After introducing a number of new characters (major and minor), Chadhiyana at last reappears in the book. Of course, if you haven’t figured it out yet, she was the female Tal-Ifatiir who fought and unmasked the witch (and herself) in the Prologue. Now she appears definitively in the book, and in just two weeks (following this present, short sequence) she’s finally going to speak!
I know it seems like a strange choice to wait until page 39 to have your title character’s name be spoken and have her finally appear, undisguised, but there was a method to my madness. I wanted to build up the character and create a desire in the reader to see Chadhiyana and hear her speak. (And from some comments I’ve received privately about the story, I can see I’m achieving this nicely.) Even though the reader sees her in the Prologue (so technically I’m not introducing her on page 39, and her name appears even earlier, in the Introduction) they don’t know it’s her. Even those who read the first Chadhiyana comic still might not have realised it after the character pulls off her own mask on page 20 (of this book, that is).
Of course, there is this fact to consider as well: though I’m publishing this as a web-comic, it was written as a graphic novel. For you, the reader, the story unfolds much slower than if you’d had a full, printed volume in your hands. It wouldn’t take very long to read up to page 39 under these circumstances, and it’s still only the first chapter. So while it may seem painfully slow at times, remember that a web-comic was not the intended format. I love this present format all the same, and I still hope and plan to see it collected and printed (and I’ve already been told by others that they have the same wish).
Now, Chadhiyana won’t appear on every page from here on out. Unlike the first two Chadhiyana stories, this is a graphic novel and there are other important characters in the story. Though, suffice to say there will be a lot more Chadhiyana going forward, and the reader will finally begin to see her character develop in interesting ways (to put it lightly).
I can hardly contain my excitement for what’s in store, because I know where this is all going. Chadhiyana’s return in the book is just a small landmark on this long journey. Keep reading. There’s so much more to come.