CONTENT WARNING: this comic depicts medical abuse and psychiatric institutionalization.

76

23rd Oct 2020, 6:33 AM
76
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Author Notes:

Nobody 23rd Oct 2020, 6:33 AM
Nobody
here's the cry 😭
Nobody 23rd Oct 2020, 8:01 AM
Nobody
oh, also, please be thoughtful about the tone of comments. i've had to delete quite a few in the last few pages even if they were otherwise illuminating of the text solely because i felt like they might be taken the wrong way. it's hard for me to judge tone, especially how i think others will perceive tone, but i'm obligated to delete out of caution over facilitating healthy disagreement between strangers. thank you in advance!

Comments:

Catten 23rd Oct 2020, 7:09 AM
I wonder if after this Tabitha would ever willingly offer comfort to someone again, or even be emotionally available. :(
e 23rd Oct 2020, 2:02 PM
I'm not really sure if any way Tabitha was acting towards Kim would be considered "being emotionally available", up until this point in the comic anyway. At least by my interpretation, she was "giving her another face" as Kim says, and technically closing off her own emotions for Kim's sake. I'm kind of reminded of Page 52 where we see that Tabitha holds values towards being a responsible adult when interacting with people who are younger than her, and being careful of what to say to them. But my feeling from this page is that she took it too far, and that the difference between her attempts to console Kim and what she was actually going through and struggling with have become transparent.
Catten 23rd Oct 2020, 6:21 PM
Yes I meant how Tabitha became emotionally available up at this moment, but also the lead-up to this moment (And the effectiveness of it) being how Tabitha attempted to comfort Kim. As these are interlinked I wonder if Tabitha would ever do either action readily again.
Rufus 23rd Oct 2020, 7:16 AM
i-


i wanna hug both of them tight rn ;w;w;w;w;w;w

there's so much great emotion here..
Guest 23rd Oct 2020, 8:00 AM
Oh my god.

My heart for tabitha and kim, it aches, this is such an emotional pivot and i am at the edge of my seat for more content.

Please just let them be okay
Guest 23rd Oct 2020, 9:09 AM
To the author:

Thank you for the added note. There were some very aggressively worded comments on the previous page, and it pretty much scared me away from wanting to try and participate in discussion for this comic going forward. Your note has restored faith in me commenting again.
Nobody 23rd Oct 2020, 11:43 AM
Nobody
no problem, i'm sorry to you and to the other commenter for not being more cautious. i didn't approve the second reply myself, but i did approve the first one, despite being aware that it might come off as patronizing to the first commenter, and i regret publishing it in retrospect, since i understand why it was upsetting. again, sorry to you and the other commenter for putting you in that position.
Guest 23rd Oct 2020, 1:07 PM
It's okay, after this feedback I now understand how my phrasing came off to convey something I did not mean, and apologize for my phrasing putting you in a compromising situation.

For what it's worth, I do appreciate the second reply's further context and understand better now the context of this story, especially the clarification of the dietary needs of tabitha's species. Again, I am sorry for the trouble, and will endeavour to do my best to reread and watch my phrasing going forward, to try and help mitigate this from happening again. Thank you for all the work youve put into this project, and apologies for causing undue extra work in content moderation on your team's end.
Guest 23rd Oct 2020, 11:59 PM
Hey, I want to apologize for making you feel like you couldn't participate in discussing the comic. I interpreted what you said to me as not just aggressive, but insulting, and, thanks to my own trauma, I felt like I had to dig in deep and defend myself. My head's clearer now and I see that I was being inappropriate, and I'm sorry for making you feel the way I did. I'm probably going to hold back commenting in the future myself, not just because of this, but because I'm often interpreted as being aggressive when I'm not, and I'd prefer not to cause more problems on accident. My thoughts aren't so important that they should be expressed at the expense of other's comfort, you know?

Thank you gray for the work you've put into this comic, and I'm sorry to everyone I've upset.
Guest 23rd Oct 2020, 11:12 AM
I really like what you did with the panel layout here, especially on panels 13-15. offsetting kim & tabitha's panels to the left & right respectively does.... *something*, i can't quantify exactly what. but i don't think i've seen any other comic artist do that before. also i've seen people mention this a lot but your use of backgrounds to help convey emotions continues to be really good
junie 23rd Oct 2020, 11:33 AM
agh. the stuff kim said on this page resonates with me a lot. it really does make me feel seen, because the stuff kim says here is really similar to how i feel a lot of the time, but it's kinda sad that these kinds of thoughts (from kim and from tabitha) aren't a super-rare experience. thinking about the way i relate to this arc lead me down this whole thought train about how profound it is that people can connect to others so much despite it being impossible to truly understand (without like, cloning your memories or something, but i digress). ANYWAY it's a really good page, is what im saying, really really emotionally poignant, and it's really cool how you make kim's speech bubble text so shaky without sacrificing readability. i love how it literally looks like the emotions are coming off of kim in "waves" and centering in on tabitha, and panel 4 just hammers in this feeling of... Im not even sure what word to use, desolation? that tabitha's at.
Guest 23rd Oct 2020, 12:15 PM
i really like the design "auras" that come off the characters... on the last page tabitha's was bubbly and wavy, not happy but with calm assurance... contrasted with kim drawing the blue design aura taut and aggressively expelling it outward all around her. the vibes are atrocious right now lol, poor kim and poor tabitha.
e 23rd Oct 2020, 12:25 PM
Oh I adore this page so much, and how incredibly emotionally vulnerable Kim is being with Tabitha, and how sad I am for both of them. This is definitely one of my favorite moments in the comic.

