strong content warning for themes of suicide and drug use.

115

31st Aug 2017, 12:00 AM
115
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Author Notes:

Nobody 31st Aug 2017, 12:00 AM edit delete
Nobody
would that have been fucked up if she actually died or what
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Comments:

Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
WHOSE UP HIT LIKE YEHA
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
graaaaay I'M gonna die
SUGAR 31st Aug 2017, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
SUGAR.
guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
THIS SHOCKED ME SO MUCH I THOUGHT SHE LITERALLY MIGHT BE A GHOST
josie 31st Aug 2017, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
GIRLFRIEND SQUISH
wanda 31st Aug 2017, 12:07 AM edit delete reply
thank you thank you thank you thank y
Raleigh 31st Aug 2017, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
SHE!!!!!!!!!!
I WAS SO SCARED THAT SHE WASNT ACTUALLY THERE AND WAS JUST AN ANGEL OR SOMETHING UNTIL LOLA HUGGED HER AND IM SO
also sugar's face on panel 19 is PRICELESS, i love her squishy face and buck teeth
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
oh shit (oh shit) (oh shit)
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
STRAIGHT UP THOUGHT SHE WAS A GHOST OR NOT-REAL UNTIL SAW THAT BIG HUG, I'M HAVING HEART PALPITATIONS

for real though the expressions on this page, especially on lola's face in panel 15, are so raw and gorgeous, the emotion is so clear here, the lighting - soft and pink, compared to the harsh red of the canyon - really helps capture the mood. i know its not quite a happy moment, that it's mostly bittersweet, but...just, wow. i'm speechless.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 1:47 AM edit delete reply
I don't feel like I can safely be happy until Desiree comes back and can see Sugar too. My heart is made of wire and it will only break if I bend it really far back and forth.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
I JUST ASCENDED TO THE ASTRAL REALM AAAAAAA
sugar kysley 31st Aug 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
i lived bitch
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
wow, i'm surprised because i was thinking sugar was dead. (because of the convo much earlier where lola mentions "walk away" and "take the plunge" as options)
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
Lola could mistake Sugar's voice for Desiree's (albeit on helluva lack of sleep) and I think that's p r e t t y gay
MysteriousJeff 31st Aug 2017, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
this page!!! QwQ thank you!!
MMMMM 31st Aug 2017, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
HUHUHUHFJYH THANK YOU
g 31st Aug 2017, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
this scene really captures the feeling of dawn, i think, especially after an all-nighter... other people commented that sugar seems like a ghost or an angel at first, and i think the lighting and the dreamlike atmosphere it gives (especially on no sleep- poor lola) adds to that a lot
aqua 31st Aug 2017, 12:32 AM edit delete reply
i love the purple and gold lighting on this page so much, it's so soft and hopeful and also combines sugar and lola's color palettes in a rlly sweet way. also im crying i love them so much and this whole page is so, so good
Fen 31st Aug 2017, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
YES YES YES YES YES my GAL
Cecily 31st Aug 2017, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
beautiful
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Lola mistaking Sugar's voice for Desiree's voice: is that partly due to her having said things that reminded her of how Sugar speaks? Is that why some of D's speech bubbles are leaning away from orange, towards yellow...? (Or is it my phone screen lol)
erin 31st Aug 2017, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
lola hasnt slept in like 3 days so she mustve mistaken sugars voice cus of how exhausted they are.
PARTYPRAT 31st Aug 2017, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
AAAA AA A AA !! Vv ??? Bbhhikl

VIBE
anon 31st Aug 2017, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
Anyone else actually vaguely disappointed?
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
HELL NO
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
no, i like when lesbians dont die
anon (op) 31st Aug 2017, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
Nah, not 'cause they're lesbians, that's cool by me. Just feels like it took a lot of the bite out. Just kinda seems like they're going for an implausibly happy ending, like how the hell did Sugar manage to find the exact truck stop?
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
lola literally texted her exactly where she was
anon (op) 31st Aug 2017, 1:28 AM edit delete reply
Cool, I didn't notice that, I just assumed she was texting other friends. Thanks!

Still vaguely disappointed though.
RD 31st Aug 2017, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
well lola DID say where they were, and...i'm still not seeing a "happy" ending any time soon to be fair. just a... nobody dies ending, ahaha. hopefully. jesus
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
if you're disappointed she didn't die you were reading this comic for the wrong reasons. go get your tragic lesbian jollies somewhere else
anon (op) 31st Aug 2017, 3:26 AM edit delete reply
Y'all seem to think I'm just trolling, but I'm really not, I've been following this comic for a while now, and I still think this is one of the better written webcomics out there.

