The first page of Split City Blues is an introduction to one of the novels' locales - Maledice Station, the disused subway station on the edge of Under where our heroine (Stella) grew up. It is also one of the most common ways to open a detective story - with the murder. On page 1, Stella's aunt Francis (the victim) has a fight with her adopted son (the suspect), the lights in Maledice Station go out, and a Silk attacks. Page 1 ends in the dark, both literally and figuratively.  You've got no idea what's happened to any of the characters, but you do know that whatever did happen was BAD. 

Here's some sketches for the fight between Francis and Jace. 


I attempted to, but then gave up on, the idea of drawing flickering lights. My attempt mostly reads like someone flicking on and off the lights.  If anyone has any ideas on how to execute flickering lights on paper, I'd love to see them. 

Starting to build out the station.  Tattered sofas, shelves with specimen jars, spelunking equipment, etc.  The space should be cluttered - after all, it's Francis' home but also her lab. Tuna, the enormous lizard-dog that becomes Stella's companion, is in the lower right-hand corner. 

Figuring out how to make the space look dark without using all kinds of delicate shadows is hard.  I need to be good at shadows if I'm going to draw a comic that takes place mostly underground.  More practice, I guess!