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40 thoughts on “CH12P44

  1. The contrast between the youngest and eldest daughters is… interesting.

    1. Stark, isn’t it? πŸ˜”

  2. Omg 😭😭😭 i love them so much i love the family pic i want to give them all a group hug!!!!

    Also another bunch of interesting looking ocs!!!! I love that the lady in front’s hat is also Feeling It with the rest of us lol like, me too buddy 🐸

    1. Thank youuuu, I’m so happy with the family picture πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

      The cameo characters are actually from the back row here:

  3. Rocky’s short hair looks so cool πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    Also, it looks like Shez knows a thing or two about beating herself up for past shortfalls. I don’t know if that’s the best way for me to phrase it – she was a kid in a situation no kid should ever be in, with no template on how to deal with it, and if she’d been sure and had an opportunity she would’ve done it.

    But AGPgang should never have approached Jaden and put her in that situation either, holding off three belligerent men for any amount of time is no easy feat for one woman, and it’s so easy to get stuck blaming yourself for everything you could’ve done differently.

    Shez seems to be healing by making sure other women can protect themselves from violent men – others can learn from her hindsight.

    So I hope Jaden took a lot away from this. What goes wrong doesn’t have to be the end of you. It can be the end of a man instead πŸ™‚

    1. Beautifully said, yes!!! ❀️

  4. Aaaa a well deserved happy ending, they all look happy at least, I’m glad Shez’s family are in a safer and happier position
    That being said it’s interesting on how the elder sisters in the family are gnc but the younger sisters aren’t…

    1. Indeed πŸ‘€πŸ‘€

  5. Thank god they are safe and happy

    1. The happy ending they deserved all along.

  6. Meriam’s smile is so warm and I love her happy wrinkles!
    Also I love how we can see there’s some family dynamic just from that photo

    1. Wrinkles she earned from doing so much smiling after she and her girls were finally free and safe.

      And thank you!!

  7. Those last three panels are so powerful, I love how succinctly you highlight the dangers of female socialisation in this comic.

    The fact that using your size and brute strength to overpower your opponent is considered honourable but going for the testes is considered β€œdirty fighting” is male propaganda, it’s no coincidence that the methods of self-defence that are the most contested and result in harsher sentences are ones predominantly used by women.

    At the end of the day men created the rulebook, whether you play β€œfair” or not, the game is rigged. I like to think of b*lls as just Mother nature’s way of levelling the playing field Uα΄—U

    1. Yes omg, “honourable” is such a great way to describe the expectations of women defending themselves.

      No, you’re not allowed to poison him! No, you can’t shoot him! No, you can NOT kick him in the balls.
      The only acceptable female victim on many people’s eyes, is a dead one.

      To survive by any means necessary is beastly, and needs to be atoned for.

      Seconded on Mother Nature’s based move there too 😎

  8. God… of course she still blames herself, even after everything. Seeing that family photo, it makes me so curious about how the family dynamics changed after they were able to get free.

    I wonder how the younger children feel towards Shez and their mother, towards Chr*s as well. Did anyone ever go to any counselling? Do any of them struggle with the long-term effects of trauma?

    This story has been such a wild ride, and again, thank you so much for the increased uploading schedule because I was on the edge of my seat for each new panel.

    I feel like your art skills have grown by leaps and bounds and it’s been a treat to hear your decision making process behind each panel, the layout, the designs, what you choose to show.

    It’s so cute that even the hat and t-shirt graphic are feeling overcome after hearing this story! I feel the same.

    1. Thank you!!! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°
      Very excited for you gyns to see the tail end of this chapter and the character bios. I think it’ll shed more light on a lot of the questions you have.

  9. Aww the family picture! I wish I had arms 6 metres long so I could hug all of them at once πŸ˜” also I love Rocky’s short fluffy hair 😊

    1. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

  10. Man… the return to regular colours is almost jarring, we’ve been on Shez’s flashback so long. Absolutely loved the ride, though! It’s been by far my favorite part of the comic (with my second favorite part being the QT cringe lmao.)

