Understudy 33

November 12th, 2013, 7:33 am

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Reply TheCatMolloy, November 12th, 2013, 11:31 am

Waiterworld Apologies for the delay in updates. Aleister's been co-operating with the camera, but my brain's been rejecting the comic strip format as a means of expression, so writing has become difficult. It's all just depression stuff creating an overinflated sense of personal futility, which I recognise as silly when considering myself from a detached perspective, but which nonetheless has a paralyzing effect. It's that jump from knowing something to feeling it that's the problem.

Today, Cosmo the Quote Bunny is quoting H.G. Wells

Actually the whole 'self-confidence' thing is probably where the Neko block comes from in the first place. It's not something the character understands or respects, so he's keeping away from it. Neko's basically incapable of seeing himself as flawed (it's his biggest flaw) or accepting the flaws of others without resentment or ridicule, so I'm having an ironically difficult time relating to his lack of empathy.

Once I'm in a frame of mind to see the lighter side of sociopathy again I'm sure the Spice will flow once more. I just need to find that fine line between 'giving zero fucks' and 'not caring' which separates a likeable comedy character from a detestable tragic one.

There's no definite time frame on that though, it echoes unresolved issues in my life outside the comic. Mental health, personal matters, letting go of the past, etc. etc. etc. We've been through this.

Anyway, Understudy will continue to update as and when my sense of humour aligns with my adorable and photogenic kitty cat. It's a filler strip mostly intended to reassure people that I'm still alive though, so updates may be sporadic.

Neko and the gang will be back eventually. I tried quitting before and it didn't stick. Don't hold your breath though. I gots issues.

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User's Comments:

Reply Agen (Guest), November 12th, 2013, 2:35 pm

Nicely done!. the choice of photos go great with what you put in for captions!

Reply GabrielsThoughts, November 12th, 2013, 2:49 pm

BTW love the triangle in the background... I never saw the lighter side of sociopathy myself. Sadomasochism seems more in line with what you're hoping to accomplish.

If you want to let go of the past then avoid psychoanalysis all together. I could care less about what happened when you were six years old and it's not like I could do anything to fix what may have been broken.

Your coping mechanism of not doing anything that will bring you genuine happiness is one of a few limited ego defense mechanisms you possess. Stick with it, and maybe you'll feel better about yourself and forget about your interdependence needs.

Hang in there kitty, Feel Proud, at least you're still sharing and receiving affection from faceless minions. That should lighten the mood at the pity party.

EDIT: The following are ego defense against the dark arts mechanisms
Reaction Formation (hysteria or other neurotic behavior)

Reply GabrielsThoughts, November 13th, 2013, 12:45 am

I feel the strongest urge to delete my web comic again. I'm glad I have hard and soft copies of it just about everywhere.

Reply TheCatMolloy, November 13th, 2013, 5:50 am

Who says I'm not doing anything to bring myself genuine happiness? I have an interview today for a graphic design internship which I'm interested in, I'm doing a diploma course, and I'm working on the children's book for my niece and nephew. Went to parties with Paige the last two weekends, and we're throwing one at the end of the month. I've got friends, family, and a loving supportive fiancee. Also: cats.

Overlaid on that is a mixture of brain chemistry and circumstance which makes me feel glum quite often. This was amplified by a super-combo of losses, setbacks, failures, and betrayals. I've made some of these public, and kept others private.

I've gone off Neko the Kitty for the time being. Keeping it going was holding open old wounds and wasn't bringing the same sense of satisfaction it used to. NtK was never a big money-maker, I did it because it was fun, and it became too wrapped up in external personal issues to continue being fun. With some distance and time for wounds to close I'm confident it will become fun again, but that's not where I'm at right now.

That said I have an obligation to the fans (who are not "faceless minions", that's a terrible reductive thing to say). Understudy keeps the community active and provides readers with their dose of cute kitty. Blog updates regarding the state of my mental health and why Neko the Kitty is on hiatus are pertinent to people waiting for the return of the regular comic. It's an appeal to empathy to promote patience in recognition of shared humanity. Plenty of people go through periods of depression and/or crises of confidence, and just because I draw funny cat comics doesn't mean I'm immune.