And this isn't about sexual orientation LOL. If either Lola or Sugar had been cismen, in a straight relationship, I'd feel the same way. My opinion is based off interest in characters who are struggling with whether or not to end their own lives. Most media I've encountered, people who are suicidal are somehow "saved" in some kind of last minute change of heart (kinda like this) even when their longterm outlook is still horrifically grim.

If Gray wants to end their story on a more feel good note, I can't really say I'd blame them. Stories about optimism and overcoming have their place as well. But I think there is also a place for stories where things don't turn out for the best. Often, things do go horribly wrong in life, and I don't think it's wrong to have an interest in media that would depict and explore that.

Suicide, mental illness, and drug abuse are really dark issues, so I'm not sure how you all would have taken it if Sugar HAD gone through with it. Because for a person like her, it's a serious possibility, and a story dealing with that outcome isn't actually much darker than the outsetting premise [Rememeber how even the drugs of last resort weren't going well for her?]

**Disclaimer: It's not Sugar's FAULT that she's like this, and acknowledging the possibility of her actually killing herself does NOT mean that she DESERVES it.


TL;DL: I was in it for exploration suicidal ideation, lesbians just happens to be who these characters are. I think it'd have been interesting to explore the fallout and implications for if Sugar HAD gone through with it.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 3:28 AM edit delete reply
fuck off what are you disappointed about
anon (op) 31st Aug 2017, 3:55 AM edit delete reply
@ 3:30am Guest, I can understand how what I wrote earlier could come across as just intending to upset people. I'm sorry that you have struggled with it personally, and I'm glad you're in a better place.

I do think that it still stands as a solid and pretty realistic exploration of suicidal tenancies. In media that explores it, people do usually end up backing down. I just thought it would be interesting to explore the alternative, because sometimes there is no good choice.

I think that it's a sign of a well constructed piece of art that it's got room for discussion of the content and disagreement.

@Nobody, Most people seem really psyched, and you can't please everyone all of the time. Even if the ending wasn't for me, it's still the better written and most interesting webcomics I've read. I look forward to your future works.
anon (op) 31st Aug 2017, 3:55 AM edit delete reply
@ 3:30am Guest, I can understand how what I wrote earlier could come across as just intending to upset people. I'm sorry that you have struggled with it personally, and I'm glad you're in a better place.

I do think that it still stands as a solid and pretty realistic exploration of suicidal tenancies. In media that explores it, people do usually end up backing down. I just thought it would be interesting to explore the alternative, because sometimes there is no good choice.

I think that it's a sign of a well constructed piece of art that it's got room for discussion of the content and disagreement.

@Nobody, Most people seem really psyched, and you can't please everyone all of the time. Even if the ending wasn't for me, it's still the better written and most interesting webcomics I've read. I look forward to your future works.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 3:38 AM edit delete reply
nvm ig we sent those around the same time. but honestly i don't understand how you don't see this comic itself as an exploration of suicidal thoughts/tendencies? like i'm not dead but i sure have been in similar positions. being "disappointed" seems uh. Weird
Nobody 31st Aug 2017, 3:43 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
heya, everybody. please keep the comments section civil. thank you.
sorry to disappoint, anon. it's fine to not like the ending.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 3:49 AM edit delete reply
sorry, i didn't mean to get so upset. i was just. really surprised to see a comment like this hah
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
no, same, actually, and this has nothing to do with orientation or gender or whatever, i wanted one comic like this that deals with hard hitting options and has someone choose to die

i want one piece of media to say its okay to choose death instead of life, because either option has pros and cons, and ive never seen anything deal with the 'unhappy' ending that isnt written to fetishize suicide

im not here to watch someone die, i want something that isnt just "stay alive no matter what even if you hate it, fuck you, life is a gift" for once
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 4:12 AM edit delete reply
i forgot to mention but i echo the same sentiment as OP, while the ending was disappointing for me, it was incredibly well done in every other way, and i'm definitely going to read more of gray's works

i hope neither of our reactions hit you personally, you can end YOUR story however YOU want to, and im not asking you to change it or anything
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
Art is for the living.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
i guess you have a point

