I was a bit nervous about this one back in the oldentimes of 2007. We’d known from the start that Jade was going to die off, and Marcus would (spoiler!) replace her with another busty blonde elf. After the whole ZOMGRAPEDRAMASPLOSION, I was more than a bit hesitant once we got here. We had a few readers who thought the earlier strips picking on Marcus were signs that we’re homophobic, because Marcus is clearly gay (huh?) and I was worried that people would see this as more cruelty to an already put upon fictional character.
But then, when the strip came out generally everyone found it hilarious and they laughed and laughed. Not sure if this is because the people who would have been annoyed that we were “picking on” Marcus had stopped reading by then, or if it’s generally accepted that D&D characters may die horribly at any given moment, thus it doesn’t have the same reaction molestation does.
That and who doesn’t love Dire Weasels?
My original idea was for a single tall frame, which would have been a cutaway view of the trap. It was going to be a trap door that dropped the victim down a long shaft and hit them with every possible type of damage on the way down. (Fire, spinning blades, acid, etc.)
That didn’t really fit on the page in any sort of useful way, and so we got this. Which turned out to be a lot more effective. We could hint at it with dialog and let the reader fill in the blanks rather than trying to depict the entire trap.
(Edit to Add) Shawn Says:
One thing I really like about the final version here is that Sapphire’s doom and the trap all happens in between comics. We see the lead up and the aftermath, but the actual grisly death is left up to each reader. You get to imagine the buzz saws and dire weasels and poison darts and whatever disintegrated her. It’s like a longer version of the Ax Murder victim in Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics.
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