For reasons I can’t quite articulate fully, this is one of my favorite chapter-break illustrations from the entire series. I don’t think this was an intentional callback to a similar image from the credits sequence of the anime Dirty Pair: Project Eden, which showed Kei and Yuri cavorting in giant champagne glasses, but I might be mistaken about that.
Not very forward-thinking of me, though, to depict a karaoke microphone with a trailing cord, rather than a wireless mic of the sort that was, I believe, already common in 2007. Then again, I wouldn’t actually have a direct experience of karaoke myself for another five years or so after this story, so perhaps I wasn’t fully up to speed on the concept. Ah, but once I established that the karaoke set-up in this story features wired microphones, I doggedly stuck with that idea in a very likely misplaced devotion to a minor bit of visual continuity.
No doubt fans of highly selective realism will complain about Emp’s feet being too small. Her face having no relation whatsoever to actual human anatomy is apparently acceptable, but heaven forfend that her g-d feet aren’t depicted in a strictly—ahem—“realistic” fashion. By the way, everyone should of course feel free to criticize the anatomy drawn by me—or any other artist—for aesthetic or sociopolitical or “just don’t like it” reasons. I do, however, bridle when critics selectively and hypocritically feign a deep and abiding concern about the importance of artistic realism in comics artwork. If you were really that g-d concerned about “realism,” folks, you wouldn’t be consuming fantasy media in the first place. I’m not kidding when I say that relatively inarticulate criticism such as “this just sucks” does, in fact, show more intellectual integrity than opportunistically claiming sudden concerns about “realism.” (This is, as you might guess, one of my personal comic-art hobbyhorses—or “bêtes noires,” to sound a tad more refined.) On the other hand, might well be the case that certain specific unrealistic exaggerations might jar some readers more than others; oh, well.
That being said, strictly speaking, Emp’s feet really are too short in this image, which is a peculiar bit of cartoony exaggeration that I have to admit that I don’t really care much about either way.