25 Days of Christmas 2015: Day 20

Work continues on Sunnyville Stories #13 and it’s on schedule.  The aim is to finish it by the end of this year and go immediately into Sunnyville #14.

Anyway, I’d like to talk about one of the pages and some feedback I got on it.

Sunnyville Stories #13, page 27

Sunnyville Stories #13, page 27

For those of you not following the story on my DeviantArt, Rusty and Donny were caught by their mothers playing a fantasy tabletop game.  

The caption in the top panel is meant to be misleading as they are not being civil when dealing with their sons.  And that brings me to what I wanted to talk about.

I’ve had quite a few people write in and tell me how much they hate Nancy; they think she’s too short-tempered and is mean to Rusty.

They have a point.  I find Nancy, Rusty’s mom, a challenge to write for.  I have talked about her before and contrasted her to her son and husband.  Nancy is quite emotional and lets her feelings get the better of her.  As a result, she’ll lose her temper and start yelling at Rusty.  She may even get physical by putting him in a restraining hold (notice in the page above she says she’ll break her son’s arm) or striking him.  But I’m careful not to show that.

I do not want to make Nancy look abusive.  I’ve actually had to delete lines in my script where she strikes Rusty.  One ending I originally planned and had to jettison involved something I used to read in Disney comics – some of the stories ended with a very angry Scrooge McDuck chasing Donald Duck into the distance with a blunt weapon (a club or a mace).  I thought of doing such an ending with an ax-crazy Nancy chasing Rusty and carrying a club to literally knock his head off.

That honestly bothered me so I had to scrap it.  From here on, the challenge is to keep Nancy at a level where she still acts like herself but doesn’t go off the deep end and starts looking like a detestable villain.

A lot of you out there who write (be it novels, comics, film, etc) probably want a character done so well that they practically write themselves.  In this case, I may have overdone Nancy here; we have to be careful that she’s not make to look psycho.

I’ll have more commentary on my pages tomorrow.

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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