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Anne’s Story [MRVR Notes]

Although this is the third MRVR story plot sketch I’ve shared, it won’t necessarily mean it’ll be the third MRVR I end up creating. That said, I AM also wondering if maybe I should work on these different stories cocurrently, or just work on one exclusively. While I’m thinking that I probably will work on a single story to the exclusion of the others, I may be willing to at least work on one or two pages of the other stories… it could at least give me a chance to make a quick change of pace every now and then.

In other words: I won’t be 100% cocurrent, and I won’t be 100% exclusive… rather, I’ll probably be 85% exclusive, and 15% cocurrent.

As for Anne’s story, this one will take place in after Chapter 7, but not the full “10 years” time skip like with Emo and Shea. Rather, it might be around 4 or 5 years afterwards. Given this, there may be some references to events that will happen later in Emo’s and Shea’s story, or the other way around. Navy—who left six years prior to “ten years later” in Shea’s story—may appear here and we find out why she left. Or maybe not. Who knows? I’m not gonna paint myself into corners here before it even starts!

Here’s a quick rundown of the main characters in this MRVR story…

  • ANNE AMOUREUX: Late-20 something, still living with her Mom, partially due to high cost of living, but also to help her Mom and her poorly healing left knee after a serious accident. Graduated two years back from Community College of Twain Harte with a Associate’s Degree in Computer Science and a minor in Math. Right now she’s trying to find work, but opportunities are slim; her constant rejection has been weighing heavily on her. And so when her two classmates Andrew and Devon told her they would be visiting for the three day weekend and that they all should hang out, Anne was super hyped to see her old friends again.
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: Anne will probably be the character who changes the least, design wise. First off, I’ve always kinda liked her design in general. Secondly, it might just be that we’re still dealing with the same version of Anne that existed in the original Moose River series, but then maybe something happens to her to encourage a new step or change in the upcoming period of her life. Right now though I’m thinking maybe she’ll wear more girly-girl clothing. Or maybe tomboy-ish clothing. Whatever might get Andrew’s attention.
  • ANDREW IGLESIENTI: Italian/Sardinian-born American. Classmate of both Anne and Devon while at CCTH. In one of their mutual Computer Science courses, the three were assigned to the same group, and they all hit it off with one another. Anne and Andrew both introduced one another using the old “I was named after George Washington” joke, which got them to realize that they would get along very easily. However, before Anne learned that Andrew was gay (though after she deduced that Devon was), Anne started forming a small crush on Andrew. That crush didn’t seem to subside much when Andrew said that he was gay, but maybe Anne wasn’t paying attention. After graduation, Andrew and Devon got married and moved to Portland. The two returned to Moose River as Andrew was invited to a high profile art show which takes place over a three day weekend. Despite Anne feeling a bit misled by Andrew back in the day, Anne and Andrew are on friendly terms.
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: Apparently I inadvertently channeled a more handsome Shaggy for Andrew’s look. I definitely want him to be tall and scruffy, a bit rough-and-tumble… everything that makes the slightly demure Anne feel all the more safe around. Andrew’s artistic skills involve coding 3D graphics by hand using text and no other visual aids other than his own mind and the final rendered picture. So there will also be a sort of “hidden” genius in his swagger, as well as a tinge of easy-going laid-backness. He is, however, the kind of person who doesn’t want to put too much thought into his outfit (ie Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg), so he may end up wearing the same format of clothing over the course of the weekend.
  • DEVON GRANDHOMME: Andrew’s husband and fellow group project-made of Andrew and Anne. Although he’s 3/4th Berber, he’s traced his last name to a pre-Civil War-era plantation in Mississippi called “Grandhomme” (or “Great Man” in French). He moved from Mississippi to Moose River in order to study dance at UCMR, but later decided that Computer programming would be more his deal. He found a connection with Andrew as Andrew was able to visualize code into pictures, while Devon can synthesize pictures into text code. Meanwhile, Devon and Anne hit it off due to their mutual fondness of certain TV shows, and especially anime… both consider it their secret dirty pleasure, though Andrew really isn’t into it. When Anne realized Devon was gay (but before she knew the same about Andrew), she would actually get advice from Devon about what men are interested in, in the hopes of being more appealing to Andrew… but this had an unintended side effect of Devon learning more about Andrew and falling in love with him. This little triangle was fortunately short lived and with limited hurt for all involved, and all three remain friends today… but… I dunno… maybe Anne has some left over emotions about this?
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: The above design has Devon with a rounder head than I had envisioned, and so I might change that in subsequent drawings. He will be lighter skinned, but not too light-skinned, as he’s a mix between Northern African and Sub-Saharan African families. His attitude is contrasted with Andrew, meaning he’s a bit more uptight than his more easy-going husband. He also doesn’t smile as much, but this is not because he is unhappy. During the course of the story, he’ll be Andrew’s eyes and ears while Andrew works on a live programming art piece… this allows Andrew the freedom to focus on his work, but this also ensures that Devon is a bit over-protective.
  • SHEA MARERRA: Shea, as Anne’s best friend, is part of the story in order to be an outsider to the situation. She really didn’t get much of an opportunity to meet and known Andrew and (especially) Devon, but she is there to help keep Anne grounded and focused. Anne will have some questions and concerns about Andrew, and so Shea will be there to help her work out those answers. What a good friend!
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: By this time Shea’s hair has long since grown out after having shaved it… but she kinda liked it, so she’s been keeping it short for now.