As an aside though, I've been really liking how big and blocky you've been drawing Kim's eyebrows lately, especially these past few strips. I've been especially noticing them in the last two pages, as they've been making Kim's expressions especially poignant.
indy 23rd Oct 2020, 1:29 PM
such a good page, seriously. Love this one a lot.
Terry 23rd Oct 2020, 3:26 PM
its interesting to note, but jeez, they just cant leave poor sugar alone, can they? im not sure if there is another meaning behind this, or just to reinforce the fact that sugar is always exhausted because of the ECT iirc (rightfully so), but ever since kim has been in this ward, ive noticed the nurses asking if sugars awake every. single. day!!! wouldnt even be surprised if they did this just on the basis of her appearing lethargic most of the time rather than actually sleeping in (she did reply every time since kims been here, after all), cuz people working in the medical field just be like that.

also want to say that i love how you draw crying faces, and that i enjoy seeing tabby with expressions so different from her usual sweet & calm self ^.^
Nobody 24th Oct 2020, 6:53 PM
Nobody
hi, terry, thank you for the comment.
the interjection between sugar and karen there does a few different things. its primary functions are to assert reality over the narrative (just a common element in my writing style) and to provide some setup for the next page, the end of the scene.
it's definitely also supposed to elaborate on why sugar sounds so irritated and snappy with staff members, especially when they ask her if she's awake, in an indirect way.
Terry 24th Oct 2020, 7:39 PM
oh! that makes sense, of course.
thank you for taking the time to clarify, i really appreciate it!
hollis 23rd Oct 2020, 8:41 PM
god this is thorough, emotionally speaking. i know this feeling. i’ve been there. had friends where i was staying alive just because they made me have a choice and vice versa. it’s fucked, and i don’t think either character is the Morally Right One— both of them are acting out how they’ve had to in order to survive.

good job. i think this is really well done. /genuine tone
junie 24th Oct 2020, 12:23 AM
coming back and reading again, the way the staff are talking with the other patients in the BG, completely unaware of the confrontation between kim and tabitha, and kim's expressions while it happens definitely convey a very specific feeling to me really well, the feeling of isolation and the world just kinda moving around you while something that feels life-shattering is happening at that very moment. maybe not life-shattering for kim, but this is the first time she's talking about her own actions that ended her up here directly, aside from discussion in the first few pages, i think. especially with the breakdown that's forcing it out of her, and tabitha's metaphorical "spilling guts" of where she's at mentally to kim, followed by how tabitha reacts to kim's outburst on this page... it must be a very big moment for the both of them, even if there's not much happening. the way that kim reacts to more ""important"" things happening in the background then just looks to tabitha who looks so desolate- your writing is very detailed. it really feels like a retelling of real events with how authentic and nuanced it all feels. this comment's a bit rambly, but i hope you guys get my point :p
Peach 24th Oct 2020, 1:18 AM
I really like how you convey the emotions hitting each of them in turn and how they build up, because it lets you feel them build in you too... Poor Tabitha and Kim, like other commenters said I wanna hug them ;;;
A Shark 24th Oct 2020, 2:11 AM
Seeing Kim on the cliff-face of drop-out made me think Sugar was going to be a lot more involved in Kim's experience at the hospital (and vice-versa), so seeing so much around Tabitha has definitely made her a surprise winner for me out of the comic. I'm looking back to previous scenes like page 28 and feeling sad watching Kim pushing away Tabitha for caring, for her same concern to be mirrored in page 67 when Kim starts to worry about Tabitha, culminating in this page here.
That aside, definitely feeling a lot of those echoes of Sugar at the edge of the cliff here in this scene: intentionally, and well executed.
carmilla gang prez 24th Oct 2020, 7:21 AM
fucking owie wowie dude. this is so familiar its insane, god the "what makes you so different" ouuuuuughghguhg...OH MY GOD also "why would you tell me itll be okay when you wont even make sure youll be okay yourself" OOUUUUUCH BRO OUCHIE OUCHHHH...
on another note i love..the simplicity of the last panel and tabithas face. very good
Mike Blackwood 24th Oct 2020, 7:48 AM
Wow, this page really hits hard. I strongly feel for both Kim and Tabitha, and knowing this is probably nearing the end of Tabitha's arc is... oh man, I just want them to be okay.

