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Call and Answer 19/26

Call and Answer 19/26 published on 28 Comments on Call and Answer 19/26

The mage here is Ariel — a character cameo for Mara, as a reward for supporting Leif & Thorn on Patreon.

Back in June, I was already this far ahead in drawing the comic, but somehow I figured this bit of social commentary wouldn’t stop being relevant any time soon.


Juniper: Can I . . . help you?

Mage: Yes — we’re with the Central PD. We got a request to do a wellness check at this home.

Someone saw a commotion and was concerned for the children living here.

Officer: We’re not here to arrest anyone! Especially if it’s just a rowdy party. But if anyone needs help, we’re here to serve.

Mage: If anyone’s not well, I can heal them. If you have safety concerns, I’ll do magical repairs.

Officer: I have years of social-work training — I can check on the kids without scaring them.

Mage: It’s almost like our whole purpose is to make situations better, not worse.

Juniper: Kinda seems like a bare minimum standard we should be able to demand from the police, huh.

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28 Comments

You drew this strip in June? Do you plan all your strips that far ahead, or was it just this particular strip/storyline?

I like to have finished strips for at least 2 months ahead — minimum of 1 month, in the early days it could be as high as 4, these days I’ll settle for 2. (At this moment I’ve drawn through October 30, give or take a couple of bonus arts.)

Whenever a new storyline starts, I have the whole thing finished before I start uploading, so you can look at the strip count in the title and know the buffer is at least that long.

I had wondered how you always managed to know the update length of each story line. I’d suspected it was probably this.

I mean, I understand that there are people who can storyboard these things out and keep to their storyboard well enough to get to the right end point in the right number of updates.

But I also practice writing on my own. I really don’t think I’m to the point of being ready to publish, and I understand that fundamentally means everybody who *does* publish on the web is at a different point in their development than I’m at. But knowing how much difficulty I have in keeping true to my rough outlines – especially in the case when I’m writing stuff out of order, and now filling in for a portion that was just handwaved as happening before – it feels inconceivable to me.

I feel like even most professional writers don’t stick to an exact pre-determined length unless they need to. There’s no way to predict “how many extra panels it’ll take to include the surprise tangent you haven’t even thought of yet.”

If you’re under contract for, say, a 6-issue miniseries, you’re still going to come up with those cool new ideas during the drawing process. It’s just that it’s part of your job to cut them if they won’t fit in the pagecount.

Sometimes I do a bit of forcible strip-count control, mostly for the sake of “have to add/cut material so this scene is just the right length to reach a cool moment on a Sunday splash page.” But overall, giving every storyline free rein to take however long it needs is working for me.

(And the requirement of “gotta have the whole storyline finished before the first one hits the site” is a useful way of forcing myself to keep up that buffer…)

Also as far as the wellness check goes, I my parents had split custody and my mom called 3 wellness checks on my dad, then in court said /obviously/ she should get full custody cause the police had to stop by for a wellness check.
My brother was on the phone with someone from Australia talking about the news yesterday “No, you don’t need to worry about this one. It’s a uniquely American problem- you don’t need to start being scared of your own police officers because of this”

I googled “17-year-old murdered two people” It’s amazing how many news sites use passive voice:
Of the top 10 search results, all 10 of them are in passive voice. gross.
1) “17 year old charged with murder of two Kenosha Protesters”
2) “17 year old arrested after 2 killed during unrest”
3) “17 year old arrested after 2 shot to death”
4) “17 year old from Illinois arrested after 2 killed during unrest”
5) “Kyle Rittenhouse charged with murder”
6) “17-year-old arrested after two people shot to death during Kenosha protest
7) “17-year-old arrested after 2 killed during unrest in Kenosha”
8) “INSANE VIDEO: 17-Year-Old Suspect Kyle Rittenhouse Identified as Kenosha Shooter”
9) “A white, 17-year-old police admirer was arrested Wednesday after two people were shot to death during a third straight night of protests in Kenosha”
10) “17-Year-Old ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Vigilante Charged with Murder”

I haven’t lived long enough in other countries to be sure it’s a uniquely American problem. As a counter argument, note this nonfiction comic from New Zealand.

In fact, what I have read of other countries suggests that there is a trend. These things do tend to happen on a larger scale. I guess a certain amount of it is that what people will tolerate tends to influenced a great deal by their expectations. People don’t rise up and revolt against totalitarian regimes because their expectations are such that the regime doesn’t seem “that bad”, and their expectation is that doing so would be much worse.

So long as people looking at other countries are mostly seeing other countries that are doing worse than what they are, things aren’t “that bad”. This is probably facilitated by the fact that people tend to be more interested in bad news, so good news is “not interesting”, and international news is only interesting if it’s worse than what’s going on at home.

As such, we don’t really hear about what’s going on in other countries so much – we mostly just hear about what’s happening there that’s worse than what’s happening here. Wherever there and here is.

Incidentally, thanks to the way this skews our perceptions, some people think that Germany is full of cannibals (because there was that one story about a decade or two ago), and New Zealand and Australia are filled with rabid racists.

(Personally, I’m more inclined to think that New Zealand has more poisonous (or poisoned?) racists than rabid, given the way that place seems inclined to evolve things. Also, Australia may have a number of those as well, but probably also some marsupial racists. That said, in the grand scheme of things, I have no idea on their percentages, so maybe it’s like two really toxic people per country? Or it could be millions. I just don’t know. It’s at least one, because they made the news, but it’s been a while, so I don’t know if that one is still around or not.)

Putting this in a separate comment cause the last one was already unwieldy/
A month ago I googled “how many people kill police” and “how many police kill people.
If it was Tit-for-Tat, (eye for eye makes the whole world blind) there would be just as many people killing police as police killing people.
If the police’s job was to capture murderers so they will stand trial- then the police would kill fewer people than people killing police.
If the police’s job is to kill people to send a message like a terrorist- then the police will kill more people than people killing police.

At the time 500 people were shot and killed by the police, only 4 police killed by people from January to June of 2020

God, I wish a magical could come into my family’s house and fix all the crap that’s falling apart. That would be *so* nice.

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