no matter how this ended it probably wouldnt have changed my mind, and eventually, it will matter even less that the comic didnt go how i hoped. you seem to want to live so whatever, i was really only here to see if id get some revelation but im just more cemented in leaving if anything. i shouldnt have said i didnt like it, dead people cant have opinions
Someone 31st Aug 2017, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
"i want one piece of media to say its okay to choose death instead of life" but... it's not okay. Not when there are people who deeply love you. My brother once tried to end his life in a single moment of desperation and it wrecked my family. It was not okay. I am struggling with depression myself and can't count how often i have thought about it because i couldnt take it anymore. I even felt like my brother took something from me, an opportunity to end my life and not see how it would crush my mother. But ive seen it. When i think about it today, i think about how it destroyed her back then.
anon (op) 31st Aug 2017, 3:57 AM edit delete reply
SORRY FOR THE DOUBLE POST /shame
gay anon 31st Aug 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
I'm a lesbian and I was vaguely, vaguely disappointed too. I'm very aware of the trope and Gray's stance on said trope, and it was acknowledged a couple times throughout the comic (I dont want to be just another dead lesbian), so I guess I felt spoiled at a really really early point and the end of the comic would have only surprised me if she did die, or something to that extent, considering everything, so I believe that's where part of me felt that way. But I would have loved it anyway it went! And I do. This ending is still "right" for me. And considering their dynamic I feel like it simply wouldn't have been in character for Sugar to do it when Lola leaves the way they do, made evident by her thoughts here. Which I think is a little more important than having an ending that surprised me in some way, the consistency is part of the reality
Sis 31st Aug 2017, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
I get the comments here, I really do. I am still really fucking glad gray didn't go that way.

Depicting suicide in media, no matter how well, leads to copycats and people validating themselves in that death, wanting to attain the same. I understand that living is difficult. I understand that sometimes you can't go on and I will never, ever judge.

I will, however, fight to the death against portrayal of suicide as positive, even a good option because while it might seem as one ultimately it's BAD scoobs. not in a morally bad, "you're terrible" way. I'm not judging the people who did so. I've been there. I just want it to end.

But it hurts so many people. I've seen that directly. Even if the option is best for you, it hurts everyone else. And some people who still have a chance but are in the middle of the worst part of their life might see this suicide in fiction and immediately go for it.
seedy 1st Sep 2017, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
^what sis said. while I agree with op that a story about suicide that comes down on the other side might be "interesting," I feel that you(op) either aren't thinking of or are ignorant of the fact of the real risk of copycat behavior. a LOT of suicidal people read this comic and feel hopeful because of it. an ending that validates death is...literally dangerous.

speaking as someone who has a highly suicidal partner who also reads drop-out, I can't really sympathize with anyone who would have liked the ending to be different. and honestly, if I hadn't been able to say to myself "grey knows the power of stories and will make a positive ending" I would have been a BILLION times more nervous about the conclusion. as it was I was still pretty nervous, even though I was "certain" about how it would end! but that's just because it's a really powerful and engrossing story.

tl;dr: stories have a lot of power
Guest 2nd Sep 2017, 4:33 AM edit delete reply
i disagree, i believe very firmly in the autonomy i have over my own body. i wish more people would agree that their life is their own to end or live as they wish.

maybe the only reason im still here for the mean time is that i know i have a choice. that gives me safety and security, that i dont exist for other people, that when i do decide to go i dont need to feel bad because i wont be able to, and it hurts every time i hear people preach at me saying otherwise or that it gets better or that im terrible for thinking the way i do or whatever

and if youre worried that people would be copying sugar if she had jumped, that wasnt the authors fault, look at the kids that copied naruto and killed their friend burying them in the sand. theres going to be people doing dumb things everywhere for any reason, but saying a book told you, unless it explicitly did, is completely dumb and shouldnt be given any weight

stories do have a lot of power, everyone has different reasons to live, and telling people to just live no matter what doesnt always work, in fact i think its downright insulting but clearly im the minority here

when i die it wont be because anyone told me to do it or not, its my own call. i had hoped someone else would share this feeling but whatever, grey wrote a good story anyways whether we agree on things or not
cerberus 31st Aug 2017, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
i literally just started crying jesus christ
RD 31st Aug 2017, 1:31 AM edit delete reply
i!!! AM GOING TO DIE
also dude i was so fucking happy because for the longest time this whole update weve seen sugar cry and be hysterical and we never saw lola cry
and im so happy.
this is why they do.
rD 31st Aug 2017, 1:39 AM edit delete reply
also shoutout to everyone up here seein' if gray updated at midnight as a surprise, you could hear the collective gasp seeing 115 up there
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 1:59 AM edit delete reply
1. love this thank u grey for my life, its hard to verbalize it but its just so so great to see this

