Dear Allie Brosh,
I am a HUGE fan. I am sure you hear that like all the time, and I won't claim to be your biggest fan, because that gives off a psycho stalker vibe, and I'm not that, even though right now, I bet it seems a little creepy that my username references you. Probably should have created a throwaway, huh?
I have two H&aH t-shirts: The Alot and Clean All the Things!/Clean all the things? When I wear them in public, I make friends with anyone who gets them. My fiance pre-ordered your book for me as a surprise one day because he knew it would make me happy. It did.
I'm babbling! Questions: 1) You have almost a cult like following. Have you ever considered using your powers for evil?
2) Are you accepting applications for an online BFF?
3) [serious] Do lots of people just randomly ask you about your depression after your two poignant posts about the topic?
4) In your long absences where the internet worries and frets about you, do you still check sites like reddit under a secret, incognito identity? (You don't have to tell us what it is, obviously.)
5) I'm a reasonably good cook and an out-of-this-world dessert maker. If, for some obviously horrible reason, you were stuck in South Dakota, what could I make you that would make you happy? (besides corn.)
6) On a scale from the most painful level on your pain scale to riding a pterodactyl into battle, where would you rate your book?
1) The evilest thing I've considered doing is asking all of my readers to send weird things to one of my friends.
2) Yes. Please describe for me your attributes and shortcomings.
3) I wouldn't say randomly, but people do ask me about it. I don't mind at all. If anything, I like that they are willing to talk about it with me.
4) I was pretty shut off from the internet during most of that time, but I do have an incognito Reddit account.
5) My favorite food is definitely nachos. I also enjoy guacamole.
6) 16.154 pliestocenes.
1) I'd do it, but only for you, Matthew Inman, and Stephen Colbert.
2) Attributes: Former opera singer, so I have some pipes. And that comes in handy for things like needing a singer. I'm working on developing the superpower of breaking glass with my voice. I work with children, so I have endless funny stories and quotes, because, you know, kids say funny shit. I wear hair bows all the time that I make myself, which people think is pretty cool. And... erm... I write erotica. Not sure which category that falls in for you. Shortcomings: I care too much. :P Just kidding. I watch stupid TV shows, I blast opera on my radio to get back at my annoying neighbors, I'm a bit of a craft supply hoarder.
6) Excellent. I hope to rate it similarly on Amazon.
But would you be able to SING erotica?
Do you ever do this with nachos: http://xkcd.com/140/ ?
Also I love your writing and you are awesome.
I also invented a new type of nacho — the potato chips nacho — and it is way classier than you would expect.
Would you rather fight a horse sized duck or a hundred duck sized horses?
I choose the ducks.
I would use diplomacy to get them on my side, then open the world's most homogenous petting zoo.
Allie, does being objectively awesome help alleviate your depression?
You're about to publish a highly anticipated book, you have a Wikipedia page about you / your blog that is viewed and edited by people other than yourself, and you painted a portrait of depression that has profoundly resonated with too many people to count. Do you think that having more tangible, external successes like these makes it easier to avoid being sad? Are those things any better at battling unhappiness than your friends just telling you you're a swell gal, or are all weapons equally futile against the sneaky self-hate spiral?
Also, I want to try to impress upon you how much I've been anticipating your book. I pre-ordered it TWO HOUSES ago. That's right, I have moved TWICE since preordering your book (and thankfully remembered to change my shipping address both times). I don't know how long a house is in minutes, but I have lived in three of them while looking forward to your book, and that's a lot of looking-forward-to.
By my calculations, that would be about nine hundred million house minutes. I'm thoroughly impressed!
In the first stages of my depression (several years ago), there was a bit of self loathing involved, but anymore, it's just an emptiness and inability to engage with things. In other words, I have everything to be happy about, but when I'm very depressed, I'm far too detached to enjoy anything.
As for the self loathing, I definitely used to be a lot more anxious than I am now. And in a way, I think my depression cured my anxiety. I might be an emotionless wasteland inside, but it's really hard to upset me!
Hi Allie! I have a close friend who is depressed right now, and I don't know what to do! From the perspective of someone who has dealt with depression, what can I do to help her?
ninja edit: Oh oh I have another question. When is the last time you've had chocolate milk? Did you enjoy it?
The best thing I can say is don't try to fix it for them. That can be hard because it's natural to want to help, but clinical depression doesn't really have a reason behind it or a clear solution, and all the helpful advice almost makes the depressed person feel pressured to pretend they feel better so they don't frustrate the people trying to help them.
It was incredibly relieving for me to know that I could just sit next to someone and watch a movie or eat dinner or whatever, and not have to worry about making them feel like everything was okay. Because it wasn't. And I didn't know when it would be again. But it felt nice to not have to pretend.
I feel this fits well here: http://i.imgur.com/lrLPrWQ.png
This is probably the most helpful thing that could have happened short of spontaneously not feeling depressed anymore.
We will never know about the chocolate milk.
I haven't had chocolate milk in probably too long. Perhaps I shall remedy that today, and then my answer to the question will be "right now."
How was it?
I never went to the store.
But I did eat some raspberries in cream, and those were delicious! Almost as delicious as chocolate milk!
Hey Allie! Thank you for being you, and sharing the results with us. I've been following your blog for years and can't wait to get my grubby hands on your book.
I don't know if you realize it, but having someone with your talent and unique voice express what it means to have depression has helped me and others a lot with talking to other people about it, especially to those who haven't experienced it themselves. Keep being awesome, and good luck with that book launch!
Oh, question! Right. So… would you rather fight a shark bear-sized alot, or a hundred alot-sized shark bears?
I'm glad that it made it easier to talk about!
As for the question, I'm going to choose the one shark bear sized Alot because shark-bears and Alots are roughly the same size, and fighting one of them sounds much easier than fighting a hundred of them.
Well it's certainly not alittle...
Hi, Allie - my question is about Internet fame. How has it impacted your work/creative process, if at all? It seems that having the huge pressure of having tons of adoring fans all waiting anxiously for your next update could either be gratifying (yay, fans!) or terrifying (OMG, fans) or somewhere in between. And were you surprised at how popular you became and how quickly?
Thanks for doing this AMA, btw.
It was definitely surprising when things started taking off.
I'm a bit reclusive, so I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who's constantly present on social media, but I'm also pretty emotionally stable (doubly so ever since most of my feelings melded into a single, flat anti-feeling), and that makes it easier to just take things in stride and have fun.
In the world of writing internet content, there's all this talk of "maintaining an audience" and "staying on the radar," but I'd rather just work really hard for a really long time on one thing that I feel really good about publishing. I know how much work I put into the things I publish, and I suppose that makes it easier to feel confident.
Big fan. Your perspective on depression really helped me get through some hard times, so thank you so much!
My question is: do you have a routine to get those "creative juices" flowing or help bring about inspiration?
I seem to get the best ideas when I am nowhere near a writing surface (in the shower, when I'm on a ten mile run out in the desert, in the car going 80 miles per hour, etc), so sometimes I'll just go sit a long ways away from my paper and pens and see what happens.
Really, though, the best way I've found is to keep a collection of ideas and constantly revisit them. I'll often write something down that doesn't seem like it will go anywhere, then look at it three months later and suddenly know what to do because I have a different perspective on it.
