2188 May God Have Mercy.

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Twitter @betweenfailures

Now that my twitter feed is disconnected from the website it’s quite likely that most of the people that bother to read my blog did not see anything I posted there, so I’m going to go over at least one thing. I got a notification that someone deleted their patreon pledge early this morning. This is becoming more & more common as the covid epidemic continues to keep people from working & funds dry up. Still, I always check to see if they were dissatisfied with me in some way, which is, thankfully, rare. This morning, however, the reason given was as follows: Passed away. Alone. Found by a neighbour. GL” It was… I’m not sure what the word is. I was taken aback for a moment. I know I have lost readers to death because people have told me, or I was in contact with them in their final days. I can’t verify that this is even what really happened, but it seems like a strange thing to lie about. Regardless I reacted emotionally as though it was real & I had lost a reader & supporter that I actually have memories of reading their comments. They posted as Village Idiot. I actually searched the comment archive to see if they were the same person & the email on most posts matched. Village Idiot is actually a common name for people who post a single time, but the bulk of comments made by that username have the email attached. In any event was very sad. They had been a patron for about 5 years & a reader since at least as far back as Maddison’s introduction. Possibly further back, but a chunks of the archive have been lost over time as the site has been updated, migrated, & whatever else has happened. I can’t have a deep personal bond with every reader, it’s not humanly possible, but if you comment regularly I do remember your username, and even learn to understand your tone. I look forward to regular commenters like Professor Bear, Geneseepaws, t-ray, TRA, and others. Even if I don’t know exactly how to spell the name without looking. I also remember old commenters who stopped commenting, like Soticotto, or ability king KK. Even if I can’t be a huge part of your life you mean something to me beyond just being an audience. I want to make your life better with my work. I put a lot of my life into doing that & the idea of one of you passing on hurts. If you ever feel like your totally alone hit me up. I’ll give you a discord invite or something. Even though I can’t be there for all of you all the time we can be here for each other a lot of the time. I don’t want to get another message from someone’s loved ones telling me one of you died alone. Even if we can’t be together, let’s not be alone.


It’s not so much that I stopped commenting. It’s just I’m unfortunately the type who won’t say anything unless I feel like something NEEDS to be said. Of course that also means I haven’t stopped reading the comic. I don’t remember exactly when I started reading the comic, but I do know that I never missed an update as this is one of the best webcomics I’ve come across.

Don’t remember exactly what was wrong with my life that needed fixing, but I started reading here just before Mike the manager was introduced. I HAD been reading a different webcomic as my main comic character investment. Something negative happened to their liquid cat, and I thought, “Oh, hell, I’m tired of this negativity crap, imma find me a Good comic.” I perused a list of comic links and came here, …and stayed. It has highs, and lows, it makes me laugh, it has me ponder Life’s Rich Pageant. Yeah, I laugh, once in a while I cry, Jackie’s comic has a complex story, a colourful phantasy, but while it is told with hyperbole, it resonates with Truth. The characters have a real-ness about them that I couldn’t get from that so negative comic. These characters are amazing. Jackie’s art and skill in making his comic enriches my odd (currently odd-er than normally odd) life.

Sounds like you were once a fan of Something Positive. Same. That author drank too deeply of the woke Kool-Aid and almost immediately lost my readership. We even had a couple of heated arguments about his product over the twitters back when it wasn’t a partisan propaganda platform just yet. SP has only gotten MORE PROGRESSIVE since you probably stopped reading it. We all every one of alone in this life, but I am glad I get to share my loneliness with the wonderful people that make up this board. I have little else that currently distracts me from the inexorable call of the void so it is nice to occasionally reach out and touch someone. Have a wonderful day dude.

Uuugh, SP was one of the first web comics I started out with. In retrospect, it’s okay if you’re a nihilistic depressive, I guess? I had some momentum to keep reading but I wised up and stopped some years ago and haven’t really missed it. And now I’m actually a little bit happier that I didn’t waste my time when I realize it also got WOKE. It could get worse after all. Good intuition, Telepath.

I’m the same here. I generally don’t like talking online to begin with, and all the messes that keep happening ony shows (to me, at least) that it seems to be the correct way of doing things with the minimum of drama.

You’re a good man Jackie. Sorry for your loss and the families loss. :(

It’s always hard to find out someone who was even tangentially related to your existence is no more. Especially in times like these.

Village Idiot read for a long time, and supported for 5 years. That means they were enjoying the comic. And in these challenging times, enjoyment is a nurturing element in our lives. You did that person some good. Have no doubt – you gave them good in their life. And you are giving me something good in my life too. Thanks!

That’s really heavy to see out of the blue…
I realized a few days ago that your work has been bringing me smiles for over a decade. Thank you for letting us all see what you’ve made – and for all the awesome Patreon material, too!
Thanks again, especially for being willing to make time for those who need it.

That’s heart breaking to read, really. I don’t think we crossed paths but even both enjoying the same comic feels like there is some sort of connection that’s now lost.

I don’t see how people could be dissatisfied with your work though. This page had me chuckle over Ed’s dreading the apparently inevitable success he sees in Jessica’s future.

