The characters of Space Pawdyssey are based on aspects, people and struggles in my own life. They are an extension of my life and in some ways, therapy.  Sure, they live in space and they are all literally animals, but I wanted to ensure they were both human and relatable.  That, and I needed an outlet to vent and analyze my own life, it’s struggles and the struggles faced by those around me.

This brings me to Toby. I would have liked to have pushed these two into meeting the Axiom crew earlier, but this is the only moment in the plot where I’ll be able to explore Toby the way I wanted to and to emphasize that this comic is as much about ‘real’ people as it is about star ships and jokes.

Toby has problems and a lot of them. He internalizes them to a large degree and sometimes to negative results (like the bar fight). More importantly though, he is genuinely happy. He’s a refugee from a lost home. He is a member of a species often looked down upon. He does mercenary work to make ends meet.

Toby does this all and still manages to be happy.  He has a bed to sleep on and his buddy Lex. He has the things that matter to him and that makes him happy.

The flip side of course is the fact that he is happy but he also struggles under the weight of a world that isn’t always nice. The cracks can show. It can be tiring at times.

Some of the funniest people I know struggle under the weight of the world. They come from hard, difficult lives. They find joy and humour where there should be none and sometimes under the happiness there’s a genuine struggle. Toby is happy. He’s able to embrace the good things in his life despite the bad, but that’s not always easy and for many it can feel impossible.

Why is this important?  Why am I bringing this up now?

Sept 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

https://www.iasp.info/wspd/

If your struggling, reach out.  If you feel alone, reach out. Call your local suicide hotline.  Talk to someone. I’ve met so many wonderful people while working on Space Pawdyssey and I treasure all of them. I sometimes wonder if they know it. I wonder if they struggle and need someone to listen.

So here it is. You’re important. I treasure everyone who reads my comic and I want them to know that.

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