Ahhhhh I love this but my favorite part is that the artist kept the bags under Dipper’s eyes. It’s a small detail but it’s in nearly every episode (if not every one), maybe not in every shot but it’s a really consistent aspect of how he’s drawn.
There are lots of signs pointing to Dipper being in the early stages of an anxiety disorder. Those tend to fully settle in around late-teen/early-adulthood for the most part but there are almost always rumblings of it in preteen and early teenage years.
He’s very clearly, based on the show, an insomniac to some degree. He frequently stays up way too late (or all night) obsessively thinking about something (whether it’s Wendycrush or finding passwords or just reading dumb mystery books about capers and writing notes in the margins). He’s frequently worried and stressed out and freaked out. And with good reason — weird, creepy shit happens in Gravity Falls, things big enough and weird enough to be worth freaking out about. But other characters approach it in other ways, less anxious and obsessive ways, than Dipper does; his tension stands out.
I care about this because, while Dipper’s anxiety manifests very differently from mine, I have an anxiety disorder. And in hindsight, I realize now that it was starting to rumble up in my life during middle and high school — to a lesser degree than college, when I had my first panic attacks and realized I had an actual problem, but still there, still ramping up for that. And maybe Alex Hirsch wouldn’t say Dipper has an anxiety disorder (I wouldn’t either, at this point in Dipper’s life), but I’m pretty sure he’d agree that “anxious” is a solid descriptor for Dipper. And it might seem weird, but it’s really refreshing to see a hero of a story who carries that weight.
Dipper’s still a kid, and there’s no telling in what way his anxiety will develop — lessening with time, worsening with time, or otherwise. But he’s an anxious kid, and it makes me love him and root for him to overcome not just the weird shit of Gravity Falls and the journals and it all, but also his own, personal shit. Because underneath those bags under his eyes, he’s got a big, warm heart and a vibrant bravery.
Dipper Pines is a really awesome kid. I can’t wait to see what gets thrown his way and how he rallies against it.