2. lolas expressions are absolutely perfect, starting with the wide eyes and tentative raised hand, the gritted teeth and welling tears and the shape of her snout, her wrinkled snout and THAT BIG HUGGGGG!!!!! im gay and i love her
OMG 31st Aug 2017, 2:02 AM edit delete reply
Oooooomg
Lola said, "I shouldn't be alone right" and Sugar straight up just agrees, "Right"
IM DED
Roo 31st Aug 2017, 4:11 AM edit delete reply
Oh my god... I've missed a few weeks, and was catching up tonight, and I'm really glad I did it tonight and not last night! Whew. Is this the last page...? It feels like it might be, but I hate to leave these characters as they figure out what to do next.

I don't have words for how wonderful this comic is — the themes it's explored and the humanity with which it's explored them is amazing, absolutely stunning. Thank you.
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 4:15 AM edit delete reply
i feel like the webcomic is gonna end on a more profound quote than "fu-huck"
Nobody 31st Aug 2017, 4:30 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
ngl i considered just giving up and calling it there lmfao.
@roo: thank you. there's one more page left to be posted around noon, which i am currently working on finishing right now.
44Guest44 31st Aug 2017, 4:27 AM edit delete reply
It's interesting that Lola looks bigger than sugar for once in a lot of the panels. Sugars slouching a lot and making herself small sitting/standing up straight more too I think?

I'll leave it to someone smarter/more awake to figure out if there's any symbolism there
Peach 31st Aug 2017, 4:42 AM edit delete reply
AAAAHHH SUGAR'S BACK!!! YES!!!

Thank you for such a wonderful comic, gray. I'm sad that it's ending, but I can't wait to see what you'll do next. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Also, that lighting is top notch, and Lola's crying faces are so expressive!
chal 31st Aug 2017, 5:55 AM edit delete reply
ohh gooddamm thats some good shit how the colours shift from darker purples to a mix of purple of yellow when sugar walks in,,, i love this comic so much,, aaaaaAaaaAaaAAAA
chal 31st Aug 2017, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
a sign at the end saying exit only ?? 🕵🕵🕵 is that symbolism ?? im too stupid to tell
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Honesty it would have been so satisfying to see shug jump, definetly not happy (I would've cried a lot if that was a reality lmao) but very much satisfying as her life was so terrible! I relate to her a lot but "she lives the rest of her life, its bad and she feels bad. The end" just makes me feel eh. Can't wait for the ending thou. AND BORDERLINE HYPE WHOOP WHOOP
Guest 31st Aug 2017, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
Oh also, more people talking about plot than the actual art, can I say the lighting is absolutely bee-yoo-tee-ful! And how at first it was just Lola's colors (purples) but once sugar steps into the scene it turns all pretty yellow pinks and sunset colors~~~~~
Duskitty 31st Aug 2017, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
Duskitty
MOM HOLY FUCK
Jay 31st Aug 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
"you just look like you got hit by a truck" killed me. this scene is great, completely unexpected, I cant wait for the last page!
t. 31st Aug 2017, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
I FORGOT THERE WAS AN UPDATE SO I WAS LIKE "HOLY SHIT" THEN I STOPPED BREATHING WHEN I SAW SUGAR AND STARTED BAWLING WHEN LOLA DID THIS COMIC IS SO GOODHDKHGSDFKG
heckpuppy 31st Aug 2017, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
THANK YOU GRAY FOR MY LIFE this the colors on this page are so beautiful and calming with the theme of dawn giving it an atmosphere of hopefulness , also ngl i started crying as soon as lola cried too lol
Fuck 31st Aug 2017, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
That hug panel......that happy girlfriend face smoosh.......god this page feels like being able to relax after feeling so hopeless and tense

I'm gonna save my sappy shit for next page but just

This was stunning, gray
joe 31st Aug 2017, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
i've been reading this comic for a long while now and i've never commented cause i have what the kids call real bad social anxiety

but i have to say that i personally think that this is the right direction for the ending. i know stories like this tend to have the suicide, yknow, not happen. but this is different.

