I drew these opening pages last summer. Summer in Washington is pretty similar to Summer in Southern California, which is pretty similar to Summer in Western Australia. Those are all of the places I’ve spent the entire season. There are places where a warm summer day is 40 degrees. It’s hard to relate to that when you’re putting your shirt in the freezer so you can have a couple seconds of cold when you can finally put it back on.

At the time, I could look out my window and see Mount Rainier covered in snow in the distance. It has snow all year round, but it’s impossible to relate to that in a healthy way when you’re suffering in the heat. These pages were the same. I all I could muster was jealousy of the diver, when I was supposed to show him suffering.

It’s a lot easier to draw the snowscapes now after spending some time in some splendid 10ºF/-12ºC nights in the past couple of months. Standing on frozen puddles. Actually wearing pants instead of shorts (spending formative years in Australia did serious, lasting damage to my wardrobe).

The diver’s coldness is probably a lot more relatable today–especially if you’re in middle-to-East section of the United States. Sorry about that. I have no escapism to offer you. Maybe Alpha Flag will be more comforting in six months. Maybe it’ll be your own Mount Rainier. Let me know in July.