Alone Together

This comic is against a bright blue background. In the uppser left corner, bubbly text reads, “Alone Together.” Smaller text reads, “R. Rodriguez” underneath. The people in the comic are pink line drawings filled in with white. They all cast long, purple shadows. The images are to be read in backwards S shape.

In the first image, two androgynous people in sweat swuits are walking arm in arm with tiny pink hearts beside them both. One person has short, straight hair. The other hair short, curly hair. The straight-haired person has a blue speech bubble with white text inside, which reads, “Nobody told me creating another human is the death of the creators of the relationship.” The curly-haired person has a white speech bubble with pink text, which reads, “Let’s have a baby.”

In the next image, the two people slow dance together with a small, pink heart bewteen them. The straight-haired person says, “That love filled decision has such potential to frain the love right out of the powers that made it be.” 

In the next image, the curly-haired person is pregant. They say, “Whatever cracks exist become ravines.” The straight-haired person puts their ear to the curly-haired person’s belly and touches it. They say, “Worn by collective tears.” Tiny, pink hearts are above each of them. In the next image, the curly-haired person sits on the ground holding a bottle with their head buried in their knees. They say, “Resentments turn foundational.” The straight-haired person stands facing a away from their partner and holds their baby, who’s wearing a diaper and has one curly hair on their head, in the air. The baby says, “Goo.” The straight-haired person says, “Priorities shift.” There is a tiny, pink heart between the straight-haired person and the baby.

In the next image, the straight-haired person stands behind the baby, who’s standing up. The curly hair person squatss and holds their arms out to the baby. They say, “We only talk if it’s about the child.” And in another speech bubble, they say, “We’re so proud of you.”

In the next image, both partners are facing away. Between them, there is a small child with wavy hair. They are all holding hands. The straight-haired person says, “Together we forget us and can only hope the new us works too.”


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Rio Rodriguez

Rio is an artist that dabbles in many things, dreams of a thousand creations and maaaaaybe finishes one every couple of years. Rio come from the bold coast, loves playing games, and hates having to cook dinner. Oh, and swords — Rio loves swords.

Rio has written 1 article for us.

14 Comments

  1. Yeah, that’s pretty much how it is…
    My kids are teens now and I’m trying to get some water to the dehydrated plant that is our relationship. It’s very hard, especially for my husbian, to talk about anything else besides work and the kids, but I am really trying to create space for exactly that and I am not giving up.

    • Yes, all so true. I have to really fight for autonomy over having creative/ self care time, and making relationship a priority. Date nights away from children and maintaining sex are essential. Kids can suck you dry of energy if you let them.

      Love the flowy bubbly aspects of the art. So true to queer parenting life in how difficult it can be to maintain boundaries, life and needs just bleed into one another. Before you know it you are sitting in a puddle of shadows sad and alone.

      Hope those golden life moments and ebullient creative moments increase in frequency for all you queer parents reading!

    • Beautiful piece. I’m not a parent, so I can only say that this is what I’ve observed in a some of the relationships around me that bring a child into their lives. Definitely makes me lean more heavily into the ‘no kids’ camp. ❤️

  2. This is very lovely and very vulnerable, thank you for sharing it with us! I’m not a parent but I am…wary, I’ll say, of caretaking for exactly the reasons you describe. The idea of disappearing is really scary.

    And on an artistic level I love the floaty lava lamp goopiness of the art, the swirly word bubbles, the way the figures are simple but so emotive. And the green/white/purple/magenta combo is so unexpected. I hope we get to see more of your work in the future!

  3. My workplace let me make a 4×10 hr work day schedule so my wife and I have a day off together while our kids are at daycare.

    Sometimes we have an ongoing project or important things to catch up on but sometimes we don’t and we can take the day to just indulge in each other’s company. And even when there are Needs To Dos, we’re doing them together

    It feels like putting the oxygen mask on ourselves before our children.

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