Alas, this Empowered page shows a minor drawback inherent to webcomic serialization of a long-form narrative that’s not ideally structured to being read at the rate of one page per day. That is, we never even see Emp on today’s page, even though she’s in the current scene! (Oh, well.) At some point, I do plan to write a few new, short-form Empowered stories strictly for the webcomic; gotta say, I’m looking forward to working with storytelling tailored specifically to this site’s daily-page format.
As you might well have ascertained from panels 4 through 7, this story of a supervillainous fatal flaw is based on my own brutalizing, deeply scarring childhood trauma of being marooned—seemingly for eternity, each time—in fabric stores. In later volumes especially, Empowered can at times turn weirdly autobiographical, though most such content is invariably so coded, disguised and dispersed among disparate characters so thoroughly that no one could distinguish the elements I’ve ported over from real life. This page’s autobio content, however, isn’t coded or disguised in the slightest, as it’s a very direct reflection of childhood experience. Seriously, fabric stores weren’t all that appalling, just very, very boring—but serious boredom to a revved-up 8-year-old really can seem to loom like a subjective eternity. (Then again, I was a bit of a twitchy youth; I’m quite glad to have predated the era of ADHD diagnoses, needless to say.)
Circa age 25 or so, I was strolling a city with a lady friend who suddenly chimed, "Hey, let's pop into this fabric store for a minute, okay?" Having avoided such stores for 15 or more years by that point, I did not receive such a suggestion kindly. One eye twitching, teeth gritted, spittle flying, I snarled back, "I'm an adult, now. I don't have to go into fabric stores any more. I DRAW THE LINE HERE!" (To paraphrase a childhood-era Charlie Daniels song: "Still in SoFro®... in my miiiiiiiiiind…")