strong content warning for themes of suicide and drug use.

96

4th May 2017, 12:00 PM
96
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Author Notes:

Nobody 4th May 2017, 12:00 PM edit delete
Nobody
angel of death and angel of mercy.
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Comments:

t. 4th May 2017, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
IM GONNA HAVE A FUCKING ANEURYSM OVER THIS PAGE, I SWEAR. I LOVE THIS COMIC SO MUCH
christ the expressions on this page are unreal. the red reflection in sugar's eye was a reaaaaally nice touch to express the emotion even further, too. lola comparing angel to their mom is.. something, i don't know what the word i'm looking for is (again) but it's Something.
i've been anticipating this page so hard and i was 100% sat here the second it turned 12 rapidly clicking next
angel 4th May 2017, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
resonating hard with this page.
my dad committed suicide so i can understand the guilt and pain sugar feels in this page. your story is beautiful and stirs up emotions in me i forgot i had

i like the red highlights in sugars hair at the end of the page, i guess showing the sun is setting?? sun setting seems symbolic too
Guest 4th May 2017, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
i feel angry on behalf of lola for sugar's "U don't know what it is LIKE TO BE HATED BY YOUR FAMILY" act i hope that was the intent of this page.
MysteriousJeff 4th May 2017, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
The phone chiming in to continue on the road seems like, metaphoric almost.... tho that might just be me often thinking of a line of thought as being a road sometimes, to describe it? It does look like Sugar in the next panel is feeling the dread at realizing the conversation is destined to continue, even with her attempt panels later to end it.

It also seems like the second-to-last panel in this page Lola switches from looking at Sugar to looking away kind of like where the conversation has gone to where Lola would find it less painful to risk getting the sun in her eyes?

Also the color and lighting as always has some really nice details; the red/pink highlights in the last 4 panels especially like, the sun's change to match the conversation's deepening(?)
rhombus 4th May 2017, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
Lola finally speaking their mind... I can't wait to see what happens next.
And I am still totally in love with this golden hour color scheme
Guest 4th May 2017, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
ok i feel bad for posting such an irrelevant comment on such an extremely minor thing especially when the page is so heavy BUT i am curious about your decision to use "16" instead of "sixteen"?
sorry if theres nothing to it i was just wondering, from like, a writing standpoint
Nobody 4th May 2017, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
heya.
i used to work for a newspaper. every newspaper has its own style guidelines.
i was the graphic design editor, meaning that i was usually the last person who reviewed the final drafts with the editor-in-chief before sending it off to the printer, and often made the corrections on articles' writing to conform to style standards as well as visual standards.

our style guide specified to use numerical values for any number above ten. it also specified to use numerical values for ages (among other things, like dollar amounts or statistics).
the most important rule in the style guide, though, was that legibility was more important than style consistency. the text in our paper was fully justified, meaning that words would get hyphenated and cut off sometimes.
so, for this example, if a sentence could be written "[...] a spokesperson reported six- [¶] -teen injured in total" or "[...] a spokesperson reported 16 [¶] injured in total", you would want to go with the latter.
the dialog line would have had lola's name as a floating word had i written out the number, and it conformed better to the standards i was taught.

hope that explains! thank you for asking. i feel like working in print shaped my writing style (and to a degree, my behavior), but i'm not sure it's obvious to people who aren't familiar with journalism.
honey 4th May 2017, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
the last 2 panels hit too close to home.....im the one they hide the knives for too.....i love u sugar
Guest 4th May 2017, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
the shot with lola holding that paper bag and the line about not feeling pain......... Symbolism
Guest 4th May 2017, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
how lola describes the vicodin as "it makes me feel... gone. i'm not here anymore." is similar to "they don't feel pain. they can't feel anything now." too
Guest 4th May 2017, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
sugar looks pretty tired in this page, even if she's not letting on to it, especially in panels 8-10. she's the one who's been driving the entire day (and trip) from the looks of it, and it's probably getting to her more than she wants to admit, tbh.
Guest 5th May 2017, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
iim scared. i want them both to be safe but evwn though its fiction, not knowing whats going to happen and not being able to do anything makes me sad and nervous
Nobody 8th May 2017, 2:26 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
<3 take a break if you need to.
earthcell 5th May 2017, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
aaauhgh i can feel the pain in this page. as upset as i am that lola's making sugar so angry i can't help but think lola has a point
Guest 5th May 2017, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
holy shit that panel with the red glint in sugars eye, that seriousness. this scene feels really intense!
Guest 5th May 2017, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
honestly i can't totally get behind either of them here.
lola is somewhat pushing and pushing sugar, but sugar sort of comes back with, as mentioned in another comment, "you don't know what it's like to be hated by your family for something you can't help" but literally.....they..do....
Guest 6th May 2017, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
this is such a cool page with the lighting and the subtle red glints on sugar's eye/hair as the page progresses (like there's not red on her for the most part until "why don't you have some respect." also - i have a feeling that sugar's presumed a lot about lola with those last comments? my thought is that lola might have attempted in the past/something related to what sugar said but i don't know. lovely page, love the setting
reader 7th May 2017, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
"why don't you have some respect"

