For some reason, drawing people saluting is incredibly difficult for most cartoonists I’ve seen. I really don’t know why this should be the case. The worst I ever saw was in the otherwise-excellent comic Ministry of Space. It was so laughably wrong I had to wonder what makes this basic hand gesture so difficult to draw. Then I started my own military comic, and I found out. It’s just hard to get right. Too close to the forehead, too far away, wrong angle of the arm, the forearm, the hand, it’s just HARD to draw. It’s also usually being drawn by someone who’s never had to do an actual military salute, so they don’t know the real motion involved. I have even seen people doing “pretend” salutes that involve a lot of hip and waist motion, more like a swagger. But at any rate, I finally think I’ve managed, with a lot of studying of photos and a lot of practice, to get this pretty close to the mark.
I fought the temptation to push up a lot of exposition that happens in this chapter, and to condense it for the sake of making the whole thing “clearer.” This chapter more than the others has pushed home the genuine limitations of the format I’ve chosen, because it makes each given week seem like the end of the story, so to speak. But I resisted, and so this whole thing is going to unfold as I originally planned. It’s getting weird, I know, but bear with it. As I keep saying, “I’m going somewhere with this.”
By the way, what Dr. Haakman is saying here about neutrophils is not exactly true. Neutrophils are blood elements that induce an inflammation response around infections and foreign bodies, as a “first response” in advance of a slower but more complete phagocytic white blood cell attack. As I understand it, the only way someone’s body would completely stop producing neutrophils would be if they had no bone marrow left at all, which would basically mean nearly instant death because you’d have no blood cells at all. But this was a more dramatic way of phrasing it so I thought some artistic hyperbole would be in order.
Anyhow, I wanted to toss in a special note of thanks this week to Elsa Kroese and Charlotte English, who create the excellent and visually spectacular comic Spindrift, for linking to 6-Commando. Elsa, especially, has been a kind and generous booster of my humble comics efforts, and I owe her a real debt of gratitude for that. Spindrift is an epic fantasy comic with an amazing artistic aesthetic that I strongly recommend to everyone here – it is TOP NOTCH in every sense of the word. I also want to direct everyone’s attention, also, to the new “links” page above, where in addition to Spindrift, you’ll fins links to several other excellent comics I read regularly. All the creators there have been an enormous help and support to 6-Commando, so please, show them a little love in return – their work is amazing, without exception, and I strongly recommend it to you all!
And also, I’ve tossed up a sketch of something I’ve been working on as a voting incentive over at topwebcomics.com. Hope you like it! Not sure what I’m going to do with it at the moment, maybe a desktop wallpaper or a poster or something. But yeah. Check it out.
For now, however, I must return to my rooms. This is going to be a REALLY busy week – one of the busiest I’ve had in a while, actually – so I have to get some sleep in advance of my labors. All the best, folks!