Page 264 is out, and it looks like this:

Let’s talk about it, shall we? 

1. This will be the last page of The Electric Team issue #9. Every issue of The Electric Team has ended with a splash page (a full-page panel) except for #3 and #5. Number 5 was a collection of short stories, and 3 was the end of the first story arc. I like ending on a splash page. Like so many things in life, I learned that from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol, which almost always ended on an insane splash page cliffhanger.

2. This is Sam’s last page, at least for the foreseeable future, and obviously we need to talk about that. But I’m . . . I’m not ready, give me a minute.

3. I like the outfit Sam put Jason Occult in here. It looks very comfortable. Long ago, before Jason Occult ever appeared in the comic, Sam designed all three versions–charming young sorcerer Jason, the Ultimage, and the burn victim.

4. Come to think of it, the Doom Patrol might have something to do with my wanting him wrapped in bandages.

5. Bandaged-up Jason Occult first appeared on page 180 in Chapter 7, way back on June 27, 2017. His identity was a mystery. It’s satisfying, over a year and a half later, to clear that up.

6. Even though Sam is leaving us, I’m glad she got to draw most of the stuff we had been planning for a long time, like Swann Castle and Brianna’s backstory. There’s only one lingering mystery that Sam won’t be here to wrap up, and that is, who was that mysterious person talking to Leaf Stone back on page 150?  I know who it is, it’s a character that Sam and I discussed, and she helped to define the concept, but she won’t be drawing that character’s debut.

7. I wanted to end this chapter/issue/story with a dramatic moment, so it seemed like a good idea to go with Jason Occult swearing revenge. We only saw him “die” a couple of pages ago, so I could have waited longer to reveal that he’s still alive, but you knew he would be, right? The comic is called The Electric Team–why spend all that time introducing a villain, if he’s never going to face the Electric Team?

8. Sam did a great job on Jason’s posture here. I didn’t specify if he should be standing or sitting, though I did mention that lounging was a possibility. She did several sketches trying to get just the right attitude across. I like how he looks so arrogant, so imperious, so relaxed and casual.

9. As I’ve mentioned, the fact that this is Sam’s last page made me sad. So I liked ending it with “To Be Continued!”, not just as a standard comic book cliffhanger, but as a reminder that this is not the ending, that even though we grieve the loss of Sam, life will go on, the story will continue, and there’s more adventure to come.

10. Sam has been such an integral part of the team. It’s still hard for me to process the thought of continuing without her. I’ll try to write more about that later. For now, rest assured that there will be a new comic next week! Like I said, life continues. We’ll begin a new short story, drawn by Josh Burnett, who previously drew the Mr. Amazing solo story and the Bart Hill story.