Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 35

Here is another batch of writer notes on Sorcery 101. If you want to read ahead on these got ahead on these head over to my patreon.

Chapter 35

Title page
These are the same colors for When I Fall part 1. Or close to it. I basically sent that to Andrew and told him those were the shades I wanted. I wanted this cover to call back to that one, since Pat references kinda falls back into hopelessness during part of this chapter.

page 1268 – 1270

So this is called a 3 beat. You do something/mention something twice to get it in the reader’s head, before you bring it up a 3rd for the most impact. Will really should put up a barrier gets mentioned when Pat first goes into the magic shop, again last chapter, and now for the 3rd and last time it gets brought up. Unfortunately for Will, he didn’t look into his future far enough to see this coming until it was too late. I always try to make little gestures threatening with vampires. So even Suryu just playing with Will’s hair is bad news.

page 1271 – 1275

Setting up a happy mood before I ruin everything. I like Kayles face when she talks about Pat’s blood. Also, tiny detail, since touching the knife Danny hasn’t been sleeping well. So I started to put little lines under his eyes. They are more obvious next chapter.

I wanted to do a slow build up at Pat finds the open door and then opens it the rest of the way. Also how Pat’s demearor immedately changes when he sees it’s Suryu.

page 1276 – 1281

A lot of the shots here are down shots to make Pat seems small under all this. All this is as he sinks down to the floor. Also Danny’s projecting on to Pat makes him more proactive. He is still depressed during last chapter but Pat right now is helping him move past that.

I like the bit where Danny whacks Pat in the head.

Also Kayla’s shock at what’s going on is something I wanted clear. The main older cast all have experience with this type of stuff. Jeff and Connor both got a small taste of it. But Kayla’s intro to the supernatural is Brad and she has mostly not had to deal with anything really bad directly. It has all been close calls or something after the fact.

I like every panel that is pulled out and them both silently looking at Will’s body.

page 1282 – 1287

Ally and Danny are trying to problem solve. Like I said Danny’s in proactive mode more than usual. If he solved this problem, maybe he can solve his own?

I think this whole exchange between Seth and Danny came out well. Danny instinctively takes a step back from Seth when Seth invades his personal space now. Seth trips Danny’s cane out from under him. I had to draw it like 5 times to get right. And since Seth isn’t hiding that he is manipulating Danny anymore he shows off his power just to encourage Danny’s fear.

page 1288 – 1289

While, Danny is pushed to the ground and bossed around by an old powerful vampire, so is Pat.

page 1290 – 1291

It’s not 100% clear what is going on at the end of this scene. But Seth is making Danny drop the subject/forget. I should have done a small panel of Danny looking dazed before that last one.

page 1292 – 1295

Even though Suryu is on top of Pat while he is naked and she is in her underwear, I made sure this wasn’t sexy torture. There are a lot of bad comics where the torture scene looks more like the artist referenced porn or something.

When Suryu goes to talk to Asagi and he is all smiles and politeness, her reaction is the clue of how much they hate each other. He 100% brought Kira mostly so that Suryu would believe what happened during the meeting she missed. If you go back to Suryu’s first appearance, she was having a more or less friendly chat with Kira at her own party.

page 1296 – 1298

Asagi saves Pat. And now Danny will have to come to Asagi’s house to check on him. He corrects Danny on how to say his name mostly because I did have a few people mispronounce it or ask how to say it. Also that last bit about Seth driving is was kinda a reminder to people that they haven’t scene Seth drive before I get to the big ending.

Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 34

Here is another batch of writer notes on Sorcery 101. If you want to read ahead on these got ahead on these head over to my patreon.

Chapter 34

Title page
I like how this title page came out. It’s a little on the nose. But I like it.

page 1239 – 1242

Firstly, I wanted to establish that this is very soon after the last chapter ended. Like a day or so.

Then Mr. Tamura off is having the lights go out. I wanted to think of what would be the dark equal of the light getting super bright like went Cal started falling apart. I figured the lights fizzing out was good. Then I tried to draw it in still images and realize I maybe should have tried something else. But I am glad about the coming out of the shadows bit. Wrapping around Mr. Tamura, I thought would give The Lady a somewhat sinister vibe.

page 1243 – 1251

And to follow the sinister vibe, what’s more sinister seeming than a parking garage at night? Cal suddenly appears all kinds of bad shape. I wanted it to seem like he fell out of the shadows. Kinda in a clumsier way that The Lady rose from the shadows. The cracks in Cal are supposed to being showing dark and light magic. It’s part of why he can’t keep himself together.

