Comic 355 - Sunrise

14th Jul 2012, 7:49 PM in The Sun Always Rises
Average Rating: 5 (7 votes) Rate this comic
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Author Notes:

view 14th Jul 2012, 7:49 PM edit delete
At last we've reached the end of the road. This was a really long road, and the first time I've finished such a long comic.

Chances are that a lot of you are irritated by the ending. I'll talk about that more on the next few pages.

On this page, I just wanted to say: wow, this took a long time. The whole thing was planned out before anything was drawn - not word by word, but each plot event.

The commenters were really invaluable - their feedback allowed me to "steer" the details of the comic to give the kind of feel I actually wanted to give. I can't imagine working without an audience - it would be so easy to get things completely wrong.

This was really obvious when I drew the last few pages. After each I would stop and go off and eat dinner or whatever, and when I came back I would expect comments to be waiting. Good, bad, and ugly. But, of course, I hadn't uploaded anything yet, so there were no comments. It was very disconcerting.


cattservant 14th Jul 2012, 8:42 PM edit delete reply
At your service, thank you!
Sheela 15th Jul 2012, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Indeed, commenting was a pleasure for us. :)

I also often see comics where the author of the comic being active in the comments section tends to be much more popular than they would otherwise be.

Wether it's because people wants to rub necks (weird phrase, I wonder where it comes from) with the "famous"/"celebrity" of the comic, I dunno ... but it has an effect, that's for sure.
view 15th Jul 2012, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
I can hardly call this comic popular, but it was fun and there were enough commenters to keep me busy.
cattservant 15th Jul 2012, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
As long as we 'centers of the universe' gravitate to it, it's popular! Thank you very much!
Meh.Aloe 15th Jul 2012, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
If it's good enough for time-cats, it's good enough for the rest of us!
cattservant 15th Jul 2012, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
We are all on commentary orbits* and now we are headed out for deep space!

*(Out-gassing and showing our tails as we rounded the Sun!
**(It Moves!)
Sheela 16th Jul 2012, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
Out of curiosity, how big a following did you get ?

ie. roughly how many unique viewers daily ?
view 16th Jul 2012, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
~700 a day at the peak.
Sheela 17th Jul 2012, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Really ? Not as much as I'd have thought, but at the same time not an insignificant number either.

I mean heck, try and stuff 700 people into the same room and suddenly they'd look like a lot bigger of a following than when it's just a number on paper !

On a sidenote, did you ever make any effort of promoting the comic anywhere, or was it a straight word-of-mouth kinda thing ?
view 17th Jul 2012, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
I didn't advertise in the slightest. I don't really need a big audience.
Sheela 17th Jul 2012, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
That's actually pretty impressive then. :)
Meh.Aloe 15th Jul 2012, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
I didn't want to leave a comment on the last page because it looks so pristine and sad without comments... Somehow appropriate. :P

Ahhh. How does Jim cope with this? I remember all the parallels to when Hansel got reset (and he probably lost less time). How hard it was for his friends, and how Jim said that they can't treat him as if he was broken, that they can't cry about it when he wakes up. Jim can't let Mary feel that she's "broken," or show her how hurt and sad he really is. While living with her, and being in love with her.

Wahhh, such a sad ending. D:

The good kind of sad, though. :)
view 15th Jul 2012, 5:04 PM edit delete reply
Meh.Aloe 15th Jul 2012, 5:42 PM edit delete reply
I am still trying to figure out how much Mary has been told about what happened before she got reset. Hansel got everything explained to him, and some sort of "album" of his memories afterwards, as far as I understand, which is why he was sad that he got to grab a boob. :( But Mary doesn't seem to know she was together with Jim. On the other hand, maybe she does know, but sees this as being entirely a part of "another" Mary's life, and thus very separate from who she is now, which seems like a Mary-ish perspective. This also depends on the question of whether everyone in town knows that Mary is a robot, or just herself and Jim, which is something I still haven't been able to figure out. In this community it doesn't seem like there's much point in keeping her true nature a secret, especially since she herself knows, but it feels like there might have been some hints that others don't know -- other people calling her "Marina", for example, and the general absence of any hints at all throughout the whole work. Though as for that last part, in a community where robots are just your next-door neighbour, I suppose there's no particular reason to mention it, and it never came up...
JasperWB 15th Jul 2012, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
To answer one point, I believe she got an album of memories and knows she was/is in a relationship with Jim but it will take a while for her to get used to it. It was a jump for her, as most relationships are when they escalate. I'm also beginning to think this was indeed the first time they got romantic and this was the first time she had to be reset.
cattservant 15th Jul 2012, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
She was a bit quicker off the mark to move in with him this time...
Meh.Aloe 15th Jul 2012, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
I think you are right. It makes sense. We know that Mary thinks of herself as a "completely different person" from who she was 10 years ago, so it makes sense that she'd also be a "completely different person" after a reset, especially since we know she takes everything that has to do with loss of a mind's continuity very seriously. To Mary, the relationship between her and Jim basically happened to a "completely different person" now, though it seems she is interested in trying to catch up.

