This is a perfect example of what I was talking about with Ed Benes. I could give this scene to a dozen critical darling artists and few of them could deliver the gut-punch that this scene has, as drawn by Ed. Note the darkening of the panel when Huntress appeals to Dinah, as if the darkness is closing in. Note how he barely varies the shot distance through the entire sequence, to not allow the reader to look away as the three women endure this painful moment. I could go on…but this stuff is why I loved working with Ed. Sometimes, we got shots that were sexier than they should have been, but his acting and respect for the script was just dead on. This sequence actually made me angry at Barbara for weeks and we’d been building to it for months. Ed made it heartbreaking…what he can do with emotion is sometimes amazing.
Gets me every time.
I literally just read this part.
I wanted Babs to be right because she just wanted to help her. But I understnad why Helena felt so betrayed and I just—ieshlrghrgoigrh I WANT THEM ALL TO BE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER AND BE HAPPYYYY
Also Dick and Babs’ telephone tag. This trade is out to break my heart. (I want to hug Barbara. She has it so hard, and she just wants to do what’s right…)
It makes me sad to read it. I miss the Birds like crazy. Sigh.
That telephone tag thing is interesting. I think I’ve told this story before, but maybe not the whole story.
Devin Grayson was writing Nightwing at the time, and Devin came from the worlds of role-play and fanfic. And her connection with Nightwing was bone-deep, like mine to Barbara’s, but maybe with even less separation of author and character. She REALLY took Nightwing seriously.
I hadn’t been writing that long, I looked up to Devin tremendously (I really miss her in comics, working on that, I promise). And she had this scene in Nightwing coming up where they would miss each other on their answering machines. She asked me to write Barbara’s, to put in Nightwing, and she would write Dick’s, for me in Bop.
Devin sometimes so inhabited the characters that in our IMS and emails, she would write AS Dick Grayson, which took me totally by surprise. It sounds a little nutty, but it wasn’t, it was deadly serious, just part of her process. It was an adjustment.
So we wrote these message and they were just supposed to convey a little bit of, “miss you, love you, bye.” But we both ended up writing these very brutal, painful, raw-wound type of missed-love messages and when they are read together back to back, it’s tremendously painful, in that way when two friends are meant for each other and can’t seem to quite face it.
Because Devin took Nightwing so seriously, that scene always reminds me of Devin, who left comics for a good while not long after, so it’s really sad for me on a whole other level. But it was lovely to write the very reserved Barbara laying it out on the line. It’s very moving to me still, and I hear about it from readers a lot, I think they can sense that there was some very honest emotion, simply love of our characters, underneath those word balloons.