I was going to do this scene outside on the sidewalk leading up to the Allium’s entrance, but a few things gave me trouble: I’d have to draw a LOT of backgrounds of the surrounding buildings, and I needed to design the Allium’s exterior, and real-life circumstances around the time of drawing this page made that kind of involved concept sketching difficult. (For one thing, I was pulling a lot of overtime at work.) The final panel was also supposed to be much larger and show a good amount of the restaurant’s interior, requiring even more concept sketching.

I decided to simplify the art chores a bit by moving the scene into Noah’s car. This helped keep the backgrounds to minimal shapes with the car’s frame and seats. It also gave me a great opportunity to play a bit with rim and cast lighting.

There was also an unexpected benefit: scripting the dialogue got much easier once the two had a confined space to talk in. The theme of their conversation was always meant to swirl around their respective comfort levels and their concern for each other. By putting Cass and Noah in the car, this theme could spring from contextual aspects like temperature controls. Instead of trying to force awkwardness into the conversation, I was able to draw it out naturally through a relatable situation. (Who hasn’t fallen into awkward silence while riding in the car with someone?)