Fame and Misfortune was a book I went into with several goals. I wanted to get better at writing and drawing action. I wanted the cast to be mostly female. I wanted to improve my black and white only art. And I wanted it to work as a decent intro to The City Between series, though at the time I didn’t have a name for the series. I tried to keep the supernatural fairly limited and straight forward because I also wanted the reader to get a feel for the mundane world.
I started with this opening because I wanted to set up the contrast of Rebecca’s thoughts to what is going on around her. She is fairly quiet as a main character and I wanted to make it clear how she differs from the humans around her. Her caption boxes are supposed to show that through out the story. Then Mistress Lala’s interview is also supposed to get info about regular human’s relationship with werewolves out. Everyone knows werewolves are real, but they are so rare that an individual is highly unlikely to encounter them. Rebecca is really hired as an actually bodyguard, she is hired to be an oddity.
Mistress Lala’s dress went through a few revisions. Mostly it was because I wanted the average person’s clothes to be different from our everyday, but at the same time Mistress Lala needed to be more out there. The bow at the back of her dress is also supposed to make fairy wings to start her gimmick of having fairies as a branding thing. I wanted to start small and make that more and more obvious until the end.
Rebecca’s reveal visually is to give her center stage and not compete with Mistress Lala. Also her towering over the reporter.
Sometimes heightened senses can be hard to convey visually. Rebecca’s captions pointing to folk are supposed to be a combination of her senses and learning to be more aware while working as a bodyguard. It’s also how she mostly interacts with the world. There is the 4th panel wide shot on page 3 to show off all the stuff she is constantly picking up.
Also, I tried to put as much stuff going on in the background as I could. Like in Page 3 panel 1 you can see Mistress Lala getting mad at the camera man for paying attention to Rebecca rather than her, before she swoops in front of the camera in panel 2. Then in panel 5 Fatima is taking photos before she is introduced properly.
Action time. Like I said I wanted to get better at drawing action. I tried to make sure things were fairly clear.
When Rebecca pushes Mistress Lala out of the way, originally Mistress Lala was nastier. But I softened it because Jay Edidin who edited the script for me, asked if I wanted people to route for Mistress Lala’s death right away. Basically, she was too harsh too soon.
Rebecca’s outfit was something I planned out based on the fact that she goes back and forth from wolf to human on the job. So the big coat is long enough to cover her while she looks for the rest of her clothing. Then the halter top is supposed to be removable by just untying two notes. It’s also a shirt that is more feminine in cut than someone would expect from someone as butch as Rebecca.
This chase scene is something I wanted to stick with sorta the same angle to keep things clear. I think I maybe could do this better and make all the thrown obstacles clearer now. I also think I should have put more people on the street in general. It would make Marnie getting pushed into the line of the LR more understandable.
Rebecca’s wolf design is a little hard. I was trying to avoid the halo thing when black stuff is next to one another. Her fire helps clear up her form though.
Some of the text in this page is a little crowded. After Fame and Misfortune, I realized I can afford to make my lettering a little bit smaller. Connor’s uniform is something I wanted to nail down so I could use it again and again. I have a bigger version of the patch on his jacket. It’s the S.N.O.W.I. logo. In theory each cop would have a different patch where Connor has his. This is the first place I used the thought caption covers what another person is talking about.
I was trying to so that Fatima and Rebecca don’t like each other, aren’t great people, and both treat Rebecca’s client as a means of making money. Rebecca is aware she is usually a prop for her clients so why not sell them out to the paparazzi for cash.
The first panel of page 13 I wanted to make sure there is a good view of what most of the city looks like. The idea is there are outside way walks every 5 stories. The piles are both support beams, plumbing pipes, and the streetlights. So everyone mostly walks or they take outdoor elevators to the top level which has the LR on it.
Marnie and her friend chatting are again to drive home how rare werewolves are. I also wanted to establish that Marnie’s friend Janelle is a big fan of Mistress Lala. So when it comes up later, it’s their before.
Rebecca and Marnie’s first interaction doesn’t go over the best. Showing Rebecca’s social modes with humans are awkward, annoyed, and scary. But just as important Rebecca backs up a little when Marnie tells her not to lean over her.
Marnie is taking werewolf news, she freaks out a little. And her lack of knowledge about werewolves is matched by Rebecca’s lack of knowledge about humans. Then when Connor fills in the gaps, he is much nicer/more charming to Marnie than he was to Rebecca.
Also, I kept Rebecca’s coat off in this scene because I wanted to show off her guns. Lady character don’t get to show off arm muscles much in shows.
Second chase scene. I said earlier that Rebecca doesn’t talk much. At least not saying what she is thinking. So her attention is Connor but she doesn’t give Marnie any sign of that. Again I probably should have put more people on a street. But I like her jumping over someone. But she keeps up the not pay attention to Marnie while figuring out what to do.