strong content warning for themes of suicide and drug use.

93

20th Apr 2017, 12:00 PM
93
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Author Notes:

Nobody 20th Apr 2017, 12:00 PM edit delete
Nobody
happy 4/20.
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Comments:

JJ 20th Apr 2017, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Oh no, I felt this one heavy. There is some serious heart weight when you have a conversation with your family after deciding to kill yourself. Your story telling is impecable. Thank you.
lucky 20th Apr 2017, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
how can you say "happy" 4/20 when ive been punched in the stomach by secondhand embarrassment and sadness,,, love how this comic touched on my aggressively specific fear regarding the moments before i commit suicide i
Guest 20th Apr 2017, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
the real weed was the drop-out update we read along the way
t. 20th Apr 2017, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
there is no happiness
but for real this is so like... i don't know what the word i'm looking for is but it's so upsetting to see sugar talk to her parents knowing that she won't see them again
Peach 20th Apr 2017, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
Sugar's mums are the best. I really like the way you did Sugar's facial expressions on this page!
grocer of despair 20th Apr 2017, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
I absolutely love this page - the feeling of exposure here, of being caught between two very different lives, and the awkwardness of trying to balance them...it's great that this is conveyed so precisely through the direction, while Sugar's 'performance' remains understated and natural.
89 20th Apr 2017, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
Ahhhhh I love how this scene looks like the cover page!
Guest 20th Apr 2017, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
Panels 6-10: me whenever I have to answer a phone
guest 20th Apr 2017, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
wow, someone mentioned on the last page that the page was a cool callback to the cover page, but now it's even more poignant. the thing that stands out most to me is sugar filling up the tank, and lola smoking a little ways away. i'll have to check their outfits too, but i wouldn't be surprised if they were similar, or even the same.
rhombus 20th Apr 2017, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
if they hadn't taken the wrong turn, they wouldn't have gotten this call... ouch
Guest 20th Apr 2017, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
It probably isn't important, but what que stion was Sugar's mom asking when Sugar answered "because she's trans"?
Nobody 20th Apr 2017, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
her mom asked if she took any pictures.
Guest 20th Apr 2017, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
ahh wow. gonna second that person whos "been punched in the stomach" - this is pretty emotional for me to read
Guest 20th Apr 2017, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
lolas such a difficult read for me this page, its hard to tell whether theyre angry, surprised (at sugars parents and how they interact with her and eachother, at sugars ability to casually lie like that convincingly), just contemplating in general....... and maybe their feet just hurt lmao
bpdgoat 20th Apr 2017, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
i love pink ma
Guest 20th Apr 2017, 9:20 PM edit delete reply
holy crap, i feel like this page explains a lot. now i know why sugar is like a walking encyclopedia; because she had to study all that in college, for the phd. that makes so much sense now looking back at all the advice.

and also gives another reason for wanting to die; student loan debt... and just college in general is pretty shitty. and that if she cant even help herself, how could she help others [by being a doctor]?

(although maybe theres nothing to fix, nobodys perfect and ur great the way you are sugar. fictional character peptalk wooo)

man tho, if i was lola...if i didnt know about her[sugar] family before, i'd feel bitter as heck. that your parents care enough to even call you
Megaskizzen 20th Apr 2017, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
god damn if this page didn't hurt but i'm curious as to what humans are in this universe (unifurse?? nah)
Nobody 20th Apr 2017, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
humans are... humans! the same thing they are in this universe. they're considered a certain species of furry like any other, essentially.
angel 20th Apr 2017, 10:58 PM edit delete reply
wow, big callback to the cover page. lola is even holding the water bottle.
Guest 21st Apr 2017, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
Ohhhh, Sugar is actually a postgrad, then. Jesus christ that makes a lot more sense, I'd want to die too after spending that much time in academia when you arguably didn't even want to be there to begin with.
noble 21st Apr 2017, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
maria's talk about video games being art + The Artistic Process reminded me of nofna i dont know if that was intentional but it gave me a little Laff
Jay 23rd Apr 2017, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Been thinking about this page since it came up so I decided to write down some of my thoughts about it. First time commenting.

I want to compliment the creator(nobody?) for the excellent storytelling in this page. This phone call is a great device to show us more about Sugar's past and some of Lola's thoughts on Sugar's past.

I really like that we can only see what the parents are saying when the panels are focused on Sugar. I feel like Lola has made some assumptions about Sugar's relationship with her parents. I feel like maybe Lola doesn't see the potential abuse Sugar has suffered from her parents. Lola's abuse was obvious, horrible and blatant. Lola can only hear one side of this phonecall, and I bet to her this seems like a completely standard and healthy mom/kid phonecall, she probably is a bit envious of this call. Lola's mom would never call her to just check up one her, to just talk.

