Locke has a girlfriend?
Hey look! Locke has a girlfriend and she's an underdeveloped stock manic pixie dream girl character! Lucky guy!
Aside from the rooftop dinner which is rote AF (again consider my source material) this scene could be way less authentic. See, 2003 Tim had yet to experience a long-term relationship and all of his ideas of romance were taken from movies. (This is an important distinction from 2021 Tim whose ideas on romance are all taken from TV shows.) Anyways, the dialogue here is sweet enough even if it is a little much. I mean this is a rom-com after all.
Funfact: I did not call this story a romcom when I wrote it. I was 24 and that would be lame. You know what's lame 2003 Tim? Being insecure and not admitting that love is cooler than Rambo. (*Adds Love is Coooler than Rambo to list of t-shirt ideas.*
So, yes, this page is a psych out. If you look closely you can tell because Locke doesn't have lines under his eyes. Nice attention to detail there, 2003 Tim. Also way to draw your own obsession with bowling shirts into your story, 2003 Tim.
But is this pure fantasy or a dream as memory? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...
Locke is my id and so of course he hates mornings too. (Amirite?) I actually remember exactly what I was drawing inspiration from on this page and it is this Calvin and Hobbes strip:
Locke's morning scowl was definitely based on that.
So here we have more illusions to Locke having some problems with the mob in his past and bit about his origin. I mean what kind of comic book character would he be without dead parents? Dramatic comic book tropes aside this narration does kind of underscore that Locke's constant desire to impress the girls is actually born of being a pretty lonely guy.
After making some coffee and NOT doing the dishes the plot gets going! Why did someone steal that figurine? Why did they leave the stand? Is it so I could illustrate that it was stolen? YES!
Let's just pause the plot for a little crude humor, shall we? Meet Mortimer. He's Locke's hacker guy because all cool jewel thieves need a hacker guy because that's nerd stuff that you hire a nerd for. Where is his hand in panel 7? I'm not sure. You decide.
Just a touch of that Looney Tunes style physical comedy in panel here too. Mad at the World had the most of that sort of influence but it still pops up here and there.
OMG! Mort has a All Your Base Are Belong To Us shirt! Not only did I forget he wore that I forgot all about that phrase. If you're not familiar, YOU'RE WELCOME.
The irony joke here is okay as are all of the talking heads. That was never my favorite thing to draw and while I did get better over the course of the series you can frequently see me getting bored with it.
NEXT WEEK: DUCK HUNT! (Really.)