The supporting cast is named after writer friends of mine: Charlotte after animation writer Charlotte Fullerton, and Paul after comics writer Paul D. Storrie.
Mark is named, in part, after my friend Mark Lutz, best known for playing the Groosalugg in the TV show Angel.
Abby, however, is named after Abigail Adams, the second first lady. I had just seen 1776: The Musical, and thought that Abby was a strong, interesting female character. The real Mrs. Adams wasn’t bad either.
Mark’s Mom and Dad are loosely based, both in attitude and design, on my own parents.
Deco City is based on Chicago, and has an L-train, art deco architecture, and is based in the central time zone. Chronopolis is based on New York City and is named such for its preponderance of clock towers.
The first joke ever written was the "you’re my weakness" joke seen in issue #1. The second was the Altantis/wetsuit joke not used until issue #3.
The transparent word balloons were created as an accident. I didn’t leave enough room in the panel for all the copy I was writing, so the transparent word balloons became the compromise.
The signature 4-panel-beat format was designed so that if the first print issue did poorly, the strip could be repurposed as a web strip.
The newspaper features real copy written as a joke to the readers, including my e-mail address.
Underneath the price of the newspaper is the phrase Still a Bargain, Please Don’t Use the Internet
The character design of Doug, the waiter, is based on Jimmy Olsen.
On page five the poster on Mark’s wall is the cover to the first Raider trade paperback.
Originally, Abby’s hair was the same color as the yellow of Mark’s costume. After the first scene where Abby and Crusader were together, I realized what a mistake it was. Abby’s hair color changes with page 8, as a result of it being sun-bleached in Maui. I never changes back.
Page 10 starts the long tradition of all the characters drinking red wine instead of white.
Several real books are show on the back display and on posters in the bookstore, usually books I liked or by friends of mine. The Wicked Grimoire and Star Trek: The Case of the Colonist’s Corpse can be seen here.
One of the stores seen on page 11 is "Captain Bellybuster Hamburgers", which was used in The Greatest American Hero and The A-Team.
The newscaster referred to on page 21 is Shepard Smith.
Abby is reading Love in the Time of Cholera, because I’d just watched Serendipity in which the book is featured prominently.
An alternate version of the image on the last page was created at the same time, featuring Crusader with an unripped costume and no injuries.
There is an misprinted version of issue two that was sold for $1 at the 2006 Mid-Ohio-Con. In that book, there are no black lines on panel #2, page two.
The character on page 1 is named Mike Bokausek, after my good friend. He’s designed to look like Johnny on The Dead Zone. The character name and figure was designed to be swapped out with another because I offered an appearance in the comic as an auction item for the Jimmy and April Malone Golf Tournament. Because of a mix-up, the item was never offered, and the character remained unchanged. The name of the building is still the Malone Building, after Jimmy.
I was a member of the stage crew for the Lake Catholic production of The Pajama Game, which is why Brad chooses a song from that musical.
Page 4, the redhead is named Lee Smith, the same name as the character from my sitcom pilot Long Distance.
Mark’s middle name is Aaron, after The West Wing and SportsNight creator Aaron Sorkin.
Page 5, Mark uses a sleeve on his coffee even though he’s invulnerable.
Darkblade’s costume fluctated over the first couple issues of the series. Here, his boots are red and not white.
Page 6, the Violet’s Closet artwork is from Howard Shum.
Bokausek’s Video can be seen as a store name.
Mark is reading the Mid-Ohio-Con website. Behind him is a sign that says 129 Days Until April 15th.
Villarreal Park is named after my friend, Deitri Villarreal.
Abby did not have a brother until page seven, where I needed a joke and giving her a difficult family member made it work.
D.M. Huesen is based on J.K. Rowling, obviously. The name, however, is a corruption of a name of someone I worked with whose lateness caused me many difficulties… foreshadowing the author’s failure to show.
The restaurant Pasket’s is named after my friend Jodi Pasket.
On page 9, Mark wears a This Week in Tech sweatshirt. I’m a huge fan of the TWiT podcast.
Page 10, books in the back include Son of a Witch and The Woad to Wuin.
