Chapter 1, Page 22

Today’s bonus vote art: An example of my script, from the last few pages. You can see now why I have so many typos.

If you’ve read this far, I’d rec now as a good point to go back and do a reread (if you’re into that)… The online-posting pacing is slow (3 irl months to show ~2 comic hrs) but now that this big chunk is complete, it should read much better. And pack a jacket for next week, it is chilly outside.


  • Angel Criollo

    Were those important? Something tells me that those were pretty vital for something….

    • My guess is that those are antidepressants.

      It’s really hard to have advanced medical care on a remote planet, so they do thorought screenings for all potential astronauts regarding potential health issue ; it it was anything physical I doubt he could have hidden that from them.

      …then again, they do thorought mental screenings as well, but he must have either developped depression after arriving on Mars, or managed to hide it.
      I’m tempted it was due to the LEVi accident, but Goto was apparently already trying to access his medical file before that.

      • Vert

        Huh. That contributes an unsettling twist to my pet theory about what happened to Mike.

        … poor Bex. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be a good trip for her. I think Mike, while maybe not an awesome person to start with, has been dreadfully wronged and needs a witness to vindicate himself…

        • Vert

          aaand that was supposed to go on the main thread, not as a reply to DarkNeko’s comment. Ah well.

        • Not sure about that. He felt genuinely happy she’d tell her kids about it, so I don’t think he wanna ruin that.

          • Vert

            It wouldn’t ruin it, if he’s right. It would elevate him to the status of one of the greatest contributors to human knowledge in the history of history. And if he’s wrong, well, he’s not thinking about that, obviously…

    • James

      I’m sure that he was mentally sound when he was shipped off, it’s possible he had some kind of freudian hidden trauma from his childhood which was unearthed by the incident mentioned on previous pages.

  • Jade

    But won’t people notice all those crushed pills- oh wait, isn’t that the cleaning robot?

    • Joseph

      I like that the cleaning robot is apparently a horseshoe crab.

      • Chaise Murphy

        Is THAT what the bloody thing is? I was gonna ask about it when it ran into his slipper a few pages back…

  • ah, so it WAS his meds.

  • Note :

    I’m getting a “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!” error every time I post.
    If I’m not the only one with that issue, it probably mean the comment system is calling something twice during the send process.

    • shingworks

      D: well… If anyone else is getting those, please comment here and let me know! So I can harass smart friends to fix it for me, haha.

  • Elijah

    I don’t know why, but space sandals make me happy.

  • sparkplug54

    Der, it is so good to have you back.The cream (your work) has floated back to the top. You have only 22 pages up, and this morning, Mare Internum shows up as number 1 on TWC. Congrats.
    Does including a button for “The Meek” men there’s a possibility of its soon coming out of mothballs?

    • shingworks

      Yes, after Ch1 of this comic is complete, I’m going to start updating The Meek again. Looks like that will be sometime in May.

      • RavenMyste

        yes!!i cant wait to see you back on meek, altho i loved this comic story

  • Glenn-o-matic

    Aqua&white doesn’t look like a “happy” pill so much as a “nice and calm” pill. I guess he’s decided he would rather not.
    Next week? I’ve had my seat-belt fastened for two weeks already!

  • jimpost

    Oh, I do not like where I think this is going. I see (two) bad moons arising…I see trouble on the way.

    • Glenn-o-matic

      Have you ever heard or read of mentally-stressed people who take their (mandated) medications and THEN think suicidal thoughts? TRUST the nice Doctor, who only wants what’s best for you. (Or only wants to keep your brain stewed until you’re off Mars?)
      Maybe Mike is rebelling from what has been done to him.
      Just not enough information to know anything yet…

      • miquashi

        yes because a warning on some medications for depression include “may increase thoughts of suicide” and there have been accounts of people getting medicated and feeling like “everything is so clear” and think suicide is the logical way to go.

        • Rei

          Then again, sometimes people actually need medication to not always be thinking about suicide or partake in reckless behavior, but doing so can also feel like a cessation of creativity as well.

          Just saying that the realm of drug therapy and mental/behavioral health issues is complex and not necessarily good vs. bad.

