Chapter 11: December 20, 12:32pm

Chapter 11 >> December 20, 12:32pm

Jake: Hey...

Austin: Hi!

Jake: Did you order already?
Austin: Just coffee. I was waiting for you.
Jake: Do you know what you're getting?
Austin: Probably shepherd's pie.

Jake: Hmm...
Austin: Do you want to share nachos?

Jake: Sure!

Austin: Okay.

Austin: What did you want to talk about?

Jake: Oh!
Jake: Uhh...

Jake: Do...
Jake: You...

Jake: Want to...
Restaurant staff: Here are your nachos!

Austin: ...


Jake: How come you're not eating?

Austin: Sorry, I was thinking about something.

Jake: Do you...
Jake: Still want to go out with me?

Austin: Don't worry.
Austin: I took four months of your silence as a no.
Austin: And moved on.

Austin: Why are you bringing it up now?

Jake: Oh, uh...

Jake: Just...
Jake: Following up...

Jake: I'm gonna go to the wash-

Austin: Sit down.

Jake: But-
Austin: Sit down.

Austin: Tell me what's really on your mind.

Jake: ...
Jake: Sorry...

Jake: I'm a jerk for not saying anything this whole time.
Jake: I'm glad you moved on.

Jake: I'm the worst!
Jake: I'm sorry!
Jake: You don't have to forgive me!
Austin: Jake.

Austin: It's alright.
Austin: Here.

Jake: T-thanks...

Jake: I'm sorry.

Austin: Sometimes it takes a while for us to figure out our own feelings.
Austin: Thank you for giving me closure.

Jake: Is it really...

Jake: Too late? For us?

Austin: What do you mean?

Jake: It really took me this long
Jake: To believe that...
Jake: I might like you too...

Jake: But maybe I took too long.
Jake: Sorry...
Jake: Ignore me. I'm being stupid.

Austin: Jake.
Austin: Look at me.
Austin: Tell me what you want.

Jake: I'm a mess...
Jake: I fucked up...

Jake: But would you still want to go out with me?

Austin: I really did try to get over you.
Austin: But you've dragged me right back.
Austin: You're too cute.

Jake: C-cute?!'re...
Jake: Am I the only nervous wreck here?!

Austin: I'm a wreck too, but you like me, so I'm happy.
Jake: seem pretty put together.
Austin: I'm sweating buckets and my heart is beating out of my chest.

Jake: Wait, are you saying yes then?

Austin: I have some conditions.
Jake: Wha?!

Austin: No more lying. You're not very good at it anyway.
Jake: Ugh... (shielding self from the harsh truth)

Austin: Next, if we ever get to a point where our relationship is at risk,
Austin: Please don't give up.
Austin: We both need to work to stay together.

Austin: if that's alright with you...

Austin: Then I'm all yours.

photos of the handbound, self-published copy of HWA

Faux social media pages for Jake (jalupa) and Austin (a.poplar)

Faux social media pages for Sabina (anibas) and Ferris (ferryferris)

Faux social media pages for Abby (fabby) and Sal (salicylic)

[Naturally romantic]
Austin: Your place is so warm and bright.
Jake: What?! R-really? Why...
Background notes: Jake = clean and minimal to the point of sterile
Austin: Hmm...maybe it's because you're here, so it feels that way :
Jake (thoughts): OMG how can you drop this embarrassing stuff so casually?!
Austin: Hmm?

[Intimacy anxiety]
Austin: Scooch in-
Jake: Uh...aa-okay...
Jake (thoughts): I should probably...reciprocate somehow...?!!?
Jake (thoughts): What should I do? Hand on knee? Or Shoulder?! Or thigh? Is that too much?
Jake (thoughts): If I do the thigh thing...where do I put it exactly?! I just lay it there?! Or do other people ~spirals into incoherent thoughts~

[Competitive romance I]
Jake (thoughts): I'm not gonna lose to him!! I'm gonna become a fucking romance champion!!
Jake (searches online on computer): How to be romantic
Jake (thoughts while browsing a plant nursery): he likes nature...but maybe not cut flowers? Maybe a potted plant would be better?
Jake (thoughts while looking at a heart-shaped lucky bamboo): Is this...too cheesy...??
Caption: In the end, he got matching ones.

