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You may have noticed that I added new warnings to the front page and prologue section of the site several weeks ago. They absolutely apply to this chapter. Heavy subject matter ahead. Buckle up.

Don't forget the Special Shez Event Update Schedule is now in effect, so the next page will be arriving this Wednesday! If you're ever unsure - check out the countdown timer (found under the comment section for mobile users, and in the right side bar for PC users)

And! If you're interested in seeing 3 pages every Sunday, rather than waiting throughout the week (for the duration of the Special Shez Event), check out the boosty!

41 thoughts on “CH12P5

  1. Parniya’s biggest fan

    Men don’t deserve wives.

    1. You can say that again 🩷

    2. Ever read the oldish (70s) essay “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady??? Resonates with this page and your comment.

      Sometimes it is petrifying how far male callousness can go.

      And astonishing how to this day homophobe men all over the world continue to talk about LGB “recruiting” and the “gay agenda” and “stealing women”. As if the sheer fact heterosexual women continue to exist as a majority despite all the depravity, drain and hatred from the other sex going through eons is not plenty proof that sexuality is not a choice from the start.

      Seriously, preach Parnifan. Bet this arc is going to be fire.

  2. What?! He had her literally leave him?! And do what, live alone?

    1. “Out of sight, out if mind” -him probably.

  3. That’s heartless. I can’t imagine being the man who marries a woman, promises her a future, gets her pregnant, and abandons her in a foreign country while in an extremely vulnerable period of her life. He made vows to her. She trusted him. We knew Shez’s backstory would be dark, but her life was scarred by male cruelty before she was even born.

    (Related, I hate how men frame “fatherless children” as a woman-caused issue when it’s usually men abandoning their wives and kids.)

    1. Oh big-time πŸ˜”
      I’m sure Mr.Dirtbag would justify his behaviour by blaming something Meriam did to “make” him abandon her in foreign country with dwindling means of survival.

      I imagine even in Shez’s class she touches a lot of nerves. Has probably heard “B-but not all dads. MY dad is nice/different!!” many times.

      Her response would likely be: “And? How does this help protect women? Please share it with us.I’m all ears for new techniques!”

  4. Sis…the way this exact same scenario has happened to two of my friends’ moms….men really ain’t shit, I tell you that.

    1. Ah geez, I had a feeling that was the case. I’ve also heard similar stories from different women – all in their 70’s-80’s now.

      Most heartbreaking was a woman whose 3 kids (all abandoned with her under 10) wished to go back to their home country to meet their father because “he could still be a good man!”

      Surprise. surprise. Guy had a younger mistress. πŸ™„πŸ™„

      1. Absolute scum.

        Same case with my friend’s mom, had a 1 year old child with this guy who stuck her in a dingy apartment. One day he tells her they should move to Mexico because there was work there waiting for both him and her and they could stay with his uncle while they saved money, and eventually move to the U.S.

        So he sends her first because of his ‘current job’s contract’ and what was supposed to be two months turn to six before the pos stops answering his uncle’s calls, and the uncle kicks her out because he thinks she’s involved in some shady migratory business.

        This woman singlehandedly raised this child in a country she had no family on, and were people of her nationality were seen as criminals or leeches.

        She eventually did so well she actually decided against going back, and she heard from family and friends that the pos was actually engaged to some other woman the entire time, and he only sent her away when the other woman’s family began demanding for him to marry her already. (The other woman’s family had money)

        1. You know, tbh I’m surprised there was even an uncle there waiting for her at all.

          Hope he has/had a heart attack before marrying the other woman. Ansolute waste of oxygen.

          I’m glad the first woman managed to survive, but she never deserved to struggle. Jesus fucking christ πŸ™ πŸ’”

  5. Seeing Meriam in the last panel without her veil is so symbolic, I know she probably doesn’t feel it right now, and I know it doesn’t last, but even if it’s just for a moment, she’s free.

    Little does she know that the little girl in her arms would free her more than once 😭πŸ₯°

    1. You could almost say she “lost her faith” in ever seeing her husband again. U-U

      1. i interpreted it as her having all female doctors and was glad she had someone she felt safe around and supported by in that situation

        1. A fair interpretation! I think women should be able to receive female-only intimate care regardless of their religious beliefs. For any reason really.

          By the power vested in me, Meriam was only treated by female medical staff.

