Three days later and here I am with the next Patreon sketch, this time for Stephen. He requested Wren from depression comix and I was only too happy to oblige, so here we are.
I’m slowly catching up to my Patreon sketch workload, and here is December’s. The winner this time was David, but instead of asking for a depression comix character, he instead asked for a Tomoe Toyosaka, a character who has appeared in other comics I have done. Congratulations, David! This was a blast to do because I’ve kind of wandered away from the anime style I did in the past so I had to go back to that style.
The January winner has already been announced and I’ve been asked to draw Wren. But if you’re supporting me on Patreon and you win the sketch, remember any character I’ve done is fair game (I wonder if anyone will ask for the mute from Aphasia?)
Four days later and I’m back with another Patreon sketch. This one goes out to Laura, who requested Wren for her sketch, and it’ll be going out in the mail tomorrow. I’m catching up!
Anyways, I hope to be totally caught up on all the depcom stuff by the end of the winter break. Thanks for sticking with me, I’ll be doing more.
Yes, I’m backlogged to October … back when the Election hadn’t completely crushed our hope in humanity … anyways, getting ahead of myself. Here’s the October Patreon Sketch for Mink Rose who asked for depressed character #7, and I’ll be shipping this out on Monday.
Thank you Mink Rose and all the people who support my work and the work of others’ on Patreon. It’s a great system and I’m deeply honored that many of you support it. I’m going to try to do the November, December, and January sketches over the break, so we’ll see you soon. Maybe SOMEONE will request Wren (supporting character #9; freckled girlfriend) or depressed character #4, both whom I’m dying to draw but no one has requested yet.
It’s been a while and I’m really behind but here are two Patreon sketches. One lucky winner gets a sketch of a character they like for supporting depression comix. Here are the sketches I made for August and September (I am really that far behind).
This sketch was made for Amber and it features the sister of one of the depressed characters (she doesn’t have a number, I’m behind in that too).
This is depressed character number 2 for Alexander. As I want every sketch to be unique, the popularity of this character is making new pics a bit difficult but that’s part of the challenge.
Thank you for supporting my work on Patreon!
depression comix has become such a part of my daily life that I forgot to notice that it quietly passed five years old on September 9th. It’s quite a milestone, and I really can’t believe it myself. Depression usually derails everything I have done that actually accomplishing a weekly comic that has updated faithfully really blows my mind. And I still don’t think I’ve come close to answering the basic question that I sought to ask when I began this strip: “What is depression?”
Because I haven’t answered this question is why I keep going on. While I’m doing this, I’m reading your comments, listening to your stories, feeling your hurt, and it has helped me immensely to try to come closer to the answer. I want to know because like many of you depression has changed my life for the worse so much I can’t even imagine what my life would be without it. So through this comic I try to come to an understanding. There is no “why” to depression but still I have to know. It’s a quixotic thinking, I know. It just is, and my inability to accept that and move on drives me to do this comic.
Another drive to do this comic is you. If you’re reading this, then you have helped my motivation at a level enough to continue this project, when my past projects sputtered and failed. So thank you for everything — your comments, your mail, your likes and follows, your support through Patreon and PayPal. It all means a lot to me and it encourages me to continue, nicking at the heart of depression one week at a time.
Thank you everyone!
As July comes to a close in its last few remaining hours for those in North America, here is the Patreon sketch winner for July, and Michael, the winner, has requested depressed character #7 for his sketch. The sketch will be in the mail today.
In August there will be another sketch up to win and all $1.00+ Patreon supporters have a chance to nab it. Thank you all for your support in July and there will be more to come in August.
Three hundred strips. In most cases, it would be cause for celebration, but this isn’t really a comic about celebration.
I started this comic in September of 2011. Since then, I’ve completed those three hundred strips, but another number echoes in my head as well.
Not five years, although I’m approaching that. But that’s the number of readers that I know about who are no longer with us due to severe depression. Of course, this is not something I know of directly, but from E-mails from their family members and significant others who have told me. Compared to the tens of thousands who die annually from depression it’s a small fraction but it’s still an important number to me.
