2.24

Forgiveness! Yes, this is an unhealthy relationship. No, I do not condone physical/ emotional abuse of any sort. Thankfully this is a comic with fictional characters and it is not real life.

Next week’s comic maaaay be up a bit late, it depends. I will have to see how much ass I can kick this week. A family death and a big deadline on top of all my other stuff is stressing me out like no other, so sorry in advance for any schedule slips on my end.

Pimp of the week goes to these delightful journal comics by a REAL biologist (aka she is a PhD and can write papers in her sleep). Not only does she do awesome research but she is super nice and draws excellent comics that you might like to take a look at. Yay!

77 Comments

  • Erica

    <3333

    Unhealthy or not, this warmed my heart.

    • Erica

      Also…I’m so very sorry to hear about the death in your family. Take all the time you need. :)

  • Awww. I can’t help but love the two of them, despite their flaws/serious issues XD _>

    Sorry you’re so stressed :c I loathe when that happens. I wouldn’t worry about the next update too much. ^^

    • Whoops, part of my comment cut out. Silly arrow tags.

      I’m wondering about Rana now though. o-o

    • Slither!

      I think that they are more likable not in SPITE of their flaws, but BECAUSE of them. It’s the same reason some people prefer Batman over Superman…how do you empathize with an all-powerful perfect alien?

      These imperfections highlight imperfections within ourselves, and we like the characters that much more because we can understand where they are coming from and what they are feeling.

      @comic artist/author: So sorry for your loss. As others have said, take all the time you need. God bless. (or good mojo/thoughts your way if not the religious type…)

      • dot

        I completely agree with you. It’s good to have characters with flaws.

  • Oh man, I’m sorry about the death. :(
    Take all the time it takes, this comic should more for you and than for others.

  • Kazhmyr

    I just wanted to thank you for all of the work you’ve done, this comic is amazing. A friend of mine recently died so i know how that feels, and i offer my condolences. Please take all the time you need.

  • I’m sorry about your loss. Take all the time you need.

    And I know it’s unhealthy…but AW. <33 Luca.

  • Sorry to hear about the death.

    I never know what to say when someone dies, but I hope your life goes smoothly during this time.

    • Haha, yeah, its kind of awkward. The only reason I mention it is so readers like yourself know I’m not just sitting around twiddling my thumbs instead of working on things :)

  • I’m loving/enjoying this unhealthy relationship soooo much x) MOARR!

  • Last panel Luca is friggin adorable. :3

    • Hel

      And the incentive highlights the panicky stare :D hahahah

  • Maggie

    I’m quite sure none of your readers are petty enough to be so selfish as to demand you work yourself silly in a time of crisis.

    If they are the rest of us will straighten them out :)

    Am I correct in guessing this has happened before?

  • Nadiasama

    My condolences to you and your family.

    Seriously, this is nothing compared to what I’ve witnessed first hand. They defiantly need counseling but their relationship is not anywhere beyond saving.

    But of course, we’ve only seen so much of their husband/wife dynamic so I may as well be totally off base.

  • Spoons

    I guess this is part of the terrible cycle their relationship revolves around, but it’s still sweet =3

    I’m really sorry about your loss. Word for word with everyone else…Take all the time you need.

  • Galen

    You know, I know it isn’t healthy, but to see him actually think about it and realize how badly he has treated her, as long as he really means it, and it looks like he does, I wouldn’t tell her to stay with him, but I would say that there is hope for him.

    If they were real, I would pray that he would be hit hard with the need for repentance. As they are, I will eagerly await what ever you, as their sort-of-god, decide to do with them. Though, I will put in a vote for him being redeemed within the story someday, and to let go of his hate. It’s hard to make that a realistic character turn, but you’ve already pulled so much out of these people (ha, I say people instead of characters!) in so few pages.

  • Hel

    …Well, it’s not about condoning abuse, it’s just what happens between a man and a woman. When one falls so hard for someone, gets to adore all the good in them, gets to see the worst anyone has seen in them, gets to confront parts of oneself they had never imagined existed; if, after all of this, not only both have survived and grown, but also can see each other without filters, well, it’s like the first time they truly know a human being. And human beings are nothing more than human.
    Good thing Luca talks to himself from time to time, and not just stands there listening to the rage roaring inside him!

