reply
"It's all about the little things."

It's like I'm listening to myself. It really is all about the little things. My stepdad committed suicide back in Winter, and all I can really remember about him is the little things. It's all I really have, just little things.