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


22nd Jan 2021, 11:31 AM
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rexalicious 22nd Jan 2021, 11:47 AM
lupes comment about carmilla harming herself through speech resonates. i interpret it as like her using humor as a coping mechanism, in choosing to stay light-hearted in a serious situation in a form of control + but also, her talking is method to bring attention to yourself (no matter how ridiculous she may sound - it doesnt matter), and therefore, being in control of the room. maybe carmilla doesn't find control in physical self-harm, but finds it in her more "obnoxious" behavior when interacting with the workers in the hospital as a powerplay, the subtext being "you can't impact me! im the one that has the upperhand in this conversation now. im leading it."
Noiz 22nd Jan 2021, 11:48 AM
Apologies for never knowing names but [points at the green one] I love her so so much. My respect for her is through the roof. Every scene with her in it blankets me with a familiar sense of calm. She feels like an old friend. I adore her.
Card 22nd Jan 2021, 11:56 AM
Oh the backgrounds add such a nice level of emotion to these! Also those close up shots are really nice too, I'm really liking the little bits and pieces we learn from Lupe's character through a conversation like this.
junie 22nd Jan 2021, 12:00 PM
my thoughts ATM are not very well-formed, but i think this is really interesting as a page. i like the way lupe says "maybe you learned something. or maybe i learned something" i think her capacity for self-correction is interesting, she seems very thoughtful and introspective. and both from a character standpoint and a narrative standpoint the way you present the control vs punishment thing is really interesting. because it really is different by the person. i cant say i dont relate to lupe here, where that introspection and knowledge of her own motives are something that she projects onto other people without realizing the problem.
though i think overall the topic at hand here isnt something that could be simplified down to "for control" or "for punishment" haha. especially since control is something that i think EVERYONE desires on some level, so if you go enough degrees deep, you could probably argue almost anything is for control. this is a very interesting and well-written page. ty for posting :-)
Nobody 22nd Jan 2021, 12:51 PM
thanks! i think this is especially true because carmilla claims to have harmed herself for neither punishment nor control.
crow 22nd Jan 2021, 12:14 PM
i love all of these more “realistic” carmilla expressions. her smugness really shines here, and it’s fun to see. also i feel like all three characters are very relatable in this page. excellent as always :)
Guest 22nd Jan 2021, 12:30 PM
this is super interesting. i really admire the frank way that this is discussed here. personally i believe it can be for either or both, and who knows how much each reason plays into the other. i don’t think it needs to be totally clear cut. but the nuances are what makes it interesting to discuss!

personally, though, i think i’m leaning towards lupe’s interpretation of things. as an aside, dang, it must be frustrating for her to face so many instances of people refusing to understand her.

also: poor kim, i don’t think she wanted be included in this conversation at all.
carmilla gang prez 22nd Jan 2021, 12:31 PM
panel 1: mouse that points at gay people
i love lupe so much...shes great
i also love lupes pose on panel 5.. it looks so good. carmillas expressions on this panel are really good too, notably 13 and her >B3 face in her last panel
the backgrounds are so good as well, i dont know how you always manage to find such different and simple backgrounds to express emotion and everything but god its sooo good
Nobody 22nd Jan 2021, 12:49 PM
she really did spend this whole page pointing at gay people--
Guest 22nd Jan 2021, 9:06 PM
So it's canon with Kim?
Nobody 23rd Jan 2021, 3:15 PM
yes lol she is bi, it comes up in like [looks at outline] 2 scenes canonically.
Guest 22nd Jan 2021, 1:42 PM
I want to be part of Carmilla gang
carmilla gang prez 24th Jan 2021, 8:09 AM
we are ALL carmilla gang <3
Andreas Nolastname 24th Jan 2021, 2:21 PM
YOU'RE Carmilla gang!
HE'S Carmilla gang!
SHE'S Carmilla gang!
THEY'RE Carmilla Gang!
WE'RE Carmilla gang'
Guest 22nd Jan 2021, 12:41 PM
Hmmm. I self-harmed to punish myself, too. I thought if I punished myself first I could better deal with any other punishment later. But I guess that was for control, too. I don’t know what I would have done if I was in Kim’s position, though. Carmilla does make an interesting point. Panel 20 brings it up nicely. In a psych ward and in a prison, you’re institutionalized. You don’t have all your rights, and people assume the worst about you. If you’re in a crappy hospital that’s more punitive than rehabilitative, then the prison and locked ward comparisons are even more apt. But sometimes you have to stop people from doing whatever they want. In prisons it’s if they are hurting other people, and in locked wards ‘cause people are hurting themselves. Much to think about.
Izi 22nd Jan 2021, 2:07 PM
This writing is so good it makes my heart beat fast! “The ward is the punishment”... and her whole speech- that’ll be on my mind for a while. You make me want to be a better artist. Thank you.
Mouseling 22nd Jan 2021, 3:02 PM
I wonder how this conversation contrasts with Tabitha's! Tabitha was clearly doing the control thing- a way to assert control in a place that was going so far to take control away from her. But Kim who had the opportunity to assert control through cutting ultimately never does so.
Krawk 22nd Jan 2021, 3:03 PM
I enjoy how animated your style is, it's like i can see how a camera might move across this scene.
The character movements feel very fluid and its a nice detail how their postures will shift and they seem to emote with their whole bodies. Its a nice touch that really adds something to what they're saying, the discussion theatre having and how unsure of herself Kim seems to be.
"Don't be sorry for honesty" is a very nice statement to hear out of all of it.
Guest 22nd Jan 2021, 4:41 PM
Oh I'm a really big fan of the way you write dialogue, both in general and this scene. You have a great way of making dialogue feel natural, bring out everyone's characters, and frame things in a way where characters are providing their answers, while not necessarily positing a "correct" answer.