You should invest in some shower crayons
What? Get out of here — those are real???
Hi Allie! I'm a huge fan. I was wondering what your usual process is for your entires. Do you have the details of the story in mind before you begin drawing or do you ever have the drawing visualized in your head and flesh out the written details later?
*edit to add: Will simple dog be making an appearance in your book?
I've learned that I need to have the text of a post firmly in place before I start drawing or else I will end up being wildly inefficient and having to draw three hundred extra pictures because I decided to restructure the story eighteen times.
As I'm writing, though, I'll put in descriptions of the pictures I want to include. For example, here's a snippet from an early draft of my latest post:
I had never felt so powerful before. The feeling tingled at the base of my spine, slowly intensifying and spreading throughout my body. And as I stood there, the power surging through me like jolts of electricity, it became clear that I would need to find some way to use it. Any way. Immediately.
[Me, still standing there, looking sort of desperate] [Me, flipping out, other children running away] [One more frame with me throwing things, maybe?] [Standing in middle of room, looking crazed, teacher is saying "NO. This is not inside behavior!" I am not even aware she exists. I am a dinosaur]
I had completely lost control of my body. I was a mindless juggernaut, the puppet for a force greater than myself.
[Picture, me close up, looking over my shoulder as I'm scribbling on the walls with a giant handful of crayons. Crazed]
Book link for the lazy.
Sorry, I don't have any questions. I don't know much about you or what you do. But, hi! Thanks for doing an AMA and have a fantastic day!
Fine, that's kind of a cop out. Uhhh, what slightly greedy thing do you do most often?
I do nice things so I can feel good about how nice I'm being.
Now that's a cop out.
Your face is a cop out.
Ah... well shit.
It's okay. Everyone's face is a cop out sometimes.
That's a step up from Louis C.K. who just thinks about doing nice things so he can then think about how nice of a guy he would be if he did those nice things.
I do that a lot. But then I found out about it, so I had to actually start doing nice things every now and then to disguise the fact that I wouldn't normally be doing them from myself.
Are you disguising the facts from yourself or from everyone else or from both? 'Cause it takes way more effort to disguise stuff from yourself, but on the other hand it's not that bad if you get caught.
Edit - scratch that, it just might be worse getting caught disguising stuff from yourself. It's awfully hard getting away from yourself.
Yeah. I'm always trying to pull one over on myself. I want to be a genuinely good person so that I can have the satisfaction of knowing that I'm like that, but there are too many slightly shitty parts, so I have to pretend so I'll believe myself.
You are amazing
Your face is amazing.
This insult template somehow doesn't work as well when applied to compliments.
ALLIE ALLIE ALLIE So glad to see you back with your comic and general internet presence! (I hope the depression continues to be beaten back by random pieces of corn everywhere.)
My question is this: what is your everyday life like these days?
Random addendum: I actually pre-ordered your book TWICE because I forgot that I pre-ordered the first time, and rather than cancel one of them I'm just excited that I'll be getting two copies.
My everyday life goes something like:
9:00 AM: Wake up, then lie in bed for several minutes, staring at the ceiling and thinking morning thoughts (the weird thoughts you have when you aren't fully awake yet).
9:10 AM Get up, stumble downstairs, make Irish breakfast tea with ludicrous amounts of cream. Walk back upstairs, probably dribbling tea everywhere because I filled the cup way too full and I never learn, and then lie in bed and drink tea and surf the internet.
Several hours later: need to take shit. Sit on toilet and read for half an hour.
Noon-ish: Feeling inspired by my bathroom reading session, decide to write.
9:00 PM: Entire day has been lost to an uncontrollable writing binge. Realize that I haven't eaten all day. Go downstairs, make nachos. Go back upstairs, continue binge-writing until too tired.
Rinse and repeat.
Of course, there are days thrown in where I do different things, like going outside. I like the days that I go outside.
What are you poop reading lately?
If you add a little coconut oil to your tea it takes the cream thing to a whole new level.
Holy shit — really?
Where do I get coconut oil?
Silly girl, girls don't poop
I do, though.
Doesn't everyone just reddit on their smartphone these days?
I still have a stupid phone.
I'm unwilling to adjust to a new one, though.
Hi Allie, I don't actually have a question yet - I'm just relaying on a message.
A bunch of people from the forum want me to thank you for being awesome and creating it, so "Thanks for being awesome and creating the forum!"
Alot of them aren't redditors, so it took it upon myself to relay on their gratitude.
Edit: Apparently I lied, some are making accounts just for you.
Hey! I'm glad to hear Very Serious is still out there, being anything but very serious. One of these days, I'm going to get on there again. I have such fond memories of the early days of that forum.
I want to ask you prefer mayonnaise, or would rather that your local WNBA franchise were to build a Lego bedroom set for you.
Plus I echo the thanks for the forum, it really helped me while I was recovering from the bear mauling.
Edit: Also, edit.
Lego bedroom set. All the way.
Does the mattress have to be made out of legos, though?
Hi Allie. No questions, just really wanted to thank you for your posts about your battle with depression. I am going through it right now and it really helped me feel like I wasn't alone. I haven't found my kernel of corn under the fridge yet, but I feel like I'm getting there.
Hey man, getting there is a good place to be (at least relatively speaking). And I hope you do find your corn kernel (whatever form it takes).
I pre-ordered your book on Amazon, then Amazon suggested that people who bought your book also bought spice graters. Are there any suggested spices that go well with your book? Should I practice grating stuff until your book arrives?
Edit: Okay, I gave in and bought the grater. Will report back on Thursday with a full review.
Edit 2: Grater arrived today. Did some amateur testing with nutmeg and came away very pleased. Now to wait for the book for the real test.
I don't know why this happened to you, but I like that it did.
As for spices, I feel like my book would pair well with cumin.
I am eagerly awaiting your review of both the spice grater and the cumin suggestion.
Now people are going to buy alot of cumin.
I hope the president of the cumin industry gives me an award or something.
There's actually a decent chance this is my fault. I have ordered both items, probably within a day or two of each other.
ROOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYY BIIIIIIGGGGGGGIIIIIIIINNNNNNNSS —
You'll never get away with this!
He may get around to it but I hear he's very busy around this time of year specifically with cumin related business and other shady things he does in his free time that he wont discuss without a lawyer present.
Yeah, I'm probably pretty low on his priority list with all the spice mongering that's been going on. If I wanted an award, I should have put my support behind a less prominent spice, like celery seed.
there it is. I was waiting for the obligatory cum/cumin joke...
It took me awhile. The space is key.
If Amazon were to pair your book with a kitchen appliance/utensil, what would you have it be? Or did they do good and there can be no better pairing than the Hyperbole and a Spice Grater combo pack?
To be honest, I'm pretty opposed to graters of any kind. I feel they are not advancing as fast as the rest of the kitchen gadgets, and I have spent too many angry, bloody-knuckled minutes attempting to use them.
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that like 86% of Amazon recommendations come from /u/RoyBiggins so that actually makes sense.
He must be slacking. That number should be AT LEAST 99.4%.
Wasn't he indicted for cumin rights violations?