I feel that really says something about your connection to your readers. It’s like we’re sort of a family.

as someone who doesn’t comment often, I want to thank you for the work you do and the great stories you share with us. We don’t always vocalize it, but you make a difference to a lot of us.

I’ve only commented once or twice, probably to find out where a character I didn’t recall was introduced. That said, I saw your tweet yesterday about this and nearly cried. So bloody sad.

I did want you to know that I read only two web comics as often as you put them out – yours and Questionable Content. They always brighten my day. And a big thank you for the work you do!

That is a very heavy thing to start the day with. I really feel for you.

I hardly ever have an online voice but I have been reading you for about 10 years now. In that time I have done a PhD, moved countries, got married, adopted a dog, lost it to illness and adopted another dog. But every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, I start my day with your comic.

I thought you should know that you do mean a lot to a lot of people, including those of us who tend to be silent here.

What a tough thing to learn. I wholeheartedly support your message. And the comments are a place where the artist and reader community socializes.

Given the stuff circulating on the Internet, I try to grasp the situation more fully to see what I want to believe or explore different ways. Also, I have to admit I’m stubborn when I get a suggestion to feel a certain way. Grief through empathy comes easier for me than anger (often premature). But I feel a ‘need to know’ more, before committing even emotional energy.
So, to add to the thoughts, I’m going to explore some options, assuming the message cannot be taken at face value in its entirety.
I have no reason to mistrust the general background that the person died, also given the wording, which would be really rare for a troll, someone trying to get out of a subscription, or someone messing around a last time while unsubscribing – from a friendly rather than obnoxious service – which I think is possible anytime on Patreon, or the readers friends messing with them. (‘good luck’ does not seem to fit any of these alternatives, so I’d discard them)

So assuming that one of the readers likely died indeed.
Who is the narrator of the message?
(the neighbor or a relative seem likely, or Patreon if they do that)
To narrow it down:
Who has even access to and manages the deceased one’s accounts (on Patreon) to be able to post this message? (an heir; Patreon staff who received a message?).
As a follow-up, in what situation would this person be when cancelling a subscription? (receiving heritage and passwords takes time to get this access and cancel all accounts, so some time may have passed; sending an email to Patreon staff too, it’s not the first thing you do; but you would do it eventually if reminded by money going out of the account or as a systematic process of closing by a relative or a service person administrating the testament).
Then, this is their interpretation of what was going on, but do I agree? – Even if the person was alone, did they feel alone? Some introverts enjoy being alone and are having a great time, which some extraverts consider a pitiable state, but incorrectly so, as meditation can be rewarding. We know too little.
Besides participating in conversation online is experienced as a social interaction, so a busy poster might feel as part of the communities.
Alone – would suggest either the interpretation that they were living a lonesome life grieved or pitied by the narrator (maybe a mourning relative after some time), or without any remaining relatives (in which case, there is little commitment by the person, but then the note is a really friendly selfless gesture thinking of possible affected Internet acquaintances that might have an interest (maybe even a duty to inform people) or it is such a tough story that it feels like worth sharing; or one other message comes to mind: don’t call back, there isn’t anyone left here to get money from (if the message was copy-pasted from other subscription services or narrator does not know about Patreon).
The brevity and composition, for me, most points to either a grieving person, an uncommitted bystander, or an administrative service (except for: ‘alone.’ …?). I can’t decide on a single explanation, so either another alternative, I made a mistake somewhere, or author mixed different thoughts.
If it’s the grieving person then they might appreciate the support, and find solace in the thoughts about the online community. Keeping the memory is a good way to extend solace.

My mate has the book with all of my passwords, and instructions upon my death, where on the web to notify the site owners of my passing. I’m older than dirt, I go back to before hard drives, back to (HH) IBM cards. None of us know how many cards in our deck. We cannot know, except we do something stupid, and even then that is not always assured.
There are many folks that I’ve met through the internet, some I have then met in real life, and some with whom I have true relationships, though some have grown away.
If I’ve “Gone to Join the Choir Indivisible” you’ll know.

God created cats so Man wouldn’t feel he was at the top of the heap.
He gave us dogs, so we would never feel that life was no longer worth living.

Apple ][ e. High school.

You were in High School?

Heh. Kids. The Apple II+ didn’t come out until I was in college.

That’s why I advertised myself as a “legacy systems specialist.” Which was important awhile back, but nowadays nobody knows what a legacy system is.

I comment very rarely and I don’t always use the same name, nor the same email address,I think (it really has been a while). In fact I don’t even remember what name I used last time, so you wouldn’t ever remember me. I’m one of your German fans. And I very much enjoy your work.

Anyway, I’ve been reading ever since Questionable Content linked your comic years ago. Does anyone recall when that was?

I do at least

I’m not really suprised ^^ So, how long has it been?

I think for me it was the opposite, I’ve been here since about ‘08 or so. I was reading this before questionable content.
Daily it’s questionable content
WAS wapsi square (not sure what happened there)
And recently ennui go

Long time reader, infrequent commenter. I may not comment much, but I look forward to checking for a new comic every MFW. It cheers me up to get ready for the day. Keep up the good work. Not everyone keeps up their schedule (I’m looking at you Kurtz) and it’s disappointing when they quit. I understand life happens, but I appreciate artists like you who care enough about their fanbase to keep on trucking through it all.

