depression comix #323

This was the last strip of 2016. Given the global mood it didn’t really warrant one of those positive feel happy strips but more of a grumble.  Not every year can be a good year, and sometimes we have to slog it out through the miserable ones. But the good news is we did make it another year, and I’m glad to be doing these comics, and I’m especially glad that people are still reading them.

This one was a tricky one to do because I didn’t want to be particularly hopeful with this one. Usually with these kinds of comics it’s appropriate to show some kind of optimism for the new year but I couldn’t do it. Instead, I chose a guarded optimism, a “well, at least we made it” message 2rather than “maybe next year will be better.” Because I’m, writing this in March, it’s easy to look back and see, yeah, any optimism would have been unfounded and naive.

I had to go back to the previous year’s strip and make sure that they are wearing the same thing in the drawing at the bottom, including the Gryffindor scarf (although they aren’t sharing it this time). Sometimes I forget about continuity and I drew Robin wearing a different scarf by mistake.

You can read the strip here:

depression comix #322

Uggh. Christmas. I’m fortunate enough to be in Japan so I don’t feel the Christmas pressure as I did in the past, but reading my feeds from friends and random people on the internet it hasn’t gone away in my absence. I made the mistake of going back to Canada in the winter about five years ago and never again. It’s a great source of stress for everyone involved and this strip only touches on it.

These strips are fun to draw and I’d rather be doing these than two person conversation strips which are the foundation of this comic. It’s also fun to draw characters that may only appear in one panel ever, for example, the aunt in the third panel is based on Voldemort and his embrace of Malfoy in the final Harry Potter movie. I also made sure to put in the ignorant dig at Robin’s orientation that a lot of people have to deal with during relative visiting season.

In depression comix, stress it seems, likes to come in boxes.

You can read the strip here:

depression comix #321

This is a strip I did back in August but I was never really happy with the art so I redid the panel. I think the sister reminded me too much like Melania Trump when I first drew the panel.

One thing I read about when people talk about suicide and depression is that how non-depressive people can’t understand how depressed people can’t understand that their deaths would have impact. The whole “suicide is selfish” reasoning is based on the idea that depressed people know that they are cared about and they know their deaths would hurt everyone around them. The reality, or at least for me, is that depressed people have lost this understanding. Many honestly don’t believe they are loved and that their departure would have any negative impact. They may even think it’s a good thing, that their deaths would actually help those around them. That’s why the “suicide is selfish” argument is wrong: selfish people hoard what they think is valuable; depressed people don’t believe that what they are taking away has any value.

This a reason why it should be treated as an illness. In many cases there is no rational reason to believe that one’s life is meaningless to those around them but when you’re sick, you cough, and you have as little control over that as you do thinking negatively when under depression’s influence.

I mentioned before that I like these two characters. A lot of depression comix is about unhealthy relationships, but it’s good to show how family support can help, because research shows that it does.

You can read the comic here:

Sexy Losers #279 “Mother’s Little Helper [2 of 9]” (NSFW)

When I got to this strip, I realized I messed up on the previous one — Mrs. Shibata was shown in the last panel naked, when in the story I had written she was supposed to be wearing a bra. The bra was going to be a plot point later on, so I had to change some things in the story to accommodate. For example in this strip she is naked in every panel, but I kind of wish I left that bra in there because it kind of escalated a little quickly. It would have been better for Kenta to establish his erection while Mrs. Shibata was dressed, and Kenta doesn’t seem to react to his mom being naked in the kitchen. Of course, it could be a regular occurrence in the household, after all, she does do housework in a bra, and she masturbates in the shower with the door open. She is not exactly shy with her body, so maybe this is just how it is.

There really isn’t much more to say as this is a transitional strip, except that it will escalate from here. The Shibata strips were always fun to do because they really pushed the boundaries, like how far it could go before it got really really wrong. I’m happy to say that I think this series will push that boundary further still, that’s why it’ll take 9 strips to get there.

You can read the strip here. As always, any Sexy Losers link is NSFW.

depression comix #320

This is one of the worrying aspects of depression, when things that are supposed to make you feel happy just don’t. Or you feel good but it doesn’t last, the feeling of happiness passes far more quickly than it should. In my position, it made me double guess and triple guess the good things in my life because good things never ever felt all that good, and it made me believe that I was making the same mistakes that led me to my depression. I’m not sure that this is a universal feeling, but I did come across some research that depressed people did feel good for shorter periods of time than non-depressed, although I can’t find that paper anymore.

At the time, an acquaintance I hadn’t spoken to for years called up and asked me if I wanted a small part time teaching gig at a school teaching Scratch for a really nice sum. Instead of happy, I felt incredibly anxious and overwhelmed and worried tremendously about it. I did it, it wasn’t that bad, but when good fortune happens it really scares the crap out of me. It makes me sink into a deep blue spell. What people think of me has got to be awful.

This comic also features the sister, who has turned out to be a really good model for a listener. She just listens, doesn’t judge, and it seems to me that she always loves her brother. She’s a good example of what family should do, and that is be supportive. I like this character, although I really should have drawn her wearing a hijab from the beginning. It was a missed opportunity and I kick myself every time I draw her because of it.

Almost all the characters find themselves at Coffee Star at some point. I am really pushing this non-existing brand.

You can read the comic here >>

depression comix #319

This strip goes back to a character who has problems having her illness being taken seriously because her appearance does not fit the part. I didn’t come out and say it as direct as I should last time, but it needs to be said. If you don’t fit the stereotype of a depressed person, you are often overlooked. And with depression being a primarily mental illness rather than one with obvious physical manifestations, people tend to look for physicality in things that actually don’t matter, for example, taking care of one’s personal appearance or one’s “success” in life.

This strip was a bit difficult for readers as I think there’s a lot for readers to figure out on their own. Not showing her actually changing made it challenging for readers to understand what she was doing in the washroom, and I’m sure there were readers who thought the woman in panels 1 and 2 were different people. Perhaps 4 panels aren’t enough to get the idea across. But it did start conversation and I even got a “fuck you” because showing high-functioning depression sufferers can be offensive to low-functioning depression sufferers (ironically, the point of the comic was that sufferers often get their illness dismissed if they appear to be high-functioning).

Please read the strip here: