Chapter 5, Page 36

*sneaks back in*

If you’re a Kickstarter backer, you already know that the book is finished :] Thanks for your patience these last few months. I know it’s shitty but sometimes you get some stuff on your plate that’s too big to deal with all at once. For example: my entire family is no longer talking to me, I own a house and live hundreds of miles away from everything I know, and my lungs aren’t like, quite 100% functional, but at least the book is done~ Told myself I wanted to get it done so I could post a new page on my bday. Well I’m officially old af today so here we are.

THE PLAN: All the pages are done done done. So I’ve just fired up the autoscheduling, and we’ll be updating from here on out 2x a week (3 this week cuz I’m glad to be back), then probably posting the final pages 1 per day until we’re done (for dramatic effect). That will get us to the end by early Dec. I am very happy with how the story turned out and I hope you’ll like it too.

KS backers, please don’t spoil future pages for web readers! That is not very cash money, but since you know things are somewhat open to interpretation, please do feel free to speculate and guess and have fun in the comments like usual. I’ll try to comb through and remove anything egregious just for the sake of making sure the reading process is pleasant for others.

If you want to read ahead: I’ll be posting 3 days ahead on the Patreon, just for fun I guess. I’m also going to go back to my roots and begin posting Meek sketch pages there as well, in the classic Livejournal style of yore. The internet hasn’t really been a place I enjoy hanging out for a while so I’m going to try and recreate the classic hits from the 00’s and try to learn to have fun again.

Anyways if you left a crappy comment here I probably deleted it because I’m mad with self-care or whatever but as most of you hopefully know, I don’t give up on projects. Also I’ve really gotten into cacti lately and have adopted them as my spirit plant (not a real thing), but anyway the thing about cacti is they go through periods of dormancy in order to preserve their lives in harsh environments. No food or water at all for months on end, no growth, they go hard as a rock. Then when good conditions come back, so do they. Unfortunately stuff in my life isn’t always ideal but unless I’m like, actually truly dead, you can count on me to come back and make weird plant metaphors and then post a bunch of comics. Thank you for surviving my dormancy with me and I’ll have another page for you on Weds~



  • I’m so glad you’re back, and I hope you come through your difficulties feeling stronger than you were before.

  • Mattea

    I am so delighted to see the gang back, but even more happy that you have been doing what you need to do to take care of yourself in the absence. I had to walk away from my family and home too, about 12 years ago now, and I am now surrounded by more love and kindness than I ever dared hope for. I wish the same for you. <3

  • LeDayz

    *external screaming* So happy you’re back and doing better. Your work is always worth the wait!

  • Kowh

    Welcome back! I do miss interacting with you (and others) in the Livejournal days. Neither Dreamwidth nor Tumblr have captured the same magic.

    Here’s hoping you capture at least a little of the good old days.

  • Unibrau

    After months of checking every day – hallelujah! I’m always happy to see your newest work. Thank you very much for coming back.

  • Noah

    Yayyy! I’m so happy to hear you are well and that the book is done. I couldn’t support the KS, but I’ve always understood that comics take a long time and take a bit of a toll. Glad to see a new page. :D

  • FawkesRinzler

    OH MY GOSH, DERSHING, YOU’RE BACK!!!! I’ve missed you!!! It’s so good to see Mare updating again, I can’t wait to see how it ends!! I hope you’re doing okay! Happy (belated??) birthday!!! I look forward to reading all the wonderful things in the coming weeks!!

  • a dude

    Sorry to hear about your family :(
    I hope you are very happy where you are now.

    And of course I would sit through your time off haha, very glad you are hanging in there no matter how long it takes.

  • Molly

    I was so happy when I saw the email!!! I’m glad you’re back and I hope you’re better now, and if not I wish you find your peace along the way <3

  • Kalietha

    Happy birthday, so glad you’re back, and it sounds like your family needs knocked upside the head! Looking forward to seeing the end of this; I didn’t realize it was that close XD

    Here’s hoping things just keep improving for you from here! Remember, you’re not old, you’re experienced. And theoretically wiser.

  • z e

    S M E K

    (Glad you took care of yourself and welcome back <3)

  • z e

    S M E K

    (It means “caress” in my native langauge which makes it so much funnier to me)

    ((Glad you took care of yourself and welcome back <3))

    • shingworks

      lol, *caress*

      And thank you!

  • Max

    Heh, I knew this RSS thingy will come in handy one day… like this one. Welcome back, you’ve been missed…! :)

  • Ben

    Glad you’re back. And very pleased to continue with the comic. Happy birthday!

  • Pat

    Welcome back,
    thank you for your efforts,
    good luck for everything you do outside this martian cave,
    and happy birthday :-)

  • Ahh, glad to see you back again! Sounds like things were/are super rough :[ I hope they’re better/getting better for you soon! I want to read along with the site updates as they happen because that’s fun but also my kickstarter PDF is very tantalizing…….. :E decisionssss

    And happy birthday!

