World Building

You may have noticed in the past year and a bit that the environments in which the boys all variously live have become a lot more defined and concrete — Doc and Ray’s long, low balcony condo, reflecting Doc’s success as a writer and script doctor; the thruple’s South Beach Deco, with more colour and pattern; Eddie’s elegant (but not too fussy) Scottish penthouse. And now, with this storyline, we’re adding in David’s little studio apartment, which has its own surprises about who this guy is.

I really enjoy this part of the strip’s construction, because it adds another, more subtle layer to their characterizations. It’s not just set dressing; all of these have been selected and textured with their occupants in mind: the industrial look of Grady’s loft, the slightly cramped pre-fab Aiko rattles around in, Elliot’s rather expansive and slightly ostentatious house… they’re all little keys to the people living there.

In years past, I played kinda fast and loose with where these guys lived, both environmentally and geographically, because the storylines were more generic (and truth be told, gag driven). But now their physical place in the world has become a bit more important, because we’re seeing life through not only their eyes, but through the society in which they live. It’s important for me to remember, for the moment, that Mik and Kai and Al live in New England (Vermont, actually), although it’s never really mentioned all that much in the strip. Still, living in that particular state colours a good chunk of their experience, which in turn plays out in how they view things. It’s important that Elliot and Gilles are in Québec City, not Montréal, because QC is a deeply French town, and Elliot still struggles with that from time to time. And it’s likewise important to know that Eddie has homes on three continents, as well as Gilles’ little pied-à-terre in Paris… just because he can.

Not important for you — save in remembering who lives where — but very much so for me. Eddie’s London flat, for example, went through three or four iterations before I finalized on the look… and it’s all in the tiny little details that probably no one but me sees. And that’s fine. It’s all about making everyone feel comfortable.