Since I started posting a new chapter yesterday I wanted to practice self-promotion. I'm not very good at selling myself or my work, or talking about it in general, so I want to attempt to make a long sort of puff piece.
Feel free to promote your own work in detail! It'll make this feel less awkward.
As everyone here probably knows, I'm the creator of the webcomic, 'The Guide to a Healthy Relationship'. In spite if the title the story is not about a healthy romantic relationship, nothing in this comic is healthy, nor is it romantic. It is more akin to the different types of toxic relationships people deal with throughout their lives; friends, coworkers, family, partners, ourselves; and eventually how they can leave and move on.
The story itself is about an emotionally immature alcoholic who did something regretful in his past which made him lose someone whom he thought was a childhood friend, then tries to make amends after fatefully crossing paths with that person a little over 5 years later. This "friend" is now seeing someone unusually pristine, at least compared to what the main character is used to and things don't feel quite right even though he can't put his finger on what it could be; his friend is acting weird. From there this story turns into a long journey of guilt, fear, pain, healing and self discovery.
While the comic focuses on the alcoholic main character, it's mostly a story about his friend through his perspective. Leaving a lot of events and small details unknown until he learns about them throughout the comic. This is also more of a slowburn with much of the focus being on character interaction, as well as small visual and dialogue details. The main thematic focus is mental illness, the different forms of abuse and the different ways some people deal with trauma. Being someone who has dealt with these topics, who has family and friends who have dealt with them, I want to present them as practically and respectfully as possible. I also personally enjoy consuming media with heavy topics, as well as things revolving around mental health and the medical field, so I thought I would be someone who can handle tackling that sort of stuff.
Of course the comic is not all about suffering, but about self-care, improvement and self-exploration. Along with autonomy and identity, mostly relating to gender. As we learn more about the characters they will learn more about themselves and each other.
There are three main characters:Apollo:
- Age - 25-26
- Height - 6'2/188cm
Apollo is a hick boy who really enjoys his booze, parties, 80's music and muscular bears. Despite being an adult he has a bit of an innocent quality to him, he's very open, gullible and trusting. Apollo is very much a person who needs other people, he doesn't fair very well being alone.
- Determined Age - 25-26
- Height - 5'1/155cm
- Intersex - transfeminine non-binary (Julian's sex is a very new decision that I put a lot of research and thought into.)
Julian is just here to do their job, they don't like to talk to anyone, be around anyone and they don't have time for hobbies or interests. They're generally rather skittish, not liking physical interaction or causing a scene, but occasionally they will show some assertiveness; specifically with Apollo.
- Age - 30
- Height - 5'7/171cm
Daniel is your average joe who enjoys watching movies, listening to music (mostly classical and 60's-90's soft rock.) and keeping things neat and tidy. He is an outgoing, charismatic guy, who loves to socialize and make friends. Despite Daniel generally being an open person, he is very finicky when talking about himself.
TGtaHR is a venting project I'm very passionate about, not only has working on it help me deal with insanely difficult emotional times (And still helps me deal with difficulties), but it's a story that I have laid out in detail from beginning to end. With the start of chapter 5 this comic is almost halfway done, there will be a lot of ground to cover in the coming chapters and I can only hope this story comes out as solidly as I brain likes to think it will.
'The Guide to a Healthy Relationship'
Rating: Mature/NC-17 - Nudity, profanity, substance abuse.
Genre: Psychological Drama.
Content Warnings: Abuse, queerphobia, trauma, blood, body horror, mild gross-out, suicide, mental illness.
If you made it through all this, thank you for reading my attempt at a long, indulgent promo!