    • shingworks

      lol, I know, I don’t know if I’d personally be able to withstand the temptation myself! Good luck XD

    • awhorl

      MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. And this is all timed to fall on my birthday. Happy me!

      Uh, I have a birth family that was so mired in its problems that no way could it be a healthy environment for me. The one surviving member regularly sends me messages that are hurtful but also not completely sane (pretty obvious to anyone who reads them, but also officially judged so by several mental health professionals). The take away: it ain’t easy, but one must try to stand firm and not get infected by the unresolved problems of others.

      You have shown yourself wise, compassionate, brave, and determined to help people. I hope you can spend at least some of your time with people who recognize that and honor it.

  • Indedipal

    YAY! You’re back!!

    I’m sorry about the crappy bits… but, YAY! Cacti!

    Birthdays, meh. The only ones that count are the ones that end in zero or five.

    (now that the comic is finished, does this mean you take a *real* break now?)

    • shingworks

      Yeah this is a 5 bday XD went to a botanical garden and fell asleep at 9pm like an old person, it was nice.

  • Edgar Mauricio Lemos

    Glad to have you (and the comic) back. It’s too bad about your family falling out (and this seems to be a trend in our current political environment) but hey, you are “old af” now, meaning that now you get to make your own family, one exclusively made out of people who deserve to be counted as such!

  • Good to see you’re back.
    You’re family may not be speaking with you, but I’m glad you’ve been speaking with us through your words and work.
    And what you have to say has real value.

  • Glavos

    Welcome back!

  • Kincajou

    Woo! Welcome back!

    Happy birthday! Sooo… what’s the best cactus?

    • Kincajou

      that really should read “WHICH is the best cactus?”

      • shingworks

        lol, they’re all the best (but Myrtillocactus geometrizans is the king of them all)

        • Jude

          By putting in the scientific name of your favouite cactus, I ended up going on a 15 minute or so excursion on the internet. First, to read about bilberry cactus and their fruits, and then (because I have ADD and easily get side-tracked) to check out other interesting Myrtillocactus species and other edible cacti fruit.

          This has me both excited ’cause flora and feuna always gets me excited. But also sad ’cause I now life in a condo that faces north and only get an hour or two of oblique sun at sunrise and sunset around the summer solstice. Otherwise, no bright plant-growing light. :(

          But still, I’m s happy for you and so SO happy you’re posting Mare Internum!!! Always was a favourite of mine and I knew you’d come back to finish it when you were able. I just hadn’t known you started it up again but always kept checking. So… hurray, you’re back and feeling better!

          • shingworks

            You can always grow another apartment-friendly species like Sansevieria! I saw a bunch at a dude’s house last weekend (he was a breeder/ collector) and man, there are so many beautiful varieties. They’re also extremely shade tolerant, and known for being one of the best “air purifying” plants, which is great if you live in a city (or anywhere, haha). Anyways I’m still glad you took a look at cactus, they really are great :]

  • Kala

    Oh my goodness it’s a new Mare Internum page I’m so excited :D

    It sounds like you’ve really had a rough time recently, but it’s great that you’re feeling more up to things now. And as long as it’s important to you, there will be people around to appreciate your plant metaphors and any bunch of great comics you feel like posting.

  • brokenidealist

    [doing happy Threvi dance]

    So glad you are back! Happy birthday!

    [looks for signs of beard that MUST be removed]

    I think old af is something aspirational, but I’m already old af in a youth-obsessed society, so obviously I’m biased.

    Condolences on the family? Congrats on the house? The emotional context surrounding major life events these days is too complex to take for granted, so I’ll simply offer a Jedi fist bump at navigating Serious Life Shit.

    I know I’m not alone when I say we’re very happy to have you in our own little internet community & family.

    • shingworks

      Thanks so much. I’m just trying to lean into my essential, flawed humanity at the moment haha. It’s ok to have a bad time and it’s okay to go on hiatus and come back and whatnot. Obviously there are consequences to doing those things, like people leaving, but there are also the folks who don’t leave, like you guys, and I’m very very happy to make comics for you :]

  • Proggarn

    It’s great to see the comic back on track! I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the upcoming pages of possibly my favorite webcomic ever. Also, hope things get better for you!

  • Saberbeam

    Glad to have you back! :D Sorry to hear about all the hard stuff you’ve been facing down, but glad to hear you’ve made it through all that you have. Keep doing that! Your stories, your art and most of all yourself are worth any waiting for us, and it’s great to have an author that interacts with her readers so much and shares so much about her life :)

  • welcome back !

    But that weakness may be under rubbles like the one they took down.

  • Margaret Hogg

    I’m so glad you’re back and so excited to receive the print version of this, so I can subject all my non-webcomic friends to it! Sorry to hear about the rough patch and your family. :/ Hope that things get better from here on out.

  • Karine Anna

    Welcome back! I downloaded and opened the PDF and literally shed tears of joy: the art looks so good, and I’m so excited to see these characters again. Waiting for the physical book before I read it all, though–that’s just the way I’m wired.

