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Page 22
Posted November 30, 2015 by Sabrina Cotugno
Hey so! There was quite a bit of confusion in the comments section last week, so I feel like I need to clarify a few things: Rachel is not a homicidal maniac--she really did slip on a loose spleen in the meat market and is covered in blood not because of the spleen itself but because Everything Victorian is Filthy and the streets of the meat market were, themselves, covered in blood. She has a knife because she is a cook and, after finding herself covered in blood, thought it would be hilarious to sneak up behind her BFF Jekyll and scare the bejeesus out of him. She failed because, as her BFF, Jekyll has long since gotten used to this kind of morbid tomfoolery from her. She'd have to get up much earlier to get a real ruse out of him. And if Rachel WERE a homicidal maniac, Jekyll would so not be okay with that. You may have picked up a little bit of tension from Jekyll whenever the Lodgers do anything potentially dangerous. He is actually enormously concerned with the reputation of the Society and does everything he can to fight the stereotype that "mad" scientists are dangerous criminals (an opinion held by the officers and the pitchfork mob in Chapter 1). But he is also enormously concerned with staying on the Lodgers' good side and upholding his reputation as A Good Guy and not some stuffy administrator (putting the "pal" in "princiPAL"), which is why he tends to express his frustration in little moments of micromanagement rather than outright control. All of this is to say that Jekyll would in no way be down for Rachel being a murderer, and anyway she's not, so yeah. Written out, I can see this is an awful lot of information to convey in a single comic page, and it's an even more awful lot to expect readers to pick up on from a character they have literally never encountered before. I hold that all the acting and writing choices I made (Jekyll's lack of reaction to the blood, Rachel not explaining the joke) were the best choices to convey Rachel's personality and relationship with Jekyll, buuuut they may not have been the best choices for a character we've never met before. This is a huge bummer for me because I adore character introductions and I'd been looking forward to this introduction for a long time, but it's the price I pay for my solipsistic practice of not using beta readers*. Oh well. Last week's page is almost certainly a place where I would tweak Rachel's acting and dialogue before I launch a print version of TGS. Let me know if you can think of any simple changes that might help clear up the confusion! *I use a couple of beta-readers at the writing stage but not anytime after since my production schedule allows for so few changes once I actually create the images. I'm also, in general, always bad at finding good beta readers and tend to feel slightly nervous whenever Storywonk talks about how important beta readers are.
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