Mild-mannered senior at Attic High. Her genetics project involves teddy bears somehow.

CCXXIII: Keris, He Shrunk Your Mom

Posted by on December 24, 2016

The full concept for Katsuko’s bears was originally developed to be its own full story, but it got shelved early in UTC’s lifespan and I’ve had to resort to dealing aspects of the bears out piecemeal whenever there is an opportunity.

I don’t usually like seeing “…” balloons in comics to indicate silence–it seems like it’s overstating the point. Noah wasn’t going to have any speech bubble to indicate that he was gaping silently, but upon reviewing the page, I was worried it would give the impression that I had forgotten to put in a speech bubble. I wonder if that’s why most comics do this sort of thing?

CCXXI: Bear Baby Breakout

Posted by on October 18, 2016
Production Code: UTC221

This is the part of the story arc that many writers (particularly screenwriters of action/horror films) hate. At some point you need to assemble all of the various groups and they need to share information with each other that the audience has already learned. It can get clunky and repetitive. Robert Rodriguez brilliantly found a way to skip this section of his film Planet Terror by literally cutting it out and claiming that the theater had misplaced that reel of footage. I have no such fallback option, so I have to just make this as entertaining as possible. Cue crowdsurfing Flint!

CCXIX: Schooled

Posted by on June 18, 2016
Production Code: UTC219

Walker, the unicorn guy, is a personal friend and a Patreon sponsor who pledged to the “appear in the comic” tier. We worked out an appropriate role for him in the story and I think the character fits in well. It helps to have one more “anchor” character besides Keris for this scene.

Speaking of friendly influences, Keris’ role in this chapter is an extension of her character arc in “New Tricks,” which another friend wrote. It goes to show that even solo projects can benefit from some good contacts with fresh perspectives.

CCXVIII: Hive of Scum and Villainy

Posted by on March 21, 2016
Production Code: UTC218A

If I expected to spend the entire rest of my life making UTC, I would have made four or five more chapters before “Class Warfare” all about each students’ experiments and building up more ancillary characters so that this story arc would have more weight to scenes like this. The only such character here is Tony, a friend of Jack’s who got one page of dialogue and then turned into a were-jackal. Who are these students, what makes them so inclined to obey Ken’s orders, and what are their experiments?

Unfortunately, those questions may remain unanswered forever…MAYBE somewhere down the road I will find a good chance to use one of them in a pinch to fill some role in a future story.

Update 11-22-2017: I slipped in a panel above the final 2 panels to better show how Katsuko is confusing the teens and stalling for time until she can get to her locker.

CCXVII: A Class Determined

Posted by on March 5, 2016
Production Code: UTC217A

This chapter originally launched in November 2015 with this single page. Shortly after posting, I had some serious issues with my ability to complete pages in a timely manner and was unhappy with the overall look of the page.

Eventually I redrew the middle section of the page and improved the backgrounds, adding some subtle textures.

This is the very first time the primary building of Attic High is seen in full. I hadn’t ever designed the complete structure, so the layout was cobbled together from what few exterior shots existed prior to this point, and I attempted to make the building match the established interiors as well. Then I covered almost the entire drawing in snow so you can barely see it. Surprisingly, this ended up being the easiest of all the panels on this page.