Hey, it’s the “Reverse Guild!” We’ll get to each of them in detail later on, but first let’s talk setting. Because boy, did Phil and I ever talk setting.

I wanted the battle to take place on some long ribbon-shape or -shapes of wood protruding a long, long way out from the shoreline, not the stone walk along the shore’s edge we see here. I had a lot of experience with docks, having grown up on the beach and attended summer camp and family vacations on other beaches, so I felt like I knew what I was talking about, and I thought the narrow terrain would make things extra perilous for our heroes once the battle got underway. (This painting is of the dock at Camp Sea Gull, which particularly inspired my thinking.)

I wasn’t anticipating Phil having any problems with this, but it clearly bothered him quite a bit. We ended up discussing it at length in the pre-dawn morning, time I had been hoping to spend getting some extra sleep before I got on a plane to join him (and Erica, for what I think was the last time) at a convention. Best I can remember, his primary objection was that these guerillas couldn’t have been spreading chaos for as long as it took Bandit and the others to arrive and still be off the coast: they’d’ve been working their way back from the shore to attack bystanders. And I can sort of see that, but they could’ve been working their way through multiple docking sites… okay, maybe that’s not the most likely option, but still. I also had to spend a lot of time convincing him that docks could go as far out as in the picture here.

Phil was almost always the more devoted set designer of the two of us: I really tried to match his dedication here, but that messed with our division of labor a little.

The compromise we eventually reached was that Northport could exist the way I designed it, as long as the fight itself began on terra firma. Most of this scene was fun to do and is fun to look back on, but I always end up thinking, “Man, those friggin’ docks.”