Wednesday, 29 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part Three Post Three

These four panels are another attempt to establish that the Cosmic Custodians have been together for a while, and as a result there is some tension within the group due to past adventures. I also wanted to show Sagittarius' short temper and again demonstrate Tortoise-Shell Eddie's mischievousness.

The composition for these frames was a reasonably swift process as for most of the panels I was re-using previously drawn figures. However I badly ran out of room with the dialogue, something I now ensure fits the balloons, so there are several ellipses and the episode even ends mid-way through one of the dark-skinned celestial bear-worshipper's rants.

Capable of crushing a man's skull with his bare hands, has an irate Sagittarius succeeded in eliminating his fellow Custodian Galaxian, when an army of Glooms failed to do so..?  

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part Three Post Two

I really wanted to show just how calculating and mad Senator Somerville really was, and thought the United States government keeping a few nuclear missiles 'off the record' was a fairly plausible plot. I also wanted to ramp up the action on board Air Force One, as it had become the 'wordier' of the two storylines, so had the Glooms 'piggyback' themselves aboard the plane using Galaxian's teleportation frequency. I'm not sure just how clear that explanation is though as I found myself quickly running out of room for the senator's speech.

The 'longshot' of Sagittarius and Tortoise-Shell Eddie was simply an excuse to show off the strengths of the two Custodians and illustrate the carnage the two heroes were capable off. I also wanted to illustrate some of their interplay with one another. Sagittarius being a star-worshipping killer who sees all his victims as little more than sacrifices to his interstellar bear-god, and Eddie being a far more measured, realistic individual, who is also somewhat mischievous when it comes to his colleague's low intelligence. Unfortunately the "Dadadada" sound effect makes it somewhat unclear that the giant tortoise's mini-gun actually extends from inside his carapace. Indeed its probably hard to even see he's carrying such a heavy weapon.

Swamped by Glooms, can Sagittarius and Tortoise-Shell Eddie survive long enough for Galaxian and Mistress Tendril to come to their aid. And when they do, what welcome will the cavalry receive..?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Mooretoons - "Doctor Who" - Gallifrey

Top: The Doctor defeats a giant lizard in "Orckingdom".     Bottom: The TARDIS captures Ian the Were-Lizard.
I have tapped into quite a few sources of inspiration for my ‘original’ “Doctor Who” comic stories but possibly one of the strangest was my liking for the 1984 David Lean drama film “A Passage to India”, which I rented out on video immediately upon its release. The idea of exploring a strange land with a mysterious ancient history seemed like a cracking idea for a story so I simply replaced the British Raj for the planet of the Timelords and threw the TARDIS crew into an adventure which would illustrate the home-world of the Doctor.

Written as a direct sequel to “Orckingdom”, “Massage to Gallifrey” is a six-page tale which sees the elderly time traveller return to his people in order to obtain a cure for Ian Chesterton; who has been transformed into a were-lizard. Despite a rather action-packed opening, which involves the TARDIS itself incarcerating a homicidal Chesterton and the Doctor dodging the laser beams of the Chancellery Guard, things soon peter out and become rather dull. I clearly tired of the entire idea and quickly curtailed the TARDIS crew’s exploration of Gallifrey by having them all captured and sentenced to death by the Timelords midway through the adventure.
Top: The TARDIS lands on Gallifrey.     Bottom: The Timelords and Chancellery Guard.
Even an attempt to explain the motivation behind the Doctor’s travels through a series of flashback panels is soon replaced by my simply drawing the character alongside a huge word balloon. The artwork also deteriorates as my figures significantly increase in size in order for most of the panels to simply depict their heads.

However, all is not entirely lost with the story, as the ‘look’ of the Gallifreyans' ceremonial attire would remain for as long as I drew my “Doctor Who” comic strips, and there is a definite smoothing out of the mouth area for the majority of my characters; a significant step closer to the way I draw my figures these days. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part Three Post One

As mentioned in a previous posting, these panels containing Mistress Tendril had to be extensively redrawn following my decision to significantly change the appearance of the character. However this did provide me with the opportunity to try out a few ideas as to what weapons she would use during the stories.

Originally I'd conceived her as simply using multiple swords, but found four blades really cluttered up a frame. I then tried a single morning star and a laser pistol, but this combination did not really seem to work either. I then thought that as I’d already drawn Mistress Tendril’s tentacles, it would hopefully be fun if she simply battered and ‘suckered’ her opponents into submission.