Reply Agen (Guest), November 13th, 2013, 6:52 am

@ GabrielsThoughts, if you are refer to the readers of NtK as minions. DON'T fprget to include yourself

No, offense but that faceless minion part should be edited out of the post or removed altogether...

Reply Argentee, November 13th, 2013, 7:02 am

First, Aleister and Ollie are lovely.

Second, of course Neko gives zero fucks, he's been fixed. ;) He might, however, give a rat's ass (after eating the rest of the rat).

Third, Kitty tongue! I think you caught Aleister with is mouth open on that last pic, but my cat will sometimes forget to pull her tongue back in all the way after licking herself, so it could be that too.

Reply squ1rresl (Guest), November 13th, 2013, 8:38 am

I know what you can use @TheCatMolloy: After been seeing these things, what can probably help you is some nice encouragement. Keep up the good work that you have been doing in the past, and as well an with the Understudy. I trust that you can be doing this again, and we'll see that lovely Neko that we all love.

Reply RomanusAI (Guest), November 13th, 2013, 9:01 am

Awesome hey! I just wanted to throw in some support:

I love Neko Kitty and I look forward to seeing it's return. That said I also love the filler and will happily read that as well. I love me some black cats and kittehs with humor!

You are right to do what you need to do to make forward progress in your mental health and thank you for keeping us posted.


Reply Agen (Guest), November 13th, 2013, 9:07 am

@ Argentee, :)

About Aleister & Ollie, I agree!

Re: Keno being fixed. indeed I have to wonder if Nekos' been fixed or if Alice is going to leave him till he has kittens himself.

As for the last picture, I think he's giving his loyal reader's a rasberry :)

Reply GabrielsThoughts, November 13th, 2013, 11:50 am

Making children's books are kind of fun. And, some diploma programs are such that they would give you the option of doing such as an extra credit project. So, maybe you can kill two birds with one stone.

Circumstances are such that I can understand a lack of regular updates for Neko. You do realize I'm teasing you, you're quite easily provoked. Clearly, your interdependence needs are being met.

However, since time wounds all heals, I'm not as confident that Neko will return when you feel better, or think you have recovered. Sorry, I'm a bit of a cynic and have witnessed the death of countless webcomics. I never actually stopped working on mine, I'm just waiting for my artistic skills to match my imagination. Plus, for the moment I lack speed, which is a bit of a handicap if you want to be an illustrator these days. You'd probably be surprised, but I used to be able to draw people quite well.

I still have strange ideas, and my comics will always reflect that. However, for the moment, I have fun exploring the unknown. And, should it turn out at some point that what I created counts toward my personal success, if not the success of others, I wouldn't complain.

I don't think making comics were ever a lucrative enterprise, unless you had money to begin with, or really lucked out. I consider comics a reflective form of art therapy, like film. Especially, since it would appear, the most successful independent comic is "Transformers." And, I sincerely doubt Hasbro or their affiliates wanted for advertising money to produce their products.

You say the comic (Neko the Kitty) is wrapped in external issues and I'm sure I could relate if I didn't have problems of my own. There was that one line in Coneheads that I'm particularly fond of, and I'm fairly certain that everyone possess some skill that makes them unique. Mine just happens to be that I cannot use appeal to pity, and why would I want to. I don't use appeal to force either, but that has more to do with a personal choice of not blackmailing people to get what I want.

A minion is a follower devoted to serve their master. I don't serve you, as I am not consciously providing a service. I don't consider myself an acolyte either, I am only your follower in the sense that I was born later and you were gifted with a few months and a completely different life experience from mine. Like that jackass on madmen, I came up with similar ideas and concepts concurrently. That doesn't necessarily mean or imply that we have a similar sense of humor. Rather, I was thinking since we were on different shores it meant a more universal approach to humor.

Acolyte is also a word synonymous with minion, henchman, attendant, or lackey. You can look it up if you don't believe me. Ascribing your fans, without being consciously aware of it, as followers in a religion or cult is terribly reductive thing to ask in its own right. If you are obligated to those who are not your faceless supporters, then who are you obligated to?

