I haven’t had a page with no dialog in awhile! It feels weird! But I really like pages with no dialog. Comics kind of force you to keep things a bit streamlined in your writing, so it’s nice to tell a story that’s totally visual.

We’re finally entering the last leg of this chapter! Finally! After like every page so far has mentioned hey, here’s what we’re gonna do for the rest of the chapter, now we’re doing that thing. I’m sure it’s fairly obvious by this point, but I am about the most literal, straightforward writer ever, I think. Obscurity has its place, but that’s not really my jam. After watching six seasons of the X-Files, I’m beginning to realize that my major weakness is not being good at thinking outside the box. Actually, that’s kind of my weakness in general. (Give me a brain teaser and all that happens is I get very angry and frustrated :p.) That being said, part of the reason this story got off the ground in the first place is because I have a box to work in. Werewolves! What a perfect box! The magical elements are kind of a given, so I don’t have to sit here and explain shit to everyone over and over. We’re conditioned to already accept the werewolf narrative! And then I can be creative within very comfortable boundaries. The downfall of everything I’ve ever tried to write is that I come up with a good idea, and then I logic it to death and get bored with it. Sometimes, the trick to getting anything done is just to acknowledge what your brain is going to try and do, and then work with those issues until you find a way to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Actually, I don’t know if I believe that the way your brain naturally operates is a weakness. I know that I’m sitting over here like Mr. Spock trying to write a damn story about werewolves, and it’s not like I’m going to turn into Captain Kirk at some point. Plus, I like stories that are told with clarity in mind that are clearly moving in a direction, and I’m mostly writing this as an indulgent project for myself, soooo. But hey! You guys all seem to like that too and I’m glad :D.

Anyway, moving on, I looked at a million reference photos of foxes to draw this page! Foxes are kind of hard to draw because they’re like a cat mixed with a dog. And really, without the fur markings, it’s a little hard to make it clear that she made a magic fox. As proud as I am of all those damn magic-y circles, I’m gonna minimize how often I show Marisa performing magic so I don’t lose my mind. (Thank you baby Jesus for the fancy rulers in Manga Studio, because this page would look super awful if I couldn’t abuse the hell out of the circle ruler. All hail, circle ruler!) It’s like I’m the one providing the special effects budget, but the budget is small and mostly used on making everyone’s hair look neat. Priorities!

In TV news, I’ve had to cut off my drama watching largely in favor of rewatching Psych. Oh, I love Psych. And it’s so easy to know what’s going on without actually having to look at the screen. The issue I keep running into with the X-Files is that I can’t tell all the old white dudes apart, so I can never figure out which crazy conspiracy is the issue this time. Like, can they just have one of these dudes dye his hair blue or something? Or make him…a not-white old guy maybe? I know this was made in the 90s and only white people apparently existed then, but you know, it’d be nice. (Well, white people and apparently Native Americans of unspecified tribes performing random rituals as needed to make the story seem sufficiently otherworldly. As you do.)

Okay, I’m a million hours behind on tomorrow’s page, so I’m gonna go eat breakfast. Maybe take a long, hot bath. Then maybe a few hours of staring at the walls. It’ll get done!