On Brad and Ally finding Rita, I wanted to keep the focus on Ally and how her response to grief is anger and violence. That way I wouldn’t have to rely on cliche shots of her crying at the end of Sorcery 101 but it was still clear she was grieving. Really this whole chapter is Ally reacting to the death of a loved one with anger.

Also, Danny basically saying maybe we should just give up cause this is too powerful, kinda speaks to his mental state at the moment.

And every scene in the magic shop make it clear to me how pressed for time I was when I drew this. If you look at magic shop’s last appearance (when Danny is getting threatened by Seth), there is WAY more stuff on the shelves and displays. Here it’s just got red boxes.

page 1252 – 1258

Big ass info dump. Not much else to say. I try to avoid these now in my writing now. This scene is one of the downsides of planning a comic that takes 10 years to finish. I planned something that is really complicated and convoluted and relies on details that couldn’t be shown earlier. And by the time I got to this part in the story and realize how clumsy these info dumps are, the story had already was too dependent on this in a few other info dumps to wrap up. I did try to make it at least a little more interesting like with the bit that has Lucy cut off their own hand.

And really this is all to get Danny to touch the knife. What a crazy random happenstance that the angel who had broken the rules so bad worked with Ally who is very close personal relationship to the man who is the wielder of The Lady’s angel killing knife. Also, quite the conquience that she is close friends with Danny. Really what are the odds that he would get that close to the knife.

page 1259 – 1261

So while Lucy is very good at the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. Both Cal and Lucy aren’t supposed to interfere with the opposite side. Cal gets in trouble for taking liberties that made a creature of darkness rethink their actions or choose something else. Where as Lucy just flat out threatens/blackmails Ally. The two sides aren’t just supposed to be light and dark, but also order and chaos, day and night, and really any opposites you can think of that aren’t good and evil. So Lucy could always get away with serious bending of any rules or orders they get.

page 1262 – 1267

Mr. Tamura returns all bruises. I originally was gonna show his fight with Cal, but decided not to because really that fight doesn’t matter to Danny’s story. We weren’t gonna learn anything that helped push it forward or reinforced a theme/idea that’s important. It might have made Cal a little more sympathetic/more sad about Rita’s death. But I felt that would have cheapened Ally’s reaction a little, which was more important. Also, we never spent much time with Cal before this, so it would be meandering to spend a lot of time on him now. Also the fight would have raise a lot of questions about Mr. Tamura which I knew weren’t going to be answered.

Mr. Tamura respects Ally. So even though what he did is kinda over protective bullshit that denies her agency, I wanted to show him apologizing. He also doesn’t interrupt or argue with her while she yells at him.

Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 33

Here is another batch of writer notes on Sorcery 101. If you want to read ahead on these got ahead on these head over to my patreon.

Chapter 33

Title page
Trying to keep up the symbolic designs. So I tried to combine the two more important elements of the story: the werewolf ghost and a silhouette of Cal who is getting set up for his last chapter. This is the only chapter without Danny in it.

Page 1209 – 1212

This scene is mostly exposition from a different story most of the cast isn’t directly involved in. I always like smaller scale stories but with hints of something the characters aren’t involved in are going on elsewhere. I kinda wanted to show what all the big powerful folks are focused on. Mainly it’s about keeping the supernatural a secret. Which isn’t good for Damien since he runs around telling everyone.

Asagi calls Frost Jim, which is the closest modern name to his real name. Frost not doing anything is supposed to show that for one Asagi is old and powerful enough to address Frost in a more familiar way and that Frost doesn’t protest means they are on okayish terms, despite Seth and Frost being an on going thing.

Also, Asagi the best at making “accidents” happen or having convenient coincidences work in his favor. This next scene is him starting to pull a string that will get him want he wants. One that’s isn’t obvious, so Mr. Tamura and Lucy who have all the facts maybe don’t realize his goal. He starts by buttering up Lucy about the job they are doing messing with Damien’s mind because he has done his homework on what Alpha Phoenix could be doing to handle Damien. Then he gives Lucy a nudge to maybe go looking for new recruits.

page 1213 – 1217

Brad is a nervous wreck. I purposely didn’t say Ally was pregnant here because I wanted the reader to find out for sure when Danny did. Brad’s extreme worry is also explained later in that scene. They have been through this several times and it only once ended well. But Brad’s nervousness is why he goes instead of Ally and Ally doesn’t really challenge him on that because well she hates Cal.

