Misfits of Avalon Writer Notes Chapter 18

page 105 – 111

I wanted to address that Rae can’t follow through on her lies. She is sneaking out mostly so she can stall and then figure out something to say that is true but misleading. I also had Morgan be the one that sorta connects with Rae because since she never trusted Rae she would be the least hurt by Rae’s true nature coming out.

Also Rae’s mom trying to call her is supposed to be one last dig at Morgan’s lack of support system. Also much like earlier when Elsie didn’t react to yelling, I figure Morgan’s comment that no one smiles as much as Rae reveals more about her than she thinks.   And Rae mentioning how closed off Morgan is kinda a hint of want happens in the next seen.

page 112 – 121

Morgan’s been guarded this whole book and when this is when she is pushed the most to talk about herself. Her emotions are all damned up and her getting pushed like has them all burst out at once. Her and Elsie coming to blows is because Elsie is the one who has the least reason to leave and also the one who would want Morgan to stay the most. I also had Billy be unconscious for all this because I did want even a hint of Morgan staying for looooooove.

This is also the only time Morgan cries in the book because she opened up for once. I wanted this conversation to have space to breath and scattered some silent panels through out it. Her shouting and being exposed like that isn’t the norm for her so everyone is not quite sure how to respond.

page 122 – 124

I wanted Morgan to think over her decision to leave and be alone for awhile. Times like this are why I decided to have the thought captions from each character.

page 125 – 128

This scene I wanted to show that Morgan’s dad isn’t bad all the time and sorta tries. But he has his own serious depression we aren’t seeing since it’s not his story. He can barely manage to take care of himself never mind a teenager. It’s kinda how their attempts to connect never meet up or happen at the same time. I thought it would be too easy to just paint him entirely with a bad brush. I wanted their relationship to be more complicated than that. There last scene together I wanted to end on a sad note that makes it clear why she still left.

Page 129 – 134

This whole ritual’s and the comments the girls have on it are just pulling at details that work in a medieval looking setting but in modern times are more questionable, specially Rae mentioning not wanting to catch anything from sharing a knife they all cut themselves with. I like Rae flinching as Elsie takes the knife.

The spell is in Gaelic/Irish. I’m fairly certain there are some serious errors in it cause I used google translate. All the spells in Misfits of Avalon are in Irish but most are translate to things like Fire Blade so grammar isn’t super key. This is the longest bit I had to figure out.

I liked the magic words wrapping around the girls as Cu says them. It’s more visually interesting that way I think. I always try to find ways to do something more interesting with lettering that doesn’t get in the way of the storytelling. I hand letter so I want to take full advantage of that.

page 135 – 137

This bit with Billy I tried to pull panel layouts similar to other conversations Billy and Morgan had and combine them with panels from Morgan’s dream. Because it is wanted people to subconsciously think of both those moments.

page 138 – 144

This is the fight that is the most urgent fight they have. I wanted each role they play to reflect their role in the whole the comic. So like Morgan and Elsie take the more brute force side and are the most focused on Billy. Kimber figures out what is going on. And Rae stays safe and seperate from the rest of them. I was in a bit of a deadline crunch during this. I kinda wish I could’ve maybe pushed the action a little more.

page 145 – 149

We get a little bit of a wrap up on their thoughts on the rings. Rae’s refusing to help is  a bit of she has already been found out so she doesn’t feel the need to keep up pretense. Her actions are being more honest like her words. I also wanted to focus the most on Morgan when they take off their rings because she was the one who didn’t want the ring. I wanted to give her a calm relief moment. And then the other end is how petty Rae is about returning the ring.

page 150 – 158

I wanted to have a calmer moment while they watch the tree burn before starting their goodbyes. This scene maybe would have worked better in color. Morgan leaving is because in the whole story she doesn’t have a lot of power. Yes she gets superpowers but most of the things that make her life rough are things she doesn’t have control over. She can’t fix her dad’s alcoholism and depression. She can’t somehow make her absentee mom come back. She can’t fix her and her dad’s finical problems. She is in a place in her life where she is old enough to be aware of her circumstance but not old enough to take control of it in anyway. It’s an experience that is very connected to being a teenager in my mind and it is very frustrating. So Morgan getting the choice to leave society is her getting some control she has never had before. And it’s a type of control she wouldn’t be able to get until she legally an adult.

