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The Meddlers Page 15 - Meet the Howard

Panel 1.
We are outside. It's a clear day, with no clouds in the sky. There are green mountains far away in the background. In the foreground, we can see the backs of Laurent and Elisa's heads. Elisa's waving at a man in the middleground who is facing us and waving back at her. She says "Here he is". Then, in a spiky balloon, "*Hey, Howard!*". Howard is a Caucasian man with very light blue eyes and short brown hair. He is wearing a white shirt and a blue tie under a charcoal suit, as well as black shoes. He is standing next to a road and smiling.

Panel 2.
Elisa is hugging Howard, her eyes closed and a smile on her face. He is hugging her back and Laurent is standing to the side. Howard says "Hello, there! How was your first day?"

Panel 3.
Elisa answers "It was great! This is Laurent. He's the head of the student council." She is pointing at Laurent. Howard says "Ah, nice!" Laurent waves and says "Hi."

Panel 4.
Elisa turns to Laurent and point at Howard. She says "Laurent, this is Howard. He's... well, not really my *dad*, but... kind of?" Howard jumps in, with a balloon that overlaps Elisa's without hiding any of her text. He says "I work for Elisa's parents. I take care of the kids and the house when the Learys are away..."

Panel 4.
Howard continues, holding his chin "...which is most of the time. They probably wouldn't be too happy to hear me referred to as "kind of her dad". So let's pretend I didn't hear that." Laurent is raising an eyebrow.

Panel 5.
Laurent and Howard shake hands, although she's standing in front of their hands so we only see their arms held out towards each other. Laurent says: "Nice to meet you, sir". Howard replies "Call me Howard. It's a pleasure. I'm glad to see Elisa make friends". Elisa is looking to the left, in Laurent's direction, while facing right, in Howard's direction.

Panel 6.
Howard says "Speaking of which, you mentioned two friends..." to which Elisa answers, pointing behind her, "Karishma is just about to arrive". Howard raises and eyebrow and says "Mmh?"

Panel 7.
Karishma arrives behind Laurent. His head is turned towards her. The others are off panel. Karishma has changed into jeans, a green T-shirt and a short-sleeved orange button-up shirt that she has not buttoned up. She is carrying a black sports bag with a red and grey logo. The back is about at hip-height, on her right side (our left) and a black strap is going over her right shoulder. The logo on the bag looks like two Vs, the first red and the second grey, surrounded by the dotted outline of a diamond going diagonally from the bottom left to the top right. The left half of the dotted outline is grey, the right is red. Karishma says "Hi." Howard, off-screen, says "Oh. Hello, Karishma. Nice to meet you." Karishma says "Likewise."

Panel 8.
Howard asks "Do you want to put your bag in the car? Ben might be a while." All at the same time and with a blank face, Karishma, Laurent and Elisa say "Oh, no, he's almost here." Howard, scratching his chin, says "...is he now?"

Panel 9.
Howard scratches the back of his neck with his left hand and says "Oh, you're right, now I see him." Karishma, Laurent and Elisa all look behind them without moving their heads or bodies. Howard says in a spiky balloon "*We're over here!*" while waving at Ben with his right hand. Then in a regular balloon he asks "Okay, who wants to ride in the fr-" but is interrupted by Ben who says "Shotgun!" Howard says "Nevermind".