But the composition in this scene shows how misinformed Lola is. I love that in panels 20 and 21 Lola has her back to the speech bubble. She literally cannot see them, see can't see the full conversation and all it's implications. Her own experiences and desires cloud her interpretation of the convo, just like how her cigarette smoke literally covers the word bubbles.

I also liked the subtle way you showed Sugar's family dynamics. Jack seems to be the main negative influence there. Sugar talks down about her accomplishments, Jack talks down about her accomplishments. Jack has probably told her a phd isn't a real doctorate before. Jack immediately gives Sugar a hard time over an offhand comment. Jack doesn't say I love you. I also noticed that her other ma (who I cannot remember the name of, sorry!) sort of playfully scolds Jack for not letting Sugar talk but then she herself keeps interrupting Sugar? Sugar's voice isn't really important in this conversation, the constant mumbling implies she's used to just listening to her parents and only really talking when spoken to. She's not trusted to know herself (based off one of her parents calling her speaker phone fears irrational) so I can definitely see this picture of Sugar forming. Seems like one parent is neglectful to downright mean and the other other is involved, but in a kind of superficial way.

I don't know if any of that made sense or if it was what the creator intended, just wanted to write down my observations.
Nobody 28th Apr 2017, 1:18 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
thank you for such a well thought out comment! you're a very astute reader.
sugar's other mother is called maria. i'm glad someone noticed she also interrupted sugar. it's easier to take maria for the "good parent" and jack for the "bad parent" because jack is not really a people person.
in this scene, i wrote jack's dialog explicitly with the next scene in mind-- where sugar's "i'm not stupid" mindset comes from. jack probably values having facts and having things "technically correct" very highly, and takes having things explained to her as an implication that she's stupid.
maria is a bit overbearing and doting, conversely. she wants what's best for her daughter in a way that can end up never asking sugar what's best.
thanks again for the feedback! if you ever want to refer to me in the future, my name is gray.
Jay 28th Apr 2017, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
Hey, thanks for writing back to me! I'm digesting the new page (on an art level it's very pleasing) so I thought I'd write back real quick! I've read the extra comics since my comment. I think it would be easy to say Jack is the "Bad" parent, but probably not correct because life is never that simple. There definitely isn't enough evidence to say Sugar's parents, they just have some unhealthy tendencies at this point. Flaws do not make someone abusive, after all. It'll be interesting to see if her parents show up again before the comic ends. I can see all the was Sugars difficulties with mental illness could impact her relationship with her parents. Sometimes overbearing parents can use their child's mental illness as an excuse for their own behaviour, since they can think their child can't be capable on their own with this illness. If you're already feeling like you're not good enough then that overbearingness can be seen as agreement that you aren't good enough. This phone call probably reminded Sugar of all the ways she feels she's not enough...