I'm sorry, I had to
That's it. The award now belongs to vendetta2115. I'll contact the relevant authorities who will then contact the cumin president.
When you draw do you:
I use a Wacom Bamboo tablet, but I used to just use my track pad. It was a dark time.
I've never been able to make option C work for me.
Have you tried screaming in a different pitch? That usually does the trick for my USB ports.
I fixed my refrigerator like that once. It was making this horrible screeching sound, so I figured I would try to play its game.
Would you like to come give us a try in /r/redditgetsdrawn with your wacom tablet? Maybe? Maaaaaaaaybe?
Oh my, I could spend entirely too much time there.
That's a classic tactical blunder. According to Sun Tzu, one should never allow a kitchen appliance to choose the battlefield.
So I should have taken it into the bathroom before beginning to yell at it.
Did you receive any royalties for this advertisement on a bus in Charlottesville, Virginia and, if not, what kind of finder's fee will I get for helping you collect? http://i.imgur.com/DvqtSAv.jpg
No I did not.
Dear Allie, I just woke up at 5:50am (my time) in order to ask you a question but I can't think of anything funny / original / brilliant enough to ask you to ensure that you'll want to answer me / notice who I am / say something that makes me feel special and loved.
What should I ask you so that your answer will hit all of the above points?
Your friend and mine, Bevis.
Perhaps you could ask me to post the picture I drew of you as a starfish. I mean, if you want everyone to see it.
PLEASE DO THIS. PLEASE.
As you wish: http://i.imgur.com/MnEeODY.png
(Black bar to protect Bevis's wretched privacy)
Bevis, what are you, a wild animal?
How am I supposed to open that image in RES? How am I supposed to open it, Bevis??? This is wildly inconvenient. It took three extra seconds, and I had to use an extra finger to click it, and then I had to avert my gaze to a different page.
You are a disgraceful creature (but you make a pretty starfish!)
Wasn't one of those pics you with a dick in your mouth?
There was almost definitely one of Bevis with a dick in his mouth.
DON'T PRETEND LIKE YOU AREN'T JEALOUS.
(Allie made a whole BUNCH of pictures of me once upon a time! Nerr nerr!)
On that note, if anyone else would like to make a humiliating picture of Bevis (he'll love it! I promise!), here is a template: http://i.imgur.com/aFD30s6.png
(He doesn't actually have a black rectangle attached to his face in real life, though. At least I don't think he does)
I don't promise that it's any good, but it is you as a starfish
That is such a carefree little starfish!
How has Simple Dog adjusted to the move? It's been a few years, I can only assume that there's no need for foot booties unless it snows..
It seems that she finally accepts this as her home. She still runs in crazy circles on the wood floors sometimes, but it's because she's feeling crazy, not because she's struggling to cope with change.
My sister has a dog which she thinks might be the brother of Simple Dog. It barks at medium sized mushrooms.
Is it afraid of balloons? And how afraid of balloons is it?
How are you?
No, really, how are you doing? Your comic about depression was really powerful, and it meant a lot to me and others who have experienced depression. Are you doing better now?
Also: pirate or ninja? Robot or monkey?
I'm still depressed, but how depressed I am varies, which is good.
Much of the time, it's a comfortable numbness that just makes things feel muted. Other times, I'm standing in the shower or something and I can feel the nothingness hurtling toward me at eight thousand miles per hour and there's nothing I can really do aside from let it happen and wait until it goes away again.
I had some health problems recently that made things feel a lot worse, but I'm slowly rebounding from that and just trying to do the things that help keep my head above water in little ways (sleeping enough, eating enough, going for walks or runs, making sure to not overextend myself, etc.) I'm trying to be patient.
I became terribly depressed a couple years ago (your post is the best description I ever read/seen) and couldn't manage getting out of bed to go to work without sobbing for no reason. I hate that's take pills daily, but I don't know what I'd be doing today if I hadn't. Maybe you already answered this, but did you decide to take medication?
Yes, I'm taking Wellbutrin. It works far better than anything else has for me, but there's still some poke-through. It makes it MUCH more manageable, though.
About your health; did the surgery indeed scare the remaining one into behaving?
I don't know yet. Its main blood supply was taken out with my uterus/tubes, so I was told that it will take a while for it to kick back on again.
I have some sweet scars, though. It looks like I was abducted by aliens and used for research.
Are there side effects?
It made me really sleepy for the first couple months I was taking it (I was told it would have the opposite effect, but not for me!), and I still get really bad dry mouth, but other than that, I haven't noticed many side effects.
The worst part was how long it took to start working. It was MONTHS before I noticed a difference, which I think could have been extremely disheartening if the pharmacist hadn't warned me about it.
Do you still run? Competitively? Or maybe a friendly 5k on occasion?
I had surgery in September, so I just started running again a couple days ago. I really missed it.
In an ideal world, I'd love to take another stab at running competitively, but right now I'm just trying to build back up to running regularly again.
you had surgery?! what kind?
edit: nevermind... i think i have an idea...
I had my uterus, left ovary, and both fallopian tubes removed and also some scar tissue (my uterus was folded over on itself and scarred to my colon, and my left ovary had grown into the back of my pelvis).
Before surgery, we thought it was ovarian cancer (my OVA-1 test came back elevated and the mass on my left ovary looked suspicious), but it turned out to be stage IV endometriosis instead, which is still shitty, but much better than cancer.
You should read The Oatmeal post about running if you haven't already, something tells me you would enjoy it: link
I loved that one!
Jesus, you're still replying like 6 hours after OP. Serious AMA dedication.
Just in case you're still around, What music are you listening to/obsessing over/secretly enjoying at the moment?
If you ever are in north-central Florida (don't come here, it's awful), I would buy you a piece of delicious pizza and pretend I didn't know you. Just so you know that the offer is on the table.
There's a hip hop group called Delinquent Habits that I've been really enjoying lately. Also I recently found an old Goldfinger CD, so I've been nostalia-ing out to that.
Allie, everyone I know is over the moon about your work. Like, nearly literally everyone.
Are there any interesting or surprising times when you've heard something along the lines of "[do] ALL THE THINGS!"? 'cause it's become part of our common language.
Thank you for making yourself vulnerable in public. Supah Brave, IMO.
I hear it every now and again, and it surprises me every time it happens.
For example, I watch a lot of videos of people playing Magic: The Gathering (because some horribly delusional part of me thinks maybe I can be really good at this!), and I've heard the phrase a couple times during games ("Tap ALL the mana!" "Counter ALL the spells!" etc.)
I'm well aware ;) (but I haven't watched those videos yet).
I almost always post under my incognito account these days, though.
You totally could be really good at MTG! You just need somebody willing to show you the ropes. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would be eager to do so.
Be warned, its a time and money sink though.
I mean, I'm good-ish at it (I win 8-4s on Modo with some regularity, but I'm not, like, on the pro-tour or anything), but I'm nowhere near good enough to justify how much time and money I spend on it, haha.
Wow, cool. Do you prefer Draft or Constructed?
Drafting Magic has gotten me through my worst periods of life. I find it lets me have social activity when the rest of my brain rebels against the concept.
