This isn’t a glancing blow single panel one conversation major plot thing mentioned exactly once in a four point font somewhere in the background by an extra kind of run-on sentence plot thing, either. The chapter just stepped on a friggin’ land mine – one that’ll spend the rest of the story exploding.
Literally, and possibly not quite in the way that you think.
I tossed the original script layout – while it kinda works, the final page is a huge improvement. This “reads” clearly, fits with certain thematic elements in a way the draft layout didn’t, and enabled me to make use of a spiffy panorama comp in the first panel. It also puts the “line of action” in a strict left to right, whereas the workbook draft was a muddled mix of right to left and left to right, and used camera angles that pages 22 and 24 hinge on.
I’ll be making a few adjustments to the layout for the next page as well – though that layout is more of a scribble than a sketch. Should have it up this weekend.
If you think the long hair is a bit screwball, you’re not the only one – that’s a decision I made a very long time ago. It’s turned out to be one of those little Learn From Experience lessons that factors into my current approach to character design.* It fits ATC’s internal Qabalah and works well as a story element in The Dualist, but damn is it ever a timesink when it comes to cleanup and shading.
* Very few characters went through anything resembling a traditional design process. Most sprung into existence fully formed, and made it to the page with minor adjustments. Whitehouse got a haircut, Emily got a skirt, James pulled his hair back and Yang's mane got a bit straighter. My major lesson from The Dualist was burned in with Val's boots and Dyluck's hair, and that lesson is this: Go into character wardrobe with a good idea of how much screen time that character has and simplify the heck out of their outfit accordingly.