It keeps getting me just how sad this ending is. :( The entire comic has basically been one long tale of personal growth for Mary, as we see her slowly grow up a bit, gain a little confidence, build a relationship with Jim, grow comfortable with her sexuality, lose her octopus friends, learn to (partially, I guess) cope with this loss... And now we see all of this wiped out; though Mary is still alive, the particular person we've been watching grow for this entire comic is dead.

The world-building view came up with here is especially awesome, as it alone allows for this peculiar ending: the guy and girl still end up together (in that it's hinted they'll be forming a relationship again), but at the same time we still get all the tragedy of watching the heroine die. :( That, combined with the surprise of the reveal, really does make it a very gut-punchy ending.
Guest 25th Feb 2017, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
A bit like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, heart wrenching ending but with a slight hopeful tilt
CyberSkull 16th Jul 2012, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
Happy to be of some small service in your world building!
exxtrooper 16th Jul 2012, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
I didn't entirely get the twist, she was a robot? The last pages came a bit sudden, they didn't seem to explain too much at least from my POV.
view 16th Jul 2012, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
The intention wasn't to explain, but, yeah, she's a robot.
Hawk 24th Jul 2012, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
That really cuts me deep. Loss of information is terrible, and loss of years is exponentially worse. Now we only know a shadow of what Mary could be, and that's more than she knows of herself. Brilliant and powerful, View. This is unquestionably the best short story I've read on the internet, and I read 40+ other web-comics (Questionable Content, Dominic Deegan, Ctrl-alt-del, Order of the Stick, to name a few). They each are great stories, but none of them have yet to reach the level of world building or relationship building that seems to come naturally to you. I'm truly thankful you chose to tell your story.
view 24th Jul 2012, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
Thanks. Now I'm going to put out a worthless piece of shlock!
Lysander 31st Dec 2012, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
I love this story. I started reading it today and couldn't stop until I finished.

I saw hints of something not quite right throughout the story, but came to the wrong conclusions. The robot reveal makes sense, like puzzle pieces suddenly lining up all at once. Especially in view of some of the comment-replies you made. That bit with the "photo of the ex-girlfriend" was rather inspired.
view 31st Dec 2012, 2:14 AM edit delete reply
You're the first one who noticed, I think. :D
Susu 22nd Feb 2016, 3:30 AM edit delete reply
I saw she was a robot and I immediately thought HOW MANY TIMES HAS THIS HAPPENED. For FUCK'S sake. A picture of his ex-girlfriend, wouldn't be too hard to edit her face on to it. GOD DAMN IT. How many times has she been reset, how long has Jim been courting her?
pdk1359 29th Jun 2016, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
"How many times" is also my immediate thought. I've read through the comic twice in quick succession now and I think, THAT is why she is and everyone thinks she's dumb; she isn't but she has made mistakes, every so often, just bad enough she has to start over and CAN'T LEARN FROM HER MISTAKES.
That makes me want to cry the most.
Jaime 3rd Jul 2013, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
well now I'm sad, but in the good way
I congratulate you for your work well done, this is one of the best comics that I have read this year and I hope enjoy future projects

(sorry for my spelling, English is not my native language)
justkuz 27th Aug 2013, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
So bitter sweet, it left me feeling empty inside :'( . Well done view! I cant wait to catch up with your current project. No web comic has ever touched me on the level that this one has. Thank You :)
Frank 5th Jan 2014, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
This is so sad. : (

Wonderful comic. I didn't pick up that she was a bot. I thought it was PTSD from the war.
Red 7th Feb 2014, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
So, I'm confused. There are obviously other androids but none of them look exactly like humans. I know Miwa had sythetic parts after she got struck by lightning, or was she a robot even before then? Are human minds transferred into synthetic bodies if someone is seriously wounded? Because that would make sense, essentially blurring the lines between synthetic and biotic in a BSG sort of way. Also her being a robot explains how she is the same age in that flash back, and Jim is a kid.

Any clarification you can provide would be awesome, there isn't exactly a wiki for this.

