Warmth is a manga style comic that Fred Gallagher originally planned on publishing serially. It was published in Amerimanga #4. Colorized scans of it have been done by various fans, and parts of it were once available in hidden areas of FredArt. Because of unknown issues with the story line, only the pages in Amerimanga have been published. Like Megatokyo, it deals with themes of giving, perception, and value.
The story as far as the first episode deals with Tobari Saeko, a girl sharing an apartment with Shizuhara Eimi and another girl, and Tom (Tomu) Moore, an American ex patriot who has exiled himself to Sendai on Honshu Japan's North West coast. Saeko is a bit of a scatterbrain who loses things. Usually mittens. At the start of the story she has lost all the mittens in the apartment and is franticly looking for the last pair. Because of the time she is obliged to run to the train station without them.
Next we meet Tom. He is helping an American tourist deal with some of the issues of Japanese vending machines. In this case the tourist has purchased a can of hot coffee by mistake and can't hold on to it. Tom helps the tourist by buying a better can of coffee for the tourist, and keeping the hot can for himself. Tom loathes coffee and is feeling annoyed with himself for helping the tourist if it meant he got stuck with the coffee.
Tom arrives at the train station where Saeko is waiting for the same train he takes. Since she waits in the same place every day and is always wearing different mittens and always looks cold (and cute) Tom has started paying attention to her. On this day she looks colder than ever, and she is mittenless. Tom feels a bit sorry for her and gives her the can of coffee to warm her hands. When Saeko reaches her stop, she returns the now ice cold coffee can to Tom.
Gifts, Perception, and Value
These are important concepts in the Fred Gallagher oeuvre. The topic is examined in Envelope and Megatokyo as well. Only in Envelope is the gift (a sweater) of any real pecuniary value. Unlike the Railcard Incident in Megatokyo, what Tom gives to Saeko is of no value to him, so it almost dosen't qualify as a gift. Tom is mildly annoyed that he wasted his money on this. But for Saeko it is a gift of very high value. Tom perceives this as a way to eliminate an embarassment and get rid of something he doesn't want, that some one else does want, and values highly. It is unfortunate that we don't get Saeko's point of view on this, but given how much she was suffering, she must feel a great deal of gratitude.
It is worth noting that while in Megatokyo the price of Piro's "gift" is small (~$3), the cost (his two hour walk home) is huge.