Tuesday, October 18th 2016 - [330]Life with Katelyn (1 of 9)


10.07.2016 - Terrence Marks:
Sorry about the delays. Isabel's feeling sick. Family commitments. Overtime at work. Hasn't been a good last little while for us.

So let me tell you about the backstory to the comic. We had been talking about the idea for a while. My initial plan was a 60/40 split between Nicole's high school crew, and Brisbane and Kimberly's expanding business. There would've been more points of interaction, like one of a classmate whose parents used to work for Nicole's parents.

It'd be more political; with Nicole and Miss Fluffy both believing that their home country did things the right way; both believing in a more idealized version of how things worked (you can see a little of this in the first story). And Brisbane and Kimberly would dealing the actual reality of things, which would have marked differences.

And it would've focused more on the cultural differences. I grew up in Florida and moved to California as an adult. There are differences. There are things I miss. But I don't think it's given me quite the life experience necessary to tell a cultural fish-out-of-water story. At least not well or easily. There are people out there who've been through the real thing and have real things to say about it, and are basing this off of real countries.

It's possible to make the location(s) the star of the story. But it's not easy, and it asks a lot of the reader to invest in all the details that make a place a place. I wanted Nicole and Derek to be the kind of comic where you could follow along if you remembered the broad outlines of things. I realize some people will put it down for a bit then pick it back up and I'd rather make the picking-back-up as easy as I can.

The other thing is if I start talking about how this way of doing things is better than that way of doing things, it's going to get political. And there's quite enough of that going on right now without me contributing. Political fatigue is a thing. Politics is not part of our core brand. I've seen enough badly done political stories to know that it's trickier than it looks. And if we're going to go political, I'd rather we do it for something real than something fictional.

Also, having the School Cast, the Business Cast, the Government Cast, and the Characters From Previous Comics Cast would be overwhelming. You need a LOT of people to get a comic like that doing what it's supposed to do.

So we follow the characters. Shelby, Miss Fluffy, Derek, and Nicole kinda drive the story and generally keep the focus. Some of the above things are still true-but-in-the-background.

Nicole and Derek is © Terrence and Isabel Marks, 2016. Nicole and Derek usually updates Tuesday and Friday at around midnight PST.