So far in this crossover, we’d been sticking to drawing our own characters in our own portion of the story, but, hey, look, some initial integration! I get to draw some Sci-Fi Club Members in a bus! I mean, it’s not so bad. Like, Rikk is … kind of like Walky with a funny nose, and Will is a more generously-figured Joe, and Meighan… okay, I’m having trouble with Meighan. I don’t think any of her “parts,” so to speak, were in my toolbox. Just the wrong shapes all around.

Drawing the Science Fiction Club was a source of some frustration for me, but it was all self-inflicted.  Like, it was in my head forever that how Jason Waltrip draws the characters is How They Really Look.  They’re not stylized, Rikk’s nose is actually that shape.  Often there’d be other artists, and I’d be all “nooooo the shapes, the linework, they’re not riiiiight,” and so once the characters were in MY hands, I had to face both my expectations for accuracy AND my actual capacity for meeting that goal, which was…. very… slim.

I’m still a little low-key obsessed with reaching that goal, which is half the reason I drew that new header up at the top.  I have to admit — I feel much more competent at it, if only because the parts I need more are likely to be in my toolbox these days (like, the shape of Rumy’s head is one I do pretty often recently, versus not ever 15 years ago), plus I draw digitally now, so I have, like, the bandwidth (so to speak) to get stuff like the number of lines in their bangs right.  Like, those are a lot of lines to draw within an inch-wide space with a dull marker.   (I drew too small.)  15 years ago, the sheer physics involved required me to simplify.   Today I can just zoom in and use a thinner digital pencil.

Still, 15 years later, trying to prove to myself I can do it.


Meighan’s basically right about everything, except maybe Rikk’s mindset: part of him may hate her today, but he’s doing his best to expel that demon.

One of my favorite devices is “Jerkass Has a Point.” I rarely see my characters as straight-up jerkasses, but thanks to my own past as a severe stutterer with social difficulties, I can identify a lot with someone who’s underestimated because of off-putting traits. Since Fans’ earlier characters like Shanna and Will are mellowing a bit at this point, Meighan fits the jerkass role most closely, and her basic intelligence should be established here before what happens next.

Those SPEED [LIMIT] ENFORCED BY AIRCRAFT signs have mystified me ever since one of them went up in my hometown. I’d been hoping for years to get to use one in a story like this.