One reason why I wanted to have the divided class working together by the end was to highlight just how irredeemable Ken is.
It’s been mentioned a few times since this page released that cancer takes many forms and different types require different treatments. I’m not a medical expert, but I understand that somewhat. I still felt like it was more important to emphasize the victory here. Lawrence puts it plainly and dramatically, if inaccurately. And even if they’ve only found a cure to a certain type of cancer, that’s something to celebrate, isn’t it?
I tried to make this scene as not-cheesy as possible. The “and they all get along now” ending trope is difficult to get just right without the writer coming across as a Pollyanna. It was, however, important to me that the students come together for a common cause despite the bad acts that had just been done.
It took an embarrassingly long time to think about which characters should inspect the transformation ray. I think my first instinct was to have Noah direct some random student how to tinker with it, since the ray is technically Noah’s invention. But of course, it’s Morty’s build. He and Thirteen are the most qualified ones in the room to inspect it. Thankfully I remembered that before drawing the panel!
After making this page I read up on first aid for a broken arm and one article said you should not elevate the head. I assume this has to do with keeping blood flow to the arm to a minimum. Oh well! Ash is just trying to help.
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.
Flint flies (glides) so rarely, I like to make sure that, when he does, it’s a big event. He gets page space.
Drawing Ken’s tumors gave me the most unsettling feeling of anything I’ve drawn in UTC so far (including Dr. Mitchell’s graphic snake transformation). Cancer is very serious, and creating something that looks grotesque but also clean and toony adds an uncanny element.
Scenes like this come about because I find myself with no clear way to move the story to its next intended point and then realize I have two or three plot threads that haven’t been acknowledged in a while. Imagine you’re building a bridge out of Legos but the pile of bricks you’re using runs out of long pieces to make a span, and while wondering “can I build this section with a bunch of little pieces without it collapsing?”, you remember there’s an old Lego kit in a box in the closet you haven’t played with in years, but you know it’s got a bunch of those long pieces you need.
Maybe that’s not a great analogy, but anyway, Noah’s regret for his role in Flint’s latest transformation hasn’t been brought up since Part I; Flint hasn’t flown in two chapters; and Cass and Flint haven’t interacted AT ALL in this entire story arc. It didn’t take long after realizing all of this to come up with a way for the three to come together and formulate (or at least argue over) a plan. (Personally, I think Flint makes the best point, and he doesn’t even say anything.)