    Yay for cacti. This spring someone gave me eight little succulent plants (mostly Echeveria and Crassula). Now they are totally my friends. I love them!

    All my best wishes, and I’m looking forward to more Meek, too.

  • Sadie

    Welcome back, Der-shing! I’m sorry life’s been kicking you around, but glad that there have been some good things like cacti and houses. (Cacti are great! My favorite is Echinocereus engelmannii.) Keep taking good care of yourself!

    One of my favorite things about backing Kickstarters is that the human element means you can never be 100% certain (at the time of backing) when they’ll be fulfilled, so I know I will receive a gift from my past self at some unknown date. I’m not blowing sunshine up your ass; I really, truly do find it super-delightful!

  • Stickman550

    I was a loyal Meek follower while I was in high school. I was so excited when you were finally able to start uploading pages again! I thought for sure that comic was going to be lost forever.

    When you started pushing back the Kickstarter dates for Mare, I knew better than to ask for a refund. Your artwork is quality and you deliver. This series was WELL worth the wait and it deserved the extra attention.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to finish up this comic the right way. I am very excited to add the physical book to my library! It is definitely one of my favorites

  • HKMaly

    Welcome back! Now, what about The Meek?

  • skella

    Yaaayyyy Der-Shing!!! Glad to have you back! It’s gonna be so tough not to look at the PDF but I wanna experience the comic with everyone else so I’m gonna try to hold off lol

  • Sumgai

    Ah-ha! My occasional visits have been rewarded. Happy Birthday Der-Shing!

    I’m glad that your work brings you as much joy as it brings the rest of us. I look forward to haunting your comment sections again!

  • Bug

    !!!!! you are back!
    and the book is done?! I am going to have to buy that so I can read it and show it off to all those peeps who don’t believe in webcomic awesomeness

  • WhiteClone

    Really good to see you back, and glad everything has settled down. It doesn’t sound like it was fun!

    I love a good cactus – I kept at least one mini one through my entire childhood – and then I found Lithops, which are just so cool alongside them! Ironically, I find them harder to keep alive as an adult now I live in a much wetter, cooler climate!

  • Liam

    Really happy to have you and Mare Internum back!

  • Artie O'Dactyl

    O joy! O rapture! You’re back! The book is done! The stars are in alignment and dread Cthul― … oh wait, that’s later this year …

    I wondered why my cereus chose September 1 to suddenly bloom. It must have been for you!

  • Shunka Warakin


    I’m sad to say that just yesterday I was thinking ‘Maybe I should stop checking, it’s probably dead.’

    I’m so glad I didn’t! And I’m glad you’re doing better!

  • Zach

    Wow! I’ve been habitually typing this into my address bar since December and closing the window. My entire system is in shock from having new pictures!

  • Graypath

    Worth the wait. Welcome back and happy birthday!

  • Kimberly A Webb


    I’m sorry you’ve been through rough times. *creepy interweb hugs* I hope things are looking up for you now and just keep getting better. I love your work and am very happy that your back!


  • Carey Taylor-Forbes

    I am most gratified to see you and Mare Internum back. Keep strong and keep healing. God bless.

  • ledaeth

    it’s gonna get better.
    just keep on being yourself.
    they will see you eventually.

  • PawnSacrifice

    Holy cow on the family situation, sorry to hear that. I hope everything blows over eventually. I’m glad that you are still alive and creating.

  • Edmund

    I liked the cactus metaphor.

    I am glad I’ve checked here occasionally during the wait. You came back! Your comic is great!
    You did things at your pace, not ours; that is how you make it to where you want to go.

    I like that too.

    • shingworks

      Thanks so much friend! The pace was less the issue than the honesty, a bunch of life stuff changed and my brain did too, and the ending I had in mind no longer felt truthful. Really grateful to everyone for giving me the time and space to pull out something that feels like the truth to Current Me, haha.

  • DanialArin

    Welcome Back! You have been Very Much Missed!

  • Lilian

    Wow. I’m sorry about your family. That has to be hard.

  • L

    Was it just the kickstarter books that went out or everyone that preordered (i.e. on gumroad) the book that went out? if its the latter, i havent gotten the one i ordered yet ;;

    • shingworks

      None of the books have gone out yet! They will hopefully be here in time for holiday shipping but I’m not 100% sure yet… things are a little fraught with stuff being shipped from overseas so worst-case scenario is physical items ship in Jan. All of the digital comics should have gone out though, if you’re talking about those ones on Gumroad.

  • Esn

    Correction, 2nd panel: the expression is “heads up”, not “head’s up”. If you think about it, the latter makes no sense, since it’s an order for everyone to put their heads up (at attention), not an observation that someone’s head is up.

    Also, welcome back!

    • shingworks

      Oh, good catch! And you’re right, it doesn’t make much sense, haha. “Head Is Up,” lol. I have about a day or two left to squeeze that edit in the printed book still, thankfully.

      • Esn

        I’m glad you got it changed in time!

  • Cyndayn

    Welcome back <3

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