Kimber’s good-bye to Morgan is still focused on sorta the fantasy of things. I wanted to show that is where her mind is and always ha been. Only when Billy might die does she not treat the story she is in like a story. Then Rae’s good-bye is short and kinda hostile because both parties don’t care about each other. It’s also a more honest interaction Rae has had in most of the book.

Morgan and Billy’s good-bye I started close because it’s more intimate and then pull out when Billy starts to put emotional distance between them with a joke. I ended with them in a background and border free panel because their goodbye for a moment feels like it is just them.

Elsie’s anger and denial about Morgan leaving is reflecting their whole relationship. When ever Elsie lashes out at Morgan it’s when Morgan puts up a barrier to their friendship. Her leaving is the last big wall. But that hostility falls apart when she sees Morgan is really leaving. Then she has the biggest goodbye and the most emotional. After the hug there aren’t any other people in the panels. Like with her goodbye to Billy, this needs to be the just them. And for a similar reason it ends with the background and borderless panel.

The last page is to just end on a big of a goofy note to cut the tension a bit. I wanted to linger on Elsie’s feelings.

Anyway, thats a wrap for Misfits of Avalon. It was my first book working with a publisher and I think I learned a lot while making it. I think if I were to redo it, I think I would have done more planning. It very quickly went from a vague idea aka magical girls that were jerks to the finished project. There are a few bits I think I could have pushed more and made clearer. I do like this length more than Sorcery 101’s length. It was easier to manage but still felt substantial to me. With that in mind I think maybe I should have written the whole thing at once, cause like Kimber isn’t as clearly younger than everyone else in the beginning. The point was to make some “unlikable” female characters in the same way male characters get to be unlikable. That makes it not for everyone and I could have maybe tightened it in a few parts. I’m gonna take what I learned to the next project I’m doing.

Misfits of Avalon Writer Notes Chapter 17

Page 75 – 79

Sometimes it might be hard to tell Kimber is wearing make up cause of how I tone and draw. It would have been more obvious in a color book. So this scene where it is running down her face is where it’s the most obvious. I also wanted to use to it show she had been crying the whole way over.

Kimber’s upset reaction is not just that Rae used her but also she thinks she should have known better. And looking at Cu’s injuries makes her feel responsible so she take the lead on the grosser bits of helping Cu.

I once again had fun with Elsie’s faces during this scene. Her being grossed out and not looking especially was fun.

page 80 – 84

I wanted to give another round of exposition to clear a few things up before the end. Morgan would be the obvious choice to ask why they should care. And it’s a question that I thought was important because a place they have never seen being threatened isn’t be much of a motive for something like Morgan and it’s a kinda vague reasoning for the reader to relate too.

I tried to make sure visually we could see Cu being protective of the objects with his blood on them, since they are important in the next scene.

The reason for needing to stop Billy/Arthur is sorta a play on how YA stories usually go. Since Misfits of Avalon’s main cast are playing Morgan Le Fay in the story they are technically the villains of a more tradition Arthurian narrative. One thing I noticed about children’s adventure books verse YA verse adult books is the conflict. In children’s adventure books the status quo needing to be preserved is usually the goal. This is because in theory structure/the status quo makes kids feel safe/stable. Obviously that’s not true of all kids, it’s a more general rule. Then when things transition into YA the conflict becomes more about fighting the system or rebelling in some way. Stories that transition from children’s books to teen books tend to have the characters find some big problems in the system they were protecting earlier. Like in Harry Potter how Harry and co go from defending Hogwarts and the wizarding world to learning the ministry of magic is bad news.  Then adult stories tend to go back to defending the system or at least learning the way to work within or get around it. It’s a more jaded way of defending the status quo.

So Billy as the character who would be the hero of the more traditional teen King Arthur narrative wants to change the world. The girls as the “villains” end up defending the status quo even though they aren’t happy with it. But I wanted to make sure they had a good reason for it and giving anyone even someone with good intentions that much power is always bad.

Page 85 – 90Cu telling the girls to kill Arthur here is supposed to be what gets Elsie to finally stop being on Cu’s side. Cu doesn’t turn into a human all this book because I did want to push that he isn’t human and is running on a different set of morals than the girls.

The layout of page 88 I tried to have it mimic Morgan’s dreams in style.

Also this moment at the end is to push Kimber being the youngest again. She is the least equipped emotionally to deal with the more serious aspects. Also, Morgan sorta fleeing the room in the face of Kimber crying and being vulnerable is also something I thought was important. Much like Kimber isn’t used to yelling, Morgan isn’t used to being around people that vulnerable.

