I've been trying to write this update since I first got the news but have been feeling incredibly numb and detached. Grief is a weird thing I've tried to navigate a lot over the past couple years but this one hit home the hardest for me when I've been at my weakest and most burnt out state. I have been dreading it for a long time.

On the 20th of September my best friend Nova Asahi Lebeouf (Kichigai) passed away after a hellishly brave battle with cancer. She was the greatest artist I've ever known. The most caring person I've ever known- and every piece of her art sparkled like the stars she was made from.

We grew up online together. At first as someone who I wanted to notice me SO badly. Then as creative rivals who both admitted to being jealous of each-others skills. To then buddies. Fangirls. Inspiring forces. Spiritually more than friends, which I'll never be able to properly convey in words. Fated collaborators to just plain old artistic farts who loved each-others company online. No-matter how many months or years passed between us. Nova was the one friend who stuck by me from the very very beginning through thick and thin. Think of that one rare friend who was always ride or die for you. That was Nova.

Nova had a huge impact on me as an artist and a writer. I trusted her enough to work with me on Engelbaum's pilot issue as a colorist. I rarely trust anyone enough to touch my work because it's so personal to me on an emotional level. A person has to be more than just *good*, they have to *get* what you're doing and actually care about it too. Nova pushed me forward with my work so much and was always there to support me, critique me and offer me a shoulder to cry on in my rougher days.

Nova was my inspiration for Meio Dia and Unusti. I blend aspects of important people to me into my different characters personalities. There is a lot of her in both Meio and Unusti, among other people I care about. But those two specifically have always had a big Nova imprint in them. Those two characters will hit differently now. She was one of the rare people I actually told this to as I knew she'd *get* my intentions in a non creeper way. She really embraced that and it helped me work harder to impress her on a creative level. I seen her as my mentor and she'd say she was the one looking up to me, lol. We never did agree on that. I loved her deeply so so so much. I told her that so many times too. I was always glad she didn't run a million miles, lol. I have no regrets there. She stayed.

We had a weird mutual relationship and it was difficult to explain. I still can't really explain it even now in retrospect. But it was important to me.

The above picture is a black and white ink she drew of Meio Dia and Imagni. In all these years I've never colored her work before. She would color mine. Coloring this gift she made for me is the deepest expression of love I could share. So this is our final collaboration. I wish she could have seen it.
Song I worked to: https://youtu.be/cN-RwnufBR0

Thank you so much for listening to me talk about my friend Nova. I'm sorry for the sad news.

Thank you eternally to those of you who donated to the GoFundMe or reached out to me in the past couple months. Thank you so much.

Rest in dreams Nova, I'll see you again one day.