Obviously, you haven't personally met or seen to __all__ the people who support your online efforts. While I appreciate your efforts to keep the community active with their dose of crack, if not maintaining a culturally accepted form of fetishism, I have concerns that your ideal of empathy includes mercy. That being the case, I could hardly classify it as benevolent.

You're not one of those people that confuse fear with respect, are you? I've met people like that, they're usually uncivilized.

If you can recognize the emotions being experienced by others, then it's transference not empathy.You're not clairvoyant or clairsentient if you're not actually reading facial expressions or body language in their presence. You're telling yourself that you understand how others are feeling, but in reality that's how you feel about the situation yourself. You're resistant to accepting your "true" feelings as a projection of yourself because it produces anxiety and reminds you of past trauma. I don't think you're going to work through it by making understudy comics or sitting still. You might work through it by making children's books and reading a few comics. But, the chances that you'll find answers in a text book are doubtful. Also, you should watch or read "Nobody's Boy Remi" It's a tear jerker and nothing gets you through grief faster than Remi and sword art online. Sword Art Online is supposedly based on the typical divorce fantasy, and Naruto is basically The Velveteen Rabbit on steroids... Films like Epic, Fern Gully, and Avatar are about rescuing your mother.

Reply NtKPaige, November 13th, 2013, 1:14 pm

Thank You Guys I just wanted to say thanks to you guys for all your support and encouragement. It really does mean a lot that you care so much about Gar, and the smile on his face when he reads your comments is beautiful to see.

I love him and encourage him all the time, but there again, I think it's too easy for him to believe that because I love him I HAVE to encourage him, which is not the case. Unfortunately, he is also his own worst enemy and turns on himself with a vitriol he would never in a million suns consider turning on another living, feeling being.

And it kills me when he does, because it is so undeserved.

But as comes with a lot of artistic people, his creativity and ingenuity have their shadow, and when outside circumstances, his aforementioned betrayals, heartaches, lengthen that shadow I think he sometimes fails to recognise that there can only be shadow where there is light. He doesn't seem to realise that maybe he's just facing the wrong way.

We all have dark times and sometimes they last just that bit longer. I have faith that Neko will return, if not in its past form then in another way. In the meantime, thank you again guys, for all your encouragement, enthusiasm and support. We have the best fans in the world, and I mean that. x

Reply VictorB, November 13th, 2013, 11:26 pm

@NtKPaige, that was a beautiful shadow referance to talk about depression.

I agree that most artists have their vices, and it's in the glow of those vices which insparation seems to be derived. Hence why it's so hard for an artist to lose themselves.

I know my vice is my lack of self confidence. The interesting thing is that it creates a bouquet of results, both good and bad, like the feeling of need to share joy and spread smiles where I go. Or the overwantingness of being accepted. I know it's there and it's a major problem, but like most people, I tend to avoid it and sweep it under the rug. I am also lazy in reading and there's a reason for that, but anyways, I will admit I have only skimmed what has been said before Paige's comment. For that I am sorry.

Gar, you know that I cannot speak for everyone, but I can tell you that I support you. Remember that I am not NtK's fan, but your fan. That's why I am still here, that's why I message you and that's why I comment. Gar, it's once said that the most lonely person in the room, the saddest person is the jester, the comedian. Just remember, you are normal... and I don't mean that as thinking that you aren't special or something, but rather the issues that you are going through are normal things to go through.

With this small message box I cannot see if this is a long message, so I apologize if it is.

Gar, I won't go tit-for-tat with you cause I know you'd win but it would accomplish nothing. however I have a suggestion for you if you wish to take it. I read the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, and I must admit that when I fail to apply the book in it's full potential, after applying my understanding of the first chapter, I have seen a change not only in me but in the way I perceive things and the way others react to me. It's worth a shot.

I will stop now before I become hypocritical, however I won't end with another plea for Keno. Rather a promise to offer you a guest comic for your own choice of use by this time next week.

Reply GTjustgtfo (Guest), December 29th, 2013, 10:27 pm

GT just gtfo GT you re full of boll*cks mate

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