This is one of my favourite pages in the whole series.  “Favourite” may not be the right word, as in a lot of ways it’s a difficult page to look at.  But for me this moment lies at the emotional core of Gilbert’s character, and is what I hoped would be one of the most dramatically powerful beats in the story.  Jonathan Rector and Mike Gagnon ensured that would indeed by the case by knocking it out of the park.

As a child, my grandparents helped raise me, and I was very close to them, I’m still very close to my Gran.  My Granda died recently, and before that, for many years he was in failing health, being cared for by my Gran.  And, in amidst the variety of influences from which I drew Gilbert Graham, my Gran is definitely in there in the mix, and that’s reflected here as we see his status as a primary carer of his spouse.  In my head, more than being a hero, more than being a teacher, this is what I imagine Gilbert Graham sees as his main occupation.  And it’s something many elderly people have to go through.  We don’t always take the time to think of these people, often struggling with illnesses of their own, who must also care for a loved one in even poorer condition… it can be a full time job.  And in the US, they do it with even less help than I was originally aware.  I was asking an American friend what their word is for “carer” – in the UK, an NHS employee who visits the homes of the elderly to assist them, free of charge – and he was stumped, as there is no such thing over there.  I was aghast.  As well as being marginalised and overlooked in the real world, the same often happens in fiction, so it was important for me to have this be a facet of Gilbert’s character.

This also has the distinction of being the 100th page of THE STANDARD.  Hooray!

On Friday, our Kickstarter campaign for THE STANDARD Ultimate Collection came to a triumphant close.  Our final tally was 325 backers, with $17,259 raised, over 200% of our original $8,500 goal.  Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who supported us, or who helped spread the word.  You have made this book possible.  If you missed the live broadcast we ran through the night to mark the final countdown of the campaign, you can check it out here: