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

89

19th Feb 2021, 1:08 PM
89
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Comments:

Guest of Wind 19th Feb 2021, 1:18 PM
LOL I was rereading page 88, refreshed the webpage, and had to do a double-take once it loaded cause I didn't realize it was a new page at first

Anyways, I think I have to let this page digest a bit before I can connect it to my comments on the last page, but at first glance: I really like panels 8 and 9, both visually (ESPECIALLY Fink's shoes, I hate the man but the panel of his shoes is very satisfying to me fsr) and thematically (Fink's formalwear protect his feet and show his status as a psychologist, VS Kim, without even socks, fidgeting nervously as she attempts to get released). And I think someone else on an earlier page commented that the markings on the back of Fink's head are like psychiatry's always-watching eyes, and that's very notable here.
gay 19th Feb 2021, 1:58 PM
wtf that pen closeup shot is beautiful
HauntedTeeth 19th Feb 2021, 2:07 PM
NO! Don’t you dare, psychiatrist! I am so anxious for Kim here...
BirdBrain 19th Feb 2021, 3:47 PM
Leaving her dangling on that note is so cruel. I mean, everything about his approach is cruel, but this strikes a more raw nerve for me than his other actions. I hate this owl. I love this comic, and the depth at which i loathe this owl and want him to never be in a position of power over another person speaks to the quality of the writing.

I have met this owl so many times in the MH “care” system. Doctors like this have made it impossible for me to completely leave my fear behind even when dealing with medical providers who have thoroughly proven themselves and earned my trust.

Knowing the comic is nearing its end, I think (I hope) that it’s likely Kim will be free from this hospital soon. But she doesn’t know that. She spoke earnestly, honestly, and was immediately met with a barely veiled suggestion that she was being dishonest. Everything she says, weaponized against her. And he just leaves. “That’s all I need for today.” No thought or care for what she needs.

I know my emotional reaction to this is probably a little out of proportion, but you just... really nailed it with the writing.

I may have found incredible mental health providers in recent years, but I will never be able to completely relax and trust that it will stay that way. Because I’ve seen too much of the side of the system this comic portrays.

None of it has to be this way.

I’m rambling more about the writing and personal reaction to it, but before I wrap up this disorganized comment, I also have to say that the art captures the anxiety, tension, and atmosphere of appointments like this. I don’t have the vocabulary or technical knowledge of sequential art to coherently describe how it all works together, but damn.

(Apologies if this comment was a little excessively complimentary. I usually try to tone it down because I don’t know which comic artists I follow are uncomfortable with praise, but I’m in an oddly enthusiastic headspace and this page managed to hit hard. )
BiggySnips 19th Feb 2021, 5:55 PM
Oh she ain’t going anywhere now
Guest 19th Feb 2021, 6:24 PM
... I wonder if this expression of Kim recontextualizing her experiences and changing her perspective might be recognized by Fink, even if it's not the exact same kind he might have been looking for
Zuzi 19th Feb 2021, 7:02 PM
Oh no Kim, you corrected a doctor!
That's like one of the worst things you can do when you're trying to get on their good side. Especially a by-the-books type like this guy.
Also I love that 3rd to last panel, really gets that mood of being scrutinized.
crow 19th Feb 2021, 8:57 PM
and just like that, all my optimism from the last page is gone. kinda expected that tho lol
8bitmelanie 20th Feb 2021, 5:08 AM
I love how the panel "bulges out" with Kim's outburst and that one panel with her/the owl's markings. I hope she can get out of this place.
rexalicious 20th Feb 2021, 6:04 AM
rexalicious
ooohhh kim honing in on the movement of the pen is such a good effect
i love the "eyes at the back of his head" detail being emphasized

