strong content warning for themes of suicide and drug use.

105

29th Jun 2017, 12:00 PM
105
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Author Notes:

Nobody 29th Jun 2017, 12:00 PM edit delete
Nobody
lola swallows the last bitter pill and sleeps on it.
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Comments:

fen probably 29th Jun 2017, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
-i love love love the colors.
-i love the interactions between lola’s hair and the seatbelt, its a nice little detail.
-the close ups on the mirror and the pills are also really wonderful for sending a message without words.
-another mention of owing people which is tied to the measuring people with cost/benefit themes
-“I’ve tried to live my life thinking… in pain.. haha. minimizing it….” MOOD i love the ambiguity if you take this line alone. god.
-the under snoot angles
-i love lola’s moral opinions that clearly don’t come from academia, but instead come from life experience and a lot of reflection
-lola being so open… and then bringing it back to how sugar feels
-wHEN SUGARS BUBBLES GET SHAKY i have felt that exact feeling i see in her eyes
-sugar taking lola so literally abt “the people you don’t know” idk how to articulate it but like i would react the same way
-OBJECTSI N THE MIRROR LOLAS IN THE MIRROR AAAA
-im stuck on lola staring at the pills, i can’t figure out what exactly to take from those panels though.......
-this comment is getting long so I’m just gonna end w: the “i don’t think we’re really opposites” line is So powerful
-also the COLORS
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 12:07 PM edit delete reply
"objects in this mirror are closer than they appear" while reflecting the canyon... (eyes emoji)
also, i feel the "why not? i'm already one big fucking stereotype" line really hard. just, leaning in to the shit that everybody already thinks about you. it reminds me of lola a little bit, with their passiveness, especially earlier in the comic. i don't think i'm wording it right but still.
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 12:07 PM edit delete reply
Wonderful use of the canyon shot in the side mirror, followed by Lola taking the last hydros in similar reflections after looking pretty contemplative after the stereotype comment. Real beautiful stuff.
t. 29th Jun 2017, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
drop-out but every time i murmur "please don't cry" it hurts more
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
drop-out but every time a line leaves me on the verge of tears it gets faster
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
listen i know like 5 people already mentioned the mirror stuff on this page and not to show emotion oranything but holy fuck
karhs 29th Jun 2017, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
lola's top eyes in the first chunk of this page are like. amazing. just conveying that kinda... "I'm thinking on this as hard as I can and still not getting anywhere" feeling
essie 29th Jun 2017, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
THE GRAND CANYONS IN THE FUCKING MIRROR ALSO LOLA I LOVE YOU
89 29th Jun 2017, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
I spent 20 minutes reading then thinking about this page, not much to add that hasn't already been said but I've really loved the dialogue in this scene. Painful to read in a good way, just hurts to relate so much to this page in particular, to relate to a lot of what Lola and Sugar have said. But hold UP, Lola's eye shinies in her TOP eyes are gone in the last couple panels after that shot of her staring at the pills. Now I'm just stuck wondering what that means especially after their conversation and if the top eye shinies have disappeared before?
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
"when you die like that, someone has to scrape you off the road. it fucks them up. you start thinking about who has to deal with you after you die"
bluestar 29th Jun 2017, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
it looks like lola didn't just throw the cigarette out the window/onto the ground like they've done a few times before (i think on page 93, 52, and 32) because it's not just the side of the road, it's the canyon? maybe out of some sort of respect, or thinking about what may or may not happen sometime soon..? lovely page btw, the colors and expressions are really good
josie 29th Jun 2017, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
feels like the moment where lola's said all they can say. it's all down to sugar now - any epiphany she may have was never going to come fully from outside of her.

