Vote over at TWC and you can see the thumbnails from this week, including the solidly great face from the last panel of yesterday’s comic. I love thumbnails :).

I feel like this page needs a bit of explanation, though hopefully it’ll read okay without it. So, when you have a brain tumor, eventually you just go kind of comatose. Brain tumors don’t really lead to a lot of pain, but the rest of your body starts shutting down as your brain stops talking to it. When my dad was dying, his body was otherwise still healthy, but the brain tumor makes it impossible to do basic things like eating and drinking, so you just kind of…have to wait until enough stuff stops working. It’s not great! But you go in and out of lucidity for awhile before you hit that point, and that’s kind of where Marin’s at. I debated dragging this bit out another page to make it clearer, but with this being a flashback with additional narrative…it seemed excessive, I guess? I’m trying to keep this whole section on a faster pace than my normal storytelling, because in the end, it’s a conversation being had in a mostly abandoned wing of the mall, not an entire chapter unto itself.

BUT, the main point I wanted to make with this page is consent. We’ll get more of a peek into Sara as a person at the end of this chapter (WHEN WILL IT END??? Never.), but I wanted to show the contrast of her as an Alpha and whatever the fuck Connie did to get additional werewolves. If it’s not clear from how much Marisa is qualifying this as a HUGE favor, Sara doesn’t just go around biting people. This is a big ask, because as she mentioned in the last chapter, each person added to the pack is someone she becomes personally responsible for in a way. I mentioned this on twitter the other day, but I see Sara as a mix of maternal, terrifying, and lumberjack. Hopefully that’ll be obvious by the end of the chapter…maybe not the lumberjack part, that’s just my point of reference for the whole Ross family. It’s the closest personality approximation in my mind to a family of landscapers, I guess…with nicer flowerbeds than lumberjacks are probably interested in.

Anyway, I’m all over the place this week because next week, I’m visiting my gramma in New Mexico. It’ll mostly be me sitting on her couch watching daytime television while she tells me the same stories she’s told me for the last decade, but I don’t mind. I could use the total lack of stuff to do, honestly, and I love my gramma. Most of my dad’s family has moved out to New Mexico over the years, though I have no idea why. They seem to like it! It’s okay. The scenery is neat, but I’ve seen it since I was a kid, so I guess the novelty has worn off a bit. I’m not a fan of the total lack of anyone for miles and miles and miles. I’ve driven through SO MUCH desert in my 20s, and I have always found it a little disconcerting being out in the middle of nowhere on highways with so few people. Indiana has a lot of nowhere places, too, but I could drive from the top of the state to the bottom with only half an hour between towns. Same in Illinois. But I guess the difference is that my part of the Midwest is considered a transportation hub, but where my gramma lives…it’s mostly old hippies and Native Americans. The Mexican food in New Mexico is to die for, though. It’s a thing unto itself, a mix of traditional food of the Mexicans who have lived in that state before it was a state, combined with a lot of local Navajo food. The biggest downside of visiting gramma is that she lives three damn hours from the airport, so I have to drive up to her little corner of the state. I’m not taking one of those terrifying 10-seat planes, even if it’s way faster. Gramma used to have her pilot’s license and flew little 2-seat planes back in the…60s? So she thinks small planes are fun. I think it feels like my kidneys are going to rattle out of my body, so I will just drive. Gonna go…stare at some mesas out the window for three hours, I guess. And go to the ONE fucking gas station rest stop that has a Dairy Queen where everything starts at like, $10 for a small cone and the gift shop is full of statues of Jesus that were made in China and have drag-queen-level make up, even though it’s not on purpose. Half of them have a fan of fiber optic lights behind him, just for ambiance I guess. If I find that place, I’ll post it on Twitter. I think it’s on the way up from Albuquerque, but I’ve driven the whole damn state at one point, so who knows.

The point is, I won’t be around to answer comments next week until I get home that weekend! I can see them and approve them on my phone, but actually answering them gets a bit challenging with the way that WordPress loads things. I can’t see what anything is in reply to, except on the main page, so it’s just a bunch of disjointed comments that may or may not be responding to someone else. Way fun! And gramma doesn’t have internet because of course she doesn’t lol.