Page 91 – 93

I tried to have Elsie coming to meet Kimber’s eyes while comforting her to show Elsie reaching out. The whole time I tried to keep focused on Kimber’s face as she cried. Also while writing her dialog I had her try to cover her feelings for Rae by using we. I wanted the readers attention as much on Kimber’s emotions as Elsie. So they could also maybe forgot briefly that Cu is there.

page 94 – 98

I’m trying to get better at drawing people running and varying the poses more. Having Elsie who is super thin and tall next to a stockier Kimber helped a bit. I probably still could have pushed it more. Do always like drawing Elsie yelling on the phone though. It’s body language that’s fun to draw.

page 99 – 104

I wanted to keep that Billy just being near the turned on rings makes him turn into Arthur. Both Kimber and Elsie act fast to show they have gotten the best rhythm of working together during the series. Much like Cu’s fight with Rae I wanted Cu to appear threatening. A lot of the beats of the fight are similar until Kimber pulls out the blood. She doesn’t know it but she has one up on Rae. I wanted to give her that after Rae’s manipulation.  I also wanted to reward Kimber for paying attention to things better than any of the other characters. Rae might have done a lot of homework but didn’t pay attention to the now much. Cu stops getting the dominating position in the panel layouts when Kimber pulls out the wipe with his blood on it.

Misfits of Avalon Writer Notes Chapter 16

Cover chapter 2

Rae gets the title of Honesty for irony and also because she’s about to before an honest person whether she wants to or not.

page 41 – 45

I maybe should have made Rae’s entrance into the shed a little more dark and ominous looking. She is torturing an animal after all. I tried my best to make Cu look sick but don’t think I quite pulled it off. He is having trouble standing. I also had him gnawing on his paw to try and get the nail out the way a dog will over lick or bite an injury.

This is mostly exposition and to clue Rae in that she’s in trouble once Cu gets out. I made sure Cu was back light when he said “Regardless of whether it’s helpful or harmful. So he’s maximum threatening while in his sicker state.

page 46 – 47

This whole bit I thought would be fun to show in a bunch of tinier panels. Just to show how fast it all goes down.

page 48 – 50

I wanted to show Rae frantic so she makes a few mistakes in her rush. She breaks the salt circle around Cu and then she doesn’t have time to lock the shed. The whole scene Rae is trying to direct them to her house and away from the shed. It’s more obvious than she usually is, especially when she gets in front of Morgan while she is looking at the shed.

page 51 – 53

The past few times Rae’s facade has broken is when someone out smarts her or figures something she doesn’t know out. So Elsie knowing something she doesn’t know shatters it. I wanted to slowly build how upset she is as she realizes they all figured it out. But Elsie especially is who she is mad about. That’s why there is so much emphasis on the YOU when she starts yelling.

Rae’s anger slowly builds up until it explodes. But Elsie’s comes out much quicker as soon as Rae starts insulting her.

page 54 – 58

This splash page was a lot of fun to draw.

This fight is also another of the none pretty fights for the book. It’s also extremely one-sided because why Elsie and Morgan have both gotten into physical fights, Rae hasn’t. I figured Rae would mostly try defensively roll into a ball. And since we are in Rae’s POV we don’t get to hear anything Elsie says because Rae is focused on don’t get hit.

Kimber’s reaction to the fight is because she, like Rae, hasn’t seen many actual fights. Them freeing Cu while Rae gets beat I figured would be a good reason for them not to stop the fight right away. Or at least for Kimber to not try and stop it.

Morgan pulls Elsie off not to save Rae but because Cu is heavy. Because she’s 100% fine with Rae getting beat up.

Rae flinches when Elsie raises her fist. That happens through out the rest of the book.

page 59 – 63

I figure Rae would immediately try to figure out how to explain away her injuries rather than be worried about Cu. Also, I like the bit of Kimber asking Rae if she is okay. Cause asking that is so ingrained in the US at least, I like that Kimber catches herself by being more specific.

This whole scene of Kimber and Rae talking I wanted to show Kimber uncomfortable about still standing up to Rae. Because her and Elsie have bonded a bit last book. So this fight is harder for her to put asside.

I wanted a slow take in of Rae’s injuries while she figures out what to do. I also kept these pages close at hand so I could keep Rae’s injuries consistent through the rest of the book. Her broken nose was pretty easy to remember though.