With Danny still injuried Lope is really the only bet. Still broken.

page 1218 – 1221

This is most exposition and establishing character interactions. It doesn’t get mentioned in Sorcery 101 but it does in As We Were, but Lope is a holy man of his religion. It’s why all the spells Danny knew when he started his lessons with Pat were light based and healing magic. Lope always tries to help and heal. So out of all the cast, he gets the most respect from Cal. However, Cal is still an ass to the memory of Suzanne.

I wanted the discover that it’s a werewolf ghost to be a team effort. Lope is the one you makes note of the dates even though he doesn’t know how human calendars work. Brad would be the one to know immediately the dates were all full moons after Lope read them out loud.

page 1222 – 1226

Lope mostly leads the way cause this is basically what he does with his whole life. This whole scene is mostly showing how he compitent he is, even when in mourning.

Also, as I said, Lope is about helping and healing. So his spell isn’t something that forces the ghost out. It’s about talking it down.

page 1227 – 1232

So for the wolf ghost design I went for a more monstrous looking wolf than what I make my werewolves look like. Cause it’s supposed to be magic memory wrapped by emotions. So since the ghost sees themself as a monster they are one. I maybe should have taken the time to work on this design more. But I was fairly crunched for time. There is a reason the chapter after this one is when Andrew starts coloring.

I used this conversation for Brad to work through his own werewolf related doubts. While the ghost starts to make Brad transform, you get the cliffnotes of the backstory I made. He was a priest who became a werewolf, then was hanged for witchcraft after being found out.

I tried to give Brad’s words STOP as much visual power as possible. That’s why I dropped everything except him and Lope.

And to immediately show something as changed about their surroundings I used that big pulled out down show and brought their surroundings to warmer colors.

page 1233 – 1235

This scene is happening while the others are inside dealing with the wolf ghost. There is mention earlier that something caused the ghost to be more violent. The mark Cal finds is the same one Lucy put on Damien’s chair. Cal recognizes who’s handy work it is. I always like Lucy talking while sitting in the air. It’s kinda fun to draw them free floating about. They also give Cal quick the list of times he has fucked up. Them all listed out like that is what screws Cal over. As long as Cal’s mental gynastistics could keep up making it seem like he’d not broken any rule, he wouldn’t fall. However, he was holding up well all through the comic. Hense being extra defensive about and shitty to “creatures of darkness.” So Lucy is pushing him over and getting a possible new recruit.

And luck just so happens that this recruit is so very close to the edge that even a vampire like Seth could see it coming a few months ago.

page 1236 – 1238

I made it dark to show these three were waiting for Cal for awhile. Lope’s whole reason for traveling with Suzanne was to stop her from doing what happened in Come Undone, but in a way that getting her to chose not to follow that path. Healing and helping. He’s really feeling like a failure right now.

Jay Edidin told me it was very heartbreaking to have Brad be the one to say “You can’t save everyone.” That line should be extra sad for folks who have finished the comic. A lot of the next few chapters I wanted to show what Lope calls hurting Danny in quieter ways. A lot of his lines in future chapters show Danny in a sorta hopeless state of mind.

Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 32

Here is another batch of writer notes on Sorcery 101. If you want to read ahead on these got ahead on these head over to my patreon.

Chapter 32

Title Page
I don’t have much to say about this title page and don’t quite remember what I was going for other than foreboding. Since is Suzanne’s last chapter in Sorcery 101 and some people got frustrated that they didn’t get her full story. But Sorcery 101 isn’t her comic, As We Were is. Giving her a fully story in Sorcery 101 would just be repeating myself and would be a detour from the main story.

Page 1188 – 1190

Connor’s bite marks from Undead Army were partly set up for this scene. Just so folks now how much time Seth and Trish are spending with each other. And since Seth’s evil ways are all out and the open, I figured now is the time to make it clear that Seth is messing with his mind.

Page 1191 – 1194

Brad probably notices a lot of things because of smell that he doesn’t mention. Mostly cause it would make him sound like a weirdo. He tells Ally because she was mostly prepared/expecting Seth and Trish to start fooling around eventually.

Suzanne takes off without without discussing it with anyone. Lope knows what’s probably going to happen if she is in such a hurry. I wanted this scene to be quiet cause he’s already said everything he can in As We Were and probably several other times before that. I like Suzanne don’t say good-bye. Just “I’m sorry.”

