This page is why I spent a month working on the script. And though I didn’t have to do too much art to get it out, I still ended up taking extra days on it because of how heavy of material it is.

It’s not just that these characters were bullied as kids, it’s that Merry is telling the story of her patchwork coping mechanism to a child and just now realizing how messed up it is. And all things considered, though Mara is currently sheltered, Merry is the one watching her because of discrimination… so she has her own hardships to face in the future and Merry KNOWS it. So the story doesn’t stop at the realization of that darkness. The cynicism just gets slightly glossed over and we carry on.

I’m really happy that my framing device of having Merry tell this story has let me very definitively not endorse this crap as healthy…