Thursday, 13 November 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Virus Of The Panda - Part One Post Two

The opening panel for this posting alludes to an imminent fight between Peking Panda's Ninja mercenaries and the hospital security guards. It was only to be a couple of frames long but I ended having to cut the 'battle scene' as I found myself rapidly running out of room as a result of some of the heavy dialogue I wrote in order to 'set the story up' with. The role of the tropical disease specialist Hua Qin was also significantly reduced as I found myself desperately trying to confine myself to just four episodes for this story. With hindsight I also should have given the Chinese physician a different coloured costume as his oriental light blue weave is very similar to the blue used by the hospital staff.

 The penultimate frame shows the start of my attempt to move away from the use of ellipses; something my previous stories are loaded with. I also decided to illustrate the conversation inside the vehicle straight from the scene's start rather than use a photograph of the vehicle travelling down a street as an establishing shot first. This may have been a mistake, but I was keen to get Cheng Fu into the action as quickly as possible and start breaking up the sterile light blue imagery of the previous panels with his bright red costume. I also thought the interior scene, coupled with the "Vroom" sound effect would make it somewhat obvious the quartet were sharing a ride within some form of transport.

Cheng Fu delivers the patient into the hands of the waiting hospital staff so their life-saving treatment can begin. But just how safe will the British public be from the deadly virus once the doctors start work on the evacuee..?   

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Virus Of The Panda - Part One Post One

This four-parter is most definitely a journey of transition as it was drawn whilst I was receiving some considerable feedback from fellow blogger artists, and as a result it's composition was altered mid-way through in order to test some of their suggestions for improvement. Initially however this is a fairly straight-forward 'sequel' to "Embassy Of The Fist" and 'in order to get it out quickly' incorporates a number of figures I had previously drawn; some, such as the surgeon gowns, from as long ago as ten years.

The Peking Panda is an attempt to create a more worthy Oriental opponent for Cheng Fu than the rather dull-looking Yamamoto. Unfortunately the idea of a kung fu fighter adorned in the skin of a Panda Bear didn't materialise quite as I'd imagined him. But nonetheless I think he's infinitely more memorable than the honourable assassin of Kam Lo.

Unaware of the Peking Panda's presence within the specialist hospital, Cheng Fu escorts an important patient to the medical facility. But just whose life is in imminent danger..!?!  

Friday, 7 November 2014

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

These concluding panels to "Gloom Of The Glooms" gave me a brief opportunity to show the interior of the aliens' asteroid... and then promptly start blowing it up. The image of the Perishing missile on the Glooms' screen is the same one I used to 'colour' in the missile Galaxian and Tortoise-Shell Eddie rode on in some of the earlier frames. The missile is actually being launched vertically into the sky, as opposed to travelling horizontally; something you can just make out if you look at the clouds surrounding it. If I had had the room I would have added another panel with an exterior shot of the asteroid-spaceship being struck by the missile, but as I had run out of room I elected to show the Glooms' screen depicting the aliens' own demise.

The final two frames simply tie-up the story and set-up the return of the American superhero U.S. Armour, a bullet-proof metal suit equipped with missiles and machine guns, whose previous occupant had eventually been executed by the United States for war crimes. The reference also ties "Cosmic Custodians" into the same universe as the serial "Alternate Heroes".

 Next time Sensei Cheng Fu returns with more Kung Fu action as the Peking Panda attempts to infect the population of the United Kingdom with a deadly virus...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

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

As soon as I thought of a nuclear missile heading towards the Pentagon, I immediately thought of the idea that a couple of the Custodians would need to 'ride' on it in order to tinker with its course trajectory. The atomic weapon was drawn by simply creating the outline of a projectile and then 'colouring' it with a photograph of a genuine Perishing missile in order for all its markings to be correct.

With hindsight it is a little hard to see precisely what is going on, especially in the final frame when the missile 'throws' off its occupants. As a result I's probably make the first of the scene's three panels significantly smaller so you can see the entire missile and that the characters are up in the sky. I'd use a similar scale for the final drawing as well, and actually depict Galaxian and Tortoise-Shell Eddie as tiny falling figures.

Air Force One is about to fall to the alien invaders and so is the Pentagon. Mankind's future rests solely upon the flight of a single nuclear missile. But has Galaxian got his co-ordinates right..?

Sunday, 2 November 2014

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

These opening two panels to the final part of "Gloom Of The Glooms" concludes the series of panels I set aside to simply show some interplay between some of the Custodians and highlight the 'super-power' of Sagittarius; his ability to actually absorb energy. These scenes do however suffer from the consequences of my changing the look of Mistress Tendril, as the character hasn't spoken a word during the entire adventure, nor will she do so. This was because she was originally designed to have a face full of tentacles, which would make speech somewhat difficult. I did toy with the idea of making her telepathic as a result, and figured I could draw some nice telepathy speech bubbles for her when she needed to communicate. Obviously though that all changed when I redesigned her with an actual mouth (or at least lips) but subsequently fell behind with my drawing schedule for the story.

The script for this four-parter was actually written in episodic chunks. I'd simply plot out the next part's panels only once I'd actually drawn the previous episode in its entirety. So by the time I made the change to Mistress Tendril's appearance I was close to finishing the entire storyline and didn't have the room or time to go back and reallocate some of the dialogue to her character.

Air Force One is in danger of being overrun by the Aliens, and there's still an atomic missile flying towards the Pentagon. Can Galaxian and Tortoise-Shell Eddie possibly kill two birds with one stone..?