On a more personal note, I really appreciate seeing certain characteristics represented. I'm an intersex lesbian whose more butch than not, and I would be happy seeing any of those things in a character! Seeing all of them just makes me feel a good kind of weird. Especially with subject matter near to my heart like suicidal tendencies. Seeing you, gray, put characters like this out there and get positive response makes me feel like I could put my work out there too, someday. I wish I was strong enough to do that without having to see someone else do it successfully, but I'm just not there yet. So, thanks for taking that first step for me. And it is beautiful beyond just it's representation, you have such a strong voice and you know just how to use visual and written art to portray that voice.I'm really looking forward t drop out's end, and to any work you do in the future!
Jay 28th Apr 2017, 2:30 AM edit delete reply
BTW, my fifth sentence is meant to say "There definitely isn't enough evidence to say Sugar's parents are abusive, they just have some unhealthy tendencies at this point" Sorry about that.
Anon 27th Apr 2017, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
Wait.. so humans exist in this universe as well? Do others recognize them as "humans" or are they referred to as something else? Is this like the bojack horseman universe where anthro animals and humans just co exist and no one really questions it? What would happen if a human had a child with an anthro? Would the child be like a half human half animal hybrid? Im just really confused im sorry
Anyway this comic is great and I can't wait for more!
Nobody 27th Apr 2017, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
heya.
humans are animals, literally, technically. in a world where the distinction between a human and animal is (kind of disingenuously) never made, it wouldn't be confusing at all. they are called humans like snake furries are called snakes.
anthropomorphic naked mole rats or sphynx cats would probably seem like very similar species to humans.
moreover, all of these characters are humans, technically, because of genetic modification and alternate history lore.
so a human/furry kid would be a hybrid, yes. they would probably look more like their furry parent and it might not be clearly evident without multiple generations of human/furry mixing.
Guest 28th Apr 2017, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
So far Sugar hasn't come off as the kind of person who it even occurs to to lie on the spot, much less lie convincingly. But, she did have all of this planned pretty elaborately, and she's taken a lot of measures to not arouse suspicion about her own mental health for however long. And, lying to parents (or your ex, with the text exchange with Frankie earlier) who don't seem to actually pay a whole lot of mind to the details of your story probably makes it easier. I wonder if it would ever even occur to her moms that she could hold a conversational lie like that? Or make and execute such an involved, long-term suicide plan without giving any indications beforehand; after all, by most outside observations and history, Sugar is pretty "unstable". Reminds me a lot of the way I used to be- suicidal in the quiet, deliberate, calculating way. I eventually got past it for the most part, uneventfully, and most people in my life to this day have no idea I ever was. Maybe against all odds that's what Lola's been hoping or trying to steer this trip towards. To find a reason, or at least an excuse or a pretense to turn around and hang around in their lives back home a bit longer.
Nobody 28th Apr 2017, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
hey there.
sugar coming off as someone who isn't capable of lying is actually quite purposeful on her part.
when lola lies or obfuscates the truth, it's obvious because she leaves huge blanks knowing no one can make her fill them in. rarely have people asked her to fill them in.
sugar has been viewed with an air of suspicion for a long time, though; at this point, she knows how to very convincingly lie, on such an instinctive level that she often ends up lying to herself without realizing it.
she usually extends a truth that is technically true, but not in the sense that it was the information needed for the question or the context. she displaces negative emotions very quickly onto herself, internally, and onto small non-issues externally, which people tend to believe when they already see her as irrational.
an example would be the sunset scene in the 40s pages. sugar gets upset about her own mental health, despite the evident fact that what she was actually upset about a lot of unresolved emotions involving her ex.
thanks for the comment and pointing this out! i'm glad you're okay.
ka-chow 29th Apr 2017, 8:57 PM edit delete reply
i really like the dynamic shown here. jack and maria seem like they really care, even though they clearly arent perfect people, no one is. i wouldnt really say jacks a bad mom, but she definitely doesnt put displays of love high on her list of priorities, which when contrasted with maria, can come off like that? but the last line jack said gave me a feeling of genuinely caring, just not necessarily in an obvious "awwww my baby" way. sugars expressions are really beautiful and get the feelings of subtle pain out. this may be projection of my own experience, but i think when shes in "crisis mode" its a lot easier for her to essentially say "fuck everything, living sucks, no guilt to a corpse", but when she was caught off guard during a good moment, the reality of her decision was really allowed to hit her in a way that it wouldnt have if she had just rushed to the canyon in a bad state and jumped without ever looking back. i also really like how ambiguous the "sorry" in the third to last panel is. it could be to lola, for picking up during their conversation (or for letting her moms talk to her with lola there -she knows how that could be a tricky thing to handle, given lolas experience with moms- or talking about them while they were right there, which, if sugar was the one being talked about, it might make her uncomfortable) but it is also to her mothers, its kind of the last taste shes expecting to get of their love for her. while i do love and appreciate lola, i had trouble reading them. maybe they were trying to give privacy to sugar? thats probably what they consider the appropriate thing to do. "lets get out of here" is an interesting line to me though. it might be a simple "lets go", but it can allude to the way both of them are trying to get out of different things, from trauma and suicide, to guilt and clozapine and all its implications. i really appreciate this story, i think its valuable.
Guest 2nd May 2017, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
I enjoy drop out's art and plot, but I feel like the dialogue and some of the imagery is so focused on metaphors and symbolism that it feels... unnatural. It's mostly notable in the dialogue (inside the abandoned house is a good example), where, as a regular reader, it seemed almost jumbled? Symbolism is always a nice thing to include but it just feels like it was the main focus as opposed to their actual interactions. I'm not trying to hound you or anything but it's just what I feel like is happening.
Nobody 2nd May 2017, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
thanks for the feedback.
the abandoned house scene was based off of a real experience that happened, as are most of these scenes, so i don't know what to tell you. maybe it sounds unnatural to you because you've never had a conversation like that?
my scripts are quite literally only the dialog in chat log format. i spend a lot of time making sure the characterization and normalness comes first. and visual details like symbolism are added in as i illustrate. like this page in particular has absolutely no symbolic dialog; only natural character interaction to develop the personalities present.
sorry it didn't really land for you, nonetheless.
Guest 2nd May 2017, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
I have had conversations like that, but in that scene it seemed a little haphazard. That might just be because they both know they're on a trip to their death? I don't know, but I appreciate you pointing out that there isn't symbolism in every page. I've often looked for it because you will point out when somebody reads something correctly, and refer to your "smart readers", so I figured that there was maybe more symbolism than dialog and character development, which would be an error on my part. Thanks for responding.
Nobody 2nd May 2017, 2:49 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
you know, that's fair! i should try to respond to readers who aren't focused on the symbolism more too.
sorry for presuming; people often tell me as a schizophrenic that i don't sound normal when i speak, and i figured that may be what you were talking about.
earthcell 5th May 2017, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
man... this page hurts so much. her mom seems like she loves sugar so much, but this is probably the last time they talk before it ends. it's really getting there, isn't it? this weird feeling of dread is hanging over this comic knowing it's all going to end soon.