The penultimate new page!

When these new pages first started, I wondered aloud why the Sal/Tony relationship was a secret.  Since then, I’d remembered that the reason was that it was kind of retconned in!  When I wrote the original story, I hadn’t yet decided that Sal and Tony were an item, and so I guess I tried to smooth it all in later by saying it was a secret affair kind of thing.  But whoof, does it complicate writing the climax of this, with that knowledge.  It should be doing all sorts of things to Sal, and I tried to put those touches in without derailing the rest of the story, and who knows if I succeeded or not.  But a casualty of this was the handful of strips where Sal “rescues” Joe from being recruited by SEMME.  She still has to do it, obviously, since that has to happen, but depicting it as part of the action following the end of the Big Fight At The End would really throw a wrench in the whole “Sal should be friggin’ destroyed” thing.  Plus, since the mission statement of this redraw exercise was “let’s tell as stand-alone a story as possible,” having Joe suddenly show up and be momentarily important would be some awful record scratch on the pacing.  “Who the fuck is this guy?” everyone will ask.  And so Sal still does it, but it’s offpanel and merely implied.

That’s the best way to do things that need to happen but get in the way of the story, by the way.  Just say they happened.

Don’t quote me on this.