May 25, 2005 - Matriculated contest answer #3, Two for the price of one!

Matriculated #55: Dan Gets a Talking to..., #56: Rebecca Gets a Talking to...

Phil: I actually conceived these two strips as one big strip, but Jeremy had to say too much to both Dan and Rebecca to fit it into one. You'll notice, in addition to giving Dan a talking to, Jeremy's dropping little tidbits of info about his family situation. Here we learn his parents are divorced. In a previous arc, "Dear Louise", we learn that Jeremy has a sister to whom he writes letters. Writing letters is pretty old-fashioned in this day and age, but there's a reason he does it and a clue is given in this strip. It's not that big of a mystery and it's probably not even that interesting of one, but I like giving glimpses into the backstory of the characters that makes them what they are today.

The second strip mirrors the first in terms of beats and pacing. But, the Dan and Rebecca's reaction to Jeremy's speeches is different. I read a book on screenwriting once and it said one of the foundations of comedy is the gap between what you expect to happen and what actually happens. When Jeremy talks to Dan, we show what you expect to happen... but when Jeremy talks to Rebecca, we turn that expectation on its head.

But I love the fact that Rebecca completely misunderstands what Jeremy is saying. Because it happens all the time in real life. We only hear what we want to hear. As much as Jeremy is saying "You won't see your parents that often so you should appreciate the time you have with them", all Rebecca hears is, "You won't see your parents that often..."

Joe: These were both great scripts. Great representations of the characters. So I knew going in that I didn't the art to be too flashy. Simple background, nothing unnecessary that would be distracting. I even muted the colors down a little so they would blend together. I knew how important the dialogue would be.

For the second panel on each strip we have Jeremy focusing on Rebecca and Dan individually. I thought it would be way more interesting to show their reactions as opposed to Jeremy just going off on them. That's cool too, but these were both more about Dan and Rebecca sitting and listening, and then reacting to Jeremy's speeches. Even though one gets totally misinterpreted. I'm pleased with that approach. And I think they turned out pretty cool. Love that panel in 55 where Jeremy shifts his focus.

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