Alyssa proves that you don’t need to be part of an evil organization to mess with Cally!
Page 18 properly introduces Alyssa Monroe– we previously caught a glimpse of her back in the “Wallflower”/School tour section of issue one (pages 4 through 6,) but now we’re getting to know her– and boy is she trouble…as you’ll see.
This scene (sans Kevin) was actually one of the first scenes I had conceptualized to kick off on Zuda, had we continued there– The original idea was for Cally to run to the bathroom after the realization that Don was her spy-nemesis, only to find Alyssa there waiting for her…well, Alyssa and a gang of her cheerleader cronies.
As it turns out, I’m much happier in our 2.0 (current) version, with her introduction coming a little later, which allowed us to develop the idea that Cally was spying on Don– and to give us a little breathing room to properly introduce Kevin–
Alyssa is a super fun character to write– All I have to do is think of the worst thing another human being could say to someone, and that’s her line! Originally, I think I took this page a bit too far– particularly with the cat/mouse interplay, but a quick re-write session between our Editor, DJ, and Brant, our letterer, smoothed the whole thing out…
You’ll be seeing a lot more of Alyssa in the upcoming pages, and I can assure you: It isn’t going to be fun for Cally!
The other line that I juggled back and forth with is Cally’s “Running into things” bit in Panel 1– which, is fairly cringe-worthy. The whole point of her saying it is to convey the feeling of saying something REALLY stupid in front of someone you fancy– We’ve all done it before…That lame crack, which repeats in your head,over and over–sounding dumber and dumber with each echo–
I kept wanting to rework Cally’s line, but oddly, every time I came up with something new, it sounded too quippy… It oddly stuck me that the line should stay as is, because I hated it.
If I thought the line sounded lame, imagine how Cally would feel saying it.
In the end, I think we’ve got a fun page– It isn’t the type of page that gets a lot of attention as far as “favorite comic book pages ever” go, but it really is these 6-panel/two people talking scenes that quietly inform us about characters– generally speaking, they’re much more prevalent than the big action splash pages that we commonly associate with comics. These are the pages that drive our conflict, characters, and drama forward.
Page 18 also adheres to the “Sitcom Rule” of storytelling– Although it happens in a lot of movies and other TV shows as well, it’s a rule that can be quickly spotted in most multiCamera/mainstream sitcoms:
Character A and B are talking in a room. Character C enters, the three banter for a moment, then B leaves the room– Now Character A and C talk.
If you’ve never noticed that structure before, I may have just ruined sitcoms for you– Pick one at random– you’ll see it constantly.
(Note that characters don’t always leave the room– sometimes they’ll just shuffle off to a corner.)
I’ve mentioned before how I’m a big fan of DJ’s “acting”– Like an actor, an artist has to use facial and body language to convey the written lines– take note Alyssa’s face through the page: All sweet smiles when Kevin is around, but the second he’s gone, the smile turns menacing…then in Panel 5: the Attitude comes SWINGIN’!
That’s about it for this page– I know I missed last week’s blog, but we’ll return this week to revisit the Video Game/Webcomic talk that I’d been promising. Also in the works are some very exciting announcements about where we’ll be when issue one wraps up in a month! I know, I can hardly believe it myself.
In the meantime (as always,) you can help Team 16 by dropping us a vote at Top Web Comics!
We’ve pushed our way down to the 152′nd slot! With only a week left in October, I don’t think we’re going to manage the top 100, but I think we can realistically make 150 with your help!! All you have to do is click here!
Ok, seeya back here for the blog on Thursday! I might be playing around with the site a bit over the week, so if you see anything funky in terms of formatting, please let me know!!