lola's choice to take a nap after all makes me think abt the 'maybe the best thing is nothing' from the last scene. leaving sugar to reflect on her own without lola to bounce off of, to push her to justify herself
ghost 29th Jun 2017, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
? comment got deleted. maybe because i mentioned a method, if that's why, my b. like how this comic toes the line but it's kinda clear that neither of them are fully ready & haven't cleared off their unfinished business, even the important shit. hope it doesn't end on a cliched note with lola & sugar becoming suddenly optimistic or living for the sake of living because that's the way it is TM.
Nobody 29th Jun 2017, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
yeah that was the main reason i deleted it. too many impressionable mentally ill teenagers who think their lives are over because high school is reading this comic to be comfortable with method sharing in the comments.
ghost 29th Jun 2017, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
no problem, i understand. i agree that if one considers suicide, they should think about it rationally, weigh their options, try therapy & other shit if they truly want to live, etc. before ultimately making that choice. my last comment was just me wanting to say it's sad how the terminally ill & ppl who carefully & thoughtfully choose to die by their hand are often treated like shit by selfish ppl under the guise of love. ppl should be able to own their life & what that entails.
ghuest 29th Jun 2017, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
i mean personally i dont see what's cliched about suicidal lesbians deciding to live. if anything positivity & happiness are subversive in media about us
ghost 29th Jun 2017, 6:06 PM edit delete reply
well, i mean in a general sense in terms of suicidal narratives. suicide is often cast in a light that makes ppl out as foolish, dumb, attention-seeking, etc. who haven't seen the light & purely act on impluse & whims.

here, sugar planned it out carefully & weighed her circumstances considering her being possibly schizophrenia & the like & decided there was nothing for her. i think it's a bit unfair that she asked lola about it since they/she seems more reserved on the matter but nonetheless, lola consented. it's complex & far from one-dimensional here. they acknowledge it's unfair for their loved ones who they truly care about but that it's also unfair they are forced to suffer almost silently. it would just be a shame if the conclusion was as condescending & cliche as have hope, tomorrow's a brighter day, it gets better, etc. hope that clears up my train of thought, haha.
ghuest 29th Jun 2017, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
your analysis of the comic up until this point is that it's "complex & far from one-dimensional"- i agree. there is a lot, lot, lot of nuance & ambiguity in this comic.

yet you maintain that a hopeful ending would be condescending & cliche (which, ouch- were i Nobody, that would hurt to read, no matter what they intend for the ending to be).

i think i get where you're coming from- correct me if i'm wrong, but you read to me like someone who has experienced being very suicidal, and found the standard responses to be... shallow, flimsy, unsatisfying. "have hope, tomorrow's a brighter day, it gets better, etc." ..for someone who feels condescended to by these ideas, the way you write about them is itself very condescending. it's understandable, but bear in mind that just because you personally found this perspective unhelpful doesn't actually mean it's bad, just that it was bad for you- and by looking down on it, you're also looking down on those who may find it constructive.

i promise i'm not trying to antagonize you even thought it seems like that. just attempting to look at all the angles. if it helps i've also been extremely suicidal, and i also went through a phase where i found the viewpoint you eschew unhelpful and irritating. it's difficult, because there really is no satisfying, definitive, universal reason to live- i think that's one component of why those messages feel the way they do. i've come back around though. so i'm far from unbiased. cheers.
ghost 29th Jun 2017, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
i'm maintaining that a hopeful ending to this comic would be condescending & cliche mainly because this comic has portrayed how being suicidal feels (esp under the burden of mental disorders) & even the futility of hope & anything "pure" with an air of authenticity. there's a lot of themes that are explored here that come about naturally & they're discussed without being overt or ham-handed.

to elaborate on my note before, suicide & the atmosphere around it is often portrayed as impulsive, irrational, selfish, etc. & while sometimes suicide is like that, the other aspects & facets of suicide are left unexamined (terminal pain, be it emotional or physical, one's breaking point, isolation in being suicidal, fear of being sent to a psych ward (look up the baker act), etc.). i'm trying to get across that unrelenting optimistic narratives of suicidal narratives have already been told countless times (oftentimes by people who have never been suicidal for prolonged periods of time & thus, don't have a complete handle of the subject) & so i hope the conclusion subverts those norms.

saying "looking down on those who may find it constructive" is a bit simplistic, i think, in this light because most narratives of realistic suicides examining the background before the act take on that m.o. - unrealistic & sappy by the end (see any generic cyberbully film by amateur film students). i don't necessarily want a grim & pessimistic take but rather a realistic one. if ppl are satisfied with a surface level commentary on suicide, then that's fine for the mast majority of ppl in large part because they've never had to deal with suicidal thoughts & the like for prolonged periods of time. i hope it's clear i'm not mad or anything, i just want to be clear on where i stand.

