The Player Queen trilogy gets wrapped up with a sonnet this week. This one ended up stretching over three cartoons basically because I had three punchlines, each born of the last, then worked backwards to fill in the rest of the cartoon. (even breaking out Chekhov’s skull along the way…)
I did initially plan on doing this last one with dialogue, but sonnet 110 seemed to fit with the Lady’s thwarted ambition and Will’s less than supportive attitude to it – as well as to the creative compromises he has to make. (I think the Master of the Revels will only ever appear like this. In my head, he speaks in the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher.) It makes the trilogy almost a microcosm of Zounds – an excerpt, some sitcommery and a sonnet.
The Henry V outfit for the Lady was an interesting development. I haven’t done many costume changes so far, apart from Hal, who’s had a new outfit every time he’s appeared, the vain so-and-so. Changing a female character’s outfit is a much bigger deal – in period costume, clothes really do maketh the woman. When you’ve only ever drawn a character wearing a corset and a floor-length skirt, you’re almost starting from scratch when you take those things away. Whereas the guys are mostly in tights, so there’s not a lot left to the imagination.
The first panel needed a bit of tinkering and the addition of the stage, since the actor in the background actually just looked like he was tiny rather than in the distance. It was very tempting to change the caption to “LADY SMASH PUNY THESPIAN!”
I’d like to do more two and three parters, although for the time being, I’m mostly going to stick to one-offs. I’m also kicking around a few ideas for much longer stories, which would unfold over 10 or more cartoons, but I’m not sure how compatible that will be with the weekly format. I could switch to several posts a week for the duration of the story if I can keep up that kind of schedule, or maybe do a story as a side project and release the whole thing in one go. We shall see – this may end up being an act three thing. For now, it’s back to self-contained gags for a while, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this experiment with something a bit more flowing.