Hey all, thanks very much for reading Kill Six Billion Demons. This upcoming year in 2023 will mark 10 years doing the comic, which is a huge deal! I’m catching up on RPG work and taking my son to visit his grandparents for the holidays, so the next update will likely be January 13th.

Thanks for sticking with me through this year, and the long hiatus at the start and the slow update pace for a while. Your support means so much to me.

Having a child is a pretty huge and life changing event, but it was extra complicated for my family, as my wife suffered major post-partum health issues that put her in hospital, during a high period of covid. I drove my wife to the emergency room at 2:00pm on a Wednesday and then did not see my wife at all for almost five weeks. I could not talk to her normally. While sleeping in two or three hour increments and taking care of my newborn son, I was coping with basic issues such as finding out where my wife actually was, or with the insurance company trying to deny her care after one week of hospitalization. While coping with all this I also went to the emergency room myself as my appendix almost burst and was unable to even pick up my son for a while. I fortunately had family come in to help me or taking care of basic things would have rapidly become impossible. It was an extremely difficult period of my life and it helped underline my very strong belief that nobody can truly do anything alone.

I truly thank you for your support, readership, and understanding, it has supported me through this rough period.

I’m turning 33 very shortly. As my life has continued on I have been very grateful for my habit of actively recognizing when I am truly happy, which is quite often, as I’m a lucky and very creatively and emotionally fulfilled person. It helped me a lot when I needed it.

So here’s a thought for you: some day, you will die in a hospital.

It’s a blunt but fairly inevitable fact of life, something I don’t think Americans talk about enough, to be frank. It will happen to you or someone you know, inevitably. Often there is actually very little you can do about it. One day I was dropping my wife off, the next I didn’t see her face for a month. The older you get, the more likely this is to happen, by the way. Youth will not insulate you forever.

Rather than become flippant or deny basic reality, a habit you can imagine my stance on if you read my comic, I think it’s better just to recognize and accept facts like this. It literally happens to everyone, like the weather, or stubbing your toe. Part of growing older for me has been internalizing hospitals, and death, and their inevitability. I have gotten very good at hospitals. I can sit in waiting rooms for multiple hours now, no problem, on a Friday evening no less.

In the end, my experience passed, as I expected it would, and things have returned to normalcy. My wife is doing better than ever. My son just turned one year old. I made him carrot cake for his birthday. He has a truck that he pushes around and yells at the top of his lungs, happy as all hell. I hope if you find yourself in a similar situation, in a hospital somewhere, you can think of times like this and imagine that things will be better, as they often will, and that that thought can carry you through and on to the carrot cake, truck-pushing side of things. Nothing is permanent.

Have a great new year, see you in the next one.

– Tom Bloom (Abbadon)