Vote over at TWC and you can see the stupid cute stickers I made, all colored and what not. Now I just have to get them printed >_>

Uuuuuuugh this part is hard to write. I have to keep checking my dialog and making sure I’m not hosing my future plans that this whole section feeds into. Like, it’d kind of blow if I got to the climax of the first arc of this story and someone pointed out a giant plot hole. (I already have one little tiny one that I need to fill, but I can make it make sense just fine…I just hate having to add more exposition than I want to.) Thomas is also turning out to be much more sympathetic than I originally planned, considering I have future plans with his character, but I’m just going to roll with it. Vincent turned out 110% more of a quiet nerd than I anticipated, and Malaya oscillates into sarcasm and anger more often that I thought she would, so this isn’t the first time. Sometimes you just have to navigate around who your characters end up as rather than who you thought they were, and he’ll still work for my future plans. I’ll just have to try harder when I get there because he’s not an unrepentant asshole :p.

As confused as Webtoon folks were by the end of the last chapter, because I guess it was too abrupt for them, the point of the Ross wolves (plus Marisa) checking out the house was 1) Connie recharging ye olde batteries via healthy werewolf (Sara), and 2) a visual reference so this part would make sense. Because at this point, if her hands just started making little glowy lines, you wouldn’t know what this means if it had never come up before. Dun dun duuuuuun. Comics and film are interesting, because they rely so heavily on visual imagery, so you have to create a visual language alongside the dialog in order to guide the narrative. If you don’t have both, then you just end up with a bunch of randos standing around, yapping at each other. In a traditional written narrative, you can guide the plot through prose instead, using imagery and symbolism as needed. Luckily, I sort of suck at prose compared to thinking in images, so the idea of “how do I convey these various emotions and shifts in tone with a handful of close ups of simplified, symbolized representations of real people” is me very much operating in my lane.

I had a horrible, horrible project I worked on once with some film grad students, and the director wanted all these close ups. Close ups, close ups, close ups. Almost no establishing shots, so it was way confusing to get a read on where anyone was or what you were even looking at. I had to explain to him that when I’m drawing a little girl’s face, and you animate that and put it up on a screen that’s literally 20′ wide, you’re essentially reducing the human face down into a symbol. It’s like an emoji. You get less visual information, because I’m stylizing my drawings to not be photo-realistic. As a result, you’re gonna have two eye symbols about 10′ apart, with a tiny nose symbol above a tiny mouth symbol, both in the middle of the screen and like 8′ away. This is a drawing, not a photograph, and you need to pull the camera back more in order to give the audience more visual information, because we naturally infer a LOT from photograph and film that can’t be filled in by our brains with a drawing. He didn’t believe me and the project eventually folded. I mostly blame him, because I actually understand what I’m talking about. Anyway, the point is, drawings are simplified versions of people and you have to make them work quite hard to achieve what a prose narrative accomplishes without nearly as much thinking.

Anyway, welcome to new readers! I seem to have a lot of people trickling in the last few weeks, and I’m glad you’re here. Sorry you only get two pages a week, but we all struggle through this slow motion story together. Mostly me, because I actually have to draw and write everything O_O. And now I’m going out of town this weekend, and man, that is really screwing with my plans to get everything done this month. But I’m doing it! I’m getting there. I’m very tired, but my friend in Houston has a hot tub, so like…I think the extra work for a few days off will be worth it.