Ordinarily I usually draw my figures carrying a scroll of paperwork when I want to illustrate the point that they have received information. In the third frame I thought this would look rather ridiculous though, as the Custodian’s spaceship would surely send down the results of any scan to Galaxian in a more sophisticated way. As a result I quickly sketched out a portable scanner display. Admittedly it is rather large and bulky, but I wanted the reader to be able to see something of what was being shown on the device’s screen.

Air Force One is protected by an ECM Electric Defence Measures System. But if Galaxian can teleport General Marietta aboard, then surely the Glooms can do so as well..? And just how goes the fight with Tortoise-Shell Eddie and Sagittarius against the alien invaders..? 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part Two Post Three

These final four panels to this second part of "Gloom Of The Glooms" introduce a favourite stereotypical character of mine, the maniacal statesman; in this case Secretary Somerville. It also gave me the opportunity to re-use the teleportation effect I'd drawn for the previous episode and apply it to General Marietta.
The last panel actually had me in two minds as to how to show that the intense fighting in the Pentagon was already badly damaging the building. Initially I considered drawing a long-shot of the Custodians and security forces blasting away at the aliens, but as so much of the story had already consisted of such 'footage', and I knew there was plenty more to come, I went with this exterior illustration instead, threw in some sound effects of the battle taking place inside and simply 'bookended' the frame with Somerville's insane plan of imminently nuking the building.
Desperately rescuing evacuees in the Washington Metro Pentagon Station, Galaxian and Mistress Tendril realise they have an even bigger danger arriving from above...

Monday, 20 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part Two Post Two

The opening panel finally depicts the entire Cosmic Custodians super-team, albeit it will be some time yet before all of their 'special talents' are revealed. However I did want to give some indication as to the character of the upright walking (and as shown later talking) tortoise and what role he will be playing in both this and future stories.
I also needed to establish that some additional subplots were going to be taking place on board Air Force One and the Pentagon basement. The action has already dwelt a bit long in one place concentrating on General Marietta and I always find it a useful technique to depicts events occurring elsewhere during a comic strip in order to hopefully help break up any monotony. In addition its a very good strategy if you want to imply the passage of time at a separate location without actually having to draw it.
For those who have an interest in planes, the photograph of Air Force One is of a Boeing 747. I actually used the (public domain) interior plans of President Obama's modified B747-200B to fill in some of the details as to what the plane can actually do for this adventure.
The White House has been overrun by the Glooms, but the President of the United States is safely aboard Air Force One. But it isn't the nation's Commander-In-Chief who is leading the fight against the alien invaders and the madman who is will seemingly stop at nothing to eradicate the extra-terrestrial menace. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Mooretoons - Some More Early Original "Doctor Who" Monsters

Top: The Dekkarian astronaut Dallos.     Bottom: The Earth is invaded by Chang Fang's Toilet Tube Army.  
Inspired by the 1986 UK video release of Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor adventure "Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks", as well as a rather impressive-looking astronaut action figure I owned, I wrote "The Daleks Return" simply to introduce the Dekkarians into my 'Mooretoon' world of "Doctor Who". Essentially they were created as a space-faring alternative to the British television science fiction series' extremely popular UNIT (Unit Nations Intelligence Taskforce) family and the anti-Dalek taskforce consisted of Captain Derek Manning, his trusty number two Dallos and a Rambo-like soldier called Botreil. However the four-page plot of the team almost single-handedly dispatching an entire spacecraft full of Terry Nations' 'pepperpots' didn't really work and it would be some considerable time before the Dekkarians would make a return.
To be fair "Invasion Of The Toilet Tubes" marked the start of a serious decline in my "Doctor Who" story telling and came at a time when I was seemingly struggling to both draw consistently and with much enthusiasm for the stories I was writing. In a nutshell the Earth is successfully invaded by a race of giant toilet tubes lead by their king, Chang Fang. The Doctor tricks a group of the cardboard aliens into chasing him through the TARDIS and 'drowns' them in the swimming pool. In the meantime companions Barabara Wright and Ian Chesterton distract Chang Fang long enough for the Earth resistance to kill the toilet tube King.
Top: Barbara Wright is captured by Orcs.     Bottom: Ian Chesterton battles a Werewolf.
"Orckingdom" was an attempt to combine two of my main hobbies together; cartooning and 'Dungeons & Dragons'. Unfortunately I quickly ran out of ideas whilst drawing the four-pager, and what started as a possible run of stories set within a fantasy world of goblins, wolfmen and lizard creatures, turned out as simply a series of set-pieces where Ian Chesterton and the (First) Doctor encountered a werewolf, a lizardman and some warty orcs; all in order to save Barbara who had once again been captured at the start of the story.
The plot was so rushed that I apparently forgot to even include fellow TARDIS companion Viki (or as it should have been Vicki) in the story until the last few panels. However the tale would lay the foundation for the next adventure; a six-pager which saw the Doctor return to Gallifrey and introduce my version of the Timelords...  