Also I really enjoyed the comic, the ending is sad and left me bitter, but it's well written and illustrated.
Fruitsalead 24th Mar 2014, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
Reading trough this was an awesome experience. I want to read more comics like this. And it's awesome to know that Jim and Mary can learn to love each other again. Thanks for this amazing story.
P.s. What type of comic is this?
view 24th Mar 2014, 1:39 AM edit delete reply
A webcomic?
Fruitsalead 24th Mar 2014, 1:47 AM edit delete reply
Ok Thanks. What type of art is this?
view 24th Mar 2014, 2:04 AM edit delete reply
It's just my style. There's not a keyword for it.
Fruitsalead 24th Mar 2014, 2:16 AM edit delete reply
Cool. Well looking forward to more of your "style" in the future. Thank you! :)
view 24th Mar 2014, 2:34 AM edit delete reply
Well, there's several more comics. You can find them from my profile.
Solid Snake 3rd Jun 2014, 11:43 PM edit delete reply
Solid Snake
"I'm a completely different person than 10 years ago!" it was right there in my face and yet I never expected this ending. My god view you know how to make some emotional stuff. 5/5 view n exceptional comic. Cheers to your new works!
view 3rd Jun 2014, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
DieKatzchen 23rd Oct 2014, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
"I'm fat, I blame you for that." "You made me like it too much." "I could cover her face with yours pretty easily."

So many references.

"I could have them made of carbon jelly. Then they'd feel the same."
view 23rd Oct 2014, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
Yup, good eye.
Guest 27th Nov 2018, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Man did I love this.

So Mary is made (in part) of carbon jelly?

And why was she in a wheelchair?

Did Jim make/remake Mary in previous instances? Did he make her how she always was or in a way he found attractive? (since she often mentions her dislike for her body) She didn't want to make a body that she liked more (like Esteban's hulking body?) Was Mary ever a human? Why don't more robots choose to have a super humanlike body? (Or are some of the people we thought were humans robots????? D:)

Is there an ethical reason/no way to back up memories without switching bodies like Gretel did? This would make more sense to me if she was a cyborg, but why not back up memories, say, on your birthday? I guess it would be expensive?

Do people know she's a robot? Did Miwa know she was a robot and that Jim made her when she made fun of her at Jim's house?

So many questions! If you mean to leave these up to reader's interpretation I understand, but could you give a concise explanation of the flashback?

Was Piers a robot too? Do robots dream or do they just have flashbacks? Each question I think of leads to more, gaaaah
ProperMay 27th Nov 2018, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
Saw that you weren't a fan of guests, so I made an account :)

One final topic of questions, that you may be more comfortable answering: XVT is the carbon dissolving WMD. But what is the thing in the tank? Which came first, XVT or the thing in the tank? Someone in the comments likened it to a hermit crab- is that accurate? Is it sentient? Was there a war of some kind in the US or was it used to quell riots or something else? Why did it slice up Hansel's hands but not slice through other robots, and is that different from how XVT affects organic material? How was it able to control the tank so finely as to make it shoot? Was it actually aiming for someone? What made it come to life? Why couldn't Jim tell that it was a bioweapon and not just mud?

Ugh, I wish i could've asked all this in 2012, but I literally read the whole thing today :/
Marenz 7th Apr 2015, 11:47 PM edit delete reply
Beautiful and sad. Made me laugh at some points in the story and made me sad, especially now.

I just read through the whole thing in ~2 hours.

Thank you.
Guest 28th Aug 2015, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
So was marie always a robot? i'm still confused...
Andersmith 11th Jan 2016, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
I second this question. It seems reasonable to suspect that Marie was human because of her disease in the flashbacks and that she had possibly died and Jim remade her. Jim's talk with Elvis in #241 makes me think that.
Susu 22nd Feb 2016, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
Yes I'd like an answer to this as well. Did Jim create a robot from Mary or was Mary always a robot? Did Mary die?
Joke Eel 15th Aug 2016, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
My personal take was that Mary died at some point, and Jim tried to make a copy of her based on the experience of who she was ("I'm not a very good musician").
Samuraiartguy 19th Oct 2015, 4:40 AM edit delete reply
My son tipped me on to this one. Surprisingly powerful and very heartfelt. Tore through the entire thing in two evenings. Well done.
ColdFusion 28th Sep 2016, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
Why.. why did she have to be programmed to get drunk? "Alcohol fuels my power cells" they said...
Jaytho 15th Nov 2016, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
I can't get enough of your style; the in and out focus, the shift between so simple- the capture of motion and expression... I wish I was a real timer audience but glad I could binge and experience the entire story. You are gifted, thanks for sharing.
view 25th Feb 2017, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Well, I have other comics if you want to join the present.
Andrew_C 8th Oct 2018, 8:53 PM edit delete reply
Wait. So Mary was restored from the backup after all? The first time I read this I was sure she wasn't.