  6. That color palette is so beautiful ! Also dang, Shez’s backstory is starting with a bang v_v Poor Meriam ;_; Being in a foreign country, with limited money and stuff maybe not even speaking the language πŸ™ Can she even go back home ? Could she even give birth at a hospital or was she alone in her hotel room ? ToT

    1. Since they were planning to move there, Meriam would only have a one-way ticket. Likely convinced her husband would sort all the legal stuff out.

      I’m sure Australia would have some sort of embasssy or travel office to deal with situations like this – but Meriam would have to know where to find it first πŸ™

      And yes she is at a hospital in that last panel! Small victory? πŸ™

      1. That she at least is in a hospital to give birth and not risking to bleed to death alone in her room is a small victory but an important one ;_; And yes there is probably things in place that would have helped her but, you gotta know about those, and where to find them and how to ask for them and it’s hard, especially so heavily pregnant then post partum v_v

  7. I’m nervous for Meriam knowing that Shez is the oldest sister…

    1. Trust your instincts πŸ’”

  8. I can’t help but wonder what was happening with Meriam’s family, like her parents and siblings if she has any, while this was happening. Did they know where she was? Did they know she was okay? Are they worried sick about her? Do they even care where she is and what her husband just did to her?

    1. All very good questions that Meriam likely never got the answer for herself πŸ™

  9. Okay, so I’m a little bit confused, did her husband abandon her or did he die? I’m wondering since most of the dads die in LB y’know lol

    1. Most of the dads ?? Only Jaden’s dad has been revealed to be dead 🀣😭!

      Think about the information Shez has given tho. “He never intended to follow us.”
      She’s speaking with a lot of certainty, no?

      And if Shez’s dad knew he was just going to die, why would he send his pregnant wife to another country?

    2. Since it says in the last panel “he never intended to follow us” he just dumped money so he could get rid of Merriam and her baby in another country v_v

  10. I am already ready to defend her. She looks really cute and i love the pattern on her hijabs! Also glad she got to take it tf off lol. Baby Shez already telling the world what’s what!!!

    1. Truly πŸ‘πŸ‘
      And thank you, I got really into finding nice patterns for clothing to compliment the simpler pallet!

      Translated from baby cries Shez is definitely saying: Yes All Men!

  11. Almost this exact thing happened to someone in my family, albeit an older generation. Mens is the same πŸ˜‘

    On a lighter note, the colour palette is lovely!

    1. Eeesh it’s way more common than I first thought πŸ™ Men really is the same :/

      Thank you tho! The flashback portion of this chapter was originally done in greyscale – but it felt like too big of a departure from all my colours. So instead I used the “gradient map” function in Clip Studio Paint. Incredible time saver! Definitely had a huge hand in making the 3 page per week schedule possible!πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

  12. Only a man would do something that low. How horrible…

    Honestly the Muslim headscarf adds another piece of proof that this was a man who particularly thinks women/children are property of his, and therefore he feels even less guilt over deciding to “lose” them when he decides that he doesn’t want to be responsible for a family anymore.

    Ugh. Such evil treachery. I can already guess a lot of reasons why Shez ends up needing to know self defense! 😣

    1. Indeed. Religious men’s misogyny is particularly insidious to me. They justify so much abuse of women through the books written by other men who hated women.

      It makes my blood boil especially hot seeing toddler-aged girls forced into headscarves in Australian summers. Even by the twisted “modesty/don’t tempt men/keep your body sacred” rules, what exactly is tempting about a 3 year old little girl?? Sickening.

      That and the way hijab falls into the stupid af “choice” debate. “Um if she chooses her degredation it’s fine! If she chooses to have her testimony viewed as worth half of a man’s there’s no problem!!” Never a question as to what outside influences had her make that choice.. and of course men dont ever seem to make the choice πŸ€”πŸ€” (sans the occasional TIM fetishizing women’s oppression of course 🀒)

      Shez’s dad absolutely lost no sleep on his actions. No man who could do what he did would lose a wink.

  13. ALHAMDULILLAH you do not know the relief i felt seeing that she had a hospital bracelet on. wow.

    1. Well spotted! Tiny silver-lining πŸ˜”

  14. had a dream about lb last night, woke up and rushed to check the update. hi meriam

  15. God, poor Meriam πŸ™ This page really reminds me of Josie’s situation, but in some way’s this one hits even harder because it’s not like her husband WANTED to leave her all alone. Glad but also sad to see her ditching the hijab, too – it’s a good thing it’s gone, but the context for why she did so is completely miserable.