Page 11, books include a PJ O’Roarke book, Neil Cavuto’s More Than Money, a Leo Laporte (host of TWiT)
Darkblade’s net worth puts him above George Lucas on that year’s Forbes list.
Page 16-17, Doc Karma’s sanctum sanctorum features Salvador Dali-esque melted clocks.
Mark’s parents, Jerry and Joanne, are named after Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. After I did it, I learned that Jerry Siegel was married to a woman named Joanne.
Quincy Tennyson was largely inspired by a suggestion from Mike Bokausek about possibilities for Mark’s brother.
Books seen on page two include He’s Just Not That Into You, It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, and Backstage Pass, highlighting the Valentine’s Day time period.
Charlotte drinks out of a MacBreakWeekly coffee cup.
One page four, Charlotte is putting away a copy of The Boys are Back by my friend, author Chris Golden.
The Arachnerd movie features Mark Lutz, Larry Thomas (the Soup Nazi), Clare Kramer (Glory from Buffy) and Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica). All actors I’ve met at comic conventions and had a good time talking to.
The pizza joke is inspired by the Chicago/New York pizza feud.
Mermantis is mentioned several times, but is the only member of the Liberty League to never be seen.
Abby uses a hair dryer that is apparently battery operated, as it has no power cord.
One of the paintings in Mermantis’s palace is Claude Monet’s Water Lilies.Major Might is based on Captain Marvel.
The Wizard of Oz painting in Abby’s apartment was an illustration I did for Scene Magazine.
Cyber Lord was originally colored blue and green, until artist Matt Haley suggested that I color him in secondary colors to show that he’s a villain.
Chez Ferrer is named after my friend, author Barbara Ferrer. Guests at the restaurant include Matt Haley, Dan Panosian, and Bill Wray, all artist friends of mine. Bill is dining alone.
Mark wears a Lake Catholic High School sweatshirt. It’s where I went to school.
On page 16, Mark is wearing a Rush Limbaugh No Boundaries tie.
The "I’ll just have Doc Karma mindwipe her" is a reference to DC’s Identity Crisis.Mark watches Studio 60. It’s a conceit of the LNC Universe that several shows that are imaginary in our world are real in theirs. So, this Studio 60 refers to the sketch comedy show itself, not the Aaron Sorkin show.
Lanna Na Hoiche is Irish/Gaelic for Darkblade.
Page 21, you can see Haley Art Supplies, named after artist Matt Haley. The street number 51671 is my birthday.
Charlotte’s date can be seen photographed in the newspaper. The headline of the paperreads Lacroix and Mystery Woman and the paper’s name, translated, is The Daily Planet.
Issue #4 has two covers. The one featuring Abby and the Crusader with blue trim was the Free Comic Book Day issue, and the one featuring Mark and Abby is the "Special Secret Identity Edition" and was designed so that this version of the issue could be sold.
The second story on the newspaper reads "Jessica Simpson Seen With Famous Cartoonist."
The other movie poster is "Long Distance", using the cover art for my Long Distance sitcom pilot book.
This is the only issue of the series to be 32-pages, dictated by the rules of Free Comic Book Day. It has a character description page and ads, as well as a "making of" page, to hit the necessary page count.
My client Toon Tumblers can be seen on the billboard in the Arachnerd movie.
Several friends are listed in the credits of the movie, including actor Rafael Feldman, Bob Ingersoll, lawyer, writer and CBG Columnist, Deitri Villarreal, RAP Promotions, which is Roger Price’s company that produces Mid-Ohio-Con, Jill Smith, who is a friend who does photography, Mike Horkan, who’s an engineer, and Pat Brady, who was for a time the agent for Andy Hallett ("Lorne" on Angel).
Books seen on page 4 include The Essential Peanuts, The Collected Works of Shakespeare, America the Book, and The Drink and Draw Social Club.
Margalis State Park is named after a friend of mine, Christine Margalis.
Quincy’s jersey number is 79, the same number worn by Cleveland Browns player Bob Golic, who also played nose tackle.
The two kids, Carter and Aidan, are based on my cousin’s two sons of the same name.
With page 12, all characters carry iPhones. Man, I really want one of those.
On page 13, Shawn and Gus from Psych can be seen walking by the Munchkin Donuts.
Mark went to Deco City University, which is why he wears the t-shirt. I couldn’t decide for a real school for him to go to.
