Gee, we have fire, dancing, and the primary cover is BP-focused. I wonder who the villain is.
Granted, it'd be pretty obvious anyway given he puts in an appearance on the bonus WaR-themed cover, which you can see here -
So yeah, we've got Sareena, Misty, Ana, Jake, and the Patriot Initiative dancing in the flames. Dancing in the Flames, incidentally, was the initial title of the BP end of this chapter; the chapters were started separately script-wise, then the decision was made to merge them, leading to a renaming sort of combining the title with the planned one for the WaR chapter, Shopping Star. The BP title's more fitting for the plot really... buuuut I like the Shopping Star pun more and they're really both appropriate to their given plots.
I personally think the mixture of the two chapters is honestly pretty organic, given both stories are outside the norm for their comic and I did at least rewrite the existing scripts to better fit together. For instance the first page of the chapter mixes the planned openings for each comic's individual chapters.
I think this is a good chapter to merge on on the whole, really. A lot of it's kind of a showcase for different characters in new situations, it has Sareena and Ana properly meeting with the Patriot Initiative so we get some introductions all around there, some of the status quo in WaR's shaken up right from the get-go, we're just getting moving on the Hazel and Mercy plot and establishing the two of them, just a big time for change all around.
If anyone's worried that between BP getting the primary cover for this one and the actiony end of the plot, don't be - it's not going to hijack the comic. Honestly been liking how the balance has been coming out; of what are kind of our three main plots for this chapter thus far in writing it they've gotten a relatively equal amount of time and focus, and I've been really happy with a lot of all three legs.
Funny, this is two covers now where Sareena's danced surrounded by fire. Weird thing to be recurring though then again, we have a villain whose gimmick is that he dances and throws fire, naturally it'd be easy to come up on. Speaking of, Ozias is going to be retooled a bit in this one - like a lot of what I have in mind for him. He's bringing his A-game and his dancing shoes this time.
Might not hurt to mention this chapter's probably going to feel very Blues-ish. Not really intentional, just kind of noticed it in the planning and I think it's a feeling only really caused by the two main plots being put together, but both legs of the plot have an air about them more like something you'd see in Blues than in either WaR or BP I think. Been really liking how it's been coming out though and hopefully readers will too. We start on Monday.
I noticed that about the Blues thing! I'm glad it's not just me. ^^
Yeah, the two chapters fit together honestly way better than they had any right to given that wasn't the plan making them. I'm very excited about the merger and the chapter has already been a lot of fun. I think there's a fair chance it might wind up being one of my favorites for the entire comic, but it's probably too early to say. ^^
Really enjoyed doing this cover due to some subtle bits... The members of the Patriot Initiative are all dressed in sort of old-timey-er suits, trying to go for a kind of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" deal with it to fit with how the group tends toward flashy acts of patriotism. Meanwhile of BP's three leads, Sareena's in a Cinderella-esque dress (I think I was reading Unshaved Mouse's Cinderella review or something drawing this) to fit with her princess motif, Ana is in a modest ballroom thing without much emphasis on fashion, and Misty the tomboy is in a suit. Paxton is in a suit too to show that he's a bit different from the other members of the group and tends to do his own thing.
Also the way that the dancers (besides Misty and Paxton) are sort of flowing together? From Sareena and Atlanta go down and your eye sort of makes the visual motion of all four couples dancing in a line twirling in step. I just love the visual on that so much that I'm really annoyed that happened by accident.
Also for the purposes of the cover I had to ask, "Does De Groot actually have any position in government?" Martin said no, that he'd attempted to run various times for a Congress-related position but never won but remains prominent in local matters and a talking-head without having any real position. So basically "Has no official position in government, just lots of connections and money."