Making the Comic #2
 
This comic was rough on Zach, and because of it, we've set upper limits on the number of characters and full backgrounds can be on a page at a time. This will make the comic an exercise in constrained writing, and that's okay. Constrained writing almost always produces better story-telling.

Here is where we started:

Way too many panels. The intimidating nature of the page led us to get a really slow start on it. We're also trying to manage the Thieves Can't book, and I started my new full-time job last week, and it all piled onto how long this took. Ultimately, we saw no way to edit the comic without creating two unsatisfying half-pages, and we didn't want to kick the can down the road anymore, so Zach gritted his teeth, worked his butt off, and made the page all in one kind of hellish day.

(We spent a lot of time getting ourselves organized over the last two weeks, too, because we realized we had a LOT of projects and trying to do them when we felt like it, around life, housework, and work was going to result in none of them getting done. We now have a pretty cool calendar that we're going to try to follow. I'm excited about it.)

Zach ditched as many panels as he could get away with, and I was thinking about some rewrites. The threat of death for Frank was bad, because we literally just did that. Twice. It felt hollow. So instead we changed the nurse's threat to one that is much more likely to seem plausible to the reader -- that Frank could become effectively crippled.

I also fussed with where the words fall on the page, and cleaned up the balloons while Zach finished up. His job takes a LOT longer than mine, so I ended up grading when I was satisfied that the letters wouldn't need much more work after he'd finished the background and renders.