Today’s vote incentive is Elias and Vincent looking very lovey towards each other because people still aren’t quite getting the eventual cut of this comic’s eventual jib. Also because it’s cute.

So, I don’t like to over analyze stuff for you guys tooooo often, because art is what you make of it etc. whatever, but I made a choice not to show Marin’s face on this page except at the bottom. It’s not that she doesn’t care in those top panels, but more that I think when you’re hurt that deeply, there’s not really an expression that encompasses how that feels. Also, assuming she’s recounting this to Marisa in a hospital room, who is then recounting it to Malaya and Co. in a deserted mall wing, it feels natural that the real emotional impact comes out in the wash. I’m taking this from my own experience, of course, because when I tell people both my parents died when I was still a teenager, the tend to act horrified. After a certain point, you try and breeze past the reality of that situation for everyone’s sake, and also because explaining the extent of the emotional trauma involved is nigh impossible. “This horrible thing happened, but the outcome is fine! Don’t worry about it! Hey, is that a dog? Look at that dog!”

Anyway, yay for therapy!

Speaking of therapy, damn the Visible Women tag on Twitter yesterday threw me for a loop. On the one hand, glad it exists and very inspiring! I got some decent exposure from joining in and got to see lots of neat art. On the other hand, you come across people who have been on twitter a year and have 20k followers and are friends with every artist already, or people who are like, 17 and totally killing it. It’s quite hard on the ego. And, as per best practices, I’ve cycled through all the basics to realign my thoughts: my comic is steadily gaining readers, my art is improving like woah, I bring writing skills to the table too, that I can’t afford to spend 50 hours a page on this or it’ll never get done, etc. One of the hardest parts of being a creative person is that art takes as much from you as it gives. There is no rational, non-sociopathic person who doesn’t feel some level of jealousy and self-doubt when comparing their work to others, and the best outcome is to just take those thoughts and push yourself a little farther forward. (Add to this that I’m 32, and very much feeling my age in an industry of so many fresh 20-somethings, despite that being older brings a lot more depth to my writing. My age is ultimately a positive, but my ego disagrees.)

Before you all rush to reassure me (which I do appreciate!), I think it’s helpful to other people who struggle with their Art Feelings to hear that someone else shares them, so I don’t mind admitting when the more irrational side of my lizard brain is beating me up. Though, damn it sounds nice sometimes to just be one of those freakishly self-assured egomaniacs who thinks everything they create is a masterpiece.