strong content warning for themes of suicide and drug use.

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11th May 2017, 12:00 PM
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Author Notes:

Nobody 11th May 2017, 12:00 PM edit delete
Nobody
before anyone asks, lola was going to say "don't hit the brakes".
i learned how to drive in the north and i've experienced many skids, spin-outs, etc. lots of ice, lots of rain.
the most common reaction to loss of control is yanking the wheel in the opposite direction to try and fix it and slamming the brakes to try to stop it, which, at best, makes the car lose more of its grip and spin further, and, at worst, completely blows out a tire and flips the car.
if you've lost control, stay off the gas and the brake, gently face into the spiral, then tighten your grip and go forward, until you have enough control to stop.
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Comments:

Ricki 11th May 2017, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
I think it is symbolism I like the "don't hit the breaks when you've lost control. Try to go with the flow of the car until you're able to stop it". It seems a lot like both of what Lola's doing (more directly in "stopping the car that's out of control") and also as a general "how to get back in control". It's good
t. 11th May 2017, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
HOLY FUCKING SHIT
t. 11th May 2017, 12:53 PM edit delete reply
had sugar not told lola to put their seatbelt on way back when, it really woulda come back to bite them in the ass right now, huh?
t. 11th May 2017, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
"put your seatbelt on before i launch you through the windshield" jesus fucking christ
sry for commenting so much i have a lot of feelingsā„¢
essie 11th May 2017, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
i think i just fucking died
Peach 11th May 2017, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, I love this comic, and I wish I had more interesting things to say like the other commenters instead of just praising the visuals and hard work that clearly went into every page! But reading this page, Sugar's dialogue really hit home. God knows how many times I've ranted at myself like she does here or wished that I could be a better example for my younger brother or just done something because my family wanted me to or I felt I had to for them.
Thank you for such incredible work.
Guest 11th May 2017, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
man sugar has totally abandoned the CBT techniques she was using just moments ago. she's speaking in hypotheticals and using "should" and just generally seems stuck in a negative thought pattern that gets worse and worse as it goes on. i guess CBT training is weaker than guilt for her. it breaks down in the face of emotions this strong.
Cy 11th May 2017, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
Both times sugars immediate instinct was to grab/protect lola and its killing me
89 11th May 2017, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Ouch. This made me think back to Sugar saying "there is no guilt to a corpse" and this page, conversation makes that make so much sense now, motivation wise for her wanting to do this trip now to me. Guilt is such an aching, looming, hurtful and lonely feeling and especially in her situation now that it's fully explained, guilt is so hard to overcome. Her expressions and body language here show it extremely well I think. I love the layout of this page too, really fits with the imagery and dialogue and made me feel like I was in this situation near the end car wise. I mean the feeling of almost hitting another car, realizing right before it might happen and then spinning out is really well captured here and I like how the last panel is just still to let it sink in. This whole conversation over the last few pages and then this close call near accident at the end, feels like a jolt and is really well paced. (also Sugar grabbing onto Lola ahh thank you Sugar for making Lola wear a seatbelt!)
MysteriousJeff 11th May 2017, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Sugar's breakdown breaking down the panel borders into the jagged pattern really captures, I feel, how breaking down in that manner really does feel like.

This page in general is a real visual marvel, with the variance in panel gutter spacing, the jagged panels, and the final panels with the dust and the sky and the motion it's very exceptional!