the blindly optimistic narratives of suicide are inherently toxic because they refuse to see any other pov, saying stuff along the lines of talk to someone & it will get better. in this comic, sugar says "if they (family, friends) wanted me to stay, why didn't they ever help me... only hurt?". talking to them didn't help sugar probably because her family & friends (aside from lola, frankie & angel) were unequipped to deal with her circumstance. even talking to a therapist is a crapshoot because many are plain bad & again, there is the very real possibility of being involuntarily sent to a psych ward should sugar mention anything about a plan which would make her more suicidal if anything (you'd have the foot the bill after getting out of the ward). "it will get better" is just false with permanent mental disorders that at best, can be slightly alleviated. not cured.

i hope you can see why just saying "looking down on those who may find it (hopeful suicidal narratives) constructive" to me seems kind of simplistic & blind. again, not an attack on your character but hope you see my pov. you're free to disagree of course.
nat 29th Jun 2017, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
oh my god, sugar's face in panel 11 breaks my heart. not only her expression, but the way she answered lola's question makes me think of the contrast between her guilt over angel's death and her lack of guilt for the people who she's going to leave behind. she knows that her death would cause pain for her family and friends, but feels that it's justified because of how she was treated. but following that line of thought, and assuming angel justified things the same way (which i imagine sugar would probably would assume that, given how she's spoken about them before), plus the unavoidable guilt of having not done enough to keep them alive (which she tries to prevent in part by not writing a suicide note), it feels like sugar believes that angel hated her in the same way, for not doing enough, and maybe what she regrets most is not having a clear answer to that question. sugar expressed this frustration before, saying 9/10 people regret attempting suicide, and she'll never really know what angel was thinking.

and i absolutely adore the lighting and colors in this scene, with the gradual lighting of the sun rising. it captures that early morning feeling absolutely perfectly. even though it's usually portrayed as hopeful, early morning has always felt really foreboding to me, and with this being the last scene before the canyon, that feeling's cranked up x100. the atmosphere created, the attention to detail, and the incredible characters and dialogue are just a few reasons why drop-out is my favorite comic of all time. so excited/terrified for the ending, thank you for a wonderful story, gray.
Anonymouse 29th Jun 2017, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
God, almost at the end of the line and Lola's gonna go to sleep? That's gotta fuck with Sugar. She took them on this trip for the sole purpose of spending time with them and dying with them, and... It's a lot, dude. It's a lot.
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, Sugar did say "Take a nap, we're close" at the beginning of this scene when Lola said they were tired and instead they stayed awake and had this conversation. I think both characters are drained at this point for various reasons.
Guest 29th Jun 2017, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
sugar: hey you have a habit of minimizing how you feel and not caring about ur own suffering
lola: haha time to avoid thinking about how i feel by taking my last two vic and sleeping
Calph 29th Jun 2017, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
It's an interesting departure from habit when Lola stubs out their cigarette in the pack. Could be that the smothering, crushing motion is meant to highlight the claustrophobia of their situation, the sense of no escape. My theory though is Lola feels that throwing the butt out into the canyon would be too reminiscent of Lola throwing themself down there.

Also, love the ambiguity in Lola's "I don't think we're really opposites." I interpret it as Lola comparing the pills and the canyon, and realizing that she and Sugar are both self-destructive in their respective ways. But there's so many more ways to read that. And if they're not opposites, then do they still attract? How close are they?

The last few panels feel like a callback to that great pill/moon image on pg.39. No more vicodin, and soon no more moon. The sun's been a symbol of conflict and antagonism so far- I wouldn't be surprised if there's one fight left when it comes up.

Really tense, nuanced, excellent update (as usual).
jewelian 29th Jun 2017, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
"you know, sugar? i don't think really think we're opposites"
shattered, destroyed, KO.
anonymous rabbit 29th Jun 2017, 11:16 PM edit delete reply
"We're gonna be close, right until the end." Sugar to Lola much earlier.

"Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." With both Lola and the canyon within the mirror.

I really love all the little details and symbolism here.
anonymous rabbit 29th Jun 2017, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
PANEL 21 ONWARD LOLA'S UPPER EYE SHINES ARE GONE
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
tyler 30th Jun 2017, 2:36 AM edit delete reply
why do u hurt me... god...
this whole comic has been a huge mood but these last few pages have hit me HARD