    Pity that Rissa and Tina seem to have fallen for performative feminity, but I’m glad that Rocky and Meriam seem okay. I hope Tina’s uncomfortable expression is just due to it being a bad photo, or just general Teen Angst rather than anything major.

    Would love to see more of this family in the future – Shez and her relationship with Meriam has effortlessly promoted them to my favorites, and it’s great to see them thriving and caring for each other as opposed to having the dysfunctional/nonexistent relationship that Jaden/Riley respectively have with their mums.

    And the Picrew OCs are great too! My favorite is the one in the black hat.

    1. Thank you!! I was hoping for that same effect of stepping out of a cinema after a film. So glad you enjoyed the ride πŸ₯°

      Re: Tina, yeah I just wanted to have at least one person not looking at camera, because that’s how it tends to go in real life. There’s always someone who gets the short end if the freeze frame stick. Tina was likely smiling a second before at Meriam, but didnt hold it long enough.

      You’re in luck in both the more-from-meriam department and the cameo-character department!

      I’ve got some epilogue pages planned between ch12 and ch13, that detail little moments post-Chris that Shez wouldn’t have included in the class for time and relevancy’s sake.

      And there’s more cameo ladies comin’ your way through the rest of the chapter. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

  11. Wow I love Rocky’s look and Meriam’s- *sees Tina and Rissa wearing makeup* all around me are familiar faces….

    1. LMAOYou went from:

      😍😍 to 😐😐

  12. The thing that stands out to me about this, is that Shez clearly knows very well that her story gets dark and she brought this picture of her family with her, on purpose, to give everyone a light at the end of the tunnel — everything turned out okay. I love that because it makes so much sense in-universe but it’s also such a nice thing for us as readers to see them all together and happy.

    1. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° Yess.
      She actually keeps it off to the side in her self-defence gym, like how office workers have family pics at their desks sort of thing.

  13. I love the family foto, and I love that she’s actually showing it to the class. The two in the audience just full-on crying? That’s me. They all deserved so much better but at the same time I’m so relieved they did get away and so sad even after a monumental feat that no child should be forced to even consider she still thinks she should have done better. Haaah. Self-defence class group hug, maybe?

    I really hope Jaden can notice Shez blaming herself here and can see (with the distance of looking at a friend rather than herself) that that’s unreasonable and not her fault at all. That would shorten the leap to understanding it wasn’t her own fault either.

    How old are the youngest two sisters now? I’m hoping they’re having a teenaged insecurity phase, but of course not every woman ditches femininity, so who knows.

    1. Yesss, I knew when I was drawing the cameo panel I just had to have everyone at least tearing up a bit. My lovely friend Miss Sunny (sun with sunglasses tanktop) insisted she specifically be bawling because that was how she felt on her initial read of the flashback (she was one of my test readers).

      I did CONSIDER having everyone surge forward to hug Shez at the end, but ultimately scrapped it. Consider it a canon occurrence in other classes.

      Really looking forward to your reaction to dialogue on the next page πŸ‘€πŸ‘€

      Age-wise, Rocky is 22, Rissa is 21 and Tina is 17. So only really at the cusp of being an adult all-round.

      1. There’s still time for Rissa and Tina to grow in self-confidence and figure themselves out. They do have some excellent role models for it, after all. πŸ™‚

        I’m very glad Shez gets group hugs in at least some of the classes! She deserves them. And I think after that story, everyone’s at least a little bit in need of a hug (and some tissues).

      2. So proud to have contributed to their (nick)names! <33 Also I really love how you drew their hair here! Like others, I've noticed the younger sisters are very gender-conforming (and also paler; do they stay out of the sun because they believe in beauty standards about that too?) and I have theories about why, but I'll wait and see for the explanation!

        1. Thank you for providing such cute nickname suggestions πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

          Re: the skin tones – that was just to show their mixed heritage as Meriam is Asian whereas Chris was white. So I did a blend, same with the hair and eye colour choices. Those are all their natural colours.