Mark references Geoffery Tennant and the New Burbage Shakespeare festival from the TV show Slings and Arrows.
New books on page 18 include The Art of Steve Silver, another Chris Golden book and Claire Wendling’s Wendling 2.0.
Mark’s video game is a screenshot from the Odyssey 2 videogame "Invaders from Hyperspace." I had that game and system as a kid…unfortunately.
Box Canyon is the place where Brit Reid, his brother, and fellow Texas Rangers were ambushed by Butch Kavendish. Brit survived to become the Lone Ranger.
Mark has to teleport onto portable teleporter pad, as the Liberty League system needs a sending and receiving system.
Mark beams to the wrong place because Darkblade reprogrammed the satellite computer.
On page 21, the character Windstar is introduced. He’s not a member of the League, but is a character I created as a teenager, about the same time as Raider. He’d never been in a comic until this point. With this, my two major childhood characters have appeared in print.
The bottle of wine on the cover is a 1959 JB’s Cabernet Sauvignon, named after my friend Jesse W. Jackson (sometimes called J-Dub) and was born in 1959.
A Mid-Ohio-Con logo can be seen on the billboard on the cover.
Originally, the airplane was supposed to say "Oceanic", which is the airline from Lost. I couldn’t fit it on the nose in the drawing.
I’d been introduced to the podcast TikiBar, which is why the bar featured here is a Tiki Bar. The name is inspired by the cartoon Riki Tiki Tavi.
On page 5, Gus and Shawn from Psych are re-used in the background.
Books on page six include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a Stargate-SG1 novel, The Drink and Draw Social Club, and Star Trek: Sky’s the Limit, which features a story by Bob Ingersoll and myself.
Abby’s line "Sweet elixir of life that men call ‘Joe’" is from the premiere episode of the live-action Tick.The poster in the bookstore is It’s Not About the Accent, written by my friend Caridad Ferrer.
The mailman, Robin, is based on my mailman and fellow Timberlake councilmember, Robin.
Mark catches a plane on the cover, and one in the book… helping to set up Mark’s later joke about how many planes he catches.
The pub Mickey Dee’s is named after the host of my local pub quiz, MikeD. He’s drawn into panel 5.
Mark asks who would know who Charles Goren was. That was the $64,000 question during my appearance on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? I got the question wrong.
The answer to the first question is Matt Albie, writer and producer of the fictional Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
The Kirbivore is designed to look like a Jack Kirby monster, complete with giant trunks.
RAP Promotions field is named after Mid-Ohio-Con show promoter Roger Price’s company.
Mark’s mother rooting for the "wrong" team is base on how I live in Cleveland Browns country and my mother is a Steelers fan.
Page 16, the lead extra on page two is based on Mike Trivisonno, sports host on WTAM-1100AM in Cleveland.
The Deco City outfielder is named after the Battlestar Galactica producer of the same name.
The idea of Mark and Abby flying around fireworks was the original ending to issue #2, and was supposed to take place during New Year’s Eve.
The IRS notice features the real address for the IRS. Abby works on Jefferson Street, because most streets in Deco City are named after presidents.
The Evil Brain is referred to almost every issue, but is never seen.
On page two, all the books are by or feature Mike Weiringo, a cartoonist and friend who passed away suddenly when I was working on this issue.
On page 4, the store has posters for Stephen King’s Cell and Amazonia’s book.
Charlotte wears a Quincy Tennyson football jersey.
The newscaster is named after the winner of a contest to appear in an issue of Love and Capes.
The crawl on the TV image mentions an Ohio-based cartoonist signing a deal with Disney. I had just had a meeting with them the week before. The other story is that Apple is introducing an iPhone with voice dialing, which man that thing needs.
Gus makes his third appearance on page 6.
In the flashbacks, Mark has sideburns.
The receptionist Grace is named after a fan of the book that I met doing that year’s Baltimore Comic-Con.
The Montecitio, the fictional hotel from the TV show Las Vegas can be seen outside the window of the Vegas restaurant.
The Skreel take their name from a mash-up of the Skrulls and the Kree.
The bookstore back room was redesigned for this issue.
Doctor Who and Martha Jones are in line to buy Amazonia’s book.
