Hey everyone! It’s been a minute, but I’m excited to be back to talk some behind the scenes goodies for Cherish #3!
By this point, you should have had plenty of time to read issue 3, but if not, consider this your warning that there are SPOILERS AHEAD!
We were lucky enough to get Brett Booth, Eric Canete, and Soo Lee back to contribute covers for issue three… and we had the exciting addition of Mirka Andolfo to the mix for this issue!
Mirka and I have been working together on a handful of projects lately (Sweet Paprika, Black, White, and Pink, and Generation Joker)… so I loved that we were able to bring her in on this, too! She’s absolutely wonderful to work with and her work speaks for itself!
I love all the covers for issue three, but I have a fun little tidbit about how Mirka and I met! I ran into her at Emerald City Comic Con a couple of years ago when someone came by my table with a copy of Sweet Paprika… they mentioned it was an erotic comic book and (as we’ve talked about many times, lol), being a romance author, I asked if I could flip through it. I LOVED it. It didn’t even occur to me that erotic graphic novels were a thing and I knew I had to go meet Mirka. So I sought out her table and introduced myself… and that’s how we first met!
As always, we start the issue with a quote. This time, we went with a quote by Wayne Gerard Trotman:
“Revenge can only be found on the road to self-destruction.”
Finding these quotes was always a really fun part of the process for Joe and me. We’d pull together a few to choose from, and then try to decide on the one that best fit the theme for the current issue as well as the overall arc.
This issue begins in a flashback where we see a teenage Chaya being sent away to babysit Cherish. And in the background, we can see James standing with a pregnant woman, but our readers don’t quite know who she is just yet.
What’s really fun about this scene is that it’s all from the point of view of Cherish as a toddler. So we’re seeing James talking with Chaya’s parents about the nanotechnology. And right before Cherish goes down the slide, she sees a helicopter in the air. True to joyful toddler form, she has no idea the threat the chopper poses, she’s only happy and squealing to see one. And just as she alerts everybody that it’s there, she goes down the slide, still blissfully unaware of what’s happening around her.
As she exits the slide, Chaya is there to catch her.
In panel 1, we see that Chaya’s father has been hurt, and she has to run to the safe den, while carrying Cherish and saving her.
It was really important to me to have a scene in the book where we get a glimpse of who Chaya is, how she came to be so skilled at combat and technology, but also have some understanding of her connection to Cherish and James Fellows prior to becoming their nanny.
So now we’re back to present time and Chaya is in Cherish’s ear echoing the same words from the flashback that she’s going to be OK and that Chaya will make sure of it.
In the last issue, we left off with this suspicious car trying to run down Cherish. And here we’re picking right back up with Cherish running from that car and using her grappling gun to get away.
But this mysterious car has a heat sensor gun, and the driver shoots at Cherish.
Only… It’s not a bullet, it’s a nanotech explosive ant. Instead of hurting Cherish, it blows up the rope that was allowing her to get away.
This is another spoiler if you haven’t read the entire series yet; this is a small important detail, this page and this scene. If you read to the end, you come to learn that this person doesn’t want Cherish dead. They’re merely trying to stop her, not kill her… hence the exploding bug and not just shooting her in the head.
Pages 6, 7, 8
Even though Cherish was not shot, she’s not in the clear yet.
While they might not want her dead, they’re also not above hurting her.
And it seems from Chaya’s conversation with Cherish that Chaya knows just who is driving that car…. Just an assassin, she claims.
But Cherish can sense that’s not the whole truth.
In all their time together, Cherish has never known Chaya to lie to her … or even keep information from her.
So when her most trusted friend—the only family Cherish has left—refuses to tell her who the woman in the car is, Cherish goes to the only other person who might know…
The man who helped them escape after her father’s murder.
After all, if he recognized her to be Cherish Fellows from the scar on her face, then it’s more than possible that other people know who she really is.
Cherish’s number one suspect at the moment is still Valerie… and for good reason. Even Garrett agrees that Valerie is highly suspicious of Cherish. But he also tries to reason with Cherish that he doesn’t think Valerie KNOWS anything… just that she’s got her eye on Cherish.
He also tries to reason with her that Connor is a good person and doesn’t deserve to be hit by the shrapnel of her mission.
