set-chronon-event: Joey's PC, August 2021
C: chkdsk R:
Archive directory: 'That's How Sally Walks'
Sub dir: 'Pale White Face', Document found: AuthorsNotes.PDF
Read the Whole Saga For Free At:
So I think it's clear by this point that I've basically made these blogs my own stream of consciousness. I guess every blog needs an identity of sorts! Now then...
That's How Sally Walks is a webcomic that I ran from April 2017 to December 2020 and remains the first project I ever truly completed. The series follows young Sally Walker, who is by far my most popular character, as she attempts to break out of her shell and become more comfortable with herself. Her short one-episode-per-page stories touched the hearts of hundreds of people across the world that I had never met and probably never will meet! It was my first experience of putting something into the world that recieved so many likes, reactions and comments.
I will admit, even though that is a small amount by Internet standards, it did scare me and make me proud at the same time! It didn't only give me a platform to show my storytelling; I also felt it gave me a bit of a responsibility to represent things sensitively and to keep Sally a consistently warm and trusting presence on your screens. Then the super dark finale happened...
The finale graphic novel of That's How Sally Walks was one of the biggest projects I ever accomplished alone. The story was pre-planned since 2017 (the year the series began), the seeds for the story were scattered throughout the rest of the series to set it up, and lots of photos needed to be taken to use as backgrounds. And yes, it was a huge tonal shift, and I was 100% aware of this the whole time.
No, the story wasn't forcefully dark; it was thematically dark. Every detail in that 99 page story was nessecary. Even the character of Shane - the crazy "secret cousin" trope who wanted to kill Sally for no reason - had a reason to exist.
You see, Shane was one of the few characters I've created who isn't primarily a character. More importantly, he is a writing tool. His presence as the only true villain on THSW was planned from very early on, hence why I introduced him in December 2019 to get him prepared; #204 in Volume VII, which also works as a run-of-the-mill Sally episode as it has it's own unique theme of "strange bloke in the pub tries to be your friend in the pub".
I spent a good 3 years trying to think of a motivation for him to kill Sally. But eventually, I figured that inheritance money or anything like that would be too expected. Instead his motivation was... no motivation! He was just a bad guy. This is important to write for two reasons. One, it really does happen in real life, and two, his motivation isn't important. Shane as a person is not important; instead Shane as a figure, a presence is what's needed. Somebody for Sally to run from, to put her in mortal danger for the first time, and for her to confront at the end of the peer and stare the scariest thing in her life right in the face and shout back.
Could be argued that Sally's speech to him doesn't really make much sense in that moment. But that's not the point. What she says means a lot, but not to Shane; but the fact that this meek, permamnently scared, soft girl who's had life rain down on her for so long, was not going to just cower. Of course, I can't say I'd do the same, I'd probably be effing and blinding in her situation! It was less to set an example, and more to show that she truly has come full circle now. In #1, she apologised prefusely, then apologised for apologising. In this final confrontation with her embodiment of fear and danger, she barked back. That stripey sweater isn't just her cute penguin girl pyjama sweater... it's now her ass-kicking outfit b**ch!!
I will certainly return to this subject, there's so much to disect in this long book. And in the rest of the series! I would absolutely love to do some more retrospectives of my favourite stories. But for now, I am exhausted; been running errands all day and now I'm in my favourite kimono and I need a shower. So good night for now, and tune in to Flux-102 Broadcasts soon for more!