Modern is my favorite format right now, but I LOVED DGM draft. I haven't quite warmed up to Theros yet (it's hard readjusting after the smorgasbord that RTR block was), but I'll get there.
And Magic has definitely seen me through some rough patches. It reminds me of my childhood, and it's a great way to get lost in thought!
Haha, I watch mostly Twitch streams (Brian Kibler, Tom Martell, Paul Cheon, etc.) and CFB/SCG videos. I also watch GP coverage on the weekends, especially if it's Modern.
My favorite format is Modern, but I enjoy drafting a lot as well.
Not yet, but I'll check them out! I mostly watch SCG/CFB videos, and Twitch streams (Brian Kibler, Tom Martell, and Paul Cheon are my favorites to watch on there).
Sean brings a good measure of humor and balance to everything he does. I recommend Luis Scott Vargas if you like terrible puns as much as I do.
Oh man, LSV would feel so weird if he knew what a big part of my life he is. I often watch his videos while I'm falling asleep. His puns are like a lullaby.
And the video where he accidentally creates an infinite loop with Oblivion Rings and then Modo has absolutely no idea how to process it and just starts spastically moving things everywhere made me laugh so hard that I burst a blood vessel in my eye.
Have you ever considered altering cards? I can't imagine how much I would pay for your work on my EDH General 0_0
Who's your general?
I suddenly feel very big time :D
The REAL Tom Martell?
Dude, I was just watching you stream the other day!
This is amazing.
But as a long time competitive mtg player, often any girl at a major tourney is already sort of a celebrity. You'd have to play in a costume to get any peace.
/u/Kibler come give Allie Brosh Mtg lessons.
I owe a lot to Kibler. There's something about him that is just... comforting to me. I don't know whether it's because I watched a lot of his Twitch videos during a very good time in my life and I still associate them with happiness or because he's just so very much himself and it's infectious, but he got me through some rough spots for sure.
(P.S. Kibler made a game, and it's really fun too: http://solforgegame.com)
I totally rule.
You'd either be really impressed or really scared by how many hours I've spent watching you play Magic.
That's so awesome. What deck(s) are you running and what are your favourite colours/guilds?
In Modern, I play GB/x decks a lot (I keep trying to make BUG work), and I like playing tempo when it's viable.
My favorite color combination to play is probably UG. Beef and tricks.
Don't worry! What are the odds he'll ever find out about this thread?
What deck do you play in Modern?
Lately, I've been trying to make BUG work. Before that, I was playing Junk a lot.
this reddit thread keeps getting better!
I have to ask: the fancy drawing over your lady friend's face — does it blink sometimes? I swear I saw it blink. Am I insane?
You just responded to me. This is the best day of my life. You are an amazing writer and I admire you so much.
That's really cool! I'm not a big blue fan myself. :p
Do you play any other formats (edh, sealed drafts, etc.?) How long have you been playing?
I draft pretty frequently, and I've been slowly coming around on EDH (I have a cheap Zegana deck online, and I'm thinking of building Sygg, River Cutthroat). I love watching Legacy, but I can't afford it yet.
I started playing when I was in fourth or fifth grade (1995 maybe?) and played until high school. I got back into it a few years ago.
I realize I really missed the boat here but I usually do since I work the graveyard shift, when I get most of my quality reditting done :p Anyway, here goes:
Do you mostly play paper or online? I always wanted to get into MTGO but I just feel kind of ripped off if I don't have anything I can hold in my hand.
As far as the depression stuff goes, thanks for being open about it. I know it has helped a lot of people who are going through it to feel less alone.
I play paper Magic too (my LGS is awesome), but I mostly play online because I can play whenever I want and I don't even have to put on pants.
I was a bit hesitant about buying digital cards at first (it does feel weird paying for pixels of things I already own in real life), but I've come to really love playing online. It will never be a replacement for paper Magic, but it's a damn fine supplement to it! (Also, if you don't want to buy a whole new collection, you can just draft a lot. Or you can play Pauper! It will probably devolve into buying a whole new collection, though).
This is pretty neat. I've always appreciated your writing and have been following it for a couple of years now (yeah, a little late to the foray). I was going to abstain from contributing to the length of this AMA, but then you decided to play Modern BUG which is the deck I play in my favorite format! Of course, someone who's trying to make such a deck work is an internet sensation so clearly I'm on the right path here.
I've essentially taken the BG part of the Jund shell and am implementing the blue in to supplement. I've been using blue for Snapcaster Mage, Vendilion Clique, and Spell Pierce primarily.
I'm curious if your BUG endeavors are close to this or if you've gone done a much different path!
(I almost wish you were simply a random MagicTCG participant at this point so I could have an in-depth conversation about this hahaha)
That's pretty much the approach I've taken too. Snapcaster Mage mimics the card advantage of the recently departed Bloodbraid Elf pretty nicely (though BUG plays out less aggressively than Jund, and the bobs feel a bit more dangerous when you don't have burn and haste-y card-advantage monsters to close things out).
I'm still trying to figure out how much countermagic to run. I definitely like at least 2 Spell Snares in there (and one in the SB), but fitting in Mana Leak can be awkward and pull you in two different directions (you want to land an early Liliana and build up your board, but you don't want to rely on Mana Leak in the late game). One solution I tried was running a couple hard counters instead (Dissipate when spirit Jund is popular), and that actually helped improve the Tron matchup a bit. It feels a little clunky, though.
I've also taken to running one Thrun, the Last Troll main deck, and that has been good.
Some other cards I've tried with varying degrees of success:
Jace Beleren (I really like him as a 1-of)
Jace, Architect of Thought (in grindier builds, he's awesome)
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner (Kira is awesome... except in the mirror. Abrupt Decay makes a mockery of her).
Spellstutter Sprite (works better in RUG because the burn helps close out games before our tempo creatures get hugely outclassed)
Shambleshark (Shhhh..... I'm trying to be an innovator! In my defense, this was when I was still trying to work around a much heaver countermagic suite)
Cryptic Command (I love Cryptic, but the mana is rough, and so is the CMC if you've got bobs)
Mystic Snake (my reasoning was that it's sort of like Cryptic Command except the second mode always gives you a card, and that card is always a 2/2 creature).
Simic Charm (I actually sort of like this, especially when UWR is a bigger part of the meta [counters removal, bounces Collonades, can almost act like a burn spell if you need to beat down])
Oh, and a piece of interesting tech I've been wanting to try is Oran-Rief, the Vastwood. In the mirror, it allows our Tarmogoyfs to swing through theirs with impunity.
You are really good at this, I loved playing Magic with you. Still have a box of Modern Masters up here in Portland waiting for you two to come draft.
JONAN!! Magic brother!
If I have any free time at all when I'm in Portland for my book tour, we are going to draft the hell out of that box, I assure you.
are you a trained artist? can you create art in formats other than ms paint? and can we see?
I haven't had any formal training aside taking art classes in school, but I've always enjoyed drawing.
Here's a digital painting I did of one of my dogs when I was trying to get used to using my new tablet: http://i.imgur.com/pJ27AIz.png
Thank you for sharing your honest and hilarious stories with us. You've given us words and pictures to express emotions we weren't able to express ourselves. I know it's weird to think about the impact you've had on the lives of people you've never even met or talked to, but you've done good work.