"people like her deserve to die"

maybe sugar shoulda taken a chapter of that book? i like how lola decided to respond with questions that turned the focus back on sugar's mentality, though, instead of defending their mom like they did earlier. so many subtle character developments happening here (including the subversion of lola's laughing from the usual trailing 'haha...' into the sharper, biting 'aha' laugh here, which i just love)

although what i wanted to comment on was ... my first reaction when i read the last panel was that sugar was talking about being seen by her family as a "corrupting" influence, not necessarily being hated by them? so it's fair to assume that lola hasn't walked in those shoes. i believe sugar would not have said 'you don't know what it's like' if she hadn't learned on this trip that lola has always been isolated from a family network and even their mom to a large degree. there's a difference between never having the chance to grow up in a stable family unit and ... feeling like you ruined (the stability of) yours. not that their perspectives are mutually exclusive i think, but in this case it does seem to have caused sugar and lola to have quite opposing self-images. lola is "nothing" and sugar is "too much". in affect, in effect ... and somewhat self-fulfilling at this point, as sugar seems to consume all the pain around her into her fault, assuming blame for angel and frankie while lola finds it easier to see people as acting more of their own accord, and with a corresponding disregard for how it might hurt others (as per their mom, or even themself - "I dunno if I even feel bad"). sugar seemed horrified at the possibility that she might be hurting or damaging lola with her questions, even if it was a useful hurt, but lola here does not, and makes an effort to demonstrate that it's sugar's logic that is faulty and causing her own upset, not lola themself.

ime it's not necessary for your family to hate you in order to ostracize you, a lot of other dividing factors can result in that - disappointment, disapproval, awkwardness, not wanting to get involved in your shit, just plain disinterest or inability to relate. maybe a guilt like sugar's would be alleviated if she did feel like her family disproportionately demonized + resented her instead of simply locating her as a (willfully?) damaging and 'deviant' influence on a child - which is a far more specific and less exaggerated charge, and therefore easier, imo, to internalize as true.

i think it makes thematic sense considering the other feelings sugar has expressed towards herself: she's 'too much', she's an 'embarrassment to everyone', she's threatening and sharp, she 'drags everyone down' with her, she's a vampire; she consumes others. so this last panel seems to continue that trend by implying that sugar (explicitly, her suicidality) is contagious - and needs to be quarantined. lola, meanwhile ... "i had no concept of permanence" "i feel like nothing" "i'm never gonna be close to anyone" "all the memories die with me" "nothing matters" "who'd read it anyways" ... hard to see yourself as viral when you don't even (like to) see yourself as present in other people's lives.

i just realized too, this is reflected in sugar and lola's relationships to questions (tbh there are so many "holy shit everything is connected" moments in this comic, i love it). when sugar talks about how "you're the only one who doesn't treat me like a walking time bomb" re: other people questioning her, it's easy to see how she might resent other people putting her on a watchlist, but also resent herself for being a contaminant that needs to be contained. maybe it even colors how she perceives her family's treatment of her as similarly punishing or derisive in intent, as opposed to compassionate. "I'm not stupid. they're always just asking, 'have you lost it again, sugar?'" but the bedroom scene in the abandoned house seems to show how unaccustomed lola is to mattering, much less worsening others. "what do you want me to do?" / "do what'll make you happy." / ("and then i was all...whatever anybody wanted me to be.") other comments have pointed out that lola might resent how sugar's family makes it a point to express concern/check up on her, but sugar has indicated several times (including now) that it makes her feel worse about herself, and i wonder if lola would realize that...

since we know that she's researched enough about suicide to report stats about it off the top of her head, it wouldn't surprise me to know that sugar's also keenly aware of the phenomenon of suicide contagion, and uses that to punish herself over angel.

idk how accurate my readings are, but nevertheless i really like this page. i've also had conversations lately that highlighted how differing family environments can cause two very different strains of "unworthy" feelings, along similar lines to how i interpret as lola's "i've never been enough" and sugar's "sucking the life out of people". so i'm really grateful that this scene (and this comic) exists. you know what they say about opposites.

