We’re getting to the point in the story now where I feel like I can talk a little more about my intentions and hopefully it’ll make some sense. Part of the idea of the layout here is to create a certain rhythm, the pages all being designed on a six panel grid, and I’m using that rhythm in a way that I feel approximates the rhythm of the type of relationship I’m trying to talk about. The idea of the repeated images is that the small differences between them will become emphasized and what I’m trying to get across in the panel will be maybe more clear. Two of the panels so far with them at the Chinese restaurant have been almost the same, which hopefully brings attention to what the difference are, which is that the first is on their first date, and the second is after their first fight. they’re smiling in both, but in the second they’re done eating and there are fortune cookies on the table. It’s my way of trying to talk about how I felt trying to recapture something that we knew was being lost.
I’m trying to strike a balance between personal and universal by using the robots like I am. I tried to think of what the most archetypal date imagery would be, and that would probably be dinner and a movie. Within that, though, it’s pretty personal, sometimes painfully personal. The Chinese restaurant is one that was near where I worked back in Riverside, and it was the boyfriend in question’s favorite, so every time he’d visit me during or after I was working, that’s where he’d want to eat, to the point that we got into joking fights about having to eat Chinese food five times a week. That’s part of how long relationships play out to me, repitition can either be happy, comfortable routine, or it can be things growing stale or a painful emphasis on what’s changed since the first time you did a particular thing together. That’s why I wanted to tell the story like this, with them in a movie, them holding hands, not holding hands but still smiling, comfortable and familiar at that point, and then holding hands again like on their first date, but the subtext being different.
The roller coaster again is something that I chose as a relationship analogy for extremely personal reasons. We were both SoCal kids, and grew up stones’ throws from Disneyland. When we were together, we always had annual passes to Disneyland, and that’s what a lot of our dates were, going to an amusement park together. The controlled danger of a roller coaster seemed to me to be the best amusement park image that I could use to show the situation you’re putting yourself in when you go through a relationship.