[Comic: AWOL1]


Okay, somehow I let myself, a few readers and Shaenon Garrity's example talk me into this. Welcome to Fans Annotated, a "director's commentary" on the strip, installment by installment, for those who like this sort of thing.

The first 24 pages of the comic, "A Way of Life?", were scripted in about 48 hours as something of a dare for myself. I had been talking the talk about writing comics ever since getting my bachelor's and it was time to walk the walk. So I lied to my two best friends: "I've got this script I'd like you to take a look at. Are you doing anything on Friday?" And then I either had to write it or show up at their doors to say "Guess what! I'm a sham!" I don't know if I'd recommend lying your way into good writing habits, but it worked for me.

I planned the series out pretty carefully from the beginning, but I didn't know half as much as I thought I did about its characters. The only ones this opening scene really gets right are Tim and Clara. Rikk is particularly bad until page 4. I still like Tim's shirt, though.

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