The line "Double D Justice For All" was written on Will Thompson’s entry for Who Wants to Create a Superhero. That line inspired the joke and sealed his win.
The back alley exit to Abby’s store is slightly different in this issue. It no longer has steps and the dumpster is on the other side.
The ending to issue 6 was written shortly after I wrote issue 1. Lots of things evolved over the run of the series, but that ending never changed.
I’d intended to take a longer break between LNC#6 and #7, but I couldn’t miss Free Comic Book Day.
P2 – Microdot is engraving "Always and All Ways" on the ring, which is what my Mom always puts on her and Dad’s anniversary cake.
P3 – Blurstreak is named "Mike" after my friend, the late Mike Wieringo.
P8 – The doll line is called "Trampz".
P12 – Quincy played against the Dallas Cowboys as a tribute to my friend, and diehard Cowboys fan, Jesse Jackson.
P18 – I really wanted the Hardware Twins to be just one character, Hardware. But, I’m too big a fan of Dwayne McDuffie’s Hardware series to malign the character.
P19 – Crusader and Blurstreak’s race is based on the Superman/Flash races.
P20 – Yet another example of Deco City being in the Central Time Zone. It’s sunset in Chronopolis but Mark has time to fly to Deco City and still be tehre in time.
P23 – Mark takes his sandals off while sitting on the cliff. They don’t actually disappear.
P24 – Although she’s referenced twice, as well as shown in the recap cover, Amazonia does not appear in this issue. She’s on the recap page to set up the last joke.
P1 – The airline Charlotte is flying on is Oceanic Airlines from the TV series Lost.
There are several cities of friends of mine on the display board behind them.
P3 – The layout of the Deco City airport is actually based on the Fisher Price Little People airport set that I had as a child.
P7 – "God of Love" is my imaginary book written by Dr. Claire Allen, the psychologist from the late, lamented ABC series Cupid.
P11- There are several Tim Russert books on the shelf behind them in this scene. Russert passed away as I was working on this page.
P14 – Several clients and friends can be seen in the booths in the background, including Toon Tumblers and Lone Star Press’ SideChicks.
P15 – The lyrics to all the Crusader on Ice songs were written by my friend, Mike Bokausek. I knew if I wrote my own, he’d just take the ball and run with it for fun, and be better than mine anyway. So, for your edification, here are the complete lyrics:
A large group of skaters, dressed in various business suits and carrying briefcases, comes out of the entry tunnel (disguised not so subtlely as a subway entrance) and onto the ice. The various men and women skate around in random fashion for a time until, at center ice, a male skater and female skater pass by each other. As they pass, they point to each other then circle back, where they link for a twirl before stopping to talk. They are BILL and JANE.
Bill: Say Jane!
Jane: Hey Bill!
Bill: How’ve ya’ been?
Jane: Great! Hey did you just get into town?
Bill: Yes I did. I just got transferred here to big ‘ol Deco City.
Jane: So how do you like it so far?
Bill: Like it? I love it! It’s so much bigger and more exciting than back home!
Jane: So have you-
[They are interrupted by a loud alarm sounding nearby. All the skaters freeze as the overhead lights flash red and six new skaters shoot out of the entry tunnel. The new skaters are all wearing masks, carrying prop guns and holding sacks with large “$” symbols on the side. They skate in a line through the frozen skaters, occasionally pushing them over, and, finally, they skate between our original couple.]
Bill: My gosh, Jane! I think they just robbed the Deco City National Bank! Shouldn’t someone call the police?
Jane: Hah hah! You really are new in town!
[As she finishes, the lights turn off and a loud drumroll/rhythmic pounding begins. The lights begin to strobe and we see (partially) a red and yellow figure come out of the entry tunnel, skating quickly and efficiently between the frozen skaters, now including the “frozen” thieves. As the red-and-yellow figure reaches the front of the line of thieves, he stops, the drumming stops and the normal lights come on. We now clearly see the CRUSADER standing in front of the thieves with his arms folded.]
Crusader: Isn’t it a little early to be making such a big withdrawal?
Lead thief: It’s the Crusader, boys! Get ‘im!
