Fellow artist Joost Haakman beat me to this with his comment last week – leave it to him to figure out where I’m going before I got there!  And in a sense, his comment drove me towards completion on this page, which I had been dithering about for most of the week.  Romance is such a tricky thing in this story, I am trying not to make it seem derivative or tacked on because it really isn’t.  So the eternal visual artist’s dilemma: to show or not to show?  I went for it.  If you’re interested in seeing what the original design of this page was, I’ll post the sketches next week as a voting incentive on TWC.  But not before then, alas, as they reveal too much about the next page – they’d just spoil it!  Until then, you have one last chance to see the two-page spread from this chapter.  Merely click below and vote.  And if you have already seen it so many times it nauseates you, well, you won’t have long to wait.

But yes, in the end, I decided after rereading my story notes, including the reworking I did over my Christmas vacation, to let poor Sarah and Milo have this little moment, even if it is most likely just inside Sarah’s damaged brain.  And in the end, I think everyone saw this coming – as they say, “you can’t build up like that and not deliver.”

Extensive photographic reference for this page, I’ll admit.  God bless my research department – that is, Google Images.  Composing this scene was actually quite an adventure.  And of course, who doesn’t like heavy symbolism in the form of wrecked tanks?  Oh, yeah.

On the other hand, I basically broke all sorts of comic and film/TV conventions with this one, regarding sexual tension and all the rules about human interactions you aren’t supposed to violate when doing long-form comics or story threads of this kind.  A friend from Florida whose opinion I value very highly told me unequivocally not to do this, but I did it anyway.  Oh, well.  Just gotta hope for the best – they can’t un-kiss now!  My greatest hope, however, is that this is as poignant and symbolic a moment as I have tried to make it, and that it doesn’t come off sappy or manipulative.

In any case, things are still going full-bore here.  Sleep, commute, work, commute, food, comics, sleep.  Repeat as necessary.  But for all that, I have to say (and I say this almost every week, I know), that this is my best page yet (yeah, I know, I have to fix Milo’s hair in panel 3, but I can do that tomorrow).  And this sequence is my best run of pages so far.  Gives me reason for hope.  And when I reread the first chapter this evening, which I am still in the process of revising, albeit slowly, I had a little glimmer of confidence when I realized that it actually is starting to read like a coherent story – and it only took fifty-three pages!

Ah, well.  So we’re still rockin’ and rollin’, here, folks.  All the best for another week of this.  God bless.