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TheHeroesOfCRASH.com It's been a rough year for our country. A large number of us have been calling, protesting, and fighting for human rights in the face of greed and bigotry. It can get emotionally and even physically taxing. Between that and the typical holiday chaos, it's easy to wonder what's the point? Why bother? Does anything I do really matter? Well, despite a recent defeat regarding a certain tax bill, I still believe YES. Yes, it DOES matter what you do. While the words of Jacob Marley's ghost in today's filler may seem grim, in the context of the picture, I feel that it serves as an important reminder. While we are alive, we should do all that we can to help others and spread happiness. Joy is infectious; when you spread it around, you can feel it yourself. While you may not be able to change the world, the changes you CAN bring about can mean the world to one person... maybe two, including you! Meanwhile, those who fail to help others and think only of themselves are probably gonna discover karma laying the smackdown on them, in this life or the next (Okay, perhaps that's a little less "peace-and-love-y" than most of my Christmas messages, but I'm sure that thought comforts a few of you)! Anyway, if you're still willing to help out those in need, I recommend contacting your representatives every day. There's lots of great causes to fight for; if you like my comic and other webcomics, you should try showing your support for Net Neutrality. Tell the House and Senate to use a Resolution of Disapproval (under the CRA) to overturn the FCC's decision to repeal Net Neutrality laws! You might also want to help out by donating to a charity or a food bank that supports those hit by this year's hurricanes. If you want a suggestion, FeedingAmerica.org seems to be a well-reputed charity that's aiding in the relief efforts, and even a small $1 donation will be a big help. Anyway, today's comic took me all week to figure out. I knew I wanted to use this quote - I felt like it expressed justice during a time when a lot of people are losing faith in justice. However, I didn't want the shadenfreude of bad people being punished to overshadow the message that it's important to be kind to one another. Like the story of A Christmas Carol itself, there needed to be a good balance between the light and dark. Some earlier ideas felt too dark to me - like having ghostly politicians wearing Marley-style chains, or my characters posing as the Ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future to pester politicians. Ultimately, I felt that the picture should show my characters exemplifying the notion that charity and generosity is everyone's business, rather than bemoaning it too late like Marley, so I put my characters in a food pantry (much like my family and I volunteer at a homeless shelter every Christmas morning to serve food at a luncheon and do crafts and drawings with the children). I still felt that there needed to be a little jab at those who think only of themselves and merely pretend to be generous (That is a big issue going on right now, and I felt that I had to address it), so I put in the politician. It's no coincidence that the senator is under the quote about the consequences of selfishness, while my heroes are stationed beneath the words about giving to others. My fellow Pennsylvanians might have noticed that Senator Nat Tooman is a parody of Senator Pat Toomey - my state's Republican senator who's been pushing the tax bill, praising Trump's nominees (most notably Betsy DeVos, whose family contributed to his campaign), and opposing Net Neutrality. I was considering making the parody character's last name "Toomer", because like a tumor, he's malignant and should be removed, but I think I might save that joke for some protest signs. The name "Nat Tooman" sounds a lot like "Not Human", stressing his lack of humanity. Y'know, I might find a place for this guy in a future storyline at some point...! Anyway, here's hoping that whatever you celebrate - whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just having a quiet winter's day - that you have a happy holiday season! Take care, everyone!