I cut my teeth at my first 911 service working on night shifts. I worked the night shift for about the first year and a half of my time in 911. If I had to rate the top 3 calls that I saw on the night shift, it would be (in no particular order) car accidents, alcoholics/drug addicts, and psych patients. The particular situation represented in the comic never actually happened during a call but was born out of the hallucinating patients who you were never quite sure if they were psychs, alcohol/drug-affected, or just altered due to underlying medical crisis upon arrival.
You’ll find that I, a huge comic book fan, use superhero characters and references throughout many of my strips. And I really wanted to feature a character flying with a cape. The original joke was going to poke fun at the hero complex of some of us, but, in the end, I decided to go for a little simpler humor.
That wasn’t my best idea.
While the “Hypodilaudidism” comic was a sarcastic miss, this comic was my first that caught flack in the comments. Quite a few people didn’t care for it, thinking that I was making fun of psych patients. I knew where my heart was, and where my mind was (a previous psych patient myself), but in my constant quest for full anonymity, I wouldn’t express any of that to defend myself and just was left to look like a mean, uncaring jerk.
Years later, I would use this comic during a “Throwback Thursday”, wondering if time and my presence in internet EMS humor would change the perception of the joke.
It did not.
As time goes on in this “Examining My Strips” series, I might remember another comic catching some ire but, for now, this one stands out as my worst received strip.
*Side note: In a later comic, Dilly is shown to take all psych calls, always close the pass through during those calls, and, in the end, the patient always hugs Dilly.
Let’s just say, that I based that Dilly scenario directly on someone that I know… myself… and that I never meant to use anyone’s illness as a cheap joke.