Thursday, 16 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part Two Post One

On the face of it this was a reasonably simple quartet of panels to draw. I wanted to show a bit more of the Glooms and their laser pistols, prove to the General that the aliens were real and show that Galaxian was actually a human; thus he momentarily takes his helmet off. I also thought that having 'proper eye contact' with the General would help the 'intergalactic interloper' more easily convince the old soldier that he was 'a good guy'. There's also a bit of a hint as to Galaxian's origin story hidden within the General's dialogue. Something I plan to cover in a future 'flashback' adventure.
Unfortunately at this point I had a moment of doubt as to how well the look of Mistress Tendril worked for the cartoon. As a result I swiftly provided some finished drawings of her alongside a rough pencilled alternative sketch to my 'greatest critic' and had all my fears and doubts confirmed. There were too many tentacles and she looked far too similar to an "Alternate Heroes" villain of mine called 'the Hooded tentacle'. This was actually unsurprising as Mistress Tendril, up until this point, was the only one of the Custodians I hadn't drawn from scratch, In fact in my haste to get her ready I had simply 'retouched' an old Hooded Tentacle drawing...
The Mistress Tendril in these panels therefore is an entirely new drawing, complete with four arms; albeit they're hidden by word balloons for these frames. I also took the opportunity to draw some new firearms for both the Glooms and Galaxian, as originally they were wielding previously created hand-weapons. However all this 'creativity' came at a cost, as I had to completely recompose all the panels featuring Mistress Tendril and redraw her teleportation effect.
As alien lasers fly around the Pentagon, General Marietta needs to decide whether to trust the Cosmic Custodians and then inform the President of the United States of his decision...   

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part One Post Three

In many way this entire first episode, and certainly the penultimate three panels, are all about setting the scene for the final frame - the arrival of the Cosmic Custodians. When writing this story I wanted the cliff-hangers to be especially good, and was somewhat torn between either having the aliens not appear until the last shot or have the heroes arrive at the last minute.
In order to get the action going as quickly as possible I had already written for the Glooms to be seen shooting up the Pentagon. This therefore left me with little choice but I was still in something of a dilemma as its always a bit of risk having a new serial start and you don't actually see the main characters until you're already a quarter of the way through the story.
The final panel took quite a bit of time to draw, as having pencilled, inked, scanned and then redrawn Mistress Tendril and Galaxian, I then had to erase most of my lining in order to create a simple outline for the teleportation effect. Having scoured the internet for a suitable effect, I eventually decided to superimpose some somewhat translucent light beams over my drawings to give the impression of them materialising in front of the General and his military staff.
What the last frame doesn't show is that all four Cosmic Custodians have actually teleported into the Pentagon. However the sudden appearance of Tortoise-Shell Eddie and Sagittarius do not become evident until Part Two. If I had my time again with this story I would probably therefore re-draw this scene, either resizing the final panel to include the entire super-team or cutting some of the dialogue from the earlier panels, and extending the last frame to encapsulate the entire bottom of the page.
The Cosmic Custodians have arrived. But why should the American Military trust the fate of the Earth to three more aliens and an arcade-machine obsessed Human..?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part One Post Two

Having set the scene in the first four panels, I wanted to leap straight into the action with the next few frames. As a result I threw in loads of laser beams ripping in between my characters and had the aliens, the Glooms, make a very early appearance. These scenes were actually re-drawn several times, as at one point I actually wanted to scale down the size of my figures in order to show off more of the mayhem the aliens were causing. In the end though I reverted back to these 'standard-size' characters and just filled each panel with as much movement and sound effects as I could muster. They're very cluttered as a result but hopefully this also imparts to the reader just how busy things are in the Pentagon during the initial stages of the alien's attack.
As aforementioned, I really wanted to get this story finished quickly, and as a result some of the figures are from some quite old former Mooretoons. A few I redrew (such as the more modern grey camouflage for the soldiers) but others appear exactly as they were originally drawn and to my eye it shows. However as the initial panels had already taken far longer than I'd wanted, I simply went with them. In hindsight this was actually a wise decision as I'd encounter some serious hurdles in the pages to come...
The President has left the White House for the safety of Air Force One but will General Marietta depart the Pentagon to join his Commander-in-Chief? Perhaps something 'Cosmic' about to happen...  

