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<   No. 480   2004-05-20   >

Comic #480

1 {scene: Hogwarts Castle}
1 Shakespeare: Would you look over my Potions notes please, Hermione?
1 Hermione: I'd love to, Will!
2 {scene change: Will's desk at the office}
2 Shakespeare: Okay, that chapter's done. I should get someone to read it and give me comments.
3 Shakespeare: {taking a printout to Ophelia's desk} Would you look over my Harry Potter fan-fic please, Ophelia?
3 Ophelia: I'd love to, Will!
4 Shakespeare: {walking back to his own desk} <sigh> Why can't I find someone like Hermione in real life?

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There was a hint of something like this last time we saw Ophelia speak way back in #424.

I didn't plan this. The characters just seem to come to life after a while. Shakespeare now has evolved quite a bit from his first appearance in #240.

2013-05-11 Rerun commentary: The fun part of this comic was getting the poses in panels 1 and 3 to match as closely as possible.

If I remember rightly, I adopted a different production flow to achieve this for this strip. Normally I would shoot all four panels of a strip immediately after one another, then upload all the images to my computer to work on them. In this case, I shot the first panel image only, uploaded that, and displayed it on my computer screen while I composed the scene for the third panel.

It was also around this point that I began to wonder about the appropriateness of Will having some weird sort of crush thing going on with the fictional (within Will's universe) character of Hermione. I did the first few gags in this vein simply thinking, "Hermione is smart and talented and heroic - of course any intellectual male is going to admire her", and having Will just express that to a level I could write gags about. I wasn't thinking at all about relative ages or the fact that she's a schoolgirl, or anything like that.

But I quickly realised it could come across as kind of creepy. So I had Will write himself into his fan-fic as a fellow student, necessarily of similar age to Hermione. It's not that Will, the adult, has some sort of schoolgirl fetish. Rather, he is thinking back to his days as a youth and thinking how nice it would have been if, as a boy, he'd known someone like Hermione.

While this theme would recur sporadically later, I dialled it way down, and always tried to keep it as innocent as possible. (I hope I haven't ruined this theme for anyone.)

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Last Modified: Saturday, 11 May 2013; 03:11:02 PST.
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