Vote over at TWC and you can see Elias's very reasonable reaction to what his life has spiraled into
So, from the beginning of this comic, we've had two dead people kicking around in the background, and I've generally disregarded them because there wasn't a great way to be like "here's some more info on those dead people btw!" that didn't come across as "okay, but why are you bringing that up right now?" It's not really a topic that would come up when Vincent's been stolen, or when we're shopping at the mall and exploring queer lady backstories. So, here ya go! Let's get some info on some dead people. Well, most of that stuff is in next Tuesday's page.
I'm not a big fan of people dying just to die in a story. I mean, you watch some movies or TV shows and people are literally getting killed every other minute with total disregard. You've got main characters WHO YOU LIKE who just kill some bad guys and move on and there's absolutely not emotional impact on anyone whatsoever. In real life, we'd call them a sociopath, but I guess not on television. I'm sorry, Bad Guy #3 probably had a family! He had friends! Maybe he had a cat! Did you consider any of those things before brutally punching him to death? NO. Of course not. Because you're the good guy, and morality is relative when it comes to people we like, I suppose. In the end, people dying left and right feels very dramatic, maybe even entertaining in the drama of it all, but I find that kind of thing harder to watch as I get older.
And I suppose that's where some of my empathy (note: not the same as SYMPATHY) for Connie comes from, as reprehensible as she gets over the course of this story. Can she be saved and redeemed in some way? Maybe not. (Probably not.) But at the end of the day, I think having some understanding of who she is and why she is that way is ultimately what makes it easier to write her as fucking terrible. If you can't understand the logic of terrible people, how can you write them? And I've known some terrible people! (And I supplement that knowledge with way too many real crime TV shows.) There is always logic in being horrible, but that logic usually has to do with where you draw the line on the autonomy of other people and your ability to dictate their actions, feelings, and circumstances. If someone is mad at you, there are a lot of ways to make them not mad at you: get them flowers and gifts, or go the more fucked up route and convince them they're crazy for being mad at you in the first place. Both those efforts can change how the other person feels and their subsequent actions, but we're used to the first one being okay. It's okay to apologize to someone and make them feel less mad at you with presents, but it's not okay to manipulate them into thinking they shouldn't be mad in the first place, but both lead to the same end: this person is no longer mad at me. (There's an alternative option, where you sincerely apologize, take the other person's feedback on what you've done wrong, and make real efforts to change your behavior going forward, and it's much cheaper than presents.) But yeah, a terrible person isn't going to see the option to manipulate the hell out of someone as a bad option, or they might not realize they're doing it to begin with, and you can only really write a good villain if you can understand where they're coming from. Villainy doesn't make sense to a normal, moral person...but it does make sense to the villain. Their actions can't be random or you just end up with this spectre of evil that floats over your story, then gets defeated without really any emotional impact on anyone at a personal level.
On a related note, I watched an episode of Dateline the other day where a lady pretty definitely killed her ex-husband and his fiance after stalking both of them on and off for years. (He also had custody of the kids, because she was determined by the court to not be a qualified parent.) The lady then proceeded to tell her kids that no, I never did that, everyone's lying, I was in a different state!! for years, and even invited the daughter skiing at one point. She's in jail for life on two counts of murder now, but my point is this: she did a terrible thing, and then lied to her kids like nothing was wrong for years. She's a terrible person, but there's a clear logic (to her) in all her actions. It's just that to her, she has greater authority to dictate the lives, actions, feelings, and circumstances of the people around her than a normal person would. I can almost guarantee you that, even with a life sentence, she's likely still telling people she did nothing wrong and killed no one. So it goes. Her actions make sense to her brain, and the consequences for those actions probably don't.
All right, I'm off to tackle so much yard work. I have to put up some shelves in the garage, clean up the back walkway and add new sand to my pavers, and scrub down my front and back porch. Spring is here, and I'd say I'm not excited to do all that work, but that'd kind of be a lie. I love this shit.