Monday, 13 October 2014

"COSMIC CUSTODIANS" Gloom Of The Glooms - Part One Post One

This particular science-fiction adventure was both written and then drawn in just a few weeks. It’s the first in a series of tales I’ve been sketching this year in order to scratch a ‘super-hero team in outer space’ itch I’ve recently been having. As I wanted to get the ‘introductory’ story out quickly I’ve utilised characters from a variety of older Mooretoons, and simply ‘tweaked them’ here and there. As a result it let me rattle through the panels fairly fast despite some quite major hiccups along the way.
As I didn’t simply want the plot to be a typical ‘this is how the heroes obtained their super-powers’ storyline, I went with a standard Earth gets invaded theme, and brought the Custodians in as an already established super-group who were determined to save the planet. Setting the tale on our planet was advantageous because as it let me re-use a load of military figures I’ve previously drawn and established that Galaxian, Mistress Tendril, Tortoise-Shell Eddie and Sagittarius were all part of the same super-hero universe I’ve created in series such as “Alternate Heroes”, “Heroes of Godwinson” and “Men of Mystery”.
The initial few panels are designed to set the scene of the half-asteroid half-alien space-ship coming into orbit of the Earth and settling above the United States of America’s Pentagon. I wanted to try and draw something a little different for the Gloom’s craft and I can’t help feel that it didn’t work out as well as I’d liked.
The satellite also took some reworking, as my actual drawing was much larger than it appears, and literally dwarfed the alien’s vessel. As a result it had to be scaled down significantly in size, so a lot of the detail I put into its panelling and exterior computers has been lost.
An alien invasion of the Pentagon is about to begin. But it’s not the only American military building the extra-terrestrials have targeted…

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mooretoons - More Early Original "Doctor Who" Monsters

Many of my original “Doctor Who” cartoon monsters were inspired by the toys and games I was playing with in the early Eighties. The most prominent of these creatures was the Magma, a large carnivorous race of aliens who dwelt on the volcanic planet of Maglang. Unsurprisingly these terrors were based upon an especially big toy figure which I often used as an adversary whilst playing Doctor Who with my “Kenner” Star Wars action figures. It was therefore probably inevitable that my adventures with the plastic monster would transfer over to the inked page, but never did I anticipate that the Magma would feature in three of the first five stories I drew during my second phase of cartooning.
Interestingly the artwork to “Magma”, “Magma’s Return” and “Magma’s Curse” is especially detailed for its time, as I used a phenomenal amount of line-shading in almost every panel. This ‘technique’ would remain as part of my drawing style until I moved to a graphics editor on a computer, and even today I still utilise such line-work for scenery such as bushes and snow mounds. However I have never used it as exclusively as I did during this particular period in the evolution of the Mooretoons look.
This was however also a time when I tried to start adding some detail to my backgrounds, and this can clearly be seen in the six-page story “The Carrots”, a tale which followed directly on from the first appearance of the Magma. Inspired by the 1964 Doctor Who television serial “Planet of Giants”, I thought it’d be fun to have the TARDIS crew land in a supermarket shopping trolley, and then, having fallen out, desperately try and find their way back. However mid-way through the story I introduced the Karrots, an alien race of mind-reading vegetables who attempt to trick the First Doctor into letting them enter the TARDIS.
The story is rather forgettable, as you can probably imagine, apart from the fact that I kill off Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s grand-daughter, by having her fall into a meat grinder at the conclusion of the adventure.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Four Post Three