While exposition pages like this aren’t always the most exciting in comic books, it was important to show readers that Garrett is an ally, but also we needed to bring Connor back in the mix and remind everyone that while he’s really falling for Cherish, he is simply a means to an ends for her.
Page 10 & 11
This two-page spread was possibly my favorite scene to write, lol.
Coming from romance novels, showing the passage of time through Cherish and Connor dating and getting to know each other was really fun! And even though as the reader, you aren’t sure if Cherish’s feelings for Connor are real or not, I’m not sure that matters here. The point is, she’s earning his trust and getting close to him with the goal of getting closer to Valerie. And I want you to not be sure how real it is for Cherish.
And amidst this scene, we see that she’s missing calls from Chaya… or rather, intentionally not answering her.
Page 12 & 13
Another couple of important pages even though they’re not filled with action!
We needed to see a passage of time and the strain that Connor’s relationship with Cherish has put on his relationship with his mother. And her distrust of “Amelia” (Cherish’s alter-ego) comes to a head with a fight here causing an even bigger rift between mother and son.
Back at the office, Cherish smells a familiar scent that you might remember from issues 1 and 2… the same tobacco scent she smelled the night her father was murdered.
And the person smoking it is in Valerie’s office.
Okay, so as I’ve talked about in previous behind the scenes posts, sci-fi and technology isn’t my biggest forte in writing! However, I was pretty impressed with my creation for this scene, haha! The contact lens hidden in her watch that gives her the ability to see through the nanobug she slips under the door… I mean, c’mon. That’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself!
And I remember the day I was writing this scene, MY contacts were itchy and bothering me and they kept falling out all day. That’s how I got to idea!
I also want to point out that she’s able to see the pipe… the pipe she saw the man who murdered her father smoking, giving her confirmation that the same person is sitting in Valerie’s office right that moment.
And the page ends with Cherish reaching out to Chaya… finally.
Page 16 & 17
Annnnd we’re back to another action scene! This man has a gun pressed to Valerie’s head and even though Valerie doesn’t seem all that threatened or concerned (her exact words are: Who do you think you are coming to my office and threatening me?), Cherish springs into action to make sure this man doesn’t hurt anyone else.
And even though Cherish knows how to kick ass, she’s supposed to be just a girl working in the office, so she’s also trying not to blow her cover. Until the end of the page when Valerie runs to get help and Cherish unleashes her full fighting power…
In trying to get him to talk and reveal who he is, she cuts off one of his fingers. But he manages to get a hard punch in with spiked brass knuckles, allowing him to escape.
If anything, Cherish jumping in to “save” Valerie from Mr. Johns (a fake name, by the way) just resulted in more suspicion being placed on her. The fact that she fought him off and lived to tell the tale no doubt has Valerie’s flags raised. Especially since, on this page, Valerie makes it clear that she was never in any real danger and Mr. Johns would have never hurt her for real.
Page 20 & 21
This scene was probably my second favorite scene to write in the issue! I really wanted the back and forth between her acting “normal” on her date with Connor reflected in the juxtaposition of what she really did earlier that evening. We relied heavily on Omi, our colorist, to shift the tone between these scenes so readers knew we were flashing back to earlier.
So on this page, she says to Connor that she ‘ran into an old friend’…
Then in the next panel, it shows just who that ‘old friend’ is that she’s talking about. And it’s Mr. Johns!
Then after a couple of panels, we’re back at the date with Connor and she’s saying that old friendship was ‘toxic’ and it was ‘time to say goodbye.’
Cut to her beating the crap out of the man who pulled the trigger and killed her father. And we learn he was a hitman for Unicon. And his next target is the man who developed the nanotech with her father.
Another fun (or maybe dark, haha) juxtaposition between her Cherish persona and her Amelia persona— in panel 1, we see that she has killed the man who murdered her dad.
And in panel 2, Connor is proposing to her!
This is why we needed the earlier scene of his family at the dinner table. Truly, his character needed a strong motivation to propose to her after only a couple of months of dating. And being passed over for a promotion by his own mother would do it for a lot of people, I think! Mommy issues, am I right?!
Cherish #3 is out now from Dynamite Comics
Hey everyone! It’s been a minute, but I’m excited to be back to talk some behind the scenes goodies forCOMICONRead More