Phobos and Deimos might be only just getting started (there’s another almost 400 pages to go), but with this page it feels like we’ve come full circle. Astute readers will notice that this scene is the one I drew as a test page that I posted on the front of my old website as an announcement to follow me here. It’s fun (for me) to compare the two and see what’s changed. The script for this scene hasn’t changed much in three years (although the rest of the script for the story definitely has). But I’ve rearranged how the panels fit on the pages, the layout has a lot more breathing space, the colours are different (although the palette isn’t, that test page was when I picked my palette), and the panel choices are different too. I’m a little more comfortable drawing this world and these characters. I know what video games they play and can put posters of them on the wall, for example. Zaynab’s outfit is a little bit more “her.” I’ve got Maida’s face down a little better, and the inking on her outfit is less flat.

And all of this post is a distraction from what happens next week…

↓ Transcript
Panel 1: Maida sits on a couch in the video arcade, waiting patiently. Posters on the wall advertise video games like "Apocalypse Ant II," "Xeon Biker X," "2 Many Tomatoz," and "Merc 17."
Panel 2: Maida continues to wait, an increasingly worried expression on her face.
Panel 3: She pulls up a holographic map of the neighbourhood that says "No listinz."
Panel 4: Maida, to her holographic assistant who instantly materializes: "Papadum, where is everybody?" Papadum: "There are no pings from your guest list. Their devices must be turned off."
Panel 5: Maida: "The last exam finished two hours ago. Why would they still be off?"
Panel 6: Papapdum: "Do you want me to speculate?"
Panel 7: The man behind the counter: "Oi kid, you know you've only got your room booked for one more hour, innit?" Maida: "I know!" Papadum swims laps through the air.
Panel 8: The door chimes as Zaynab walks in. Maida turns to look at her earnestly.