Deciding to move the setting of 'A Teenager's Guide' to my hometown -- I'd originally placed it in Beaverton -- was about the best thing I could have done for the story. I think I'll need to be mindful that I don't scrimp on the visual descriptions: I can see these places in my head, so I might forget that not everyone attended Estacada High and know how the girl's bathroom was painted this very specific shade of stale green, designed, I am convinced, to Destroy All Hope. Other than that, however, it's helping so much. And is somewhat therapeutic. (I can't believe that's the right way to spell 'therapeutic.' It just looks weird.) I've already named one of the villains after an asshole who gay-bashed me in high school, Jordan (GAH), and at the moment I'm deeply overidentifying with Kara, Jordan's favorite target.
I'm just now writing the scene where Jordan snaps Kara's bra and unintentionally-but-not-accidentally rips it. Comic books are by their nature succinct and contained, but I could go on for pages about how awful this is: Kara's transgendered (I am not, but apparently that's not going to stop me from wallowing in her pain) and there's so much mental and physical comfort tied up in that bra. It was originally her mom's; she stole it years ago when she first knew, and smuggled it away with her when her parents kicked her out. She stole two, actually, then cut the padding out of one and carefully, carefully stapled it into the other one. That bra means something to her, and Jordan so casually destroys it. It's an excruciating moment: she's already been forced by the teachers to use the boys' bathroom, she's humiliated, and then she loses this small symbol of femininity that she's managed to gather around herself.
So then of course I had to have our hero Max karate-kick Jordan. IN THE FACE.
Like I said. Therapeutic.
I have an appointment tonight to meet online with Kristen, an old college friend and an artist, who has expressed interest in doing some character sketches and maybe even a teaser for Mastema. Fingers crossed.