From a storytelling point of view, the game board metaphor does a couple of things.
It compresses time and delivers a lot of exposition. If I'd wanted to, I could have expanded any one of these "game squares" into a page or more of comic, but because a lot of the activity didn't directly involve Mom I wanted to get through it quickly.
It also stresses the role that random chance played in the quality of treatment Mom received. She ended up with very good care but could very easily not have. Remember, the osteopath at upper left was a quack . . . I mean, a giant duck. If Mom made any missteps at all, it was relying too much and too long on an incompetent primary care physician who (in my opinion) didn't know the first thing about cancer. I don't know if it made any difference.
This element of chance comes up again in the story. I thought it was a strong enough theme or motif that when it came time to design end papers for the print version of Mom's Cancer, I drew a token and a die (double meaning intended) pattern. Life is a crapshoot.
|The end paper pattern for the Mom's Cancer book, inspired by Page 5.|
Starting today, Mom's Cancer will appear on GoComics.com twice a week instead of once. A week between pages was just too long, I thought (and some readers agreed with me). I'll see if twice per week helps the pacing. I could post a new page every day, but would be done with the entire story in a few months! Happily, GoComics seems to be up for any way I want to do it, so we'll give it a try. Let me know what you think.