535: Depth, Finale
   

This is something I've struggled with for the past two years of the comic.  When I first started, I had no drawing experience, no writing experience, and I had very little planned ahead.  And most crucially, I wasn't paying attention to how I was portraying my own characters.  As a writer, the most important thing to look out for is not what YOU think of your characters, it's how you're making your characters look to everyone ELSE, through their actions, their dialogue, and the jokes that you make about them.  I knew all of Wade's story and personality right from the very beginning, so to me, he was a very informed, well-rounded character.  But since I never showed any of that to the readers, and only used him in the occasional rap and jazz comics, he looked very one-sided to everyone else.  A token, basically.  And similar unintentional things have happened to most of my other characters, as well, simply because I wasn't thinking very hard about what I was writing.  This has caused me so much hassle over the years, because now I have to continue with everyone's stories, while simultaneously trying to correct all the mistakes I've made so far.  Sometimes I can do that naturally, where you won't notice it, but other times, I need to point it out and make it a big deal, like with Wade.  It makes writing so much harder than it should be, if I had only been paying attention to this stuff from the beginning.  Fortunately, all of this knowledge is going to carry over to the next thing I end up writing, and I probably won't make the same mistake again.  But for this comic, it's definitely limited some of the things I can do.  So don't be like me, kids; pay attention to this stuff.

And so this ends the backstory arc, which took way longer in real time than it did in comic time, thanks to all that time off I took in the middle.  In return, I'll recommend a great shoegaze band for you all.  Have I ever used the term "shoegaze" on here before?  Well if not, "shoegaze" is a type of alternative rock that focuses on the use of droning, echoey, overdriven guitars.  The term comes from people using so many effects pedals during their songs that they're practically "gazing at their shoes" the entire time. Shoegaze is very ambience-heavy; sometimes it can be melodic and pretty, other times it can be just straight guitar noise, it's a very open term.  This particular shoegaze band, a band from the Netherlands called An Autumn For Crippled Children, is the melodic, pretty kind of shoegaze.  But they contrast that prettiness by adding screamy, lo-fi Black Metal vocals to their songs, creating a mix that fans affectionately call "Blackgaze."  The results work surprisingly well; the prettiness and ambience of the instruments, clashing against the angry, extreme vocals, creates a entirely different atmosphere than either shoegaze or black metal would on their own.  It makes you feel the relaxation of one and the pain and anger of the other at the same time, as if you're living in a beautiful, comfortable world of sorrow and sadness.  I really enjoyed the effect and the songs, which you can hear on AAFCC's Bandcamp page.  And I owe a big shoutout to Tokes from England for the recommendation.  That guy finds me some good metal, he does.

www.strassner.com www.flashbackmedia.tv