          • Glenn-o-matic

            Yes it is complex, but so is the brain and all of the mental configurations that can somehow be generated in billions of connections. Every single human is unique, so you’d hardly expect there to be an exact match in treating some problem, especially in some frontier outpost on another planet.
            -Remember that there’s an international group running the show with a corporate facet.
            (No accidents. Not our fault. We deny it.)
            There’s not enough information yet to know what good or bad is, but so far some readers have been ready to write Mike off as some crazy guy (who now doesn’t want to take his meds.) What we’ve seen so far might be misleading. Until the facts are known we should keep an open mind.

  • Spav

    Adorable little horseshoe crab cleaning bot helps Mike conceal the true extent of his problems.

  • Unclever title

    Can’t tell whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing.

    It’s definitely a WORRYING thing though.

  • Initial feeling was that he was saving up those for an overdose instead of those being his antidepressants? Gah, either way, I’m nervous. D:

    ( lordy tho, those shadows are gorgeous. )

    • ysucae

      …I may or may not know that antidepressant are not good for overdosing.

  • AGillyo

    Oh I’ve definitely already covered the rereading multiple times, haha! In other news, my curiosity has definitely been aroused…

  • Lar

    That’s worrying. That’s….That’s worrying.

  • Lilian

    …that’s a whole lot of pills. I concur with other commenters who say that this is a worrying page.

    • shingworks

      A few months’ worth gets delivered at once, since the resupply vehicle only comes around 8x a year. Anyways I’m sure they’re not important.

      • Lilian

        Don’t do it, Mike! Don’t do it! Pills that alter your brain chemistry should be handled with care!

        So Intersection is a few months away?

  • Oh my. Looking at that script is giving me war flashbacks. Not that my scripts look much different now, I’ve just upgraded to using ~*~evernote~*~ instead of notepad (mostly so I can check them on my phone if I’m sketching/thumbnailing without my computer). Handy!

  • Ten Twenty

    I’ve been reading this comic for awhile, never realizing you were the same author who wrote The Meek. I love your work and look forward to seeing what happens next.

  • Patrick S.

    Urk, I’m seeing two kinds of pills in there. SSRI and something else?

    • Vert

      Yellow/green capsules could be Prozac or benzos of some sort, assuming the Der-Shing-Future uses American capsule standards. Small round ones could be almost anything.

      My guess is that Mike is at least borderline OCD (stops to fix his suicide note, picks dust off his suit, both have at least an entire panel dedicated to them, which means they’re important actions). Clearly he’s got some depression issues, too…

    • Glo

      They actually look remarkably like my meds, a combination of Prozac capsules and rispirdal/rispirdone tablets. The former being an anti-depressant and the latter an anti-psychotic. They help with the depression, anxiety and OCD. Which would support Vert’s theory.

      *tap-dances away*

  • Oly

    Mike, you’re doing it wrong, gotta flush ’em down the toilet.

    Not being anti-medication in general here but I’ve been on enough mental-related medications to know there are good and bad ones so I don’t judge people for deciding to take OR not take them.

  • Spencer Greenwood

    Guesses—everything from modafinil to mirapexin, and spiro to sertraline—on a postcard, please.

  • Gryphon

    1) They’re gonna all get trapped on Mars
    2) Those are his mental health meds, ordered and delivered in thatmany quantity prior to his losing his job just now or w/e
    3) He is going to be trapped on Mars without his meds
    4) Hoooly cowwww would I not want to be him getting caught out by boss lady about this whole clusterfuck later on while trapped on Mars

  • Mistress Dizzy

    *raises brows* Well, he’s not been taking them, it seems, for quite some time. I wonder what they are. If I had to guess, a mood stabilizer. He seems to swing pretty wildly emotionally.

    Then again, this is a very short time span and he just tried to kill himself…

    I will wait for further info.

    BTW, it’s the future and people still wear socks and slides. At least the future is comfy, though I would love some space-age fuzzy slippers.

  • Maria S.

    Gotta love those space roombas.

  • ysucae

    White and teal pills are prozacs (depression, mood swings, anxiety) and I would guess the other ones are antipsychotics, which are known to fuzz your memory and feelings i.e. zombie pills.
    Also, overdosing on that kind of drug is not very easy even at those quantities.

    This story does not pull any punches and I like it.

  • Shiny

    What the hell is he doing? Did he just destroy his meds?!

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