[As the six thieves encircle the calmly standing Crusader, the other skaters form up into a chorus, fronted by Bill and Jane. As the Crusader begins to fight with the thieves, Bill, Jane and the chorus begin to sing:]
Whenever crime’s afoot in Deco City’s streets
it seems there’s just one person that those criminals will meet
no matter what the time, to us it always seems
there’s just one strapping hero who will answer the screams
When villains come a calling, whether Blob or Evil Brain
we always know the score and it follows a refrain
He flies onto the scene, showing bad guys there’s none greater
He’s Deco City’s defender and we call him THE CRUSADER!
He soars! He fights!
He dresses up in tights!
He rights. The wrongs!
He’s really super strong!
Our red and golden warrior in underwear that’s long!
He’s the Crusader — in flight!
[By this time, Crusader has finished off three of the bad guys. The remaining three begin picking up various props with which to begin bashing the Crusader while the chorus sings the next few verses.]
He saves the world from meteors and sends villains to their knees
but takes the time from fighting crime to save kittens stuck in trees
He’s always there to save us. He’s the one who calms our fears
He’s the reason that no plane’s crashed here for nearly seven years
He soars among the clouds, wind whipping through his hair
looking down upon us, evil shrinking from his stare
For justice, truth and honor are his modus operandi
He’s never dark or broody when apprehending bad guys
He’s like. A boy scout.
Bad words he’ll never shout.
His costume. Has bulges.
and he never quite divulges
just who he really is, so you will have to indulge us!
He’s the Crusader — in flight!
[The music continues as we see only one thief left. He takes off and the Crusader pursues. The thief and the Crusader pass between Bill and Jane.]
Bill: Wow! He really is amazing!
Jane: I’ll say.
Bill: Say, do you think he could lift up a car?
Jane: Of course.
Bill: Do you think he could pick up a house?
Jane: No problem.
Bill: Could he pick up the Deco City Building?
Jane: Hmmm. . . I don’t know about that, but he could pick ME up anytime!
Bill: Me too!
[The chorus cheers as we see that the Crusader has finally caught up to the last thief, who is cornered in an alleyway set and pulls out a gun.]
Thief: I’m warning you Crusader. Back off or else!
Crusader: Or else what?
Thief: All right. I warned you.
[The thief shoots and sparks fly off of the Crusader’s chest.] Crusader: Wow. You must REALLY be new in town.
[Crusader then punches the last thief, who goes flying though the “wall” of the alley, leaving a large hole. The sound of tweeting birds is heard. The CHORUS cheers as the music rises:]
He soars! He fights!
He dresses up in tights!
He rights. The wrongs!
He’s really super strong!
Our red and golden warrior in underwear that’s long!
He’s the Crusader — in flight!
P17- The called heroes are Crusader, Darkblade, Blurstreak, Arachnerd, Golden Torch, Windstar and Major Might. Doctor Karma was eliminated because he was powerful enough to send everyone home.
P18 – Alpha Tauri really is 65 light-years from Earth.
P22 – Psi-Clone is based on a character I created for a Masters of the Universe contest called Infil-Traitor. Both had the metal-band costume and face mask.
P. 2 • Once again, the Evil Brain is mentioned, but not seen.
P. 4 • Three books on the shelf are imaginary, including Calling Center by Jesse Jackson (a friend of mine who runs a call center), Call to Arms by my friend Mike Bokausek, and a book called Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from William Shatner. No author there, but it’s a book I’ve always wanted to write. The fourth book, The Clockwork Bride, is by Bill Williams and available on his website at www.lonestarpress.com.
P . 5 • Charlotte is eating at the Cafe De Moebius, named for comic creator Moebius.
P. 7 • Amazonia refers to an evl duplicate situation as a "Number Six." This is also the name of Tricia Helfer’s character on Battlestar Galactica, a show which involves lots of duplicates.
P. 8 • The construction site here is being worked on by Lacroix Industries, owned by Paul Lacroix, aka Darkblade.
P. 9 • Darkblade’s Omni-directional Hypersonic Emitter is based on Rom’s Neutralizer, from the comics and the Parker Brothers’ toy.
