In addition to introducing an updated design for Jordan (blue shirt! rolled up sleeves! aside from a beard, he's SLIGHTLY more representative of my daily visage) this strip is the first of a brief (very brief) storyline about depression.

As I said on Facebook: we should have code and/or safe words for depression. It's for everyone's safety, really.

As an overly sensitive creative person (although I hardly think that makes me special) I get depressed rather easily. Recently, professional expectations were unreasonably high while I was simultaneously running myself ragged with my consulting work ... and it all resulted in a downward spiral of misery and worthlessness.

But without the low points, the high points are only just average.

So I gave my wife a heads-up -- Code Black, Sam -- as kind of a safety net ("I'm miserable right now. It has nothing to do with you. There's nothing wrong. There's nothing you can do for me. I'm just going to miserable for a few days, and that's okay."). I think we both put on some metaphorical protective gear -- for Sam, it helps her know that the depressed Jordan is just a passing phase. For me -- and this is something that I've really taken a long time to learn -- it's that the depressed Jordan is a PASSING phase and NOT TO MAKE ANY MAJOR DECISIONS. Like completely giving up on an art project because it seems pointless. Yes, actually, it really IS pointless, but it'll feel slightly LESS pointless once the depression passes.

And it does. Some of us have coping mechanisms, others have delicious pharmaceuticals, and even others have fun combinations of the two. Whatever the case may be: it's just a happy fact of life that we get sad. Try to enjoy it a little.