I try to do everything "like a motherfucking ADULT" but adulting is hard sometimes. What do you wish someone had told you when you were a kid about being an adult?
I'm not sure I would have wanted to know much about adulthood as a child because I would have just spent the rest of my childhood being afraid of my impending adulthood, but one thing that I think I could have learned sooner is "some people are dicks. Leave them be and try not to take it personally."
Allie, you are one of the most entertaining writers I've ever read. Thank you for making me laugh until I cry! That said, what are your top 3 favorite books?
Thank you very much!
It's hard to pick favorites, but here are three books that made big impressions on me:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adadams
Rally Round the Flag, Boys by Max Shulman
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
I also read a lot of Dave Barry and Calvin and Hobbes when I was growing up, but I wouldn't be able to single out just one of the books.
"Adadams" may be an awesome Freudian slip.
Whoa, how did those extra letters get in there??
Did you put them there?
Bevis did it.
I KNEW it!!
Hey, Allie! I don't know if you remember me, it's been a long time since you last swung by Very Serious, but I have the most important question you will probably ever receive:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
(And yes, I remember you!)
Will you be doing book signings on the east coast?!
Also, do you purposely try to make things as hilarious as possible, or do your retellings just sort of come out that way? I can't read most of your posts at work without risking people thinking I'm going insane because I can't not laugh.
I'll be at WORD bookstore in New York on October 30th!
And whatever hilarity I manage to get across is almost definitely the byproduct of very purposeful struggling. I wish I could be accidentally funny more often.
I love your work and I'm going to buy your book.
My question is: are there stages that you go through when you find internet fame? What are the good parts? What are the bad parts?
I can only speak for myself, but there were a few defined stages, yes.
In the first stage, I was just excited that people noticed me. Then I got really, really, really self conscious. Then there were several hundred mini-stages where I alternated between not letting it bother me and extremely letting it bother me. Then I became horribly, horribly depressed (for unrelated reasons, and possibly not reasons at all) and I got a taste of what it feels like to not give a fuck about anything, which helped me be less anxious about everything and eventually led to the state I'm currently in, which is giving the appropriate amount of fucks and not stressing out.
The main bad parts are the times where I end up hating whatever I'm working on because I've been working on it too long.
Conversely, a very good part is reading something I wrote that I thought I hated when I wrote it six months earlier and actually laughing out loud at myself.
Most of the parts are a mix of bad and good. Like, I thought the last big push of finishing my book was a bad part (I was working 14 to 18 hours a day, almost every day for two whole months), but, looking back at it, I have this weird, Stockholm Syndrome-like fondness for it, so maybe it was a good part. That whole stretch of time was surreal.
Which of the Three Stooges is your favorite? (please don't say Shemp....)
1) does it ever annoy you when people try to relate to your depression, yet they clearly have no idea what you're going through because they just having a bad hair day or something? Or do you just say "eh, they're trying" and shrug it off?
2) your art style looks like it's drawn in MS Paint and is really simple. Not judging, I swear to glob, I think it's great and fits your blog posts perfectly. But I have a sneaking suspicion that you have some other art talents that you're hiding. Just curious if that's true.
3) Will you be on my podcast? *the greedy question, but not too greedy, I won't post a link/the name unless you say it's ok.
1) I wouldn't say it annoys me (I'm pretty difficult to annoy). I try not to judge because I never have all the information, and even if it sounds like someone doesn't understand, maybe they do and they just aren't explaining it well. Or maybe they don't, but it's really no harm to me either way.
2) I'm not the best artist in the world, but I can draw fairly well if I I'm trying. The crudeness of the drawings in my stories is purposeful. It's just the funniest way I could think of to draw things (funniest to me, that is). It actually takes a surprisingly long time to get even a crude drawing right, though. I usually have a very specific picture in my head of what I'm going for, and it can take a while to get there.
3) I'd need to have you go through my publisher for the official request (TouchstonePublicity@simonandschuster.com), but depending on when you'd want me to do it (the next couple weeks are going to be unbelievably busy), I might be game.
We love you Allie! Question: What is one question you wish people asked but never do?
I don't actually have one, but I suppose I enjoy answering questions about details of particular posts/stories. Writing them is such a solitary process, and there are all these decisions and breakthroughs that never leave my head aside from influencing what the story looks like. I love when someone notices some little detail that I was secretly hoping someone would notice.
I noticed on your post today that your fathers arms are filled out while your moms are just sticks. What's up with that? Was pops a big guy naturally? Or did he get buff from carrying that dino everywhere? The particular image I'm referring to is below!
Thanks for being you!
He's a huge, towering man. I think he's 6'4"? He doesn't work out or anything, but he does lots of construction-type stuff for his job, which involves a lot of lifting and carrying.
When my girlfriend and I broke up during my second year of med school, when I was getting shitty grades and test scores, likely spurring my spiralling into depression and suicidality, I saw your comic. It was exactly how I had felt at that time, and at times earlier in my life. It was amazing to have a comrade, someone who knew exactly how it felt. The pain of existing, feeling like you wanted to cry in front of patients, friends, attendings, everyone. Being a zombie, putting on a mask just to get by each day. Feeling actual physical pain despite feeling numb to everything around you. Amotivation, insomnia, the works. I eventually started taking antidepressants after my psych rotation, when I realized how bad things had gotten. I had plans.
About a month ago, I had a middle-aged patient come into the Emergency Dept. I was working at. On our tracking board he was billed as "Anxiety," which is unusual for a high-volume, trauma-heavy ED. I went in to see him, a former paratrooper from the Gulf War (he said he couldn't tell me about his missions) whose PTSD, anxiety and depression led to his wife and kids leaving him earlier that week, multiple hospitalizations, and multiple suicide attempts. I saw a lot of myself in him, and the first thing I did was to tell him that I take Wellbutrin 300 SR, I know how it feels to want to cry in front of people for no goddamn reason. He told me, "You're the first doc that really understands." Your example, baring your heart to a world full of strangers, helped me to connect with this patient and get him the help he needed. Just like you did with me, despite having never met me.
As a future doctor (8 months!), I just wanted to say thanks for helping me become better at helping others, and for keeping me sane as a comrade in spirit during the worst time of my life.
I hope you're feeling wonderful.
EDIT: Thank you to the kind redditor who gave me reddit gold! I'm very appreciative.
I don't even know what to say, aside from telling you that this made me feel really good and I'm so glad that you (and your patient) were able to find some comfort.
Depression is such an isolating experience, but no matter how far out in space you feel, there's always a tiny amount of comfort from knowing that someone else has been out there too (I mean, I never thought that writing about my depression would circle back around and make me feel less isolated, but in a strange way, it has).
Are you still with Boyfriend?
(He was actually answering questions earlier, I think. I don't know what he said, though. Hopefully nothing embarrassing!)
Hopefully not! :)
If you did, though, I'm going to make a really obnoxious beeping sound for the rest of the evening to spite you.
I think you're one of the first/only complete strangers that I actively worried about for an extended period of time and I just wanted to say that I'm so happy you're back.
Question: Does the "all the things" meme bug you or are you okay that it gets used for .. uh .. all the things?
