I did this in 1999 just before leaving for Japan for a doujinshi that our group was going to sell at Anime North that year. The book the girl is holding on Page 4 is that doujinshi.
Basically I wanted to open up but I was too scared. I had been in a four year deep depression but I was seeing a way out, and I wanted to reach out but the previous four years had conditioned me to withdraw instead. Looking back, I still wasn’t ready yet, and I wish I hadn’t of tried, I made the same mistakes as before. But this comic wasn’t directed to any one person specifically.
Reading this again I can see the “Nice Guy Syndrome” in it. The protagonist likes the woman in the comic and doesn’t say anything about it, while he is quite aware that his attraction to her is a big part of his side of the friendship. I think if I were to do this again I would highlight the dishonesty more, and I did a bit of this in the first version of Little White Lie (a comic I started and got about a dozen strips into before quitting; redoing for Slipshine then a horrible depression spell killed that), but I don’t know if the dozen strips I did on Keenspace will ever see the light of day again. But anyways, a love letter is nice, but this passive-aggressive approach isn’t cool at all. It made a couple of the women in our club uncomfortable because the open-ended approach made them think it was about them, and that was kind of tactless of me, especially when all our work was appearing in it.
I was talking to Robert DeJesus around this time, and I asked him if he ever read my work, and he said he didn’t, “It’s like looking into your soul”.