Today sees the release of page 226, the last page of Chapter Eight, “Swann Castle.” This is a moment I’ve been imagining for a long time–I’m not sure how long, but definitely over a year, maybe two? The details were vague, but I’ve always known that Leeta would think she was on the verge of finding her father and find Findlay and Chrysanthemum instead. I wanted this page to be sad, to evoke an emotion in the reader, and Sam really delivered.

I should mention, though, that not all members of The Electric Team writing team support this page. Abi has disliked the idea since I first told her about it, because it makes her feel bad for Leeta, and at every stage of development she has told me that this ending is “terrible.” And she has the kind of expression that she has when she talks about the ending of the movie Rogue One which, by the way, is not a good kids movie.

Abi and I are normally in agreement on what happens in the comic, and when we’ve had differences in opinion I’ve often gone along with her vision. In this case, though, I think it’s an important character moment and a strong ending to the issue. Abi doesn’t like the sadness, but sadness is important in life and in fiction, so this time I overruled her.

For the creation of this page, I sent Sam a reference picture for Leeta’s pose, and she faithfully evoked it. It’s also a full-page image from the final page of an issue, and it’s from one of the all-time great American comic book stories; anybody recognize it?