Lope is deciding what to do during his own talk with Jackie. I had their talk be more exposition while he is thinking about something else.

page 1195 – 1200

I paired Danny and wife’s argument with the Suzanne and Seth fight because these are both fights they don’t have hope of winning. Danny just doesn’t know it about his fight though. I tried to have the end of each page have a punctuating part of both fights. I think I was most successful when Jackie asks if Natalie is safe paired with Seth pulling out his knife, when both their “How long” statements line up, and when Jackie calls Danny out on being a absentee dad paired with Seth breaking Suzanne’s spin.

Fights have never been my strength when drawing. But this is one of the first times I think I found the trick that worked for me. Choreagraph the fight then pick all my camera angles. It was made slightly easier because Seth mostly dodges during the fight. He is toying with her.

And both conflicts end with the victory standing over the defeated.

page 1201-1205

What Seth says to Suzanne translates to “put your snout on the step.” It’s also what he said to Suzanne’s father in As We Were before curb stomping him. I originally wrote “put your mouth on the step” and asked Jose who drew From Scratch to translate it to Spanish. He gave me a literal translation but also told me using the word snout would be more insulting and work best in the context. So that’s what is said in both scenes. The page where Seth breaks her neck is also supposed to mirror when he kills her dad in As We Were.

Also, Lope was Danny’s first teacher for a reason. All of this happens fairly fast and wanted to focus how quick Lope gets off all these spells.

Page 1206 – 1208

This whole scene I kinda showed Lope’s eyes sparingly since Lope won’t look Danny in the eye. It’s a somber scene though since both Lope and Suzanne knew how her fight with Seth could only result in one thing. Chapter wraps up with Danny admitting defeat.

Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 31

Here is another batch of writer notes on Sorcery 101. If you want to read ahead on these got ahead on these head over to my patreon.

Chapter 31

Title page
Only so this title I tried to use the same colors/scheme as Ways of a Woman in Love. The title is an Amy Winehouse song. A lot of the lyrics made me think of Trish and Seth.

Page 1167 – 1170

Some old guy lurking around a high school is never good. The older I get the more I think it’s weird that a vampire who is hundreds of years old would ever be interested in a teenager. So this whole scene is about Seth flexing and showing off power. All his positioning with Connor has him in the dominate position.

There is a smile on Connor’s face as Seth kisses his neck because it wanted there to be signs that Connor is into his booty call relationship on a surface level. He is mostly being smart and listening to Danny despite what his boner tells him. Also, I wanted it to be clear that even if Connor’s into it on some level no, still means no.

I was proud that a few people noticed what Seth’s doing with Connor’s tie before he pulls on it. It starts as undoing the tie for sexy times than when he doesn’t let go should be worrisome to folks paying attention. Werewolves do need to breath and Seth only stopped because they are too public.

Page 1171 – 1173

A lot of the way Seth hits on Trish is very similar to the way he moves when he threatens Danny. Leaning in really close. Only difference is he touches Trish more. They are all small touches but they are similar to the way he treated Connor’s tie BEFORE the choking. So even Seth while being “flirty” is threatening and predatory. Also, all his dialogue is him being an extra asshole if you know what really happened.

Page 1174 – 1176

Connor continues to deal with relationships ending with alchol. Jeff continues to not drink. Seth continues to use everything he knows about someone as a weapon against them. He’s not against outing a teenager. I figured Connor probably flirted with/made out with that girl before he came out to Jeff. Also, Billy probably also saw Connor and then Jeff leave with Seth. Then he promptly assumed they were on steroids or something. I mean they are suddenly much better at sports and always run off alone together to talk about stuff. And Seth looks shady enough to sell drugs.

page 1177 – 1180

I like how the body language came out for that first panel. Sometimes it’s hard to convey little actions like shoving in a still medium. At least for me it is. This whole scene I wanted to be quick. Really also the violent Seth scene to have the acts be kinda sudden. Also if you look closely you can see Connor’s injuries heal pretty quickly. They are pretty much gone by the end of the scene.

page 1181 – 1187

Danny’s all yellowed bruises rather than fresh ones to show time passing. Seth is waiting for Trish to come home because of course he knows that Danny sent her home. All the stuff about Danny’s family is true. So he mixing in some truth with his lies to manipulate Trish and make her feel more hurt and vulnerable. As I mentioned in the chapter where Danny and Trish get together, all the dialogues and panel choices in from when Seth says “He’s an ass” onward are purposeful mirrors of what Danny says. So we end with bad decisions.