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Sugar being revealed as binary code

When it comes to reality, you take what you can get.

― Dez

Sweating the Small Stuff is a comic made by Bill Sienkiewicz for The Matrix Comics Series 1 (released on on April 1, 1999) which was published in The Matrix Comics Volume 1 and, later, in The Matrix Comics: 20th Anniversary Edition. The comic told the story of a bluepill who starts to see through the virtual reality of the Matrix, his girlfriend's run in with a criminal cartel, and their subsequent escape from Agents.

During its webcomic stage, Spencer Lamm was also credited for the plot but his name was unmentioned during the printed publications.


The story starts with Dez, a bluepill who thinks he is losing touch with reality. He convinces his girlfriend Mia to stop drug running for cartel boss Marlowe. Mia gives up the drug trade only to pick up gun running instead. She also ends up being on bad terms with the cartel.

Gunmen shooting at Dez

As he starts to tell her his fears, that he can see through to the code that underlies everything in the Matrix, the door is blasted away with bullets. Dez assumes the gunmen to be the "guys in black suits" whom he believes has been watching him. He runs, only to hear one of the gunmen mention that "Marlowe says hello", which makes him realize they are cartel gunmen after Mia.

Mia emerges from the smoke with a machine gun and time slows for Dez as he, again, sees everything in code. He comes to realize that he is looking at "the answer". He snaps out of his daze to see the look of fear in the gunmen's eyes as Mia opens fire, killing all of them.

Suddenly Dez hears helicopters approaching and, in his mind, sees a multitude of Agents that he believes are, each, far deadlier than any cartel gunmen. Mia grabs his arm and they run. Dez, not knowing where they are going or what is going on, resolves to just keep running, together with Mia, away from the danger and towards answers.




Sweating the Small Suff was edited when it was included in The Matrix Comics Volume 1; the following changes being made:

  • Page 1: "Based on concepts by Larry & Andy Wachowski" was removed from the bottom of the page, leaving a blank space below "And she said:"
  • Page 4: Third period added to the ellipsis at the end of the second sentence: "Everything I see... everything..."
  • Page 4: "psychice" corrected to "psychic"
  • Page 5: The line "The irony of the thought makes me gag." was indented
  • Page 6: "Between bursts of machinegun fire," changed to "Between bursts of machine gun fire,"



The Matrix Comics Volume 1[]

  • Story & Art: Bill Sienkiewicz (Table of Contents)
  • Editors in Chief: Andy & Larry Wachowski
  • Editor: Spencer Lamm
  • Assistant Editor: Sharon Bray
  • Copyright © 2003 Burlyman Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • The Matrix and all related characters and elements are trademarks of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

See also[]