Hey man I don’t comment very often but I like to check in from time to time to say I’m still here I’m still reading every page you put up and you’re doing a great job. Hit me up sometime I’d love to chat again.

be gentle with yourself Jackie… That was pretty heavy to find in my morning comics, but thank you for being here for all of us!

The upshot to dying alone, of course, is that you’re just as dead either way. I fully expect that this is how I will go out, assuming something doesn’t do the job prematurely that I don’t see coming like a home invasion or a zombie apocalypse or even that ole Sweet Meteor of Death.

It is a sad notion, certainly, but life is full of sad notions. Sadness is the background radiation of life, try as we might to plug the gaps with various means. Once you can accept that it’s always there, you’re likely to do a better job of ignoring it.

It’s nice to see that as much as your story resonates with your readers, we also resonate with you. Didn’t really expect that. I’m sorry for everybody’s loss; the world is down one person with good taste.

That is all most as bad as what happened to my Aunt just two weeks ago. She has been trying to sell her house.. Had a buyer all lined up. The only stipulation was that the house have a new roof put on. Contractors were called, everything was lined up to go, except the roof color. My aunt tried calling the woman several times. The realtor tried calling several times. Finally the realtor went to the ladies house and found her dead on the kitchen floor.

I suppose that given the fluidity of Internet connectivity becoming a type of friendship has allowed for lovers to not be so alone. Yet, with the need for the human being to be a social animal, the lack of the physical component seems to carry a certain stigmata that more than likely will continue to resonate with people. Most likely, “What have I been doing?” comes to mind.

I avoid commenting because I genuinely believe and understand my voice to be meaningless, my comments useless, my thoughts forgotten…. Which sucks because I also genuinely believe myself to be a bright, kind, interesting person who understands imperfection and believes in beauty. However the second I start to compliment myself, others tear me down. My “being”, that I am, is an affront to what they are and any joy in myself is quickly ripped away.

I’ve been ripped too much. If I have something positive, I’ll keep it to myself. I know I am nothing. I’m glad everyone else feels for you and cares for you, that you have people who you look forward to and recognize, especially because of how worthless I am. Peace be to all.

I’m sorry you feel that way. You commented quite a bit for a while there.

…..my daughter was murdered. My sons taken. I’m….still coming out of it. I’m about to heat up some spaghetti? I’m looking at buying a camping sink? It’s something. I do have friends now just…. The government, and the “family” I’ve had, haven’t made me feel very loved.

Shut up

Just shut up

I went through a hard time in my life and was diagnosed with depression. I managed to work through it. You are worth so much. Your voice matters. Hell, I still take pills for my depression but I am still going strong.

Really I read this comment and I mean everything I said here

I know this was an outreach to other people and them not being alone, but like, I’d give you a hug if I knew you and I didn’t have covid. Sounds like you need one too.

Thank you very much for giving me a comic I regularly enjoy. I love the distinct realism of your characters and feel like I could be friends with almost all of them.

I don’t really comment much on things. I got banned off of a comic once for reacting to the author’s blog and sort of tapered off from the practice afterwards. However, you are definitely an inspirational person, Jackie.

Longtime reader, rare poster. It’s sad to hear when something like that happens, and I hope it was an easy passing for him. On the other hand, it is beautiful to see a creator so invested in their community. Thank you so much for continuing to do what you do.

Hi Jackie,
Thanks for appreciating us readers! :D

Thanks for the fantastic comic.
I like- reading it, + talking w/ you, + other readers, in the comments section.
I hope that you’re doing OK, today. :D

I don’t comment much, but maybe I should start.

Belatedly, I appreciate everything the last arc gave us: all the character insights into everyone involved, giving everyone some screentime without any of it getting bogged down. And it’s been nice to see Evrina and Nina again since then.

It’s not easy to derive comfort from anything these days, but I hope you take comfort in this: Even if you decided to stop posting today (which I realize is unlikely), you and the regular commenters here have built something of a bond, if only in terms of fond memories to look back. I firmly believe we are, none of us, easily forgotten (at least in terms of our impact on the world and the people around us, if not in name). There is comfort in that, I think. We’ll carry on.

been reading since the smackjeeves days and I always look forward to your updates.
I only comment like… once in a blue moon but now seems as good a time as any to say thank you for the time and effort– thank you for the comics.

My condolences, as well.

I’ve been reading your comics for years. I’m not actually sure when I started (maybe right before Thomas and Carol got together?) but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. Just never had too much to say. I recently did a full re-read of this comic with special attention to the blog posts. Please take care of yourself…
My condolences for this loss, and I hope you are doing okay these days. Thank you for the wonderful comics.

Hey Jackie,

Man, that’s insanely rough. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

I may not comment often, but I read every MWF, and am subscribed to both Patreons. Here’s hoping things look up for tou soon

Still have a drawing you did to go with my copy of one of the Star Wars games for the SNES. I don’t comment much because I’m very nervous around people, but I’m still reading.

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