Words and pictures of Amelie Wikstrom 2019

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In my innocence I came up with the characters of Mara and Ako: One pretty short, one enormously tall. A simple recipe for an adorable and challenging and often educational and ultimately deep and lasting romance between two people united in their outcast-ness. I gave them a backstory, showing them growing up together (well I have most of it thumbnailed out), and I gave them a normal sized friend for scale, and it keeps looking all kinds of wrong to have them being intimate with each other. That's probably something I have to work on as an artist. Meanwhile, dear reader, I'll just advise you to keep firmly in mind that Mara is an adult and in fact three years older than Ako.

And now that I've given away how Ako's relationship with Rachel will turn out before it's even been established in the comic just so you know the context in case anyone should happen to hack my computer and find those sketches, please enjoy.

As to what's happening on this actual page. That stairway is probably going to need some accessibility modifications in the near future. And such witty banter. Ako gets to make fun of Mara's height because there's love there. I wouldn't advise anyone else to try, at least not within three meter's reach of Ako. She's very agile for her size.

I thought it'd be neat to have a giant who defies the "gentle" stereotype, and so Ako is not afraid at all of breaking things or hurting people. She's very athletic, very much aware of and in control of her body, she knows how to judge how well things can take her weight, she's comfortable using her strength and speed to the highest degree that's not pushing the envelope of what her surroundings can take.

(There may be a gap in between the literal meaning and the common use of that expression here. I should explain. "Pushing the envelope" is a test pilot term referring to going PAST the safe established limits of a machine, specifically trying to break it. Going against the limits but not further than is an important distinction.)

Because, don't get me wrong, she believes that those who are strong must also be kind. But sometimes the world isn't good enough.