“In which Drexel and Mira meet Archimedes” is one of my favorite chapters. First, Mira is excitedly playing matchmaker. She feels like Drexel is lonely and when Archimedes looks at him in admiration rather than the distaste of Northwick, she acts fast. She is not expecting Archimedes to notice her, however. So when he mentions that Mira has a darkness that follows her and that there’s a reason she sought Drexel, she becomes scared her secret is going to be exposed. While she found Drexel’s secrets easily, she doesn’t want her own revealed. (Don’t worry, Mira has time to shine on the trauma train later).
Second, I just really love to make Drexel blush. The poor guy has been alone for decades and is terrified to admit he’s not into girls then a handsome fortune teller shows up and smiles at him. As much as Drexel is awkward, Archimedes is steady and sure. I love the juxtaposition between Drexel’s logical approach to Mira’s giddy emotions and Drexel’s bashfulness to everything Archimedes.
Drexel is scared to death to have two people come into his life. They will see something in him and leave and that pain is worse in his mind than being alone. The only thing worse is if his headmaster returns to harm Archimedes or Mira. Both of those fears continue into future chapters. I also want to explore how mental health issues continue in relationships. Drexel’s depression/anxiety/PTSD play into his fear that Archimedes and Mira will leave or be hurt because of him and furthermore, he’s not worthy of their love and affections. He wrestles with though incongruencies like “someone likes me, that can’t be true” and “I am unworthy of love or human decency.” And while Archimedes has the right words, his problems and thoughts do not magically become better.
Then between chapter 5 and chapter 6, there are a few challenges in how to illustrate c
ertain things. First was the choking sound Drexel makes when he’s surprised and embarrassed. It took a little bit of research to really determine how to make those sounds. Then how to show that special feeling Archimedes gives Drexel. Clip studio has plenty of sparkle brushes reminiscent of a Sailor Moon scene. Perfect! In the next chapter, Gwen visits again and wiggles her eyebrows. I’m still mauling that one over. Mira also has some sing-song lines and draws out Drexel’s name. I think it will be fun exaggerating her expressions and actions next to Drexel.
I’m excited for the next chapter. There’s a lot of comedy with a few heartwarming moments. I’m going to sit down and plan out some pages so the parts are divided well. The more I get into this comic the less I can I fly by the seat of my pants.