    Props to you for having the guts to portray Islam as harmful to a woman, too – So much Libfem content I see loudly and proudly calls out patriarchy and misogyny in Christianity, but falls completely silent when it comes to any other religions. Sometimes I think it’s almost like they’re more concerned about being yelled at for intolerance rather than concerned for women :/

  16. Shez backstory already starts with a punch 😭😭
    Poor meriam. It shows that in a misogynistic religion, the more you obey the more life sucks for you, if you’re a woman. She did everything expected of her.

    She married, she got pregnant, she covered her head, (she wore makeup!) and she blindly listened and trusted her husband, even when he send her to the fucking end of the world pregnant, because that’s what a good wife does, right?

    My heart breaks for her already.
    The fact that he is a politician is the icing on the shit cake.
    Freeing women from men also means freeing them from men made religions!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Having said that, the art is absolutely gorgeous and I love this color palette for the backstory!! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

    1. Thoughtful as ever, Miss Sunny πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

      It really is true. No amount of obedience can save a woman from male cruelty/abuse/misogyny. There is no empowerment in something someone else can take away from you.

  17. Antiyourwokehomophobia2

    I think it’s interesting that the colors for the headcovering and the shirt inverted from panel 1 to 2!

  18. GODDESS OF COLOR STRIKES AGAIN. It’s so hard to believe those are all the same colors in those panels because of the intense variation in tone and mood. But also not hard at all because the whole page is so deeply unified by you using all the same colors.

    Panel one so sweet and warm. So optimistic. Lots of light. Empty white space to fill with the Possibilities of her New Life in the New Country! Panel two, THE DARKNESS. The grief, the agony, the heart-break, etc etc etc. The high contrast to help emphasize that shock. And then just all that RED in panel 3. The finality of it all. The somberness, Lacks the In Your Face feel the high levels of contrast in panel 2 has. Sit with the grief and the reality.

    There is so much to love about your art but like geez your colors are always one of the top most incredible things about it. You have gotten so, so good at it. Really seems like you devoted a lot of time to develop this deep understanding of good color, and you’re soooo good with the color that I almost wonder if it’s like instinctive at this point. You learned this skill and put it deep into your brain.

    I understand the theories of limited color pallet but I always find myself going “harumph harumph but I want to use 8,291 colors though”… Your art more then any other artwork I’ve ever seen exemplifies the strength of limited color palettes, your art more then any other artwork I’ve seen makes me go “ok I get it the color theorists are right I guess”. Teachers should use your comic pages in samples about THIS IS WHY LIMITED COLORS IS GOOD, STUDENTS.

    also side note really do enjoy getting to see all these character relationships with mothers. Media – it sure is weird sometimes. Mothers are the people who tend to raise the children and have a huge influence on our lives. Fathers are more likely to abandon the family or whittle away all their time at work or their hobbies and do very little care-giving. Looooots of media devotes loooots of time to Fathers though. So many Relationships With Fathers, while the mothers aren’t there at all.

    So refreshing to come away from a show where the mom characters are all either dead or not around, while the fathers get to exist and be named characters…. and see moms exist in LB. lol. It is so dorky people keep coming at you for Lack Of Father Representation when they can go literally anywhere else for that.

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like I grew a lot in this chapter and really got to practise working with values! Like I said in another comment, all the pages started out greyscale and were then converted using a “gradient map” tool.

      It was actually rather freeing to let go of thinking in consistent colours (like skin tone or clothing carrying over between each panel) and really sinking into what level of light and dark would be the most evocative!

      Wholeheartedly agree re: mothers in media. There is just SO many dynamics between mothers and daughters that have been left unexplored and are ripe for emotional and dramatic portrayals!

      Spoiler-y Paragraph Ahead:
      While Jaden’s dynamic with Josie is about coming to an understanding between the misogyny our mothers face and not forigving them for how they hurt us as daughters, Shez’s dynamic with Meriam delves into a power fantasy I know many daughters hold: to be able to protect our mothers from every man who has tried to hurt them.

  19. Bitter Asian dyke

    not you capturing how Asian male politicians treat the women they enter intimate relationships w/ accurately lmfao

    Like. The many times I’ve seen this in my home country is INSANE. Misogyny levels are so high w these types. Meriam is just another woman who suffered male corruption

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