Well that was real mature...

Well that was real mature...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Resolutions and Debates



            Matt and I had a lot of debate on this page. My original idea was to do a single panel (this was scripted before Matt and I had the final page discussion on "Dick Ruby" about full page panels). I wanted the aftermath of the climax to be a single panel with a lot of clues to hammer the resolution home. Kind of like looking at a table after a meal and trying to figure out what everyone ate. Little crumbs all scattered about. My idea was a high angle looking down at everything. Here is my original page description from the script: A single panel page. A bird's eye POV looking down on the entire room. Two hulking orderlies are inside the door looking confused. Dr. Felicity is hog tied and gagged in the center of the room. Her power bracelet is lying on the floor next to her, the blue jewel is cracked. Another lipstick sized device is lying nearby and it is projecting a recorded hologram of Felicity from the last page saying "And about to die." The bars on the window are melted away and there is no sign of Baxter. About a day after the page was to go up Matt called and suggested ending the story with page ten. I seriously considered it. Ten ended with one heck of a hard punch and, like "Dick Ruby," would give a great "what happens next vibe." However, for it to work would mean moving up our "B" story (which was set up earlier) and was planned to play out over pages 12 and 13. It would need an additional page to bring it all together. It was really tempting. But reordering the pages and doing such a drastic last minute restructuring would have blunted the original ending and it would have required putting up three pages prior to the new ending which had already been up for over a week. It seemed a bit like a cheat to regular readers even though most would find it after the fact. If it were a print book not yet going to press, I probably would have gone that route. So, we decided to keep the structure in tact and Matt came up with a different version of the page. It was a great page, packed full of the "crumbs" as well as some great unscripted touches (I love that Dr. Destructo apparently lost a shoe in the scuffle with Baxter). It had the elements I felt need to be there but there was still some debate as to the panel with the orderlies. On one hand, it was obvious that Dr. Felicity/Destructo was left to be discovered so they seemed extraneous. On the other hand, actually seeing someone make the discovery would give a certain amount of emotional satisfaction to the reader. It also rules out any idea that she would/could escape before being found. Again a common trope of comics is the elaborate inescapable trap which is actually always escapable ("Batman" 1966, I'm looking at you). I really wrestled with it and even second guessed the final decision after it was up in the early days, but I'm glad we went with what we did. With time to reflect and look back at it as a finished product, this page achieves what it needed to and the ending we went with on page 13 really has some punch and irony that page 10 might not have had as an ending.
            Dissection: Beyond the discover of the hog tied doctor, the other "crumbs" I wanted scattered about also include: The melted bars and no sign of Baxter indicating he had an escape plan in place. The recording. It was his plan to expose her. The fact that Baxter left her alive. This shows that in true Bronze Age form, heroes are not killers (and Baxter might be quite sane as well, thank you very much). The broken "Demon's Eye" bracelet. Originally, I wanted a completely unresolved plot point, much like one I buried in "Dick Ruby" but I'm actually mentioning it here because our print edition will have some bonus pages, and I decided to address that plot point in those pages. ("Dick Ruby" readers will have to search and guess. Maybe we will have a contest at some point). Why is it a plot point? Keen eyed readers will recall that a volcano could not destroy the bracelet and that it "could not be destroyed by such pedestrian means." So how did it get smashed?  An excellent question. But I won't answer that one. Instead I will answer this one: If everything is wrapped up, how come there are two more pages? Dear reader, please recall the mute abused pediatric case of William Watson, last mentioned on page four.

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