Interlude 2, Page 4

Raisin’ them stakes

Finishing colors on the last page, will be up in the afternoon~


  • Eeer

    That’s a bold strategy, cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.

    • Katlamos

      You beat me to it

    • Fridge_Logik

      Self sabotage is a tried and true method of securing anxious beliefs while avoiding anxious feelings. I’d say he’s got a high probability of success where success is defined as him being able to avoid feeling anxious.

      She’s encouraging him to be outgoing, to go out in the world and live with “confidence.” She’s also telling him that he’s no worse than anyone else.

      This is very stressful to Mike because he’s being forced to consider something he wants but is afraid of: social interaction. And he’s being given a reason to reject his default fear of rejection by her encouragement.

      This puts Mike in a situation of great stress because he now faces the possibility of mild success where he will sit in constant fear of rejection. And then he’ll also have that nagging wonder of whether he could escalate his friendships to more than just hanging out once a week. That anxious conflict of whether he could ask Toby out and she’s say yes…

      And that’s hell to Mike, she’s asking him to walk through hell and face his fears head on. And he decides to avoid the torment of being friends by shooting strait for a goal he’s certain he can’t get. And when he gets shot down he’ll be able to comfortably go back to avoiding the rest of the world, secure in his knowledge that no body wants to be around him and that he is worthless.

      • Max

        While Hollywood teaches us this is the proper way to challenge your limits, I’d like to point out there absolutely is such a thing as unrelenting, constant rejection, and _most_ people experiencing it can’t resist to it for too long, hence them becoming – and preferring to stay – shut-ins. Trust me I should know, I wrote the bloody book on rejection, all 100 volumes of it. There’s only so many times one is willing to stand up after being kicked down yet again before one decides he/she just hasn’t any more energy to keep doing this shit and “belonging” is overrated anyway.

        You want to study feral animal instincts, just study children – see how they gather up, draw a line around themselves meant to define “us”, have an “alpha male” or two surface spontaneously then under his “leadership” proceed to pick someone they can define as “not us” and tear apart, proving to each other how cool and powerful they are compared to their miserable prey.

        Oh, and if you think adulthood changes anything, I got news for you – apparently intelligent adults with highly qualified IT jobs can do the exact same thing to one of “their own” after a mere glass or two, driving the poor bastard to the brink of actually crying, answering his “you’re past the limit, guys” objection quite literally with “hey, limits are there to be challenged” – all because of a small social blunder they could latch on to. Just witnessing it done to someone else nearly made me throw up right there…

        • SotiCoto

          When I was younger, I used to wonder why every cartoon seemed to press the whole “be yourself” angle so strongly when it was blatantly obvious that doesn’t work. And eventually it dawned on me… For the normals, being themselves is what works. And for the abnormals, being themselves has exactly the opposite effect… which is what the normals want. “Be yourself” isn’t advice to foster social success, but advice to clean the gene-pool of supposed undesirables.

          • KigV2


      • TimesNewLogan

        You just summarized a lot of my issues in one comment. Took me years to figure that out, and you just put it into words I can understand.

        It’s not nearly as bad as it was, and it’s getting a little better, though. If anyone reads this, I know what it’s like. Keep reading this comic, and maybe you’ll learn how to make it, too.

  • DukeBG

    I cannot stop looking at that nail on the first panel.

  • cosmonautmano

    whyyyyyyyyy are you so good at comicssssss
    like jeez

  • Lorenzo

    Everyone’s talking about things like how Mike is being propelled to consider getting out of his comfort zone and thinking about other personal things.

    …Meanwhile I’m still over here wondering why the girl is named Toby. What could it be short for? I don’t know.
    The things that keep me up at night.

    • shingworks

      Haha, it’s short for October

      • LeDayz

        I’ve met a girl named December. I guess April, May, and June just weren’t enough for some people!

  • Pokii

    She just broke the first rule of Drone Club…

    • Thrawcheld

      “Don’t stop talking about Drone Club”?

      • Fridge_Logik

        That’s the one!

  • Lilian

    Toby appears to be a good friend. And I’ll admit I can relate to Mike here.

    Taking tests? Easy.

    Smooth social interaction? Whoa now, let’s not get carried away.

  • metaceryn

    Mike Fisher: Wellspring of Good Ideas.

  • Android 21 3/7

    Considering how anti-social he is, I wonder how he even made friends with Toby in the first place.

    • Thrawcheld

      He probably doesn’t think of her as a friend really, more a study partner. I was like that in sixth form. I hung around with some people during breaks, but never really got to know them. Making actual friends is very hard when you have social anxiety.

  • kate

    i was going “space curtains, what a nerd” and then i realized there wasn’t a door. aw mike. :(

    • Goo

      Aw, you’re right :(

    • cosmonautmano

      what does that mean??? is it a thing? I am not aware!

      • Elaterid


        1) A lack of parental trust and respect for his privacy that boarders on the toxic.

        2) Pre-existing suicidal/self-harming tendencies.

        3) Frequent (medication induced?) seizures.

        Given what we’ve seen, I’m going for 2

        • Thrawcheld

          4) It got damaged and his parents can’t afford a replacement.

  • squidlifecrisis

    “I can’t.”

    girl, you are this close to the moral event horizon.

  • Sabrina

    I didn’t notice Mike’s starry curtains at first! They’re super cute.
    Annnnnnd then I realized the larger implication of him not having a door on his room.

  • Lorenzo

    These flashbacks are amazing.

  • Shihchuan

    Huh. I’ve had a room with no doors (and just a curtain) until several years ago. And I didn’t have any problem with that……I guess I must be one of the weird ones. o.0

    • shingworks

      Haha, same, at least, for an apartment I lived in XD The curtain gives at least a semblance of privacy, sometimes that’s good enough.

  • Petra

    God, I know how it feels to be so anxious that things that you’re actually perfectly capable of doing and doing easily seem like things that are going to kill you. Not saying that Mike is the Best At Coping, because clearly he’s not, but I don’t think he’s being overdramatic here. DBT therapy is what’s helping me…

  • Cthulhufish

    Ugh… I can relate too well to this to want to see the next page…

  • asdf

    Can you please sell out? I wanna buy your shit for christmas.

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