Senior at Attic High who specializes in taking big leaps without thinking ahead and making dramatic entrances. His imperfect genetic formula is gradually turning him into a salamander.
This page’s title alludes to Zapp Brannigan, the Captain Kirk expy from Futurama.
I didn’t want to drag out the battle any longer with explanations for why things do things, so you are probably wondering what Swanson is doing to that poor cat in panel 3. It has something to do with using the hive mentality of bees to get them to swarm at a specified target. The device Swanson is lugging over his shoulder is able to direct the bees in such a way.
It’s rare that I use color for emotional impact. I’m not a “color thinker.” (See anyone’s comment about UTC’s cartoonish palette.) Color theory was my worst subject in art school. I count myself lucky I can pick colors that are at least not offensive to the eyes. Still, I’m at least aware of how effective color can be. This moment marks such a massive shift in tone, I thought I would try going for a stylistic color shift to convey it.
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.
I like having a varied pool of background characters that can develop into contributing characters. July started as a friend of Keris’ to fit a single scene in “New Tricks,” and over the next few chapters she’s had a supporting role in establishing Ken’s plot. Obviously she’s gone from being somewhat supportive of Ken’s group to being so against it that she’s helping to thwart them. And she’s only had three pages in total devoted to this across four chapters. These types of storytelling tricks are still new to me, but I realize I should have been using them far earlier.
I hadn’t intended for Jen to be wearing pantyhose, but this felt like a great way to show how much she’s shrunk. From what I’ve heard, women sometimes wear hose under pants for comfort or insulation, and considering there is a full-on winter storm outside, it seemed pretty plausible.
I was a bit iffy on Keris’ self-defeating attitude here. It feels almost like a step back from her growth in “New Tricks,” but given the crushing circumstances and the fact that she doesn’t have an invention that can be used against Ken, I believe her decision to stay out of the fight is appropriate for this stage of her character arc.
The final panel should technically only include “Attic’s Six” because Cass is alluding to the ethics class only. But Flint had arrived with the others and I couldn’t leave him out of the group shot for something this dramatic. He’s much too closely involved with all that’s going on to be left out. Thirteen, less so, so I chose to exclude her even though it seems unfair since I already made that one exception.