The meme doesn't bug me. I'm happy that people are having fun with it.
It does bug me when it's used to endorse products or to promote causes I don't agree with (I don't mind people having different opinions from the ones I have, but I certainly don't want my artwork being used to promote, for example, pro-life or anti-gay viewpoints).
Hi Allie! You're awesome!
Can you answer this with a spider picture?
I promised I wouldn't, though.
Hey Allie, what are the names of your dogs? Their real names?
The simple dog is named Kellie, but I almost always call her Roo (it just fits better). The helper dog was named Nyah by one of the shelter workers, and because she was in the shelter for so long (months), she learned to respond to it. We kept it the same because we wanted to limit the number of new things she had to adjust to. She also usually gets called by a nickname, though ("Toady." We started calling her "Nyote" because she sort of looks like a coyote, then that evolved into "Nytote," then we shortened it and it ended up sounding like "Toady.")
My god dogs have nicknames I don't know!! Also I don't completely understand Reddit but I totally stalk you on the internet and I don't know if you'll see this but I made a reddit account so I could come out of hiding. Is that creepy or what? Also I want to drive to LA to go to the event there, but I probably can't because I most likely have to go to Montana that week :(.
I've been entertaining the notion of doing a national friend tour after my book tour. I hope to be able to make a long road trip out of it, and I assure you that if that happens, you will be the first stop!
And your god-dogs have TONS of nicknames. Kellie's get particularly ridiculous. Does Echo have weird nicknames yet?
Hi Allie! Huge fan. The Alot and "Clean All The Things" make frequent appearances in my life. A few questions for you:
What are your thoughts on leprechauns?
What's your go-to drink in a bar?
What's something a person can say within 5 minutes of meeting you that would make them your archenemy?
Ninja Edit: My boyfriend and I had a "Clean all the things!" ragefest in our apartment the other night. THIS happened.
Leprechauns are sneaky.
I drink white Russians and sometimes also screwdrivers or just straight up vodka. I used to love beer and many other malted things, but then I found out I have Celiac disease (I am told that I can still have scotch, but I'm not sure I believe it...).
"Hey, let's be archenemies."
Your boyfriend's cleaning face is intense.
I know you are against the idea of a donation button, but it feels a bit unfair that I've both laughed and been brought to tears by your writing and can't pay you directly for it. Especially since I actually paid money to watch a film starring a car tire once. I'll continue to buy stuff, but are there other ways we can say thank you? Causes you'd like us to donate to on your behalf, maybe?
Was it the horror movie about the car tire? (I mean, there could be more than one...) I keep meaning to watch that.
As for causes, if you really want to give money to something, perhaps endometriosis research? It's pretty poorly understood, and it's hella painful and horrible. (I feel sufficiently thanked already, though!)
Thank you for giving a shout out to endometriosis research! It's painful and debilitating, and not many people know about it. The more awareness (and research!) the better.
Sincerely~ Hater of Endo/Lover of Hyperbole and a Half
I had everything except my right ovary taken out in September. Everything was all scarred together with my other organs, and my cysts were massive. The years before I was diagnosed were so frustrating and painful. I can't even tell you how many times I got the ol' "Oh, we all get cramps, honey. Just take an Advil." It's like they thought I was lying about how much pain I was in. It was so bad I would pass out and throw up! Morphine didn't even put a dent in it.
Anyway, it was really hard for me to find anyone who would take me seriously, and for a condition as serious as this, that seems unacceptable. I have permanent internal damage from going un-diagnosed for so long.
Um. I'm just gonna be greedy and not ask a question but just let you know your blog entries about depression have made it so much easier for me to explain this nasty illness to people who don't have it.
I'm glad it helps some!
Hi, fan of the simple dog here. How's it doing with stairs?
Oh, she has her ups and downs, but one step at a time, right?
Allie you are simultaneously the worst and also the best.
How did that L get in there, though???
as you were once a teenage girl, do you have any advice for teenage girls navigating the perils of adolescence?
also if you see this oh my god i absolutely love hyperbole and a half and not only does it make me laugh so so so much but it was the sign I needed to push to get myself a psych evaluation [it was hard to convince my parents but your depression post struck a chord in me despite my apathy about everything that something really wasn't okay] and it found I was adhd-c and had been so for my 16 years of existence and that thusly my big messy untreated mind had become clinically depressed and so thank you
you changed my life with an ms paint comic.
I think humor is pretty much what got me through adolescence.
So my advice to teenage girls is to value the humor in the things that happen to you, and don't take yourselves too seriously. Someday you'll be adults and you'll be really, really embarrassed by how absolutely, extremely serious you were about all the things that feel like the end of the world right now.
Hi Allie, I hope all is well.
We've seen at least a little bit from your side, but how did Boyfriend manage himself during your depression? Though I cannot fully understand the feelings of depression (having not personally experienced it), dating someone who is depressed can be an incredibly isolating experience. I'd be interested in hearing some of his feelings on the last ~2 years or how you felt about your impact on him.
I preordered your book in hardcover a few weeks ago as thanks for all the enjoyment you've given me as an artist. I cannot wait to read it. Thanks, Allie.
When I'm depressed, I don't want to see anyone, but I still somehow like being around Duncan, so we watched a lot of movies and watched/played a lot of Magic: the Gathering online together. It's comforting when you can just be with someone and not have to pretend or feel pressured to feel better than you are able to feel.
It was a pretty dark time for both of us, though. I think he was also a bit depressed about things in his own life. We tried our best to be fair to each other and talk it through as much as possible. As long as you're being honest, fair, and communicating everything as clearly as you can, it's possible to make it through some very difficult things without putting too much strain on a relationship.
Maybe I can get him to give you a better answer from his perspective, though.
Allie, HUGE fan. Your blog has helped me get through a lot of things, so thanks for that (damn that sounds trite but SRSLY THOUGH THANK YOU).
My question: why is it that you feel so uncomfortable promoting your book? I think it's great and I can't wait to get it and tell everyone about it.
I think it's because it makes me feel insincere. On a cognitive level, I know that isn't true (it never bothers me when other people promote their things, and I know full well that I am being sincere), but I can't seem to shake the feeling of "everyone is going to think I've just been using them to make money this whole time!" I don't want to make anyone feel like that.
I guess it feels sort of like asking a friend for money. Even if you need to do it, you feel scummy about it.
Your work is awesome ! I can't think of any fun questions so all you get is this:
What's the worst advice you ever received/gived ?
What's the last song you listened to ?
Worst advice received: "You have to post something new every day — even if it isn't funny — because that's the only way to be successful with this." Worst advice given: "Do it. It probably won't hurt."
Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts by Less Than Jake.
Those are both some great examples of awful advice, and I assume they both applied to knives in some fashion.
Haha, one applied to being a successful blogger (sort of a quantity over quality mentality), and the other is what I said to my little sister before she grabbed a cactus for the first time (I was five, she was two).
Introvert, extrovert or ambivert?
Introvert, but well-socialized.
Did your depression come out of the blue, or were you just really good at hiding it? I'm a huge fan, and I had no idea.
Thanks for being you, you are an inspiration.
P.s. I believed your first proof.
I think I was really good at hiding it, even from myself. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on.
