Chapter 5, Page 67

Orpheus and Erebus

30 Comments

  • mattea

    This comic has broken me in all the right ways. When I realized this was the end I ordered the book…thank you so much for this story, this art, and these characters. This has been a life-changing journey.

    • shingworks

      :’] Thank you so much, I’m glad this work has been something you’ve connected with, that is really all I could have hoped for.

  • Santa

    It’s ending…! I’m waiting excitedly for the hardcover releases tomorrow… this comic means so much to me this is… really beautiful

  • Artie O'Dactyl

    But wait! There’s an epilogue, right?

    • shingworks

      Yep, 2 more pages! Going up for Tues and Weds.

      • Jude

        Oh thank goodness! I know that this is the end but I just have the seense that not everything’s been resolved. Maybe it’s just me but I’m left with so many questions. I hope some of them are answered in the epilogue.

        • Manabi

          You’re not alone, but I’m planning to reread it all in one sitting after all the pages are up. It’s been a great story.

  • Artie O'Dactyl

    Where’s our favorite thrip? Was he falling,too, or did he have the good sense to keep back from the edge of the cliff?

    • vin

      There were other thrips in the area, but Threvi left with Bex.

  • Pylgrim

    So, interpretations ahoy. Mike and Pralla are dead. This is finishing the circle started in chapter 1 by Mike’s abortive suicide attempt. A life of trauma and depression caused by a broken family and a sexually abusive uncle, endless despair in spite of incredible professional accomplishments, death seen as an escape from it all. A blind, desperate leap into the void, into the end.

    Now, death is a release as well, though not for him but for a friend trapped in a vicious, endless, purposeless cycle. Not a blind leap into a void but a brave, wide-eyed step forward into the light and whatever comes next, a beginning. That’s why Michael used his memory of riding a rocket away from /the world/ as a “dream” or metaphor.

    In Mars, Michael found the love for life that he had not experienced before and was able to learn how his self-loathing made him selfish, paradoxically. Now that he’s able to love himself, he was able to act selflessly and lie down his newfound life to save a friend that was as lost as he once was.

    • CJG

      I’m going with:
      Their bodies are dead but they aren’t. Just like Kalla and the Processor merged over time, now they are merged.
      The Processor said that the Kalla they knew was scared, lonely and miserable, so her consciousness merged with the Processor made a pretty awful pairing. Now it’s merged with Mike as well and he has convinced them to try something new. Leave the perpetual cycle of misery/organic life and “don’t look back”. It’s not giving up, it’s trying something new.

      Also, Der-Shing, beautiful comic! I’ll be ordering the softcover soon! I found you a few pages into the Meek ages ago and now I think you’re stuck with me!

      • Pylgrim

        Yeah, I agree. The Processor had managed a way to convert both flesh and though to raw data and to store it in the composition of water. Maybe the water that caught them as they fell evaporated on contact with the lava and their consciences kept on existing as the vapor escaped the cave and Mars and eventually became part of the universe.

    • shingworks

      Not a bad interpretation, but personally I dislike stories where the person with the mental illness has to die selflessly to save others. Mike isn’t really a selfless character first of all, and second nobody in this story really deserves to die, though maybe some prefer it to the alternative of being the last member of their species, haha. Just seems unfair in the narrative sense to force a person to die just to prove how actually worthy they were or something. In the context of this story it is maybe even less sensical, since the intrinsic worth of imperfect lives is one of the nails I’ve been hammering in.

      • CJG

        “the intrinsic worth of imperfect lives is one of the nails I’ve been hammering in.”

        Oh please oh please keep hammering. Bex is really the only woman I’ve ever seen hate motherhood and still be portrayed as a person and not a villain or stereotype.
        I went through similar feelings upon having my first. They are not as strong as Bex’s but they were valid fears that were simply swept away when I tried to talk about them. I really love Bex and it pained me to see her suffer. She’s so perfectly imperfect.
        The panels where she says “ It’s too late to be perfect, but it’s never to late to be better” hang up in my lab.

        • Eve

          <3

      • Pylgrim

        Oh I didn’t mean that anybody deserved to die to prove anything, especially not worth, but it seemed to me as though that the Processor would never have stopped that stale cycle of rebirth in isolation if he wasn’t literally yanked out of it?

        While I never thought Mike was selfless until now, I can’t think of another descriptor to his staying back for Pralla, unless I am misinterpreting that bit?

  • Keith

    You can never look back. Those days are gone.

  • Volkspanzer

    ‘Don’t look back!’

    ….*clicks previous page arrow*

    • shingworks

      Absolute madman!

    • Max

      Haha, you too…?

  • Unibrauer

    And, of course, try not to panic.

  • Nomi

    Der-Shing, when this wraps up, will you tell us what _really_ happened? For those of us in the “WTF?” camp? Or would that spoil the magic.

    • Max

      +1

    • shingworks

      Well, there’s three camps of readers. Those reading for the literal story, those reading for the meta story, and those kinda going with the flow of both. Probably the first group has the hardest time, because while there is a literal story with a lot of explanations for things (like the time wonk/ rapid beard growth, the red halo around Mike’s wound initially, the actual timelines of Kalla’s existence as an individual and slowly being degraded and replaced by Processor’s concept of life), with how the comic is currently structured, a lot of that has to be inferred or caught in rereads. Personally I’m writing for a reader like me, the third type, who enjoys making intuitive leaps and chewing over stuff, but doesn’t always need every answer. But I do think that if you’re a more literal reader, you either stopped reading in Ch 2 (lol), might have to do one last readthrough to pick up the final details, or is ok with discussing it here. Quite a few savvy readers have hit on the actual canon and have shared it here, and more have come up with interesting theories that could also honestly work depending on your POV.

      But ultimately I do think bare explanations spoil the magic or make things feel like a high school English class where they beat every delicate metaphor to death with a crowbar and bore the love of books out of everyone, so no I will probably not be writing like a cliffs notes version any time, though hopefully the bonus PDF I’m working on will give more info for anyone who wants it.

      • Eve

        Another “thank you” for the journey, which I’ve read and re-read (at least in part) several times . . . and for the important and resonant themes . . . plus a humble petition (from another reader with overly literal tendencies, hungry for as much detail as you’re be willing to give us about the worlds of MI and the people in it) for perhaps sort of collection of FAQs that might help settle our unsettled feelings of needing to know more?

  • luy

    They ded

  • Kort

    That was some trip. Thank you.

  • “I can’t anyway, strapped on the seat”

  • ikabubu

    It ain’t over yet ’til the fat Martian sings!

  • Luces

    Congratulations! For quite al long time, I feared that MI would end like a classic third-rate SF – the two humans return to base, cleaned and changed, ready to take up their life where they’d left it, while the remains of old Mars will be exploited to the brim – sad, but progress happens, you know?
    Instead we get a real Space-Odyssey-end, which may be understood only after reading it for the third time, if ever, but oh, so mystical and free and wonderful. Thanks for a fantastic journey!

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