P. 10 • Mark references lots of sci-fi shows here. The Vogons are from Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. Hak’tyl is the planet is Stargate-SG1 ruled by the lovely character portrayed by Joelene Blaylock. If I had to send Mark to a world, I figured why not make it a world with a race of Amazon lovelies. And I wanted to use an actual Stargate world, since I was referencing the SGC technology.
Don’t ask about Mark’s Atomic Razor. I needed a way for him to shave. I don’t know where or when he got it.
P. 11 • The League Holding Cells are very much based on the Star Trek Classic brig.
P. 12 • Another reference to Chez Ferrer.
P. 20 • I have no idea where I came up with the name "Denny Spicer" as a director.
P. 21 • The University Club is where my cousin Jodi married her husband, Mike.
P. 22 • I noticed after the book was done that Charlotte wears a scarf in all her scenes. I don’t know why.
This is the first issue to be over 24 pages. It clocks in at 26. I started writing, and couldn’t fit it all in.
P. 2- The first and so far only time there’s been a footnote in Love and Capes is here. My friend Jesse dared me to do it.
P. 7- Originally, my design for the last panel was to show just a tiny bit of the curve of Abby’s rear end. Nothing obscene, just a little bit. But, being the Free Comic Book Day issue, I decided against it.
P. 8 – Costume analogues seen here include the current Supergirl costume, Saturn Girl, Dark Mary Marvel and Black Canary. They’re all DC characters, coincidentally.
P. 9 – "Capes are classic. Plus it covers my rear." I heard a comic con cosplayer being asked if they preferred a Wonder Woman or Batgirl costume, and she replied Batgirl "because the cape covers my butt." Right then, I knew I had a joke for this scene, and jotted it into my iPhone.
P. 11 – Actually, my high school mascot was the Cougar. (Lake Catholic Cougars.) Since I had established that Mark had gone to LC, I couldn’t let the joke refer to high school, hence the grade school reference.
Incidentally, my grade school mascot was the Raider, the name of my first character and graphic novel.
P. 13- I made a mistake on this page, and panels 1-4 printed wrong. You can see it corrected here.
Also, this is the first product placement in the book. Jason is wearing a Pegasus Publishing t-shirt.
P. 14 – Sam was first seen in the opening sequence of Love and Capes #5.
P. 18 – The balloon gag i one I’ve wanted to do since I was 15 and created my flying hero, Windstar.
P. 23 – The "First rule of being a hero: you can’t save everyone" was first introduced in Love and Capes #3, and has been repeated ever since.
P. 1 – That’s phenomenal tech columnist Andy Ihnatko as the pretzel vendor.
P. 2 – Mark is seen reading Mental Floss. I’m a fan of the magazine, and made sure it was okay with the publishers before I did it. There’s also a blurry issue of Wizard, of Scene Magazine (with my cover art) and Comics Buyer’s Guide.
P. 3 – The Kiera Knightley was was first said to me by my friend Dee and friend Barb. They both used it, and I don’t know who said it first. I credit them both.
P. 5 – Darkblade can apparently use an iPhone while wearing his gloves. There are some gloves that have conductive tips. Perhaps Darkblade invented them.
P. 8 – The Flapjack Flophouse is based on the Waffle House, with which I have a bizarre obsession.
P. 10 – The look of Leandia is heavily inspired by the 1980 Flash Gordon film.
P. 11 – It is never mentioned but the flying discs actually have their own center of gravity. The passengers are attracted to the disc, so there’s no danger of falling off.
Also never mentioned is that only members of the Royal Family have super powers. I tried to work it in, but there was no place to do so naturally.
P. 12 – Accidentally, I based the throne room on the Emperor’s chamber from Return of the Jedi.
P. 13 – Lost, too, from the original script is the idea that Queen Leandia knighted Mark solely so Amazonia could date a man of station.
Also never mentioned is that the Queen takes the name of the world, hence Queen Leandia. Similar to the way that Popes change their name when they become Pope.
P. 15 – Once again, Mark is reading Mental Floss.
P. 17 – The Celestial Hunger is clearly a Galactus analogue. But, the Doosix Machine is a corruption of the phrase deus ex machina. (Doos Ex Machine, Doosix Machine.) In principal, it works like the Miracle Machine from the Legion of Super Heroes.
