But before we get to that, you’re probably wondering who FLR who is mentioned in the title is. There was a time when I hung out in IRC channels and passed out ideas for my comics and saw what others thought. I don’t do this anymore, because the IRC channels I hang out in nowadays would probably see that as rather self-important, and I agree . But an artist by the name of FLR who hung out in one of those channels wanted to do a strip, and this was still a time when a lot of the strips were drawn by other people based on my scripts and layouts.
I had an idea for Shiunji’s mom. I had the idea that the father had her strung up like a puppet, on wires and stuff. I couldn’t make the idea work in 4 panels, so I decided to go simpler — direct manipulation to give the appearance of movement. I told FLR the basic idea of the strip on the channel, and he seemed to like it. So I drew up a layout and sent it to him.
I get a penciled panel from him. It’s a really good penciled panel. But nothing finished.
I ask him if he’s finished, and he’s even further behind — he said he didn’t like that one panel and scratched it.
At that point, I decided to do it on my own, and I’m glad I did. The last panel was very hard for me to get right — I’m still unhappy with it, but in these four panels, you learn a lot about Mr. Watanabe. That he’s a psychopath for starters. The wife being a dead woman was a given, I didn’t think that would be funny enough for a strip. But to have him do such an obvious manipulation, and think that others would buy it… I STILL chuckle at it. It’s so over the top. It made Mr. Watanabe my favorite character in the comic.
“Boys will be boys” and the expression on his face in the last panel when he’s trying to pass his wife off as alive. Man, I wish I could write like that every day.