  • Jane

    You have my condolences about the loss in your family. :/

    And thanks for all your works on this marvelous comi so far! ^_^

  • Brinna

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss… :(

    This comic made me sad. It’s always really hard on the kids when the parents have a relationship like this. No matter how cynical Rana and Suda sound when they talk about it, every fight is just as scary, and feels like it might be “the big one” that ends it all.. You may get used to it, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt.
    Anyone who says this is “just what happens with relationships” is perpetuating these unhealthy cycles of violence.

    great comic! I too love the blues.

    • Enaka

      No kidding. It sucks when your parents fight and bicker and can’t stand each other. A lot of parents don’t take into account how it affects the kid’s psyche and what it does to them. I should know. First hand experience to this crap is horrible.

      • Enaka

        Anyway, since I forgot to add the rest of what I wanted to say, here goes the short version:

        a) The Meek is an amazing comic. The writing and the artwork are both marvelous.

        and

        b) No one’s going to begrudge you a lack of updates when you’ve got personal issues going on. I just lost all three of my remaining grandparents within the past year, so take what time you have to. We can wait.

  • Very nice! Nothing else to say really. Just great, keep it up!

  • icekold

    i was acutally thinkin he was gonna remain bad forever

  • Sorry to hear about the death. Like other’s have said before me take all the time you need and want.

    One little thing though; the second link is broken.

  • TBman256

    my monitor is steaming up already ;)

  • ColdCedric

    Hehehe, in the end everything will work out

  • Colt-Khaboom

    AW. Just AW.
    Too bad Rana didn’t see that part. She’s probably going to end up resenting her father forever for that, isn’t she?

  • M

    For all his sweet sincerity, this looks like an empty apology – no promises made. I’m putting money on Luca going right back to building his revenge once he’s sure this has blown over. For everyone’s good, of course. :P

    Phe looks more soft, earthy and beautiful with each panel. Pretty sure she’s my favorite so far.

  • ArabianNinja

    It’s okay, take as much time as you need. Death is something you have to get over not ignoring it.

    And the new page: I was all like “aww, how cute”. I like Luca!

  • Confusedcious

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    Also, I suppose that the reality is that unhealthy relationships do exist, and while we don’t want to idealise them, to pretend they don’t exist in fiction isn’t helpful or realistic either.

  • I’m sorry to hear about the death in your family :( I know everyone’s already said it, but don’t feel the need to cater to us when you have other things to worry about, especially in a crisis.

    Hel’s got it down, pretty much. Yeah, it may not be a healthy relationship, but I’m still hoping some part of Luca will be willing to undergo a change. Gorgeous Luca face panels as usual :)

    PS, I had to move to a different account because Youtube is stupid, but I reuploaded the Meek fantrailer :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDKtDZa1ej4

  • aww… So far I <3 those two… My heart dropped a little when Phe threatened to leave… so I'm glad to see this.

    Sorry to hear about your family. That is just plain no fun! I hope your other stressors go away soon too.

    Also, I was trying to vote and it opened to a "server not found" page… I don't know what's up with that.

    (I don't know if this sent or not… It hasn't appeared yet on my screen at least)

  • ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    That is all.

  • I don’t know if this is any more unhealthy than most relationships people go through. I know my wife and I have had arguments (not to this level), but we’ve had them, and we make up because we’re committed to our marriage, just as these two are.

  • Hyun

    Phe~~~ ; v;

    <3

  • oh my, this somehow reminds me of an old relationship I had once. :< left a bitter memory sadly.

    And my condolences to your family. :<

  • wright

    The comic will still be here when you have time. See to your and your family’s needs first.

    As others have said, this seems like part of a cycle in Luca and Phe’s relationship. So while his apology may be sincere, there is no guarantee it won’t go on happening until the underlying issues are addressed. Having said that, it’s still good to see he’s honest enough with her to admit being in the wrong and afraid, and that she’s willing to extend forgiveness.

  • Poor sobbing sod

    Booohooo, this made me cry! Sob!

    They sorta remind me of my own parents.

  • There are no words for how much I love Luca in this chapter. What a fantastic (and by that I mean interesting!) couple he and Phe are. It’s so refreshing to see a MARRIED couple who deals with real issues that aren’t black and white. I don’t think Luca is an abusive husband, for one thing I see Phe as too strong to be bound by someone who was putting her in danger. I think he’s a man with issues, and Phe knows when to put her foot down and stop them from taking him over. I’m also developing a huge crush on his younger self (and his older self, is that bad?). I can’t wait to see more of him :3

    On another note, I’m sorry for your loss. Please, take all the time you need to recover from the tragedy. You have my condolences.

