“I wanted a Black lady. I think the exact words I used were, ‘Cool, mirror, dope, darker skinned black lady. Lisa [Sterle], is there a way we can do kind of disco-inspired?’ Because disco balls and mirrors are awesome.”
It was also the chance for Lore to tell a story about a non-binary hero who wasn’t defined by their appearance. That was something Lore could relate to as a non-binary person who loves makeup and colors but was worried about not being percieved as non-binary due to the connotation of those things being “femme.”
“This ended up being super personal for a funny slice-of-life thing,” Lore says. “There’s a lot of discussion about what being non-binary means visually. That was actually something that I struggled with for a very long time. So it was important for me to write Jess as non-binary, as someone who is not restricted by being more or less femme or more or less masculine, more or less androgynous. Sometimes it’s just, ‘Oh, I feel like this today,’ and that was the fun and the secret seriousness of doing a day in the life for Jess.”
Sina Grace was given the task of writing for the villain-turned-hero known as the Pied Piper. The story follows Pied Piper as he comes across a young copycat vigilante (and new character), Drummer Boy. Just like Lore, Grace saw the superhero trappings as a way of exploring a personal journey that he’d gone on himself.
“I was able to talk about two different generations, with two different approaches for how to get things done,” Grace explains. “I really wanted to use a character like Pied Piper – who was once a bad guy and is now a good guy – against Drummer Boy, who is like Gen Z to a fault, and have them really get into what it means to be responsible for your community.”
That thread was one that deeply resonated with Grace, who connected it to the conversations that he had with himself about his ideals as a young person and the way that he felt that younger version of himself might view him now.