I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it just hit me that Kim's line about 'thinking about all the faces of people who'd be disappointed in you' reminds me strongly of that scene near the end of drop-out with the page where sugar and lola are looking down the canyon? Either way, it's a neat parallel
Indie 24th Oct 2020, 7:59 AM
holy fucking shit
Guest 24th Oct 2020, 9:19 AM
a couple people have mentioned it and I don’t want to belabor the point, but Kim’s choice of description is really striking in light of how she appears in the one drop out panel (before we the readers even knew her name, IIRC). I think Kim would hate being one of Sugar’s faces in that moment, but...that’s not really up to her, is it. something about how we cannot help but affect each other, often in chaotic and unpredictable ways, no matter how good our intentions, no matter how little harm we try to do.
Andrea Nolastname 24th Oct 2020, 11:30 AM
Damn, here I thought I identified with tabitha most, now I identify most with kim right now ... unfortunately.

Brings back a reverse nostalgia for when I was in a similar place when I was her age.

In fact, this comic feels a lot like a dramatization of an argument I've had with my brain many many more times than I usually willing to share with others.
Bitty 24th Oct 2020, 7:03 PM
So it seems Kim is feeling like she’s getting lip service instead of a real convo? But idk, i think Tabitha was trying hard to say something meaningful.... :( I’m seeing that Tabitha is really lethargic from lack of food/etc, but as Kim’s breakdown ramps up in intensity, the adrenaline shocks her wide-awake... I feel like the tone is translated really well here, it really feels like Kim is struggling to keep her voice down and together but it’s really hard to not snap when you’ve been building up for days....

On a side note I am really interested in hearing what Carmilla says about her vampirism, if she has a time she felt she wasn’t a vampire, if she has powers etc. i mean she’s a vampire bat so my first instinct was ‘of course she’s a vampire!’, like I understand there’s a belief about being immortal and maybe even some irrational fears of certain anti-vamp items, if I were to meet her it would not phase me and I would believe her as want to ask her about it. I would just like a Carmilla interview basically x3
Guest 24th Oct 2020, 9:32 PM
I empathize with Kim a bit here. I remember being a mentally ill teenager and it was so isolating. I felt as though I had no-one to connect with emotionally. Whenever I talked to someone about my problems they always tried to just solve them instead of listen, so I felt like I had inadequate emotional support.
PCSOly 25th Oct 2020, 1:38 AM
PCSOly
I'm having a rough week mentally and while I'm safe this is SO relatable. The crying, the "it's NEVER going to be okay". I feel sad for both Kim and Tabitha. When you're falling apart like that it's really hard not to make someone with collateral damage.
kim's teeth 25th Oct 2020, 11:37 PM
i don't know if i'm at all comprehending this right but, i think this says a lot about kim's empathy and the way she views and cares about other people. up until this point we haven't really seen her openly care about anyone else but herself, obsessing over her own situation and getting herself out of there while disregarding everyone else like they're NPCs in her struggle (also something i struggle with, forming connections and viewing other people as people can be very difficult when you feel so misunderstood by everything)
but i just. relate so immensely, with that feeling of thinking anyone who cares about you is just another person that's going to be disappointed in you eventually. they're another weight on your conscious, another face you have to think about when you make your "choice." kim obviously feels empathy and cares about other people, but she doesn't necessarily *want* to. i can't even begin to describe how much i've struggled with this same kind of feeling, so i hope i'm reading that right at least a little bit, as it sounds just like something i've said to my best friend in the past during a breakdown

i think this is what happens when you're both very empathetic and also very smart (not to toot my own horn, i didn't pick up on what was going on with tabby at *all* until kim said it) you're empathetic enough to care about other people, feel their struggles and accurately predict/comprehend how your actions might affect them. but she picks up on the little things too. you can't really lie to her, and you can't manipulate her with psychological behavioral gymnastics either. it makes her very stubborn and come off as arrogant but in reality she's worked all of this out in her head already
clown 26th Oct 2020, 9:45 AM
When Kim said "Why would you tell me it'll be okay when you won't even make sure you'll be okay yourself" that hit really deep. Not saying thats a bad thing but your comics have made me do a lot of rethinking about things. I dont wanna make you feel like pressured somehow but your comics have really helped a lot. I'm so happy I discovered. these. Thank you.
Nobody 26th Oct 2020, 11:42 AM
Nobody
don't worry, it doesn't feel like pressuring me. i tell myself nowadays if my stories helped someone, then it's something that was already brimming inside them, not any particularly unique about me. it helps me remember that i can't change people who are empty and i can't take credit for others' progress. thank you for the comment.