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No. 407: Nancy's Spiral into Depression, parts 4-10

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Nancy's Spiral into Depression, parts 4-10

First | Previous | 2020-06-20 | Next | Latest

Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/itoons/?comic=407

Strip by: KelpTheGreat

Strip one:
Agnes: Do you ever have ideas that you think are great at three in the morning...
Agnes: But the next morning you wake up and realize they were terrible?
Nancy: No, my ideas are always good
Nancy {thinking}: Why can't I keep myself from saying things that will make my friends dislike me

Strip two:
Nancy: I can't work on homework today, my brain is too tired from thinking yesterday
Fritzi: Well, that's an excuse you've never tried before. What were you thinking so hard about?
Caption box: Yesterday
Nancy {thinking}: What's even the point of living?

Strip three:
Nancy: Why would I ever feel great? I'm scared of the way I am
Lucy: Sounds like you just need self-confidence
Nancy {thinking}: If only it were that easy

Strip four:
Nancy: I like sports, so I think I'm going to become a famous athlete
Melissa: Don't underestimate how hard that is to accomplish, Nancy
Melissa: You could devote years of your life to a sport... only to discover that you just don't have the right body type for it
Nancy: Sounds like I shouldn't even bother, then

Strip five:
Melissa: You're looking depressed these days, kiddo
Nancy: How presumptuous
Nancy: You can't tell how happy or sad someone is just from looking at them
Nancy: It's just like I told you a couple seconds ago: you don't know what's going on in someone's life
Caption box: A couple seconds earlier...
{Nancy is face-down on her desk}
Nancy: ...can'tph mmphmph... somephmph hlifeph...

Strip six:
Esther: I know you say you like me. But you keep inventing ways to get out of hanging out with me.
Esther: So maybe what you actually like... is that
{Beat panel, Esther walks away, leaving Nancy standing stock-still}
{Beat panel}
Nancy {thinking}: I wish I could still cry

Strip seven:
Fritzi {thinking}: I'm already starting to give up on my new year's resolutions
Man {thinking}: I'm already starting to give up on my new year's resolutions
Lucy and Agnes' mom {thinking}: I'm already starting to give up on my new year's resolutions
Nancy {thinking}: I'm giving up

The author writes:

Who's that breathing a sigh of relief that there aren't actually going to be ten individual updates in this series? That's right, it's you. =P

The seven strips in this update are justified left, and are the original sizes they are on GoComics. As you can tell, Nancy has been shrinking over the last couple of years. The strip, that is, not the character; note the italics.

Some of these strips I had the punchline (or "punchline", if you prefer) in mind pretty much right after reading the original strip. Others took a bit longer in the ol' creative process. I knew I wanted strip #3 from the art alone, but the dialogue took me a while. Up 'til that point, I had been just changing the last line of the strip. But nothing I could think of seemed to make sense given the prior dialogue. I took a break and did strip #5, which worked really well with just changing a couple of crucial words, so I decided to let myself edit earlier panels if necessary. Then I hit upon the idea of rearranging the existing text in strip #3 to allow for a better set-up. The art in the first panel is a little bit mismatched now, but I like the result.

Strip #6 gave me similar trouble, but I eventually used a combination of existing and original text in the first panel to change the intent of the second panel's dialogue from an observation/compliment to an "I don't want to be friends with you anymore" line. Oh, the cleverness of me!

I wanted to do something along the lines of "I wish I could stop stress-eating" in the last panel of strip #7, but it just didn't seem right. Then I realized I could just copy the "I'm already starting to give up" line from the prior three panels, giving the line a different connotation. I eventually shortened it to just "I'm giving up," since that seemed more immediately despairing. And, even though I did say these weren't in any intentional order, it seemed to work well, given the events of the previous strips.

Original Nancy strips: 2018-10-15, 2019-11-12, 2019-11-20, 2019-04-11, 2020-02-18, 2020-01-11, 2020-01-25.

Font used: Dilbert Font 2.