Mild-mannered senior at Attic High. Her genetics project involves teddy bears somehow.
As you can see, I’m still shading the characters even in normal light. This is the first time I’ve done this since page CVI. After the last few dramatic pages, going back to flat color seemed to ruin the visual flow of the story. As the plot has matured, I wanted to continue visually showing dimension on the characters. After comparing the shaded and non-shaded versions of this page, I feel this version is much more compelling and worth the extra touch.
Cass and Noah are running because they played it safe and took a detour to a staircase to get back down to ground level. I had a line for this in the script, but this page was dense enough already without that insignificant detail thrown in.
I learned a lot about coloring with intense light sources from making this page. There’s a video about the coloring process that subscribers of the Catomix Patreon campaign can check out.
Drawing and coloring Ken in these panels made my gut twist in knots. Cancer is a horrible thing, and rendering a visually exaggerated, grotesque version of it had an effect on me. Still, I let the drawings take shape hoping that if it was having an impact on me, it would have an impact on everyone else too. Don’t mess around with science irresponsibly, kids.
When I started Phase Three, I wrote down a few “rules” that I should follow to avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into in Phase Two. One of those rules was “no pages with more than 9 panels.” This page has 19 panels. Oops! Looks like we have a new record holder.
I looked through the catalog of background student characters I built up over the past 10 chapters to select a few to join Ken’s team and made choices that were both obvious and unexpected. Gareth fought on Cass’ side against Keris, but I decided to put him in Ken’s corner. Conversely, Toho was all for inflicting punishment on Dr. Mitchell in Chapter 5, so he seemed a natural choice to go along with Ken’s plan.
The further I developed Ash’s character, the more extreme I made his emotional responses to things. This is just about the pinnacle of what he’s willing to do in a charged situation.
When I wrote Page CCIX, I got it into my head that Demetrius’ reaction to his trashed sweater was as strong as it was because it was a gift from Ash. That started me thinking of a way to allow Ash to get retribution for Demetrius’ sake, and from there it was easy to decide on upping the stakes by writing in a direct attack on Demetrius.
Kestrel’s camouflage color is completely unrealistic given that glass is actually transparent, and that if you were standing on the upper floor looking out, you would clearly see this big blue chameleon woman, but I claim artistic liberty so you all can understand she’s supposed to be in camouflage mode.
This is the first actual use of Morty’s (and Noah’s) transformation ray since the final chapter of Phase One. I kept it away from the students in Phase Two because it’s kind of a miraculous device. It healed Jen’s mortal wounds after transforming her into a were-poodle and back again, and with the kind of dangers the kids face every chapter, it would have become the dreaded deus ex machina of this series. At that point I started coming up with the germ of the story that’s unfolding here, where the ray is at the crux of villain Ken’s ambitions, and created the subplot that ran through Phase Two where Jen had confiscated the ray to prevent this kind of misuse.
All of Katsuko’s bears are designed to protect children, so I figured it would make sense if some of them were capable of acting as baby monitors.
This page takes its title from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Changing Face of Evil.”