I receive a number of E-mails and messages from people who are on the edge and looking to die. I do my best to help them, but I know from personal experience there isn’t much I can say. I know when I was in that place there wasn’t anything anybody could say that didn’t sound contrived and condescending, or so blatantly wrong according to the view of the world depression had given me, so I accept that whatever I say will be framed similarly. I do my best and hope that they won’t end it, but I know the grip depression has on people, and I hope that it’s just loose enough to make it through the night. I think I’ve saved a few people, but the problem is there will be another 4am for them and I might not be there to listen. Sadly, saving people from depression sometimes is sometimes only too temporary.
So, as I look at that three hundred, I also want to remember the five. I’m so sorry you are not here.
And for those of you still here, I want to hug you all and thank you for toughing it out with me. For those who had a close scrape with the end I want to hug you even tighter because I remember full well how chilling those nights were and they still scare me sometimes. But we’re here.
And for those of you who support me doing this instead of making stupid joke comics because this is the only thing I’m capable of right now, drawing the things that haunt my mind and giving them life on the page. Thank you. You keep me drawing these demons out, in more ways than one.
As for what’s in the future for the comic, I don’t know. It would be nice to see these in print, but I’m no self-publisher so it’s not something I have that much control over. But I’ll still be doing these, and remembering the five who won’t be reading them.
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
Because we’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fear.
Wish you were here.
— from “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, lyrics by Roger Waters
Recently I had a problem with PayPal, and although I got myself through it, I thought I’d share my experience as a warning for those who use PayPal to receive donations from readers.
In May, I found myself with a letter in my mailbox from PayPal telling me that my account was locked. I could no longer receive or send money, make withdrawls or do anything with my account when I logged into it. I had nearly $1000.00 in it so this sent me into a panic. I have had a PayPal account locked on me before because I did a nsfw comic, and I knew they were very unforgiving when they decided to lock accounts. But depression comix was okay, I thought, why would they lock me out again?
The problem was donations. For a long time, I had used the donation button on the site, using it like a tip jar. There are thousands of other sites that do likewise, and many WordPress donation plugins advertise themselves as such. You just plug it in and go, right? If PayPal had a problem with it, they wouldn’t let you do it, right?
The first thing I saw when I logged on was a formal request to send documentation: identification like a driver’s license, a recent bank statement, and a utility bill showing my name and address. They also wanted me to document and explain recent donations. Furthermore, they wanted documentation verifying me as an NPO. Now this last piece was specifically a stunner, as obviously I am not a non profit organization. I thought for sure I was going to be locked out of my account forever.
I called PayPal and they swiftly admonished me for accepting donations when I wasn’t an NPO. They told me to get the documentation together and send it. I had a problem with my bank (I chose the paperless account and wasn’t receiving bank statements so that took a couple weeks to sort out), but soon I had all the documentation ready, and I made another call.
Once again I had to explain that I was not an NPO. Although the person on the other end was pleasant, I was made to log into the depression comix site and remove all instances of the words “donation” and “donate” from the site while she was on the phone. When she was satisfied that I was no longer stating on the site I was accepting money as donations, she removed the limitations of my account and warned me that if I reverted the edits, I would be locked out again.
This was a huge pain and it took the better part of three weeks to get resolved. That’s three weeks of not being able to use my PayPal account or knowing whether or not I would have to say goodbye to $1000.00 and my PayPal account.
If you use PayPal and you advertise you are accepting donations and you are not a NPO, you are at risk for an account limitation.
I’m not saying this to be threatening. I just didn’t hear they were strict until it happened to me. I think I got flagged when a week earlier, someone made a donation and then rescinded it saying it was made without their authorization. Even after I refunded the money immediately when I received the dispute the next day I got the limitation.
So, using the word “donations” on sites accepting PayPal as a method means they expect you to be a NPO.
I hope this story saves someone out there some aggravation. You do not want a PayPal employee to walk you through your site making changes on it.
As for “donations” I don’t accept them anymore, I accept contributions made through the Send Money option. If you would like to make a contribution, my gracious thanks in advance, but we can’t call them donations any more.
The June sketch winner on Patreon was Tom Campbell, who selected depressed character #2 (Robin) for his sketch, which will be mailed to him shortly.
This one was a late and I apologize — June is a busy month for my full time job and I didn’t get as many chances to draw as I usually do. Thanks for everyone’s support, and July will bring a new sketch and a new winner.