s 11th May 2017, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
i keep comparing this page to 43 and how sugar said she wouldnt cry last page and how she basically didnt compared to how much she did that night and i feel like those and other differences in those two breakdowns really show how sugars been feeling and dealing with different kinds of guilt over the story ("i shouldnt even be talking about her this way to you" vs. and i'm guilty, to them i'm guilty") its a really telling contrast of feeling guilt internally as opposed to feeling it both internally and from others. guilts so prevalent in sugar life and it explains her 'theres no guilt to a corpse' line, she just wants to be gone and not feel guilty anymore from her entire existence but its so ingrained in her that even now im assuming hours from the canyon its still tearing her apart
Guest 11th May 2017, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
also again this page looks great, sugars blue eye being so prevalent and her brown eye being visible but covered has been Noted
Guest 11th May 2017, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
god, this page hits close to home for weirdly a specific reason.
i also have a little cousin named angel who i love very dearly, i also try to be a good example for her but i'm scared i'll set the wrong one, and i'm also scared for her for a lot more reasons too. i'm trans, but she doesn't know, and i'm scared that if i tell her then her parents won't let her see me anymore. the line "because the only example they had to try to relate to was a freak like me" is. whoof. if i were in sugar's position, i don't know what i'd do
also, unrelated but that other car in the last panel... i have no idea what's gonna happen with the people in that car but it can't be good.
Matt 11th May 2017, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
Panel 2. Woof. That's an unfortunate way to put it, Sugar... which I feel is highlighted by the way you drew it?
Guest 11th May 2017, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
panel 16, i feel, is lola's "we're gonna fucking die, time to brace for impact" face, it's the top set of eyes that really sells it. it adds to the terror of nearly getting hit and spinning out of control to avoid something coming at you head-on. you did a FANTASTIC job of making this page feel chaotic and intense, and using that chaos to make the last 6 panels even more desperate and terrifying
Guest 12th May 2017, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
Man, there's something about this entire comic but that really comes through with this panel I feel like, but I don't know if I can articulate properly. The artist makes such good... use? Of all the incidental items and props and setting, I guess? Like, Drop-Out isn't some big epic with chekhov's gun type of Objects or Artifacts that are important to the story, but so many scenes just make such good use of the mundane things that come along with going on a roadtrip- the car, in this scene is the most prominent example, it functions as a setting and a space for so much of the story but it's also a destructible vehicle in motion in the world around them. Early on in their trip with the close-call we're foreshadowed for this scene, but in a way that's really not "foreshadowing" in the usual sense? Accidents are a constant risk whenever you drive a car, and they've got a lot of driving to do. It's just a natural progression, framed between that everpresent but unlikely danger and the fallibility/instability of the driver's mental state. Sugar and Lola want to die, but Not Like That, and it keeps cropping up in context of the car/driving specifically.
but beyond the car, it's also like, the limited clothes that you pack for a trip, or the limited clothes you even have to pack for a trip if, say, you're chronically depressed/suicidal and don't do laundry, or you're chronically homeless/insecure and don't have many possessions anyway. The single red lighter that keeps getting passed between them. The bag of Vic's, the shitty gas station wine with the misleading foil or the cheap whiskey, the greasy diner or fast food that they buy on the way. The smiling bag of jerky and Sugar's issues with disordered eating. The folding knives that they found in the creepy abandoned house that, despite the whole atmosphere of the scene didn't get used for anything more sinister than some character exposition (and cool tricks). Even like, the number of cigarettes that Lola has left at any given point, like the fact that she's probably short and at least somewhat irritable in the past few scenes because they used a few to roll spliffs the day before. Few if any of these objects are "important" or "significant" on their own in a really dramatic way, especially due to the transient nature of a roadtrip and the fact that two people who plan on dying don't really have much of an attachment to their worldly possessions, but something about the fact that it's all still there and still treated with the kind of... materiality? That makes all of these things feel so tangible and present, in this relatively isolated setting especially. It drives home the reality of where they are and what they're doing, but in this really subtle, almost surreal way. I think a dimension of the story just wouldn't exist if gray weren't so deliberate about accounting for all of the inanimate elements, and that blows me away.
Guest 12th May 2017, 5:52 PM edit delete reply
i keep trying to reread and examine this but im a little confused which direction on the road they were going. did they almost hit a parked car head on? or were they coming up behind it?
Nobody 12th May 2017, 6:30 PM edit delete reply
Nobody
look at the panels with the car wheels, it might help. yellow lines on a road divide traffic going opposite ways. sugar was drifting in the wrong lane for a while before an oncoming car driving the opposite way showed up, which is what she almost hit.
Guest 14th May 2017, 5:01 AM edit delete reply
sugar is very aware of the calm before a suicide attempt- the weight of a future you don't/cannot look forward to is lifted, and finally something is certain... there is something to be said that no one in her family is realizing how shady this trip is despite also being the kind to hide the knives. Not that it is an inconsistency, it isn't, because there are many things more dangerous than knives (working to death at school) that they never even considered. it also makes me wonder if angel was denied access to mental health care completely (sugar being the "freak" of the family makes it seem like her seeking it is unique), or if they just avoided it.
Nobody 14th May 2017, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
Nobody
there's one big reason (there's several reasons, actually, but i'm not gonna list 'em all) sugar's family doesn't think anything suspicious is up with this trip: lola.
sugar's family wouldn't think mutual suicide was a possible thing, and if sugar had acted strangely and left without lola, lola would have called her mother and (probably obliviously) tipped her off by asking where she went.

about angel's access to mental health care-- the original line was "if i had just gotten better, maybe their parents would have let them get help".
i changed it because i enjoyed the ambiguity of "maybe they could've gotten help" (although "could've" implies angel was stopped by outside forces), because i feel like it's a combination of a denial of access by their guardians and a rejection on their part due to what they'd seen from sugar's experiences.
Guest 14th May 2017, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
oh shit i reread the past few pages today, and realized something else new. "i gave them, my welbutrin" and "i should've known." ah.. i just remembered that antidepressants, esp in teens, can cause a side effect of increased suicidal ideation. no wonder sugar feels like everything she does goes wrong, id feel pretty guilty about that too, even if i was just trying to help
Guest 14th May 2017, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
she's in a pretty difficult spot but i still hope lola and sugar gets a good ending and that sugar can be like, become a friendly gender doctor or something to help out others with all of her knowledge and experience, so that there's less angels