In many ways this is a bit of a rushed ending, and ideally I'd have liked to have included one or two additional panels in order to mix-up the composition of the frames a little more. I think the simple punch - kick- punch frame combination makes the sequence look too repetitive or monotonous as a single page layout.
The last panel is actually a bit of a rush job as I'd scripted showing Sensei Cheng Fu leaping out of the Embassy's window from an exterior perspective. However I was somewhat stumped as to how to portray the Chinese soldiers discovering the combatants, and their arrival causing the British martial artist to flee so dramatically. With hindsight I could have composed a much smaller frame simply showing the guards' appearing, and placed that within a normal sized panel depicting Cheng Fu smashing out of the upstairs window.
Indeed I'm not sure its even clear that most of the action in this concluding part of "Embassy of the Fist" takes place on the building's top (residential) floor; although the Chinese soldier in the final frame does allude to it by stating "A masked intruder escapes into the gardens below".
I was also keen to show that Cheng Fu does not actually kill Yamamoto. Not only because I wanted the opportunity to be able to write a sequel at some point, or at least a second adventure featuring the Chinese assassin. But I also wanted it to be clear that despite his anger at the former Triad bodyguard, the hero of the story is not a murderer.
Next time Kung Fu action gives way to science fiction and alien invasion as the Earth is attacked by the Glooms in the first story of the serial "Cosmic Custodians"...

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Four Post Two

The high kick from Sensei Cheng Fu was simply created by slightly rotating the angles of all the characters and then shrinking the much larger picture into a single panel. The composition actually took some time as I wanted to try and show that the British secret serviceman kicks one soldier into another, knocking them both cold.
As it turns out Captain Ji Song is rather easily overcome by a blow to the back of the head, but I was rapidly running out of panels to illustrate the third and final confrontation between Cheng Fu and Yamamoto. As a result the female Embassy assistant simply 'melts away', something I often do when I want all the attention to focus on something else. Doubtless she ran off looking to raise the alarm...
This is it, it's Yamamoto verses Sensei Cheng Fu in a battle to the death.!!

Monday, 6 October 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Four Post One

In many ways this final episode to "Embassy of the Fist" is a single-part story in its own right, and as such I spent the first few panels trying to set the scene. It introduces all the characters needed for the plot within the space of four panels, including a new threat to Sensei Cheng Fu, a formidable captain in the Chinese Army called Ji Song.
I usually find that by the time I have started composing an adventure's last chapter that I have little appetite to actually draw anything else for the story, and as a result scramble around for characters I've drawn previously. In many ways I'm in a real rush to conclude the proceedings in order to start sketching out my next tale. As a result the Chinese Ambassador's female servant is simply a reused drawing I created for an "Ermin Meonstoke" yarn from a few years ago, and Captain Ji Song is actually just another Chinese soldier but I've flecked his hair with grey and given him a moustache.

Surrounded by Chinese soldiers with a foe stood on guard around every corner, can Cheng Fu reach Yamamoto for their final confrontation..?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Mooretoons - "Doctor Who" - The Meddling Monk - Part Two

