Ruben had been drawing as long as he could remember. It started with superheroes, then pop stars. At fourteen he discovered hardcore manga and wanted to create its worlds, its creatures. From the tips of his pens sprang girls with legs that went forever, eyes wide in baby doll faces. They could seduce in a trice or cut a mystical beast down with a swift stiletto kick. They giggled into the same palms they wielded with fury. He came to love them more than the droll suburbs of his world.

He met Wendy at a cartooning convention. She already had a strip syndicated to a number of dailies. Her drawings were crude, but she told great stories in four frames, with humour that was broad and appealing. Ruben showed her some of his fantasy stuff. She told him she had a longer story she thought might suit his style. They organised to meet.

Later that night he read the synopsis and was captivated. He spent into the early hours creating Rezka, Wendy’s heroine. As he drew and redrew her, the big eyes and the exaggerated cuteness gave way to a character—flesh and blood. It wasn’t until their meeting, next day, that Ruben realised Rezka had Wendy’s hair, Wendy’s eyes. The same tilt to her head.