what I’ve been up to: the importance of not giving a fuck, starring noa & her webcomic

i made this in lieu of a video, because i look like trash this week

I have been MIA, and I am so sososo sorry. I have been buried in this comic launch, and now I have finally come up for air after finishing this first chapter, launching it and letting the world see it: Behold, a manifestation of my grief, life, and love. Watch it unfold.

Obviously most of us care what others think to some degree. The difference or question is how we manage that. How we let it affect us and our actions. That’s what we really mean when we proclaim that we don’t give a fuck what other people think. We care a tiny smidge, but we’re gonna do it anyway. Because. We, artists, make things that reflect our inner selves or our commentary on the world around us. We take our pain and spin it into creative gold. That’s why we have Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and 808s & Heartbreak. That’s how we got Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Frida Kahlo’s many, many paintings of Diego Rivera. More? Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Adele’s 21. Amy Winehouse’s Frank. All about their pasts, their pain, previous lovers, how they see the world. Some representational, some very direct.

So I wrote this comic. And it’s semi-autobiographical. And one of the main characters looks like an ex of mine. And people keep telling me it’s petty. And I don’t care. I mean, I care a little. Which is why I am explaining. But I don’t care enough to change it. Because he was on my mind when I wrote and re-wrote this. See, originally this was revenge. Cathartic and petty and intentionally lambasting this person who I felt peacocked me and then endeavored to intentionally use my body for physical pleasure and made me feel discarded and useless when I requested platonic affection afterward. And I swallowed that, just that. (Until later events, but that’s not a part of this story.)

No. The part of that story I wanted to highlight was sort of a prequel to the actual real-life pettiness that ensued, the story of a young woman who wanted to be loved back so badly by the man who claimed to love her that she broke up with him and then drove ten hours to apologize for how she did it and ended up humiliating herself.

Nectar is based off me. But she isn’t me. She is a character I created awhile ago for a different story, and I managed to tweak her to fit what I needed for this story. Nectar is a representation. Seven (the cishet male main character who hasn’t appeared just yet) is a representation of a person I loved who meant a lot to me. And the way I handled him reflects that. I loved the shit out of that dude. And he hurt me. And I hurt him. Both intentionally and unintentionally. And I needed to write about it. And I am a visual person, so I needed to draw about it too. I needed to make this ugly feeling I had pretty. And I couldn’t stop seeing his face. This was my first time dealing with the pure pain of separation — not cheating, not abuse, just plain old rejection. And yet it was so moving, and so profound, and affected me just as deeply as my first/previous relationship. However, while I have a child that memorializes that relationship, I had nothing so substantial from this one but feeling. I needed a physical manifestation of these emotions to memorialize a relationship that I didn’t expect to make such an impression.

I drew and re-drew his character. And a couple others. But what’s done is done. I never got my stuff back from him either, and that’s done too. But I did write this comic, and I did manage to remove myself, to step back and ask myself what exactly made me frustrated about his indecisiveness and stonewalling? And the answer was: I am so vulnerable, in general, but especially with those I love (to a certain degree). And I just wanted to know what was inside his head. I wanted reciprocation. And so I wrote this to explore that feeling. Why did he treat me the way that he did? Why did I do what I did? What value could be gathered from these events?

So I decided to explore these themes, and it became about more than just me, or us, or vindication. It is about that raw feeling that you get when you open yourself up to someone, and they reject you. It is about the long-term effects of abuse and the desire to save oneself, and anyone like you. It is about pride and ego and self-sabotage and missed signals. It is an homage to self-love, self-reflection and self-deprecation. It is about pastpresent, rememory, and emotional labor [1]. It is about grand gestures and boundaries and figuring out what “alone” really means.

To read the webcomic go to Smack Jeeves or click the link:

Notes:

  1. “rememory” is from Beloved, by Toni Morrison

I wrote this piece on the fly and edited in less than an hour because I’m the shit! My birthday is on the 27th of this month, and I love gifts! If you loved this, consider tipping me via PayPal , or contributing to my Patreon or my cash acct.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated suprihmbé’s story.