P. 23 – Rick Castle is the character played by the awesome Nathan Fillion in the series Castle.
P. 4 – Yup, it’s another Rick Castle book. It’s "Heat Wave", the first of the Nikki Heat books.
P. 5 – Doc Karma’s receptionist is named Vaneta because I posted a Tweet saying "First person to send me their name gets made a character in LNC #12" Vaneta Rogers was the first to respond.
The real Vaneta is far more attractive, though.
Abby’s inability to be read was set up in Love and Capes #10 with this very issue in mind.
P. 6 – Darkblade’s costume is a dark gray instead of purple, has a pointier mask, red gloves, and has a shaved head and goatee. Doc Karma’s shirt is slightly different in gradiation. And Amazonia has straight hair and a more refined costume.
The idea is that in this new history, without Mark, Darkblade becomes darker and more intense. Amazonia steps into the Crusader role and becomes a little more mature. The Doc Karma thing, that was just a happy accident.
P. 13 – "The sun is shining" "But the ice is slippery" is the recognition phrase from "The Shadow."
PJ O’Pootertoot’s is a theme restaurant from a Ben Stiller Show sketch. Unlike the sketch, this PJ’s food isn’t people.
The flair on the wall is identical to the sportbars that Mark and Abby ate at in #8.
The idea of the Evil Brain possessing people was created so that we have The Evil Brain in a scene without ever seeing him.
P. 15 – The iPhone was not created until after the first issue of Love and Capes. It was announced around #4, and released months later. As such, Abby’s iPhone would not work in the pre #4 era/
P. 16 – Books on the shelf include my Long Distance, Legendary- the Barney Stinton Story (from How I Met Your Mother), Promo Mojo (a fictional book referencing my friend Roger Price) and Death of a Prom Queen, an older Rick Castle book.
P. 17 – There are signs for the Wally Wizarder book release. This is the same book with same title as referenced in #2. The Wally Wizarder plotline was never intended to factor in to this issue. That was something that came about during the writing and worked out very well.
Mark’s Battlestar Galactica fascination is referenced in #9. At this point, I tried to do a callback to every issue, if possible.
P. 18 – Chez Ferrer is mentioned repeatedly and was where Cyber Lord took Charlotte on a date in #3.
Mark wears his round glasses and sideburns as seen in #6. Abby has apparently changed her hair, though. I tried to add a reference about Abby’s new hairdo, but couldn’t make it work, largely because I couldn’t imagine that Abby would make that radical a change right before a date. So, she cut her hair sometime between the flashback in #6 and now.
P. 27 – Doc Karma knows so much about what happened because the Lady of the Flame told him.
Abby reappears at the same time as she left the alternate universe. So, if she left from the sattelite at 1:45pm, that’s when she returned.
Villarreal Park was seen in #2.
P. 28 – Technically, there’s no way that Blurstreak could have passed the boards required to become a stylist at super speed. But, I thought I needed the word "licensed" since saying "I just became a stylist" didn’t indicate that he had done any super speed training.
P. 29 – Amazonia’s dress is the same color as Abby’s superhero uniform. Zoe did this intentionally to honor Abby.
P. 31 – The invisibility thing was planned when the issue started, but Bob Ingersoll said I needed to make sure Abby could see Paul. This was a good catch, and resulted in a funny scene.
Charlotte never sees Blurstreak behind her after he changes.
The reasoning why Doc Karma makes Abby get dressed but changes Blursteak in an instant is this: Karma doesn’t know exactly what Abby wants to look like, and as such can’t make that happen. Blurstreak, however, doesn’t really care what he looks like as long as he’s in a suit. So it’s not as big a deal, and has room for variance.
P. 32 – Some of the people in the pews are from the cover.
P. 33 – The priest here is drawn to look like a priest from my childhood parish, Father Jerry at Immaculate Conception in Willoughby. The text is from the Catholic Rite of Marriage, but reorganized and slightly edited.
P. 34-35 – I used the attendees from the cover in this scene. Attendees from the "Love" cover are on the groom’s side, and the "Capes" cover are on the bride’s side. Not everyone made it, both for clarity and so the crowd could fill off the edges.
Also, if you look in the fourth row from the front on the Bride’s side, you can see Disguised Abby in the church.
