A New Year and a New Outlook. Hien Pham spends a painful moment remembering the past and showing us how a flash of self-care and kindness can change it all around. It’s the right direction and sets a powerful tone for 2024. We can do this. You can do this.

Hien’s Notes:
2023 has been the year I learned to show up for myself more so than ever before. This little ritual I made up has become a really important and powerful tool for me to check in with myself, to validate, regulate, and to process my Big Emotions (of which I have plenty, haha!). The first time I really sat down and said “I see you hurting” felt like such a cathartic revelation. I hope you can feel seen and comforted in this particularly turbulent time. Take care, and take it easy, everyone! I’ll see you next year!
P.S: the comic is titled after a song by Gretta Ray whose album, Positive Spin, I really enjoyed this year!

And with that; our 53th comic of the year, I reach out again to ask you all to support OJST! 2023’s been a really wild one for us, from book banning’s to Algorithm-struggles to health issues and Covid-woes, we’re eternally thankful for each of you who’ve stuck around and continue to support this work with a dollar or more per comic. Thank you each and all of you…

– The Oh Joy Sex Toy per-comic Patreon to directly support these comics

– The Erika Moen Monthly Patreon with her many art projects

ALSO did you know we’ve changed up our Post Comics Elsewhere License recently?
We want to encourage you to post our Back Catalogue of comics elsewhere to help support the site. We’ve been busy updating a lot of the older comic’s into a newer Split Page Format so they’d be easier to else elsewhere!

↓ Comic Transcript
Page 1
The comic opens on a bedroom at night, Hein Pham, a cis gay asian man, lays half undressed, looks up and around his room as he remembers some thing painfull from his past. As the first few panels progress we have developing narration from Hein.

Hein “I fall hard. And I fall fast.”
“When my heart breaks, it breaks twice as bad.”
“I try to run away from it in my head… I always try…”

The flashbacks Hein experiences are one of rejection, we see his hand, reach out to another person who turns their back to him. The final panel on this page has a ghost Hien sitting up and leaving his laying down body as he disassociates.

Page 2
The ghost-Hien runs away from his laying body in a panic, and an attempt to leave this painful memory behind.
“But when my heart breaks, it breaks twice as fast.”

Ghost Hien grabs at his chest in pain
“fuck… FUCK!!!”

He Keels over, and on his hands and knees says out loud
“I don’t want to feel like this… I…”

Page 3
A second set of hands reach out from the beyond, gently grasping Ghost Hein's crying head. THe hands belong to a second Ghost Hein, a calm and loving one.
“I see you. I see you hurting.”

The second Ghost hugs, the first heartbroken one as he crys in the embrace.
“I am so sorry.”

Page 4
“Let’s practice something”
Says the second Hein as he sits down next to his mirror self.

“The next time you feel unwanted… Like your yearning for a hand to hold goes unanswered… When your heart breaks, and all you can do is run away… I will hold your hand. Like this. And we can sit with it together.”
As he talks this Hein, gently grasps the hand of the other and squeezes.

Page 5
We see the the hand squeeze again, a mirror image to previous visual, but this time the coloring shows' that we’re back in the dark room of Hein's bedroom as he remarks to himself
“when it passes… it always passes… My heart will heal… Twice as glad.”

The comic comes to an end with a teary but smiling Hein holding his own hand and sitting up. Outside the blinds it looks like the sun is rising.

Today's comic was made by Hien Pham who can be found at hienpham.artstation.com
It was then transcribed by Matthew Nolan on 12/24/23 who struggled to capture the amazing visuals, but tried his best!
Oh Joy Sex Toy is paid for and supported by Patreon, and we'd ask for any support you can give us to keep making them for 2024!