The panel that ends page 62 I think came out well. I like the contrast of how clearly Rae has been breaking this chapter compared to what she says about herself. Also in this whole scene I tried to make Kimber seem small because of her discomfort and because of how little Rae is paying attention to her.

page 64 – 66

Rae gets a calm moment to prepare for her call to her mom to make it 100% certain she is faking. Crying sound effects fucking hard. I also wanted to focus a lot on Kimber during the phone call. Because Rae’s act isn’t as important. Her surprise and discomfortable with setting Elsie up as a mugger.

page 67 – 69

I wanted a lot of emphasis on Rae saying what she is thinking. It’s why the Kimber bring up her concern panel happens in a series of tall thin panels. They should go quickly but then one big panel as what Rae said hits both Rae and Kimber. And then another big panel that focuses on just Rae. It was important that her words have more impact here.

Also, this whole scene is supposed to be awkward because without lies Rae doesn’t know how to talk to people. As I figured Rae would jump to concussion rather than fairy magic at first.

page 70 – 72

I wanted to show Kimber cycling through some complicated and conflicting emotions really quickly after Rae says she has been manipulating her. As that get more intense I also wanted to get closer to her.

I also made sure framing wise we are always far away from Rae.

I then ended there scene with the same layout I’ve been using for Kimber chapters in the previous books. Only it’s Kimber being the one walking away.

page 73 – 74

Again the distance from Rae was important to me in this quite moment. This is a slower scene to match Rae’s slow realization of why she is saying what she thinks.

Misfits of Avalon Writer Notes Chapter 15

So for this book the chapter titles all come from what the qualities the knights of the round table are supposed to represent. Since this is about Elsie and Billy mostly and Elsie trying to make sure he’s okay, I figured Loyalty was a good fit.

page 1 – 7

I liked writing this scene because it’s basically Elsie deciding who to yell at. Also, I wanted to show how bad Billy is hurt even though he’s getting up and moving. Laughing hurts. Probably everything hurts. I also liked putting in all the tiny panels Elsie thinking things over.

Also, once Elsie tells Billy to the keep the necklace, I tried to keep Morgan seperate from them. Through out this whole book there are moments where Morgan feels more isolated but doesn’t say anything. And Billy and Elsie having sibling rough housing time like she’s not there is part of that.

page 8 – 13

I thought I’d forget the helmet if it was just on the table. Elsie wearing it is more fun. Also, Kimber doesn’t know Elsie before this story so while explaining stuff to her was a good time to spell it out that Elsie’s dad is dead.

I like how Elsie’s hands came out when she says “We still need to find Cu though.” Same with Elsie slumping over in defeat on page 10.

Also like in the scene before Elsie switches from attacking to defending once she gets a new info. I liked drawing everyone’s silent reactions to “she said she’d call.” I used that specifically because of Kimber’s crush on Rae.

Kimber is full of good ideas despite Rae pulling one over on her.

page 14 – 15

Elsie and Kimber are being the problem solvers. This scene I wanted them all to put a little bit of info together. Kimber’s got most of it. Morgan has her dream. And Elsie connects the two.

I wanted Kimber and Elsie to focused on Billy while Morgan has another tiny moment to think about what she doesn’t have. If you can’t read it the note from Kimber’s mom says her where she is, that she left Kimber money to order take out, and a reminder that Kimber needs to make a hair appointment. Kimber reading this note would probably find it annoying because of the hair bit and calling her Kimmy, but Morgan doesn’t know that Kimber and her mom always fight about those things. I made sure the most important detail was clear. The “Love Mom”

page 16 – 19

Billy falling unconscious before he changes is partly to show why he doesn’t remember anything. He just blacks out and wakes up in a different place.

Also, now that he’s helmet less I wanted a visual indicator of who was in control. Removing the pupils/irises was an easy one.

While they are putting things together, Kimber’s being more excited about the fantastical aspects should be clear. How she goes to enthusiastic to a little jealous when it comes to all this.

Elsie is the only one watching Billy/Arthur try to escape while Kimber and Morgan talk about Morgan’s dream. Since she has fallen out of her chair a bunch she knows he’s gonna fall over before he does.

Page 20 – 23

This is mostly an exposition dump and also some insight into Arthur’s motives since they are not Billy’s.  But Elsie and Arthur’s little “am not” “are too” is to show Billy is still in there somewhere.