P. 40 – Artist Mike Hawthorne was responsible for Blursteak’s cheesy pickup line. Also, Charlotte is eating cake, so the wedding cake has been cut.
P. 41 – Jason was always intended to be gay. This was the first opportunity I had to reveal it, though.
P. 42- The note joke was first seen in #9.
P. 44 – The Helmond Hotel actually ISN’T a joke or reference. I just wanted something that kind of sounded like Hilton or Hyatt.
Several ideas and storlines were dropped or changed as this issue was created. Such as:
– There’s an issue 11.5 that was done as a convention exclusive. The original idea was to do that issue as a "clip show" taking place during the bachelor and bachelorette parties. You know, that whole "How did Mark ask you?" and then a flashback would happen.
During this, it would be revealed that Mark contended that Abby kissed him twice, which Abby denied. This would have set up the Future Abby kiss thing, but I couldn’t make the causality work.
– Likewise, originally Abby’s reason for being protected against the changes in the timeline is that they sent her back to protect the timeline… ah, it just didn’t work. So the Lady of the Flame came in to protect Abby.
– I toyed with the idea of having the kid version of Major Might as the ring-bearer. That got pushed aside for taking up too much room in the story.
P. 1 – It’s the now obligatory Rick Castle book reference.
P. 3 – Mark and Abby are flying on Oceanic Airlines from "Lost".
Also, this scene was written and drawn before the announcement of the iPad. I I almost redid it so that Abby gave Mark and iPad, but honestly, Mark would have bought one on his own.
P. 7 – Books on the shelf include:
1001 Comics you Must Read by Tony Isabella
The Revenant Road by Michael Boatman
Peter and Max by Bill Willingham
P. 9 – That’s Rupert Giles buying a book from Abby.
P. 10 – One of the holographic screens says "LCARS MEMORY". LCARS is the acronym for the Library Computer system on Star Trek.
P. 11 – In case it’s too small, Darkblade’s remote says REMOTE ACCESS ALARM ON
P. 13 – Super Sugar Bombs was the cereal Calvin would eat in Calvin and Hobbes. You can also see Amazoni-Os.
P. 15 – The invisibilty generator in the ring was meant to be mentioned in the wedding issue. I didn’t have the space there, which worked out nicely.
P. 16 – The indestructible ring idea was also something that I ran out of room for in #12. Unobtanium obviously comes from James Cameron’s "Avatar."
P. 17 – Yeah, Mark references the health care debate in panel two.
P. 18- For the record, I do not use the Defiant’s serial number for any of my passwords. In fact, I had to look it up. By the way, NCC1701, the original Enterprise, is one of the most common passwords according to a tech magazine survey. I do not use that, either.
Abby is reading The Celestial Waste of Bandwidth, Andy Ihnatko’s website.
P. 5- Back in issue #1, Mark suggests some sort of system for figuring out when Abby’s screams are real. Apparently, they’ve worked it out.
P. 9 – Windstar is a character I created when I was in my eary teens. Originally, his name was Mike Forest, but everything else from his past history (being a real estate agent, having flight powers, being located in Cleveland, etc) remain intact.
P. 12 – WTFZ uses my initials.
Yamile is named after one of Love and Capes’ biggest fans.
P. 13 – The Police Chief of Chronopolis is named after Chris Sims of Comics Alliance and The Invincible Super-Blog fame.
P. 15 – Paul’s mansion is based on Aaron Spelling’s house.
This is Mrs. O’Longeran’s first appearance, though she was indirectly referenced in issue #8. Note that her pendant has the Darkblade logo on it.
P. 18 – There’s a misconception that Amazonia arranges a grant for Abby here. She doesn’t. She mentions it as a possibility, but doesn’t offer it. When Mark and Abby get the building in the next issue, they do so without any external help.
P. 20 – The Bugblatter Beast is from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
P. 21 – Tamerlane is a very rare Edgar Allen Poe book.
P. 22 – Mr. Schaeffer’s name came from the winner of a contest I ran on my website to have this character named after the winner.
P. 23 – Books on the shelf: The Dreamer by Lora Innes, the second Bloom County Collection (both published by IDW), My Hypergalactic Interstellar Summer Vacation by Adam Beechen and Was Superman a Spy? by Brian Cronin.