Here we have the first mention of the mystery of missing girl Jacqueline Harris, a story which will play an increasingly significant role throughout the first half of THE STANDARD.  It’s funny, even before I wrote AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE, the idea of missing or endangered kids was this recurring theme that kept on popping up in my work.  We see it at work here, and in other areas, throughout THE STANDARD.  It popped up in BLACK LEAF (a comic whose first chapter I self-published for release here in Scotland, which I hope to eventually get back to), and it also appeared in some of my early unpublished scripts.  Indeed, before I started working on AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE with Iain, I’d made a vow to stop working it into my stories before it became a trope… evidently I was unsuccessful!  I guess it’s just something I find really affecting and upsetting, and so it’s something that sits near the fore of my mind when trying to create that effect in readers.

I think a missing child is something particularly potent to create turmoil within Alex Thomas, too.  This isn’t a massive, world-level threat, it’s something deeply personal, and yet for all his power, The Standard can’t solve this case.  After all the sponsorship deals and reality TV appearances, here’s his chance to be a real hero, to make the world a better place even for one broken family… and he can’t do it.  And this haunts him, eats away at him.  As we’ll discover a little later on, this case also as a personal resonance for Alex.

I enjoyed writing this conversation between Alex and Bill.  If I struggled a bit with Alex’s voice in his previous appearance, it was here where I think I got more into the groove of writing him, I got a firmer grasp on what makes him tick and the pain behind everything he does.

And yes, the diner is called “The Lees Diner,” named after me.  That wasn’t in the script, it was a sneaky addition by Jonathan Rector.

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