    *uses inhaler*… okay apologies, back to normal sooo, whew! that was quite a surprise, a lovely one at that. Putting on my Conspiracy Bonnet for a moment hmmm it’s not giving ‘coincidence’ that she’s just on the same side as Shez in the pic so i feel its a hint of yours that she lost the rose colored glasses after the arm incident and started looking up to Shez even more and so she wanted to follow her steps in appearance rather than the father’s normative ideals πŸ€” and maybe there were other incidents she accidentaly witnessed at home before that so those glasses were already cracking?

    Or she just got bored of stereotypical girl stuff as she grew older and changed but IDK i’ll wait till the bios and epilogue are available outside of Boosty to quench that knowledge thirst.

    Even if i’m partial towards gender nonconformity that includes appearance traits, I liked the 4 designs to be honest!! (the youngest made me think of Hitomi from DoA) and i’m curious if the 2 younger sisters have taken the self defense lessons with Shamzey as well or they’re like “nahh boring, maybe later” “nahh i’ll just date a tall dark handsome man who will defend me if danger arises” or like “Girl just buy a Taser duh” and make big sister twitch πŸ’€

    So happy that ms. Froggyhat got a close up. Crossing my fingers so blue streaks cameo lady appears again too.

    Shez words kinda resonated with me as a reader bc even when I imagine an hypothetical scenario where i’m being attacked or assaulted i feel worried and like Too Mean if i picture myself doing something like hitting the throat or the eyes. Like i understand it is irrational because the other person is not caring about me and is DELIBERATELY trying to hurt me and that if the other person is an adult male I most likely have a baseline disadvantage but its still hard to tap into that mindset of hitting delicate spots or “playing dirty”.

    I keep telling myself that I could try to focus onto general stuff that makes me angry as a way of charging up getting a blood rush and making retaliation possible if it were to happen, but in the end we all know it’s one thing to think of it calmly sitting somewhere and other quite different to be in the moment scared sh*tless with little chance for contemplation.

    I hope it doesnt happen ever but deep down I’m still afraid of the possibility of defaulting to paralysis instead of fighting while in survival mode if it does. I like how the narration offers hope even if she still feels conflicted.

    Thanks for the new page once again πŸ™ And thanks so much to your wife for accepting the Qs! Now we know she could be head of the Muddles fanclub 😸 Looking foward for further blossoming of the “Shaden” sismance next week

    1. Absolutely love your conspiracy bonnet theories πŸ‘€πŸ‘€

      And regarding your own concerns about acting in the moment, I totally understand and empathise. I think it’s very normal to go through that thought process. Especially knowing how we act when given time to rationally parse through the options VS a split second decision to preserve our lives.

      It’s actually something that annoys me about a lot of approaches to media criticism, where people look down their noses at characters’ choices without acknowledging the context in which they were made.
      Obviously not always, like when the gang of plucky teenagers decide to split up in the slasher movie, but yeah.

      There’s an arrogance to saying “well I wouldn’t have done that”. (Tangentially speaking, not something you’re doing!)

      I’m looking forward to your reaction to the next page πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

  15. Wtf is this shit I would be demanding a refund. I came here to learn self defending not to be their unpaid trauma-dump receptical. Go to therapy jfc

    1. haha, ok

    2. least obnoxious leasebound hater

  16. I want a spin off where these five dress in practical costumes and go out under the cover of night, kicking all deserving men in the junk.

    1. Oooh would love to see this as a story concept in general. Make the rep you want to see, ladies!

  17. wait omg not the frog hat crying too 😭

    1. OH MY GOSH IT IS! Thank you for pointing this out, I hadn’t noticed and I LOVE IT!

  18. The sun on her shirt is sad omg

  19. I like that the women reacting to Shez’s story are all at different levels of visible sadness. We’re all affected in our own ways when we hear other women tell their stories of abuse, but just because we’re not sobbing our eyes out doesn’t mean we’re not feeling her pain. The clothing also reacting is a fun and silly detail and I love that. Gotta have that levity when things get heavy.

    Also, my vol. 2 copy of LB arrived on Tuesday! Very happy to have it on my comic shelf. β™‘

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