Hey kids, Audrey here. So, this comic is intended to be the first of a series chronicling, well, life in a dying empire. Obviously a large nation doesn’t crumble overnight – Rome supposedly took 500 years, beginning to end – but seeing as this is the first generation of young Americans who are, on the whole, less well off than the generation before them, I’d say it’s entirely possible that that is what we are watching happen.

What makes me think the nation is coming apart? It’s not really just one thing, of course. It’s dozens of things . . . if not hundreds. However, since most people’s primary concerns are keeping food on the table, gas in the car and bodies in shelter, the economic situation just seemed like the right place to start. We’re experiencing regular, sustained inflation like never before – a dollar will buy you maybe a sixth of what it could in 1968. And there’s no quick fix; it’s not a problem that can be solved by one person, or one party, or even one generation. It’s the result of decades and decades of either mindless neglect or deliberate malice, depending on who you talk to, and it will take just as long a time to climb out, assuming it’s even still possible.

So, yeah, the comic ends on a down note. The system is currently broken on several fundamental levels, nobody is on the same page re: fixing it and meanwhile, we’re all probably fucked. But know at least that you’re not alone. If you’re currently going through life feeling like the situation in general is horrible and you’re wondering if maybe it’s just you being paranoid? At least now you know it’s not just you. It’s SERIOUSLY not just you.