It’s Just A Shot Away
As Chapter 2 draws to a close, I have to say that this particular experience has been a very interesting one. Chapter 2, as you may or may not know (and as you would know if you reread all my posts) started out with me drawing by hand, with 2B technical lead, and, through a series of misadventures and a very expensive computer upgrade, saw 6-Commando go one hundred percent digital by the end. And this page is about as far down that road as I’ve gone so far. Frankly, I really like this one – it looks the most like my original conception of the story, a kind of “Cartoon Gone Wrong” cel-shaded look I’ve been reaching for.
Some interesting notes, now. The airplanes in panel 4 are American-made, an F-16 and an E-2D Hawkeye. They exist in the real world (obviously). They are being flown, however, by the Royal Mozambique Air Force, which does not exist: Mozambique is a republic (formerly a communist party dictatorship) which, to my knowledge, has no air force to speak of. In the 6-Commando universe, the early rise of the United Nations allowed many countries to work out their differences, at least within the UNA, and I envisioned a lot of the European monarchies establishing overseas commonwealths like the British. And so, I allowed for a Portuguese restoration, and assumed that, because there was never a militant fascist/nationalist movement in the world of 6-Commando, their colonial issues were solved peacefully, allowing nations like Angola and Mozambique to be much better developed. And so Mozambique is now independent, rather like Canada, and is a leading African member of the UNA, operating Early Warning for the atomic powers as part of the overall UNA atomic deterrent. For some reason the idea appealed to me. This peaceful decolonization was not uniformly the case, however: hence the Disrecognized Zones and the violence in the former Belgian Congo, which is what started this whole story off.
The roundels on the planes are my own invention, based on the colors of the Portuguese monarchy, the Cross of the Savior, and the triangle-in-circle device of Mozambique. It’s almost a shame it’s so small, as I rather liked the look of it. Ah, well.
On another side note, the two mainframes there are part of the crew at AADC, the United Nations’ Atomic Aerospace Defense Command. Their names are a joke you may or may not get: they’re labeled “TMSN,” my homage to “Thompson and Thomson,” the English-language names given to the Tintin characters Dupont and Dupond, who were two well-meaning but generally incompetent police detectives who were always getting in the way when Tintin and his companions had something serious to take care of. I dunno, it seemed funny to me.
Anyhow, this again is part one of a two-page spread, but not quite so critically as the previous page, since it’s a multipanel setup. But either way, I like the outcomes I’m getting from designing two pages at once, and I plan to continue the practice into chapter 3. But more about chapter 3 later. For now, this part of the story is hurtling towards its end, two weeks hence. And after that… well, we’ll just see!
The response last week, by the way, was absolutely astounding. Thanks to everyone who took time to comment! And another thing: I’ve been remiss in congratulating Joost Haakman, who recently released a children’s book in the Netherlands titled “Hop.” No, not the smarmy, predictable Disney nonsense – his actually has some genuine artistry to it! Not to diminish the hard work of the animators, but I mean… well, you know what I mean. But if you speak Dutch, see what you can do about getting a copy. And if you don’t, pester him to produce an English-language version so kids in the English-speaking world can have their chance!
And once last comment: the story on reMIND is still going: this week’s page is by Peter Hon of the comic Malden. Check out his page over at reMIND, for sure, and Malden, if you’re ready to have your mind blown by one of the most bizarrely imaginative comics I’ve ever seen!
Anyway, that’s all for now. Be well, folks, and see you next week for the penultimate page of Chapter 2!