    • Maggie

      Is this another Maggie May in the world? I was quite literally named after the Rod Stewart song, dunno if you’ve heard of it ;)

  • Dan

    My condolences as well. My mom died the Thursday after Mother’s day last year to cancer last year. Thankfully due to the timing of how the cancer was progressing I was able to realize just how important that mother’s day was and was able to say goodbye.

    I don’t know the situation of the death in your family so I’m not going to say I know what you’re going through, but I will say this: I definitely won’t complain about lack of updates.

  • lennan

    I’m sorry to hear about the death in your family. Take all the time you need.

  • BentKatana

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Hang in there.

  • Ryl

    I’ve really enjoyed the last few pages of this chapter, especially as endearing as this one is. Scrolling back through them, the color schemes were remarkably brilliant: you start with the vibrant reds surrounding Luca as he loses his temper, which suddenly snaps to icy blue tones after Phe’s ultimatum is issued (the color change is comparable to how easily he can turn on/off his emotions–as if her choice froze his tirade mid-rant), and you end up with muted browns of remorse as he’s apologizing. I also love the lighting on this page, since the brightest parts surround Phe (awwww, she’s the light in his darkness!).

    Keep up the amazing work, even if you have to put it off for awhile due to your loss (sorry to hear about it, and sorry you’re suffering from it). Good luck with the big project you’re working on!

  • You have my condolences. I hope that there are people in your life whose shoulders you can cry on, without them ever telling you to “cheer up.”

  • Cinsa

    nicely done ^^

    I wish the best to you and all your endeavors, as well as your family <:3 persevere, overcome!

  • Wait a minute… I know that guy from the first panel! http://alexds3.livejournal.com/67686.html#cutid1 Except he looks kinna pissed in the dump, and here looks a little mixture of worried/sad/regretful and desperate. Were you testing lights and whatnot?

    • Haha, I’d almost forgotten about that XD Thanks for the reminder. That head wasn’t done for this particular scene, but very close! It was mostly to test a warmer/ darker color scheme since at that point in time I was pretty much sick of using only green blue and yellow.

  • Oh goshhh this page makes me so happy but I have a feeling it’s going to go south real quick.

    I’m really sorry about your loss! You have all my condolences!

  • ShuIsmiy

    I

    why would she

    I don’t even

    what is she thinking

    FORGIVING HIM?

    Does Phe hate herself? :<

  • Mebio

    This is great!
    He looks so frail and small in the second panel. The drooping shoulders reflect his emotions just perfect.

    Man, I really love this comic.

  • DeliciousPineapple

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Take all the time you need. :]

    I am torn between being exuberantly happy about Luca and Phe and being slightly worried if Luca loses it again! From what Suda said ages ago this seems to be a common problem of our Emperor’s… :/ AT LEAST THIS IS A HAPPY PAGE.

    (I can’t believe how long it took me to realize that the previous two pages was Luca talking with himself. @_@)

  • TLL

    Oh, this page. .> Perhaps I have missed it as a feature on photoshop, but that lil’ blue line down the middle makes me wonder if you use indesign at all when you put it together?

    • TLL

      LESS THAN THREE HEART BREAKS THINGS.

      “On an entirely unrelated note, upon looking at the vote incentive, I must wonder about your process of assembling a page. Perhaps I have missed it as a feature on photoshop, but that lil’ blue line down the middle makes me wonder if you use indesign at all when you put it together?”

      Fix’d.

  • Blunderbuss

    I like where you went with this. There were two obvious options – Luca refusing and Luca begging for forgiveness – but you’ve managed to get a third option that touches on both. Luca ACKNOWLEDGES that he has a problem, which means that Phe actually got through; that’s a good sign considering how he just treated her.

    And yet, he didn’t make any promises and just baring your heart doesn’t mean anything has changed; this means that despite the good sign, they haven’t gained any ground. Especially since Phe just pulled him back in instead using the opportunity to lay out what his next move is.

    Therefore, it’s no wonder they have a reputation of fighting and then making up – they’re both decently good enough people to keep it together, but have remained in a dangerous limbo that stops them from moving forward. It’s a nicely complex marriage shown in such a short time, which is lovely storytelling.

    In any case, I’m sorry about your loss. Please take as much time as you need, and I hope you’ll feel better soon.

  • Kyn

    Eye looks a little big in the fourth panel.

    Meh, it might be slightly unhealthy, but at least he’s still rational enough to truly and honestly know when he’s done bad. I’ve seen unhealthier!

  • Silver Lady

    “Get in here, idiot!” Y´know, I´m really starting to like Phe. :)

  • Bob

    Time for make-up sex.

