Tamara underwent a serious reworking from my original concept, which was a lot closer to the iconography of a traditional dominatrix, complete with whip and obvious leather. On the one hand, I’m glad we made the change, because that original model would’ve been much too close to Alisin, a character I’d already written extensively in Fans. I might’ve had some small point about how those who leave repressive religious backgrounds sometimes swing to the other extreme of sexuality, but it wasn’t really a point worth making, and the whole idea seems kind of greasy and exploitative on reflection.

On the other hand, I don’t think the concept was bad enough to merit a fresh stream of verbal abuse, with the by-now-familiar undercurrent of “Why won’t you take this seriously?” You’re right, Phil, there’s nothing ridiculous about boxing nuns and sheathed ruler-swords.

He was also angry I didn’t make this sequence about two pages longer.

(Again, there were some understandable reasons he was giving me grief. But again, we’ll save that for next chapter.)