Vote over at TWC and you can see a kind of gratuitously mostly shirtless Vincent. Also, they changed their voting thing and now there’s extra votes or something? Which I don’t understand yet, so don’t worry about it.

Marisa would do magic more often, but then I’d have to draw these damn circles again, sooooo she doesn’t. Thankfully, Manga Studio’s fancy rulers make it way easier than it would be otherwise, but damn. That took awhile. Which is why this page is three panels. I was also going to add a sound effect for the magic, because I think magic makes a nice “woosh!” sound, but it got lost in all the circles and looked bad, so I axed it. I also struggled like crazy with the coloring for this page! I kept fighting with making it more saturated and making it desaturated and making everything blue and just calling it a day. I think it turned out how I wanted, though. Color and I aren’t friends.

She’s too small to see, but Marin is very proud of her girlfriend’s cool talents :D. You know, and she’s a nurse and she can heal people, etc. She “fixes” things, but some of those fixes extend to people’s non-fatal injuries.

I wanted to make a note on yesterday’s page! I think some people are taking umbrage with me not wanting to label Connie as a villain or as evil necessarily, which I get. But for me, she’s based on real people. Multiple real people! People who don’t have magic, but have managed to destroy various people in their lives (including me, almost). So I hesitate to call her evil, if only because she’s so damn normal. Normal in a way that’s not good, in a way I’m not comfortable with, but normal because she’s not unusual. Like, I know multiple people who have had chairs thrown at them by their parents. To me, that seems like an evil act and something that should never happen, but to my friends, that was just an expected escalation of that person’s emotions. They were conditioned over a lifetime to recognize that these instances were bad, but not unacceptable or unreasonable. If you met their parents in real life, they would be friendly and even charming, because they behave civilly around everyone else. The terrible things they do get hidden away, because they’re abusive, either physically, emotionally, or both. But they aren’t unusual, and I think once you label someone as evil, it makes them feel somehow removed from the rest of us who don’t do these terrible things, like they should be easy to spot or that their victims should have realized they weren’t good people and gotten away sooner. And when you’re in the midst of that person’s orbit, when you’re their target, whatever they do seems justified. They’ll make you out to be the cause, you’ll try to please them and fix their problems, but they’ll keep tearing you down in the process. Someone who would do things like that isn’t evil, they’re normal…but they’re normal in a BAD way. Normal in a way that needs to be eliminated and dealt with in society. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that abusive people are everywhere, very hard to spot, harder to get away from, and their actions are easy to ignore from everyone who’s not being abused. And sometimes, as a victim, knowing that you’re not alone in having suffered this way, that’s the only thing that makes you feel like you aren’t crazy.

So, that’s my abusive asshole rant. I have been lucky in that I’ve been able to get away from and cut off abusive people in my life pretty quickly, but I find the issue fascinating in how common it is and how predictable the patterns are. (And there are patterns, very predictable patterns, and they show up almost like clockwork — like there’s a manual out there or something.) Like I said, we’ll see that side of Connie that explains a lot of who she is, and we’ll see why someone might have considered her a warm and loving person at one point. She’s still terrible, but she’s not rare. Unfortunately :|.

On an entirely different note, I saw Rogue One yesterday and I feel like that movie took all my emotions, slapped them around a little, then shoved them back into my body and left me to deal with them. I liked it! I think it went a long way into giving the original trilogy some much-needed context, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to watch it again. Just like how I’ve never seen the last part of the Hunger Games movies. I read the book, made it through mostly intact emotionally, but seeing it all in movie form would be like being stabbed repeatedly, and I don’t think I can handle being traumatized like that :|.