fink's worldview is interesting - maybe he really believes hes doing the right thing but his by-the-books type attitude makes you think all he really views his patients not as people, but as pieces of meat and the means to his paycheck. and he definitely hasnt shied away pushing kim in the past about her faking positivity, but how can he expect kim to get better when theres always a power structure threatening her to "act properly"? i guess thats what happens when mental health services are turned into an industry
mallory 20th Feb 2021, 10:14 AM
i feel like things may not be so lost, because carmilla pointed out: this guy may be less concerned with what she says to his face than he is with whats on her papers. shes done the therapy, not self harmed, etc... of course, carmilla could have been wrong, and his motivations and behavior function a little differently. but i do think this guy cares more about whats on the papers, probably because he doesnt trust what the patients have to say for themselves at all. he functions entirely off of whats on the papers and his preconceived notions off of that, only pushing her to say what he thinks he already knows with leading questions and bad-faith readings. good luck kim! thanks for the update, i really love the panel of kim with the fuse and explosion and the rest of the framing choices on this page... really good.
Sparrow 20th Feb 2021, 1:30 PM
Ugh those psychiatrist shoes. So many awkward moments avoiding eye contact and staring at those fucking shoes waiting for the guy to completely dismiss my feelings after he's barely said anything, definitely nothing helpful, for the entire appointment. They always have those shoes for sure. I'm sorry Kim.
mata 21st Feb 2021, 9:10 PM
i was wondering why that panel stood out so much to me, you hit the nail on the head. i always end up with my head down staring at their shoes. that's a really interesting detail
emm 21st Feb 2021, 1:14 AM
i like how kim's sessions with fink kind of bookend a big chunk of the narrative. i feel like together they really show how kim's thinking and approach to managing authority figures has changed, plus how a hostile system primarily teaches you to navigate it, more than anything actually useful to your ability to live as a person outside that system

(not that the ward as an institution is, like, really apart from or unique in values from society at large)

it's cool to see stories that are meditative in the way that you write. kind of like an extended dialogue where characters are actively trying to/having to synthesize others' opinions and make sense of these systems w/ capricious rules

the expressions on this page & the last are also really lovely — i like the mix of little shifts and big pushed expressions. it's a cool contrast imo
mata 21st Feb 2021, 9:14 PM
i really want kim to get the medical care that she needs but medical care as a system is so flawed it makes it worse.

also the fuckin, "without a turning of the mind you'll repeat your actions" is such a dark way to put it, as if the torture she's been put through at this hospital is just to brainwash her and not to really help her at all--and he's phrasing it like he KNOWS the problem is her brain, just like she told him, but... it's like he doesn't understand that "her brain" isn't "her," it's her mental illness outside of her control.

one last thing... always in love with your expressions, how animated they are between panels, it's very nice
Fallingfeather 22nd Feb 2021, 12:53 PM
Ok, while I don't like Fink (I don't think anyone here does), I do like the statements he makes in panels 4 and 5 from a narrative perspective. It seems to link into what Lupe said in the last scene about Kim learning things, both about her depression and herself while she's here, even if Fink and Lupe are coming at it from different angles and different relationships to Kim, and thus making US think "Okay, what are we learning here."
Guest 22nd Feb 2021, 1:44 PM
sucks that the institution kim is in isn't actually teaching her anything in regards to making her life better. she's just learning the right things to say to make people think that she has
Cial 22nd Feb 2021, 5:46 PM
Idk i think it went rly well. Awkward but even when fink intentionally tries to test her on things that caused big upset before she kept her reactions more restrained.

I mean compared to last time
Chair 25th Feb 2021, 11:06 PM
Is there any chance of you printing Fresh Meat when it's done? I would buy it in a heartbeat!
Nobody 26th Feb 2021, 10:37 AM
Nobody
unfortunately, probably not. it's not really formatted for print in size or in color, and the style shift over this one stresses me out pretty bad.
Izi 27th Feb 2021, 7:07 AM
Kim is smart in that teen way of knowing what to say, being able to repeat the “right” words, but not really knowing why or how they connect... it’s painful and familiar to read this. She’s just barely on the edge of understanding, of what she’s saying, of why she’s saying it, but it’s clear she’s only repeating things she’s heard that she thinks will get her out of the ward... she’s still hurting just as much as she was before, and her condition hasn’t really changed other than how she talks about it.
Fink’s an idiot if he falls for this, in my opinion, but maybe the right words are enough in a system that’s so narrow...
Brilliant work as always.