The little summary I wrote up on Instagram was:

Anne kept in touch with Andrew and his husband Devon, who were two of her old Computer Science classmates from the Community College of Twain Harte. The three first met each other when they were assigned to the same group for a group project. Anne connected with Andrew as they were named after the same famous person, while Andrew connected with Devon and later got married.

Anne however remained closer to Andrew (tho not to discount the quality of their friendship)… and in fact nursed a small crush for him before she learned that her was gay. Although Anne and Andrew resolved this slight bump in their friendship, but Anne felt a little misled when Andrew told her that he “really liked her”.

Anne and Shea came to pick Andrew and Devon up at the airport. This is actually the first time Anne has seen Andrew since graduation, although they’ve remained connected on MyPlace (then later on Spacebook). I wonder if their visit will go without a hitch??

Finally, I’m kinda impressed with my ability to keep drawing new pieces for the site. This is the most days in a row that I produced something! Like, EVER. But then again, a single page of comics requires about a much energy to produce as all the sketches I’ve shared so far (give or take), so maybe things are as normal as they’ve always been. That said, if I can get a sketch out for all of July, then that’ll be a new record for me… which in that case… swing by tomorrow (4th of July) for a super special Independence Day picture! That picture is guaranteed to be able to cure cancer and end all wars, so you don’t wanna miss it!

EXTRA: check out on Instagram (at least once Instagram gets back online, lol)

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Now the source for this story was actually something I plotted out and wrote some of already… actually maybe four or five years ago by now. The plan was to be a sort of “retelling” or “reimagining” of characters created by another comic artist in order to prove a point.

Specifically, the other artist—who shall remain nameless–is seriously a better illustrator than I am (or at least can be if they wanted to). But their stories are… well, let’s be polite: relies on chasing after low-hanging fruit to further the plot. There was no challenge in writing it, and therefore at best the audience isn’t very engaged by it. And because of this, they will start picking apart the artwork and other less-than-obvious inconsistencies. Basically they’ll rip the story apart.

However, I wanted to show that that need not happen, and that—with a good enough story–it can help save a comic with even WORSE art… like mine! So the plan was to take their characters and some base elements of the original plot, write a better story for it, then put it online and see people’s reactions. If my hypothesis was correct, then it would mean that readers will forgive worse art or other negative elements if they can be convinced to do so with a good story.

(Un)fortunately, that plan ever got executed. While I did write up an overall plot and certain key event points that I had to make sure I would reach (regardless of HOW they were reached), as well as sketched out the first several pages… I ultimately decided that, well, why should I be putting this much energy into someone else’s characters? Why not just use my own characters, story, etc, and turn that into a comic, and use THAT to prove my point?

So that’s what I ended up choosing to do. I scrapped the “parody” plan, stripped the script of any elements remotely related to the other artist, and… that’s it. I still need to actually do something with it… which is why it’s now being used for Anne’s story in Moose River. Yay!

One other reason for the change of mind is… I dunno… I think it might be a bit shady to write a better story using someone’s characters. It almost feels like they’re cheating on him with me, lol. So unless the artist was just THAT scummy, I think I’m better off keeping this story all mine.

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Moose River
by Philippe Van Lieu
—Fully Charged - June 27th, 2019—

From the bottom of my heart (and the bottom of this page): thank you very much for reading my comics.

Nick15, all related subjects, and all text are ©1996-2019 Philippe Van Lieu
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