This rejected strip is the genesis of the Whiteboard Dingdong Bandit storyline. It was originally going to be the last strip of the previous story — Joyce comes back to her room late at night, finds a bunch of dicks drawn on her whiteboard, erases them angrily, there’s a beat, and then she returns and draws her own.
It was a potentially funny idea, but the timing wasn’t right. I don’t think the timing could have possibly been right in five panels. There needs to be a much larger gap between her erasing them and returning to redraw one herself. In a perfect world, I woulda done like two rows and repeat that penultimate panel like a billion times. But naw, it wasn’t working.
Plus I then I thought it’d be hilarious if she accidentally drew it in permanent marker because Mike switched the pen out at some point and Joyce freaks out and draws on everyone’s and I extrapolated this whole series of things and OH HEY WHAT IF IT’S PRESENTED AS A MYSTERY
AND AMAZI-GIRL HAS TO SOLVE IT
super best idea
So I threw this comic in the trash. I repurposed some art from this strip for a new set of strips featuring Mike and Dina, to sort of prop up some potential other suspects before the mystery begins. I threw those strips in before Amazi-Girl and Dorothy had their interview, pushing that back by two days, and the rest was history.
Looking back, it’s weird that Ethan was everyone’s number-one suspect for a while, sometimes a close second. I didn’t set him up as a suspect at all!