Jea vs. the Bullies

Steve —

Oftentimes as a writer you create scenes, interactions, entire sequences with a definitive visual notion behind it, a picture in your minds’ eye of just how the whole thing should look.

And I say ‘oftentimes’ to make the lay-reader think that we writers really do have things figured out the estimable majority of the time. We do not. My entire thought process behind these last couple pages was directed at building Jea as a character through action. We already have her participating in the Grand Tour of the Village; if we can use this trip to learn about her, let’s not miss that chance.

How do we learn about characters? Typically by having them confront adversity. Adversity is no better embodied to a tween than in the form of the only appropriate agents: bullies. Great works like The Power Rangers, Back to the Future and The Simpsons have made excellent use of bullies as characters, so if we wanted to lean on that tired trope, how could anyone criticise us?

So I wrote Jea’s encounter with Zak & Kal, the bullies. I didn’t write in the incredible cliff-hanger of a page turn that Lucas sculpted for us. Nor did I write just how hilariously cartoonish the bullies looked. Nor did I write in that Jea’s flashing us a true ‘Eye of the Tiger’ moment before she reaches to do whatever it is she’s going to do. That’s all Lucas. It’s the incredible power of words in one set of ears making joy later to our eyes. Or something. I think that makes sense. If not, I’ll just ask Lucas to draw it later and when it makes it beautifully apt I’ll claim that was what I meant all along.

I’m loving the act of discovery in this comic as much as the reader. Even I’m amazed at what gets turned out.

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