(had to register for comicfury cause this comment waay overshot the guest limit lmao oops...sorry)
cerberus 9th May 2017, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
this is a brilliant comment and i loved reading your analysis, thank you for putting up your thoughts here
anonymous rabbit 7th May 2017, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
This page. God this PAGE. There's hypocrisy on both ends, each of them contradicting with themselves in different ways. Sugar saying 'Maybe you should have some respect' when only just moments ago she said Lola's mom deserved to die is the one that stands out most to me.
I admit I've always related more to Lola than Sugar in most situations, but this one scene, about being singled out by your family for being corrupting, for being bad, embarrassing, too much and too little, oh man can I relate.

Sugar, like me, has always been attacked for something she never asked for, could never control. So now any time that she's being questioned, even by somebody she loves, she feels attacked, feels like she needs to justify and defend herself. Maybe perhaps Lola is being too harsh, but I don't think Sugar is used to just... Being asked things, asked to explain herself in a way that's not a condescending "Why are you so weird?'.
Lola isn't asking 'Why are you so weird', they're asking 'Why do you feel like you deserve to suffer so much? Why do you want to destroy yourself so badly?'. But one key factor in a lot of mental illnesses is being unable to tell neutrality from hostility, ha ha.

I think the reason Lola hasn't straight up said 'I don't want to be on this trip anymore' at this point, is because they can't abandon Sugar when Sugar clearly needs them so badly. Lola isn't afraid to say something that upsets Sugar, because they know that unlike a lot of people, Sugar would never hurt them for speaking their mind.
Despite everything, all the emotions and the tension, it's clear Lola loves Sugar, and wants to help, but doesn't know how. At this point, with their finish line coming up so fast, they're just frantically pushing buttons and hoping something will work. They aren't used to being fully emotionally present, or WANTING to be emotionally present.
And on Sugar's end, I don't think she quite knows what it's like to feel WANTED, to feel like someone wants her around, to be with her. People have never wanted HER, they've always wanted her to be something, to do something, to give them something.

These two are so, so close to a mutual emotional epiphany. Maybe they'll realize they've been misunderstanding each other this whole time. Lola has never been so desperate to try and convey something to Sugar, and Sugar has never so desperately tried to block something out so she can be 'punished'.

This is all over the place lmao I've started like 5 different thoughts. I know it's just fiction, but I want the two of them to be okay so badly.

TL;DR it's good.
cerberus 9th May 2017, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
i have a hard time keeping up with all the analyses in the comments, so all i can really say is some simplistic shit about how i personally resonate with this comic; that i see so much of myself and my wife in lola and sugar, just in the sense that we're both drifters battered by our childhoods, still weathering the trauma and the illness, and i see so many parallels between our respective upbringings and theirs.

when i started reading this comic i related to sugar more, but now i find more pieces of myself reflected in lola, and i relate sugar's upbringing to my wife's. i see different facets of ourselves in either one of them of course, but when it comes to our family situations i associate lola with myself and sugar with her. i didn't grow up in the same sort of isolation that lola did but i feel similarities, in that my family hurt me by not caring enough, while my wife's family hurt her by being overzealous. i ran away from my family and they've disowned me, and my wife has a better relationship with her family nowadays but still feels like a burden when they check up on her. i wasn't enough, but she feels like she was too much. lola feels intangible, and sugar feels acutely vulnerable. my wife is keenly afraid of her influence on others, and i was always invisible and numb.

so same, lola. same.

also the fact that we're both gay. that too. sugar and lola are gay as hell.

reading these comics always reminds me of the both of us, it makes me wanna go cuddle the hell out of my wife as if she were personally venting to me right now with their words. it makes me so sad for them both. can't wait for these next few updates, gray.
Guest 9th May 2017, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
im commenting again because i figured something out, i wondered why sugar was so set on dying and now i realize it's because she feels like she killed angel... so she feels like a terrible person even more. plus with the whole doctor thing, it's like "do no harm" but doctors...end up harming often.

what i still dont understand is why she's bringing lola with her when sugar cares about lola's wellbeing..
Nobody 10th May 2017, 3:42 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
check out page 29, it might help with that question.