Even now, I feel like everyone can tell (mostly because I feel like I can't possibly be generating the correct facial expressions without the normal amount of enthusiasm behind them), but I'm told that I don't show it.
Thank you for believing me.
Dear god, you're still answering questions. I think I speak for all of reddit when I say that we love you here.
Are some emotions harder to fake than others?
It's hardest to fake genuine excitement and laughter, I think. I mean, aside from the absolute worst parts of my depression, I'm able to feel those things on some level, but it's not at a level that seems convincing to other people. I feel like I'm always sort of flat.
I also suffer from depression and that constant nagging feeling that everything I do is pointless. Thanks for sharing your story and showing people a little more what it means to be truly depressed.
That being said, what advantages have you gained in your life by having depression?
That's a good question.
It makes me very relaxed about everything. I can't muster the enthusiasm to get angry or upset, so I just stay neutral.
Also, trying to cope with it has helped me cope with stuff like existential pointlessness, and I feel like I take myself even less seriously now.
When did you discover you had such a talent for story telling?
Haha, my mom would say it was when I started telling "Dark and Stormy Night" stories.
I was three, probably, and I would force my entire family (I lived with my mom, dad, sister, grandma, and aunt) to gather around and watch me act out stories with my toy dinosaurs. Most of them involved Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in some way (I didn't have a Rudolph toy, so he had to be played by a dinosaur).
Okay, the word "Rugops" is really, really fucking funny. I am laughing so confusingly hard at it.
Allie, as an old friend from Hamilton and Boyfriend's old boss I must finally know the inspiration for space bear. Also, could you say hello to Logan. He is a huge fan
I will never reveal my secrets about space bear!! (Okay, it may have had something to do with watching a bear documentary and then taking too much Benadryl).
But I will say hello to Logan.
I love me some Benadryl. Truly glad of your success and wish you and boyfriend the best. Even with his Sounders fetish
Man, I miss you guys.
Hi Allie! First of all thank you so much. I study medicine, but there's no textbook in the world that could have explained better what depression actaully means than two dead fish. so THANK YOU! Question: are there any new stories about Simple Dog in the pipeline? if not: could you please just make something up :p
PS I already bought your book. So this drawing just confused me and gave me a headache.
There are a couple new dog stories in the book, and I've got two I'm working on for the future (I don't know when they'll be done, but I know I want to do them at some point!)
I just wanted to share a story about how your story has effected people. I work as a child psychologist currently in school for a masters in Counseling and Psychology. I mostly work with kids who are 13 to 18. In my school, a good deal of people have no experience with depression, and often come from a well to do background and have not had struggles with depression. When the subject of depression is brought up with my fellow students, they will often assume that it is something that needs fixing, or not fully grasping why people can't just "pull themselves out." I myself have never gone through depression, but had several close friends go through and often still battle with depression. Luckily, I had one of my friends explain it to me in a way that made sense, and I just sat with them for a day and was pissed and sad at things with them. It suddenly just made sense, how one can be therapeutic by simply admitting that they don't get it, and by allowing someone to just be depressed at things, and be there with them. It's hard to describe what depression is like for people having not experienced it (myself included.) I decided to post your blog entries about depression in the school, and did a whole presentation on the. The professor said that this is the best way that he has ever seen someone talk about depression to someone who has never experienced it, and has now incorporated it into his class!
But it doesn't end there. I had a client who was suffering from depression (whose story will be changed slightly here to protect their identity and maintain confidentiality). He/she was suffering from depression, and was annoyed because they said that they knew that I couldn't "fix it" and that I didn't understand "how it was" and that "no one understands it who hasn't been through it." I told them that they were right, that I didn't understand, and asked if they could teach me how it was. They told me that there was no way, and that this is something "no one can get." He/she was contemplating suicide, and truly believed no one could relate to her/him. I printed out your blog a second time, and gave it to her/him the next session. They read it, teared up while reading it, and hugged me after, saying that whoever wrote this gets it, and that he/she felt that if someone could make it, then so could she. I silently told myself if I ever met you, that I would let you know what a great thing this has been for someone you don't know. They processed through it, and terminated sessions with hope.
I don't know. Maybe this is a stupid story, but I really wanted you to know this. You have helped lots of future practicing counselors better understand depression, and gave a small kid hope.
TLDR: Allie, your awesome and have helped people with your blog. Good job. Have a cookie.
Thank you for sharing this. I always have a harder time responding to the really meaningful stories (I feel like anything I could say wouldn't accurately reflect how much I appreciate them), but I wanted to say thank you.
I feel like my life is going nowhere and every time I try to do something it ends up poorly. Like yesterday when I tried moving it ended up with me vomiting all over myself at 3:40AM. I have literally no idea what I want to do with life.
Any tips/ideas for figuring out life?
To be honest, I have relatively little figured out. I just try to learn small things by observing myself, and I keep trying different stuff until something helps a little, but overall, I have no idea what I'm doing.
I wish I could be more helpful here. I can listen pretty well, though (if you want to PM me or something).
No, that's plenty helpful. Nothing is really wrong, I just keep trying things and they keep not being right. But I am still young, and I figure if I keep trying I'll get it.
Thanks for the response, it's nice to know other people have no idea.
I don't know if it's possible to really know what you're doing, you know? It's possible to make it look like you do, but I have to wonder whether there's anyone who really, really does.
Hey Allie, I made this horrifyingly NSFW alot of genitalia for my boyfriend some years ago, for Valentine's day. I just wanted you to be aware that you inspired me to draw that many penises: http://i.imgur.com/HZt8QCg.jpg
Keep inspiring people to draw penises, please.
My crowning achievement!
Allie, any advice for an aspiring comedy writing? Thanks alot
Be a student of humor. Watch and read a LOT of comedy, and try to figure out what about it makes you laugh. Humor isn't something you can learn a formula for, but by paying close attention and exposing yourself to lots of it, you can internalize some of the patterns.
Once you start picking up on what makes you laugh, start playing around with it. Try to write something that makes you laugh while you are writing it.
It's a lot of watching and learning and trying things out for yourself.
Ninja edit: I just realized you might be asking how to break into comedy writing rather than how to begin writing comedy. Is that what you were asking?
Oh my goodness.
All them DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSS
I am a ridiculously huge fan of yours - I started reading Hyperbole and a Half at the urgings of a former co-worker, and when you'd put out new stuff while we were both at work, we'd often burst out laughing in unison and then realize the other was reading your site too, haha. And as someone who also deals with depression, I know pretty much what you're going through - while it's different for everyone, it still sucks, no matter who's experiencing it. I just want to say thank you for helping me feel less alone in this - your first post after the long depression absence popped up while I was deep in my own depression, and it helped me pull myself out of it a bit. You deserve all the hugs. hugs
My question: what's YOUR favorite story you've told us? I think mine has to be a tie between the dinosaur costume and "The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas". That's one of the ones my co-worker and I read while at work and kept bursting out in laughter, to the point where our boss came out and looked at us like we were high or something.
