And there it is.

For the first person who can tell me where the title of this page comes from, there will be a prize.

This page is about the most minimal I’ve done since the infamous White Page, but I have to say it’s also one of my favorites.  For those who want to know, although I used NASA photos for reference to draw the Earth and the Moon, this is NOT a photocomposite or other cheat: it is actually my first attempt at taking a slightly “painterly” approach with Photoshop, and though I wouldn’t say it marks a change of direction for me artistically (I’m happy with my style as it is) it seemed more appropriate, especially considering the black backdrop of space and the Milky Way.  It treads a razor’s edge between photo-realism and my established cartooniness, and I tried to pull it a little back towards the former.  Not sure it worked, as the shade and shadow is a lot softer than I normally do, but, well… it’s all a learning experience, eh?

Now, a little plug-a-rino, as has become my habit: the next page of the reMIND guest art saga is this week the product of Kim Ku, creator of Hearts and Holes.  So check out both Kim’s work and as ever, reMIND.  I have to say that the people involved in this little exercise really went into it with all they had, and the result has been terrific.  It’s still a pleasure to see these pages every week, and they have, without exception, knocked my socks off!

Last week was the best week for 6-Commando in terms of visitors and votes – as I write this, we’re ranked in the middle-150’s, and that’s the best this comic has ever done!  Again, I qualify that by saying that it’s all really functionally irrelevant in the greater scheme of things since these voting systems and ranks are entirely arbitrary, but to everyone who’s reading this for the first time: welcome, and tell your friends!

This is the last page of Chapter 2.  That makes 6-Commando the longest I’ve ever worked consistently on a single project, including some houses I’ve helped to design.  So, I guess that’s dedication, after a fashion.  And so on that note, I have looked it all over and decided that Chapter 3, or 6-Commando: Mr. Transistor, will commence, after a few weeks’ time off for me, on May 16, 2011.

Will all that spare time buy me time to get ahead on the next chapter?  Maybe.  But far more it will let me get my life in order and do some house-cleaning.  Literally: my apartment is a colossal mess; I really let things go over the winter!  I also have the Easter holiday coming up, Mother’s Day, and some other traveling I have to do around New York and New England, and it would be a real pity to start Chapter 3 with a false start, don’t you think?  I sure do.  And so there it is.

But will it all be empty void?  Far from it!  I will still catch weekly updates here, with special stuff of one sort or another which I am, even now, working on.  I can’t, after all, just STOP drawing.  It’s not in my nature.  But full-on pages and storyline take me full weekends to draw and bring to finish – that’s what I’m taking a pause from, just to try to enter the third chapter totally up to speed and in my new headspace, artistically and storywise.  However, I do urge you to check back each week as usual, as I will not be neglecting the site by any means!  Or better yet, subscribe to the 6-Commando RSS feed, to have the updates sent straight to your reader of choice.

And there you have it, folks!  Another chapter down, and we’re two thirds of the way through Part 1 of the Graphic Novel.  Thanks everyone for reading, and please stay tuned: Chapter 3 will be here before you know it!

Be well!