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.
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.
I cannot BELIEVE I fit all those word balloons in there. This page was ridiculous to lay out.
The first draft of this page called for the students to be unanimously against Argo, but when some readers reacted to Dr. Mitchell’s transformation in Argo’s favor, it inspired me to mix in some students who supported his idea. That’s why there is so much crammed into this page. A lot of new dialogue had to be added.
This is Katsuko’s first chapter as a member of the secondary cast. Her character is given a name for the first time. I previously referred to her as “Student Eight” in Chapter 4’s script.
Cass is using a different phone than the one in Chapter 4. I wanted her to own a smart phone with an easy-to-read screen instead of the outdated flip-up cell from before. As of yet, I have no in-story explanation for why she’d use two different phones over the course of one week.
We see a good chunk of students on this page. This whole scene forced me to get better at creating varying character types. There still isn’t as much diversity as I’d like there to be. (Not just skin tones, I mean things such as hairstyle, cheek/jaw shape, body tone, etc.)