Tuesday, 21 February 2017

"HEROES OF GODWINSON" "The Mermen's White Death" - Part One Post Two

Ordinarily I try extremely hard not to use a simple "Twenty Four Hours Later..." caption and then immediately return to the characters my narrative was focusing upon beforehand. I much prefer to depict the advancement of time by concentrating on another event, even if only lasts for a panel or two. On this occasion however, I really needed to hurry the super-heroes arrival on the oil rig, so they'd be somewhat settled with the lead driller before the episode's imminent cliff-hanger.

Bearman is undoubtedly one of my favourite characters and was actually created a year earlier in a different series called "Alternate Heroes". As a result, if you compare his face with that of the story's supporting cast you'll spot that its a slightly different shape due to my utilisation of the older drawing of him.

Without any warning Rig Hope falls under attack. But just what can Bearman and Lady Luck against a seemingly angry sea-bed.!?!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

"HEROES OF GODWINSON" "The Mermen's White Death" - Part One Post One

Written and pencilled in July 2007, this opening scene, set aboard a North Sea Oil Rig, follows the basic formula I like to employ for most of my super-hero stories, by immediately making the audience aware that there is a problem which the titular characters are going to have to fix. In this case the British Government are expecting great things from Rig Hope, but the project is clearly encountering difficulties.

This sequence also let me utilise a great photograph of an oil rig to start the adventure off with, and utilise a similarly authentic picture as a background for the interior panels. I was clearly having fun working on this four-parter as I actually had to stop drawing it for a while in order to give me time to finish the script.

With Rig Hope falling behind schedule, Bearman and Lady Luck are parachuted in to ensure nothing more sinister than harsh drilling conditions is the cause...  

"THE RAMBLER" "Slaying Of The High King" - Part Four Post Three

This concluding segment to "Slaying Of The High King" is a little disjointed, as I wanted the Rambler's placation of Danny to be interrupted by Brodir's arrival at Brian Boru's prayer site. With hindsight though, I think the sequence is a mistake, and it would probably have made more sense to have the story end with the High King's final moments rather than the time-traveller's colourful departure.

What I was pleased with though is the fact that, for once, I was actually able to have the Beorge Agent inform the audience as to what 'historically' happened after the events he participated in. I always enjoy providing this additional closure; albeit the explanation is somewhat rushed in these final panels.

British North Sea Oil operations are under attack from a mysterious assailant, and the Department of SO10 are called in to investigate. But can a were-bear and a lady capable of manipulating fortune really get to the bottom of a plot which has lain on the ocean bed since the Second World War?

All will be revealed in the "Heroes Of Godwinson" adventure "The Mermen's White Death"...

Saturday, 18 February 2017

"THE RAMBLER" "Slaying Of The High King" - Part Four Post Two

This is a particularly dark moment for the protagonist, as he acts in order to allow the loss of life rather than to actually save one - not a terribly heroic thing to do. This seemingly 'heartless' response to Hook's meddling really reinforces the Rambler's crucial role in ensuring the smooth flow of Earth's Time Stream and sets a standard of potentially callous-looking behaviour I occasionally later tap into for my stories.

Mister Hook's recovery from a "mere Himalayan Flesh Wound" is the start of an ongoing joke which runs through several of the character's appearances over the next few years. Those familiar with narrative to "The Yeti Hunters" will know that the enemy time agent suffered far more extensive injuries than just a few scratches, but such an inconceivable recovery seems to be something the villain can conjure up again and again...

Having previously fled to the woods following his contest with Wolf the Quarrelsome, Brodir discovers a helpless Brian Boru, and decides to have his revenge.

Friday, 17 February 2017

"THE RAMBLER" "Slaying Of The High King" - Part Four Post One

I was very pleased with how these four frames open this adventure's final episode, as they start to bring together a number of plot-threads, as well as add an anachronistic M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle and the enemy time agent Hook into the mix. Indeed, up until Longphort produces the American weapon, made famous by World War Two, it looks as if Brian Boru is simply going to die whilst praying; something this entire tale has been heading towards since its start.

Hopefully, this sequence also conjures up a real conundrum for the audience's sympathy, in that the series' hero, the Rambler, is making a stand for the smooth flow of time and thereby going to allow Brian Boru to die, whilst the story's villain, someone who readers of the previous adventure "The Yeti Hunters" will already recognise as an 'evil piece of work', is actually trying to save the High King's life!?!

As Longphort reveals himself to be the enemy time agent Mister Hook and takes aim at the Rambler with his M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle, Danny must decide whether to save his time-travelling companion's life and allow Brian Boru to meet a most grisly end...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

"THE RAMBLER" "Slaying Of The High King" - Part Three Post Three

This quartet of frames is predominantly about just how fickle some of the time-traveller's adventures can be and rather nicely demonstrates one of the darker sides of the titular character; in that he isn't always present to ensure that 'good' people survive. I rather enjoy depicting this aspect of the Rambler as it hopefully makes such stories stand-out from the norm.

In addition Brian Boru and his bodyguard's frame provides yet another 'historic' insight into the Battle of Clontarf by referring to the plight of the High King's Dublinmen, who died whilst crossing the river Liffey. With hindsight this particular tale is overloaded with such 'snippets', but at the time of its writing I wanted to populate as much of its dialogue with as many ancient Irish excerpts as I could.

As Longphort desperately tries to convince his sovereign to take up arms against his mortal enemy, the Rambler discovers that the King's noble bodyguard knows far more about weaponry than an ancient Irishman should... 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

"THE RAMBLER" "Slaying Of The High King" - Part Three Post Two

All four of these frames continue my narration of the Battle of Clontarf with varying degrees of success. The Rambler's sequence with Danny at least now gives the duo some additional purpose rather than simply stay out of harms way; something which they could so easily do if the Beorge Agent just 'jumped' time zones.

Longphort's account of the fighting to Brian Boru is potentially more confusing as their almost 'Homeric' dialogue is crammed full of different notable warriors of the period, most of whom have met some grisly end. Their scene does however reaffirm one of this adventure's central plots, that the High King refused to fight himself during this conflict as, in his mind, it was a day of prayer.

As the Rambler and Danny battle their way through formidable Viking warriors in a desperate attempt to reach Brian Boru, the time-traveller reveals just what must occur in order to ensure the smooth flow of time...