Drawn with a black ballpoint pen, “Doctor Who in Game-Ball” was a twelve-page ‘epic’ based upon the plot that the Meddling Monk had somehow managed to trap the TARDIS crew within a VIC-20 home computer. The renegade Timelord then forced them to play various computer games in the hope that they’d be killed. Clearly a storyline heavily inspired by the 1982 Walt Disney Productions science fiction film “Tron”.
However, although at the time I did own one of Commodore’s 5kb RAM machines, my parents had more recently replaced it with a Commodore 64, and as a result all of the games played during the tale are actually my favourite ones (of the time) for the more powerful computer. “Game-Ball” also came at a time when I had settled into a somewhat consistent and distinctive style of drawing, which although still somewhat different to my current artwork, clearly enabled me to produce my cartoon strips at a good rate.
The first two episodes of this magnum opus would be based upon the computer game “Crazy Kong 64” by “Interceptor Software”, a 1983 “Donkey Kong” clone which saw the First Doctor hurdling giant barrels, clambering up ladders, leaping over fireballs and defeating a giant ape with a large mallet. Once the game had been successfully beaten however the Meddling Monk immediately loaded a second title into the computer…
“Spy Hunter” by “US Gold”. To be honest I don’t recall actually being overly impressed by this computer game. However I was totally enamoured with the 1983 arcade machine by “Bally Midway” as it came with a sit-down cabinet, steering wheel and gear stick. Either way the next two parts to “Game-Ball” would depict the TARDIS crew driving in the fictitious G-6155 Interceptor, made famous by the arcade game, avoiding head-on collisions with oncoming suicidal cars, dodging machinegun fire and finally blowing up gun-toting helicopters in a go-fast boat.
The next video game, the 1985 “Rambo: First Blood Part II” by “Ocean Software”, was based upon the Sylvester Stallone film and was probably more famous for its excellent Martin Galway soundtrack then its actual gameplay. However it gave me ample opportunity to transform the First Doctor, via a bi-generation with the game’s main sprite(!?!), into a muscle-bound killing machine, complete with head bandana, massive portable machinegun and huge hunting knife. And in a serious departure from his televised counterpart, my Timelord merrily massacred his opponents with nuclear bullets and knife slashes to the torso.
 Episode Seven of “Game-Ball” would provide a brief respite to the continuous stream of video games as the VIC-20 broke down and the Meddling Monk desperately tried to repair the home computer before the TARDIS crew escaped its internal workings back to the time machine. Needless to say at the conclusion of the page, and with the big blue box in sight, the Doctor, Steven Taylor and Katarina are once again caught by a multi-coloured loading screen and transported inside the game “Breakout”.
This single page episode was actually based upon my love of the 1987 arcade conversion “Arkanoid” by “Imagine Software”; a video game developed by “Taito” which was a considerable improvement upon the original Seventies “Breakout” by “Atari”. However I felt that the name “Arkanoid” wasn’t as well-known as that of “Breakout” thus drew the Meddling Monk holding a copy of a cassette with the older game’s title emblazoned upon it. In many ways the episode was actually quite similar to those involving “Crazy Kong 64” as the eleven panels portrayed the Doctor, Katarina and Steven dodging giant balls and leaping in between the gaps in brick blocks.
The final computer game to feature in this adventure was actually the first Commodore 64 programme I bought, alongside “Football Manager” by “Addictive Games”, and that was the licensed film tie-in “Ghostbusters” by “Activision”. This is one of my favourite games of all time, and even these days I will occasionally have a game using an emulator programme. As one can imagine not only did this plot twist enable me to sketch out the TARDIS crew in grey overalls with proton packs, but got me drawing some spooky spectres and a haunted house. As a nod to some of the first voice sound effects within a home computer game, I even had Doctor and his companions name themselves the “Geek Buckors”, as that is how the computer game sounded when it's sound chip tried to verbalise “Ghostbusters”.
The conclusion to “Game-Ball” is utterly bizarre and features two pages of complete nonsense. No computer game is actually featured or mentioned, though I get the distinct impressive I was trying to convey the impression that the TARDIS crew had become immersed within an adventure game of some kind. I also believe I was tiring of the story and wanted to finish it quite quickly. Certainly that is the only explanation I have as to why the First Doctor would suddenly find himself submerged in elephant droppings on the planet Nope and be able to simply saunter, covered in mastodon dung, over to the TARDIS. Deciding that they didn’t want to wait for Katarina, the Timelord and Steven depart determined to track down the person responsible for their plight.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Three Post Three

One of the ways in which I always describe my cartoon stories is that they are really narratives with some drawings simply squeezed in between the dialogue to help show the reader what's supposedly taking place. These final four panels of "Embassy of the Fist" Part Three encapsulate this philosophy entirely. The plot isn't progressed at all by the artwork, it's advanced solely by what the character's are saying.
There's also an awful lot of ellipses spread across the various speech balloons. Ideally each balloon would encapsulate a finished sentence but as I wanted to include such a large amount of dialogue I'd have needed one or two more panels to include all of the British secret serviceman's explanation as to what was going on. I think four panels with nothing but talking taking place is pretty static, let alone half a dozen or more, hence the ellipses.
Will Sensei Cheng Fu risk the China-Britain business council talks and dare to set foot on sovereign Chinese soil, simply to have his revenge on Yamamoto...?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Three Post Two

I’m not too sure the bullet streaking effects work that well with the second of these panels, as they look a little too thick to be a single projectile. I’m also not sure it comes across that Cheng Fu is too dazed to chase after Yamamoto, and probably could do with having the ‘swirling stars’ effect, which plays about his head, lasting for just one more frame. Indeed a wider shot illustrating the increasing distance between the two combatants would probably have proved more effective as well. However hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Yamamoto has escaped again as the British Intelligence Service arrive to ‘corral’ American enthusiasm. But will Cheng Fu be permitted to confront the Chinese martial artists for a third and final time..?