Act 2, Scene 18 – “The question all writers dread.”

Ideas-page-001Notes on Nine Parts Perspiration

Shakespeare wrestles with the question all writers dread, as well as a surprise visit from her towering majesty Elizabeth I.

Longtime readers may recall Elizabeth turning up in Will’s very first appearance in Zounds. This seemed like a good opportunity to get her back into the mix. I’d like to give Shakespeare and the Lady more of a supporting cast this year, so expect to see a few familiar faces popping in and out.

Originally, the Lady wasn’t due to appear in this one – Will would have gone shopping for himself. However, I have some cartoons lined up for the future where he appears without her, and I wanted to avoid having her drop out of the strip too much. In the end, I think this works a lot better with her in it – her muse-like nature is a good fit with the concept of an ideas shop.

The fourth and fifth panels also represent my most significant set of the series so far. I’m not sure I’ll do too many like this – there’s something appropriately theatrical about the blank backgrounds of a typical Zounds. But this one needed some slightly more elaborate visual storytelling, so I had to draw an actual ideas shop. Maybe we’ll come back here one day, who knows.

Sadly, the Drury Lane branch of the Ideas shop closed when the company went into receivership. There’s some good independent stockists around, if you know where to look.