Also as always I really like the backgrounds to portray mood, particularly Kim's mood and perception of the situation at any point in time. The dark black whenever Kim is singled out by them to answer is really striking.
Nobody 23rd Jan 2021, 10:48 PM
sometimes i feel like i lean a bit too far with one character, and i think that writing that shies away from writing any character as the wholly correct perspective tends to slide into a kind of narrative ambivalence towards ethics, but i do my best...
it's easier when focusing on what ways i think a character's thinking will fall short or be "wrong" rather than thinking about building up to who is the "most right" -- a lot of kim's self-discovery here is through the mistakes and shortcomings of other characters, rather than mostly learning through being taught the correct answer. carmilla is the "most right" here possibly only because she doesn't make enough of an argument to take on the burden of proof.
it's also easier when none of the characters have your particular perspective; none of the characters in this scene states a reason for self-harming that applies to my own motivations in the past. tangentially, removing any arguments that personally resonate with me can also be a major flaw, as with, imo, the ending of my first comic, where i knew that my personal reasoning would not be satisfying to a wide audience, but "we'll have to figure it out" ended up not really working either. the method works for some instances, though.
Guest 26th Jan 2021, 9:53 PM
I think you do a great job honestly! I think you do a great job making the characters feel like they have different ways of interpreting the situation they are in and their motivations based on their experiences, without making a character appear more correct than another (though they try to be, because thats realistically what people try to do!) while also making it very clear that, ethically, the institutionalization system around them is a piece of shit that actively harms them, and that its very much an issue with the system itself. And you are very blunt about that too, so I don't think you have to worry.

And those methods sound really excellent honestly! Thinking about how a character's perspective can fall short sounds like an excellent way to write interactions, and also distancing their perspective from your own makes tons of sense. I know I've had a lot of times where my first instinct was to make a character have my own perspective, and then immediately blank on them because I have to think of how my own perspective can fail.
Cial 22nd Jan 2021, 8:18 PM
Whoa oof this whole page makes my arms itch. I think i agree with lupe, but only in so far as its -a- response to -not- having control... i dont feel it gave control back, but the endorphin release or something provided a sense of calm while big internal upset and pain that was denied acknowledgement found its way out anyway. But as others have said, it differs from person to person... but i feel like once the endorphins regularly reinforce it & it becomes habitual it just ... gets hard to stop.

Props to everyone trying to break the habit tho. This is a lil self congratulatory but if its days or years, anyone fighting to reign in self harm deserves to be told theyre doing rly well at a rly tough thing.

... tho kim is much more self aware and articulate abt her reasons than i was. Smart kiddo. And amazing page as always.
Guest 22nd Jan 2021, 9:36 PM
I really like the way you write, specifically how the narrative never favors any character over who is "correct" in any situation, it's personal to the reader who they agree/disagree with and I don't see any bias from the writing which makes it feel very real.
kira 23rd Jan 2021, 4:36 AM
"you harm yourself by speaking it all" has the energy of a sick burn even if she didn't mean it that way and it cracked me up when i read it

this is a great page btw- love the dialogue and the expressions a lot.
Cial 23rd Jan 2021, 3:25 PM
Omg right i love lupe
Andrea on a phone 23rd Jan 2021, 6:22 PM
God ... this page fills me with feels.

Especially the whole thing about self harm as punishment for ruining one's own life... and like, self harm taking forms other than cutting ... this page is basically @ing me with that intersection of those two themes.

I sincerely admire your writing talents, this is a fantastic scene.

Peach 24th Jan 2021, 7:49 AM
Love the focus on Kim's eye and ear in those two panels as the tension ratchets up while she absorbs Carmilla's words... so cool.
Fallingfeather 24th Jan 2021, 8:39 AM
I think its very meaningful/worth noting that while Kim calls them "nails", every member of the hospital staff we've seen so far has referred to them as "claws". Body part vs. potential weapon...
Nobody 25th Jan 2021, 1:15 PM
i thought a lot about whether to have her say nails or claws, so it's cool to have it pointed out. 😅
guest 25th Jan 2021, 3:17 PM
The people Kim interacts with throughout the story remind me SO much of people i met and listened to in partial hospitalization. of course it's not the same experience as strictly inpatient but the way the characters interact with each other and the staff along with talking about their home lives is SO real. Lupe especially reminds me of some of the people in the group, lots of them are also people with adult children who share traits with their abusive spouses/exes. A lot of them are also people who were pink-slipped and sent to shitty hospitals so I double appreciate this depiction of psychiatric patients as people with complex lives and feelings, whose outside lives impact their mental health rendering all the radical acceptance & mindfulness type stuff pretty much useless.
crow 26th Jan 2021, 10:15 AM
i love all of these more “realistic” carmilla expressions. her smugness really shines here, and it’s fun to see. also i feel like all three characters are very relatable in this page. excellent as always :)
stella 26th Jan 2021, 7:00 PM
I just wanted to hop on the comic train for loving on Lupe. she radiates such thoughtful and gentle energy, yet not gentle in a soft way if that makes sense? i like her so much. i mean, i like every character in this scene so much, but lupe has really been touching me personally recently. thanks for writing your characters and stories so well, this comic always leaves me in an introspective mood
apple 27th Jan 2021, 7:26 AM
carmilla’s dialogue here is really interesting considering she offered kim “sharps” earlier as a means to hurt herself. and kim didn’t take her up on it either. i mentioned on patreon that i wasn’t sure if she was just too exhausted and overwhelmed to even think to do it or if she genuinely just didn’t want to... a lot to think about here and it’s, clearly, been on my mind