Vote over at TWC and you can see Elias being himself in tomorrow's page lol
I like writing this section, because it's not very often that I find stories that deal with grief in a way that feels authentic to what my experience is, and the complicated back and forth of sadness, regret, relief, and disappointment that you go through during the whole thing. My friend and I discuss shit like this on a regular basis, and she told me that she read somewhere that part of the reason humans have told each other stories since we were capable of communicating is that it's sort of a way to inoculate ourselves from future trauma and recover from past trauma. Sort of like, "here's a story that shows what I learned from an experience, so you might be prepared for that experience too, or so that you understand that what you feel is somewhat universal so you know you're not alone." Feelings are complicated!
And one fun aspect of grief, not just from losing someone and not just from abusive relationships, but from just the base level process of growing up, is that sometimes you have to just allow yourself to grieve what you didn't get to have so you don't end up bitter about your past. A lot of adults get trapped in that space where they resent their parents or their upbringing or their life situation and can't move forward, because they're so hung up on being denied something they felt they should have had as a kid. As valid as that can be, it's also a great way to knee cap your future, so eventually you have to stop looking at the crumbled pile of wood that was your past and build a new home for yourself that's stronger, full of potential, and built with all the knowledge you've learned from your experiences. Eventually you grow up, because no one has the option not to, but you can grow up on your own terms :).
Anyway, congrats to the people on Twitter and Instagram for guessing that this pirate-looking man is Elias's dad! He's quite handsome, though I think I intended him to look scruffier. Maybe he's scruffy now and handsome in Elias's memory. Hard to say! I'll come up with a name for him eventually. I have to pause when I name characters now to make sure they don't end up with an MA- name like most of the characters in this story, because those are always the names I pull out of my brain on the fly, even after all this time. "Mark! No, wait...Matthew! Wait..."
I haven't forgotten about my idea for a contest yet! It got a bit waylaid because my life is chaos and I'm trying to get a million things done this month it seems, but we'll come back to it one day! In the meantime, there's new merch up at the Hivemill store. I added some new prints and tshirts finally, so if you like my comic and would like to support me, please go see if there's something you like! The shirts are American Apparel, so size up if you're not sure what size to get.
I made a TikTok? I haven't been using it really, but China already knows my whole life at this point anyway.
HTBAW Fandom Wiki is up and running! Thanks to Myk Streja for tons of help with moderation efforts and everyone else who's done a ton of work on adding information and filling out the Wiki. I know nothing about how this stuff works and I'm too old to learn :D.
Feel free to check out my goofy Amazon store if you're so inclined (this is an ad, as I get a tiny commission if you do buy something), or I have some merch up on Society6 if you're looking for my old store link! Thanks to everyone who's come out to support me through Ko-fi and Patreon!