SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting today, John Waltrip and I are making Rip and Teri, our first major collaboration, available as an ebook on Amazon (colors by David Willis). A retired superspy’s past resurfaces in the form of four different enemies chasing him down, so he goes on the run to protect the sheltered, small-town schoolmarm he was ready to marry. One small hitch in his plan: she joins the chase. Old-fashioned escapist thrills meet (fair warning) provocative, disturbing imagery.

The key to diplomacy is recognizing what your interlocutors need and want. Frigg’s pride is basically all she has, and it’s been badly wounded. If Syr’Nj had said one thing that suggested Frigg did owe them, that Frigg can’t just beat the hell out of everything ever, this wouldn’t have worked. Sometimes you need to let people have their delusions, even if you suspect that somewhere deep down, they know the truth.

This is still one of my favorite scenes Phil and I co-wrote (I forget how it broke down, but I know parts are mine and parts are his), and that “eye to eye/shoulder to shoulder” bit (which is Phil’s) is as sticker-worthy as any of the slogans we actually used on our stickers. That said, it did get a minor edit from Erica, who felt the gauntlet would be redundant if it were offered alongside the mace in that last panel.

Of course, Byron’s sartorial changes are going to make standing shoulder to shoulder with him more hazardous.