this story tackled more than just the suicidal thoughts of mental illness. it captured mental illness as a whole. when i tell people about my shit, they only see 2 or 3 things. but this comic showed everything. all of the bad, and all of the not-so-bad.

it tackled other important subjects, too. sexuality, substance use, gender, family, relationships, etc. it's hard not to get invested when all of these apply to you.

it's more than just "i'm happy she didn't jump because i care about her", it's "i'm happy she didn't jump, because maybe i don't have to either"
earthcell 1st Sep 2017, 1:38 AM edit delete reply
earthcell
AAAAAAA
earthcell 1st Sep 2017, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
earthcell
what i love so much about this story is, lola isn't dying for sugar but she's living for her, it's literally that. it's so beautiful. i love them. i don't know what they're going to do but im so glad sugar is okay and im so glad lola isn't so stressed out anymore
Guest 1st Sep 2017, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
hey this is the commenter from the last page who was disappointed with the pacing. i'm commenting on this page as to not draw attention you might not want to your blog.

but, i saw youre post about me on your personal blog, and, i'm really sorry. i asked a friend how it came off (i'm autistic) and she told me being nitpicky about the drive time to the grand canyon was pretty callous of me. considering you were being very open and heartfelt, it wasn't the time to be corrective. i'm real sorry about that, it wasn't nice of me.

i also feel you misunderstood my pacing comment a whole lot, i understand commenters in the pass have been harsh on sugar, but i really wasn't looking for more sugar self-hatred, nor was i even looking for more content to pad it out? as i followed up in another comment, i did like the ending. i just thought the reunion could have been spread out differently for pacing. you read a whole lot into what wasn't there. looking back, i wasn't very detailed, and maybe my comment was unnecessary, and i apologize.

at the end of the day, you're the one who stuck diligently to this really great comic to provide for us for free, at a time where it's really needed, and, thank you. im sorry again
grocer of despair 17th Sep 2017, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
some really interesting things about the staging here.

- Desiree's last appearance in the comic is a walk off-frame. She asks if Lola wants to talk. Lola is avoidant. She leaves, saying she'll be back.

- Instead, Sugar appears. Lola is of course overwhelmed, but she seems more willing to be open even before she recognizes it as Sugar, when she believes it's Desiree returning.

- The first thing we see of Sugar is her flannel shirt. It's a different shirt from what she was wearing the last time we saw her. In fact, it's not a shirt we've seen her wearing previously. The red shirt she wears on the third day (I believe? ending on p 50) is red with a simple black and white checked pattern. This shirt has a much heavier white pattern, double-crossed. It was mentioned at some point that Sugar packed only as many clothes as it would take to get to the canyon.

- This white pattern is closer to the one on Desiree's shirt, which we last saw hanging up on page 114. But again, it's not identical.

- The flannel shirt with the pattern closest to this IS the one we last saw Sugar wearing. Single black line, double white (more or less). In the light of day, it's a gray-blueish color. But in the rosy half-light of dawn, when Lola last saw Sugar, it looked closer to red.

- It's dawn again in this scene. This time, the lighting makes Desiree's speech bubbles, which were pinkish in the previous scene, appear more yellow, closer to Sugar's.

I'm not sure what to make of this, other than it takes incredible dedication to draw multiple characters who like wearing flannel. But it is interesting that a new character would show up towards the end, begin to take on a role of significance, and then disappear, with the person in Lola's heart sitting in their place.
grocer of despair 18th Sep 2017, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Also, note the way the backgrounds are depicted. Lola is sitting inside the rest area, her back to the window. We see the window clearly in every shot that faces her. When the shot faces Desiree, the background is a hazy red with some distant landmarks - looks like an outdoor shot. Shots looking at Sugar have no background at all, just color. In shots facing both Sugar and Lola, there is no window. The distant landmarks are there, but they flicker in and out as Lola stares at Sugar.
grocer of despair 18th Sep 2017, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Unless I'm way off and they're actually just sitting outside. The last panel certainly looks like an interior, though, and the "exit only" door seems to confirm this. I'm just trying to figure out where exactly "here" is when Sugar says it on 116.
grocer of despair 23rd Sep 2017, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
Also..."I thought you didn't want to see me, and then I was driving" is Lola logic, not Sugar logic. We only see Sugar alone in one scene of this comic, and the first thing she does is call Lola, who had neglected to call HER. Lola's phone has been dead all night, so Sugar's answer could have just as easily been "I HAVE been calling you." I think it's significant that it's not.