I like this one lots. I made it at Mike's house. It also stars a futurist grittier Mike. At the time we were both working for the paper and Mike was gracious enough to let me sleep over from time to time in his apartment in downtown Athens. As I was starting to feel a bit morose for various reasons, it was good to not be left alone for weeks at a time. Plus, it was a creative atmosphere, working along with a friend, critiquing each other and such. I have very fond memories of that time -- thank you Mike! So this comic came out good.
Besides the slight case of cantdrawomenitis, I am very pleased with the characterization of Helen here. There's not really much to say about the formal considerations of the strip. I went with skewed panels to try my hand at how Manga arists structure their pages, and it's cute enough, but not something I'm going to do lots. Perhaps it's worth noting that I did away with any sound-effects for a few reasons. This is a comic where the outer world is about to fall sharply in dissonance with the inner world. Or to put it in better terms fantasy is about to clash with experience.
I believe the death of a loved one is as tragic as it is most of all because an outside world intrudes on the plans and concepts we had laid out in our inner world, and reconciliation - as Slavoj Žižek would say - between fantasy and experience cannot be a head-on collision, the wound is too great. Our modern lives are so comfortable, we're left to our fantasies most of the time, we are not disturbed. When we are, it has to be a sideways glance into the wound, through mythos and art and song, to soften the blow of the disparity. Almost everything else unfortunate in our life's story, we cushion with these devices, we give it meaning and some consequence in the ongoing 'plot'. Death as a far-away concept is very often dressed up with romance and existentialism in art, but the personal death, that of someone very close resists any attempt to be chipped away with our tools, it will not be sculpted into a statue of beauty and quiet acceptance.
Enough about that. I am also very pleased with the sixth panel. That point of view is tricky and it sorta worked without much effort and redrawing so when I look at it I remember feeling good about myself and that I had probably leveled up a little as a draftsman if I can pull off difficult shots like that without much preparation. Of course I was wrong, it was just a fluke. Still can't draw women.