  • coco

    adorable, i loved it. phe = awesome
    sorry to hear the bad news, hope things work out <3
    sending good thoughts your way.

  • They might have an unhealthy marriage but when I see this page I feel that Luca has maybe for the first time in all his life realized that he has a problem and has admitted it openly to Phe. That in my view is the first step to healing and change. I don’t think he wants to hurt his wife in the way he did I think he really loves her, he just needs something that will help him focus his anger and channel it rather than letting it explode outwards and hurt those he loves.

    I can understand if he never forgives those who hurt him despite that there long gone. I just hope that one day he will forgive there children and there children’s, children’s who mean him no wrong.

  • dot

    Their marriage may have some arguments, but the important thing is that they they love each other.

    Great art (as usual).

    PS Really sorry for your loss and don’t worry about updates so much.

  • He’s so still my favorite character!

    Kinda reminds me of my Dad… except my Dad is kind of more (a lot) Girly but still with a bad attitude.

    I wish that you would make a new tutorial on how you set up and color your comic pages!

  • DoggySpew

    Luka really should go see a therapist, taking some anger management.
    I do however do not know how to perceive Luka. He could be a bad guy, seeing his history. Phe holds him on the leash as best as she can.
    Hmmm.

    • DoggySpew

      And reading the meekipedia, he really is a typical emperor.

      Sofar, Phe’s the only one that makes him more human.

  • aw, Phe <3
    The man would fall to shambles without you.

  • So sorry about your loss. Hope you don’t stress too much!

    Lovely page like usual. Love the movement in the last panels!

  • Stig Hemmer

    Emperor? Listen to your wife. She really knows what she is talking about.

  • SilentSong

    After my third time of reading this, a question has popped into my mind: how many times have they gone through this? It’s obvious that they have an extremely rocky relationship, but it seems that she didn’t have any real intention of leaving. After all, she was waiting for him with only a blanket on, with no packed bags in sight.

  • Reids_Athenaeum

    Luca and Phe are just about the SAME HEIGHT here!! D:
    Oh noes!!

  • Poots

    TIME TO MAKE SOME BACON
    hee hee

    It just makes me so happy to see the two reconciling. You’re effecting my emotions as a reader, which means you’re doing great with the storytelling! I often have seen beautiful art but not the best storytelling. You are gifted with both. <3

  • Mike

    relationships have this rocky thing. especially ones where someone carries the weight of a nation or company or empire on their shoulders. he needs a woman who isnt a prima donna and realizes he needs to place the needs of the nation above her whims. but on the other hand it’s nice to know that he’s on the edge of loosing the one thing that makes his heavy shoulders a little lighter. all in all a great scene. well done

    besides i dont think venting to his wife was abuse. yeah he yelled but he yelled TO her not AT her. he was reliving the damage done to him and his kin and his nation. he was just talking to her but in a carried away manner. he wasnt blaming her for his problems in as much as he didnt like the idea of trivializing his greatest trauma as something to be waved off as “no hard feelings”. at least thats how he took it and understandibly. time does not heal ALL wounds. at least not by itself.

  • BroRoy

    I know I’m late to the show, but I find myself siding with Luca on this one. All to often countries get away with horrific acts and then with there’s a change of leadership everything is supposed to be forgiven. While I see Phe’s point and we’re probaly coming in at a point where this cycle has repeated itself…I don’t think she’s doing herself any favors by not acknowledging his pain and trying to just get him to suck it up and move on. I don’t think the country of Caris is doing themselves any favors either by not at least offering a good effort of reprarations of some kind that they can afford. Building a monument, something to meet him in the middle. Granted, I know dealing with pigheaded people is hard, especially when driven by emotion. At this point I can see where both sides are coming from, but while reading the page where the ambassadors kind of “blew off” whatever horrors their country committed and Luca responded with, “…it wasn’t just your king who did this” in so many words. I can see why he’s stark raving mad about this….nobody’s listening to him. Everyone wants him to shut up and do what they want him to do…

  • Kirsten

    Great panel – I’m glad they made up. <3
    And, I am a bit disappointed with all of the readers who think Luca is a bad man. He is completely justified in his anger (he pretty much went through something similar to the Holocaust), and loving couples often get into heady arguments! The fact that he admitted his fear and apologized so genuinely proves that he truly does care about Phe.
    Ugh.
    Well, anyway – rant over. It's time to read the rest of the comic. xD

  • Thisguy

    This is not how you get laid, folks.

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