[Competitive romance II]
Jake: How's your lucky bamboo doing?
Austin: Good! It's on the shelf if you want to see.
Jake: Holy-yours is so much bigger than mine! And more are a tree nerd afterall...
Austin: Well, it's not actually a tree, nor is it a bamboo. It's a species of flower plant dracaena bun--(devolves into plant talk)
Jake (thoughts): I'm dating a huge nerd.
Austin: I take EXTRA good care of it since it's a gift from you :).

[Competitive romance III]
Jake (thoughts): Since I suck at talking, maybe I'll try to write him a letter?
Jake (writing): Dear (crossed out). Hi Austin. You're a nice guy. You have nice eyelashes.
Jake: ...
Jake (thoughts): I'm a fucking idiot.

[Competitive romance IV]
Website tip: Romance tip #21: gaze into their eyes and smile.
Jake (thoughts): I can't even smile in the mirror...?
Caption pointing towards Jake: Resting neutral face
Jake (thoughts while out with Austin): Should I even bother trying? I can already tell this is gonna fail badly...
Caption: straining (to smile)
Caption: weird aura
(Jake twitches and attempts to smile; Austin notices)
Austin: Are you hungry?
Caption pointing at Austin: Natural smiler
Jake (thoughts while sobbing inside): Faaiill

[Competitive romance V]
Jake (thoughts): CLEARLY this isn't my forte...

Jake (thoughts): His charisma stat is too high!!
Jake (thoughts): I give up!!
Caption over Jake: Defeated...
(Slumps over Austin's shoulder)
Austin: !
Austin: (heart is racing)
Caption over Jake: Or...winner?!

Austin: Jake, what's the story of this raccoon plush?
Jake: Ah-that's Wacou.
Jake: I've had him since I was a bady. I couldn't pronounce raccoon so his name became wah-koooou.
                                                                Raccoon (controlled by Jake): Hi!
Austin's vision: Jake/Wacou are both cute, fiesty, vulnerable, and hungry
Austin: You're both perfect.
Jake: Wha-
« 11 »

  • Chapters 1-11 are compiled (along with some other short stories and PRINT-exclusive extras) in HWA book 1 (available in print or digital format).
  • I finished this part in March in advance of making the printed edition, so this is also a later freetalk. Looking back at pages I drew a month is always bit painful. I meant to release this in May, at the same time that the print edition would debut at TCAF. Since the print edition is on hold (due to COVID-19 situation), here's the chapter now :)
  • I had to redraw A's cardigan pattern a bunch of times because I drew the elements wrong (I remembered the order of patterns wrong). It's based off a cardigan that I own (that Wai got me a long time ago, we have almost matching ones). A's aesthetic is cozy cabin. I like quilted patterns a lot because it gives me cozy vibes too. I don't actually own anything quilted!!!
  • I created extremely gaudy artwork for this diner's decor. Actually some of them are old filtered drawings from years past. Look closely, and you may recognize some of them. Mentally I was inspired by Fran's. I should go there again.
  • In theory I should like drawing plants, but in practice, the overlapping leaves and curves make them quite hard to draw unless you're just going for a squiggle look.
  • This chapter has a lot of references/call-backs/parallels with previous ones. Like previous chapter, I'm never quite sure how to draw food with mostly b/w that looks appetizing.
  • I have a lot of other ideas about how their relationship progresses (spoiler: the slow burn continues). Specifically all good couples need to go to the aquarium on a date, right?? Drama must ensue. We must see shrimp and goby. I just want to draw animals.
  • Maybe I'll come back to these two later? Hope y'all enjoyed!!! The printed version has some scrappy poorly drawn 4-panel comics that extend this chapter.
  • Ch. 12 is going to be...totally different?????? I HAVE TO...START WRITING IT?? Next update might be farther out, haha.
  • About 'web' extras: most of these are scraped from my freetalk! I drew these web things, AFTER the book went to print (March 2020), so these are different web extras from the printed book's extras...yes, it's confusing. I have the most fun when I draw these poorly-drawn extras.