My favorite story I've written is probably either The God of Cake, Depression Part 2 (because it took so long to write, and it felt really satisfying to finally find the right words), or a story I wrote for the book called Motivation (again, I had to work really hard to get it to come out sounding right, but once I got there, the feeling was very satisfying). And there are a couple others in the book that I had a good time writing and ESPECIALLY drawing (the last story in the book was an exceptionally fun one to draw).
Just wanted to say that you shouldn't feel bad about taking breaks from posting new content. The best creative geniuses understand the effect of burn out. Do what's best for you and don't listen to the voices that demand things from you all the time.
Love your stuff. Be happy.
Thank you for this!
I don't think I've ever laughed as hard at something as "Dogs don't understand basic concepts like moving".
So, um, thanks for that.
Thank my dogs! We all suffered during that ordeal, but they suffered the most, I think.
You may not be living in the same place still, but has there ever been a Return of the Terrible Goose? Somehow that was the very first post of yours that I read, and it never fails to make me laugh hysterically.
Also, I have this saved to my desktop in a prominent place so I can look at it when I'm having a really down day, and I love it. I have no questions about that, I just really love it and I love that you drew it and I love that you shared it with all of us weird internet strangers. So thank you, and I hope that everything is still maybe not hopeless bullshit for you.
The goose never came back while we were living there, fortunately. I was sure it would. It probably is terrorizing the current tenants as we speak.
There are some suspicious geese that live in the river near our current apartment, though.
Hi Allie, Wife and I have busted many a gut reading your stuff. Our daughter always asks to go the "parp."
FYI, here is the cake my wife did for her 1st birthday in 2011.
That is an extremely accurate re-creation of that drawing! Your wife is good at cakes.
Your stories are awesome. Your drawings are awesome. You are awesome.
Did the Simple Dog ever fully recover from his (her? sorry, I forgot which.) smell-friend-tail-seeeds-and-flurs runaway adventure, or does he (she?) still occasionally have I AM WILD ANIMUL episodes?
She still occasionally has episodes (most notably if we take her on trips to unfamiliar places with us), but she snaps out of them after a few days.
I LOVE YOU
I need to actually think of something thoughtful. Um.
What do you think of The Oatmeal, seeing as many people draw comparisons between the two, um, blogs? Comics?
You both like running. Ever considered running with him?
Wat is your favorite web comic (besides your own, you narcissistic freak)?
I'm actually going to try to get Matt to go running with me when I'm in Seattle in November. We've hung out a few times, and he's a really neat guy (I may have accidentally killed his fish with the strength of my pessimism, though). We've got a lot of weird similarities (we even lived less than 20 miles apart growing up. Which wouldn't be that weird if it wasn't in the middle of nowhere northern Idaho).
But I'm not going to pick a favorite web comic. I like too many of them! One that I feel doesn't get the love and attention it deserves, though, is Romantically Apocalyptic.
But I'm not going to pick a favorite web comic. I like too many of them!
Just throw a few names out then?
Nedroid, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, XKCD (you all know that one, though!), Buttersafe, Hark! A Vagrant, Oglaf, The Perry Bible Fellowship (not updated very frequently, but this comic is a goddamn masterpiece), Cyanide and Happiness, Dinosaur Comics, Questionable Content, Books of Adam, and Chickenmaker — a heavily (well, entirely) chicken-drawing-based comic by an old internet friend of mine who is STILL making different chicken pictures nearly every day (after three years. It's an amazing feat to behold).
I may have accidentally killed his fish with the strength of my pessimism, though
He told me his fish was starting to float sideways near the bottom of its tank, but that it was probably just scratching its face. I said "sorry man, but I'm pretty much an expert on dead fish, and it's obviously dying." He was like, "NO! IT JUST HAS AN ITCHY FACE." But I knew the truth.
Then he texted me the next morning to tell me it had indeed died and I'm a horrible monster for not believing it back to life.
This isn't even the first fish I've killed with my mind, either.
Hey, Allie! Been a fan since I happened to encounter your more honest pain-level drawing while recovering from surgery. It made me laugh which made everything hurt more and make the whole chart even more applicable, so... kudos for that. :)
Serious Question: I have a number of friends and family members who struggle with depression, and I'm always trying to figure out the best way to be supportive. What do you suggest beyond just reminding them I'm there and that I love them?
Stupid Question: What is your feeling on centipedes? I feel like they are spiders that go on for longer.
Honestly, there's not much you can do aside from that. The big thing is really meaning it (and also being willing to give the person space if that's what they need. Sometimes it's exhausting being helped). It's such a relief when you find someone you trust enough that you don't feel like you have to pretend around them, and sometimes the best thing is to just be there and hang out and treat them exactly the same as before the depression.
Okay, about the centipedes: fuck centipedes. That is all I have to say about them (I do like your description, though. Nice turn of phrase!)
Are you okay?
I mean, I adore your work and I have your book on preorder, but I also have a decade's tenure of dealing with depression so, most importantly, are you okay? I hope you are. I hope there is glorious happiness in your near future - I finally got my meds balanced about a year ago and I had no idea life could be so wonderful.
It can. I promise.
Perhaps the best way to put it is that I'm okay with how okay I am when I'm feeling most okay. There are times where I'm less okay, but I'm more relaxed about them now that I know that they are probably temporary.
I don't have any questions. I just wanted to say thank you. My girlfriend has severe depression/anxiety, and we both love the fuck out of H.5. Please don't ever stop; we need it. Draw blog slave!
Well shit, man, what if you love all the fuck straight out of it! :P
I reached out to you a few years ago about using one of your images on my credit card (I liked it ALOT). You never got back to me, so I did it anyways. I hope you don't hate me.
Naw man. It's cool.
I don't mind when people use my stuff for personal things (it's only a problem when they're stealing it or selling it or trying to use it to sell other things).
Will we ever be able to buy any autographed posters of your characters in the future?
(P.S. I've got a book with your name on it. Literally).
this might get buried, but i wanted to say that i absolutely love your mom. the stories you have about her, like christmas, the park, the birthday cake. your mom comes off as a sweet woman. my question is, will we see more stories of her (and of your childhood in general) in the new book? also, is she really as adorable as i think she is? or does she have some uberly evil side we dont know of?
I'm starting to go through some of the more buried replies, and I had to answer this one because it's about my mom and my mom is great. She's probably the nicest person I know. She's patient, caring, sincere, and she doesn't judge or hold anything against anyone. I am constantly grateful that I got to be raised by her.
And there are actually a few new stories starring her in the book! (My favorite one is about the time she tried to teach my sister and I about the miracle of nature and ended up getting us lost in the woods for ten hours).
Hello Allie - I notice this is 19 hours old now so I guess I probably missed the boat, but I wanted to say thank for making your blog.
LOL is an acronym thrown about with careless abandon these, but I have genuinely laughed out loud whilst reading your posts. I am glad you are getting better and I have pre-ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it.
If you are still taking questions my 3yo stepson Peter would like to know:
"Which is best - Green Power Ranger or Spiderman?"
Peter can sure ask a ruthless question!
I don't even know, man... I think it's Spiderman, but there's so much I don't know about the green Power Ranger. Tell Peter that the absolute best would probably be if Spiderman and the green Power Ranger combined forces and fought evil together!
That's sort of a cop out on my part, but hopefully he'll understand why this is such a difficult question to answer.