Comics: “Vacuful” by Trinity Dearborn

At the top of the comic is the title: "Vacuful". Underneath is a definition: "1. To be full and empty at the same time". The words are grey on a black background. The art style is abstract brush strokes that create vague shapes.

The top panel is of a grey room signified by a rectangle for a window and a horizontal line for the floor. In a white text bubble with black text, it says, "Sometimes I imagine the inside of my skull as a dull grey room". 

To the right of the grey panel is a long purple rectangle panel with a humanoid figure falling. Underneath the figure is a text bubble that reads, "Or spiraling down fast, hard to orient myself".

Below the grey panel and to the left of the purple panel is a medium green panel with a black line cutting it diagonally in half from left to right. On the left side, there are three dark green flowers hanging down from the top. The text bubbles under the flowers say, "Even happy feelings can feel like a heavy weight on my chest" and "Sometimes it's easier to be sad". On the right side of the dividing line there are three text bubbles. From top to bottom they say, "But the happy fuels me right?", "Fuck what if it's the sad that does?" and "Sometimes I feel more real when I'm sad". Underneath the text bubbles there are three light green flowers growing up, they are symmetrical to the dark green flowers hanging down on the other side.

To the right of the green panel and under the purple panel, there is white hole with neon pink exploding out of it. On top of the explosion in white text, it reads, "Am I going to explode or do I want it to consume me?"

Further down under the green and pink panels is a dark blue panel depicting a cold room with a fire coming in through the window. The three text boxes on the left from top to bottom say, "Sometimes being happy feels like mania", "My therapist thinks it's because I'm not used to being happy", and "It's lapping into the room". On the right there is one text bubble that reads, "Why does it feel so violent?"

Below the dark blue panel there are three panels side by side. The colors cross the black borders and expand beyond them. The left panel is mostly red with some pink. It has two text bubbles that say. "Sometimes it feels like all or nothing" and "It is okay to feel happy without worrying when it'll end". The middle panel is mostly orange with some yellow. It has one text bubble that reads, "Emotions pushing towards my limbs as if they will escape through unseen seams in my skin". The right panel is mostly purple with some green and blue. It has two text bubbles that say, "I am learning to allow myself to be complex and messy" and "Feelings are meant to be felt." There is one line of text that goes across all three panels. The text is white and is not confined by a text bubble. The final line says, "There is no need to compare myself to a normal that does not exist".

About Trinity Dearborn

Author photo of Trinity Dearborn smiling while looking offscreen.

Trinity Dearborn (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary, person of color. They graduated in 2020 from Iowa State University with a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. They want to be your queer cousin that sporadically gives hit or miss advice. When not accidently spiraling into an existential void, you can find them being vocal on social media at