Arthur’s motive is something I wanted to be kinda vague but still well intentioned. Each detail of what he thinks it wrong is also something that could be paired with each member of the team that is there. But I also left out Arthur’s plan to fix things because he doesn’t really have one. In old King Arthur stories Arthur doesn’t really have much of a plan either. He just replaces a several smaller fighting kings with himself. There wasn’t much of a game plan for after.

page 24 – 28

Elsie was paying the most attention to Arthur’s fidgeting so she’s the first to act. Also since Kimber’s yard is still wrecked, I wanted the characters to comment on it. Kimber definitely got a talking to after her parents saw the yard. Morgan and Elsie haven’t been too worried about property damage cause they never had these magic fights in their house.

The fights in this whole book were ones I tried to make not pretty. Know of these characters are trained to fight. So there is a lot of while pushing Elsie away Arthur’s fingers get in her mouth. Elsie hit Arthur where he’s hurt while gripping his wrist in a way that someone trains could get out of. I wanted it to feel like a dirty scramble rather than a movie fight.

Also, since we know Arthur is Billy now I wanted to show much much more invested Elsie is now. So she immediately chases after him.

page 29 – 31

I made it down poring to show visually that awhile as past. I also thought the next fight would work better in the rain. I maybe should have put a few more people on the street though. Ya know, to warrant burrito guy being at his corner.

The Morgan/Elsie phone exchange comes a little bit from real life. When I was in high school my mom used to call to make sure I got home okay at the exact same time everyday. Once I came home and had enough time to get frustrated with something before she called in the middle of me trying to fix it. I answered the phone with “What?” instead of hello and then got a lecture about how to answer the phone.

Morgan continues to be surprised by other people getting cared about. This is kinda another small point to the making her feel isolated list.

page 32 – 36

Here is one of two big scenes where I tried to push the not pretty fights. Also it raining and being slippery and muddy helps. I did some digging to find out how badly Elsie was gonna cut up her hands while playing tug of war with sword. You can hold a sword blade without cutting yourself if you are careful which Elsie never is.

I wanted to have both Elsie and Arthur bleeding by the end of the fight. Elsie doesn’t realize it but she accidentally helped the ritual by crashing through the tree with him. Arthur’s blood needed to be in the middle of the tree and their fight gets both of there blood there.

page 37 – 40

Elsie finishes her rescue of Billy. Morgan tries to help but isn’t needed really. While showing Elsie’s support or concern for Billy, I did also want to push Morgan away from Elsie and Billy. So we end things with Morgan alone in the rain.

Misfits of Avalon Writer Notes Chapter 14

Page 177 – 180

Morgan is used to doing stuff alone so that’s probably why she waits for Elsie to leave before checking under Arthur’s helmet. I also wanted to use this chance to give some insight to Arthur’s motives are. But I used the change the world line to tie him and Billy together. Billy is possessed but on a subconscious level he’s on board with the end game.

Morgan isn’t surprised and this really isn’t meant to be a surprise for those paying attention. Morgan getting startled and breaking Billy’s nose is kinda a making bad situation worse without thinking but also to break up a talky scene.

Page 181 – 183

Morgan has a “talk” with her dad about teen pregnancy in each book. It was a callous throw away line in book one. Now we get a reason for it but still in a callous way.

Morgan figuring out Billy’s necklace was an important step. I figured the sword being hidden in a cross necklace would be a good stealth nod to Mists of Avalon. If you haven’t read it, it presents Morgan le Fay and Avalon as trying to protect the old pagan religion of England while Arthur and his court are championing Christianity. Also, having Billy wear it through out the whole comic wouldn’t be an immediate red flag.

page 184 – 194

Morgan waits for Billy to wake up and doesn’t immediately take the necklace. I wanted that to be clear because she easily could have. It’s one thing to take something from mysterious Arthur figure but is another for her to take it from Billy.

I like werewolves and well is there really any better where to explain Billy’s black outs to him? This whole scene I kept double check that I was putting Billy’s bruises in the same places.

Billy’s anger at Morgan suggesting she give him the necklace is partly the Arthur spirit wanting to protect itself but again it’s connected in something Billy feels. Also, before this scene I established where every one of the girls parents are except Elsie’s dad. While’s it’s not said outloud here, I figured Morgan would already know Elsie and Billy’s dad is dead.

And with the transitioning of talking to Billy about his dad, Elsie comes to mind. I figured ending on them agreeing to tell her together was a good ending. It’s not really a cliff hanger but is a good, this will change the dynamic of the story moment.