Friday, 20 May 2016

"THE RAMBLER" "The Yeti Hunters" - Part Two Post Three

Having spent a considerable portion of this entire episode supposedly cataloguing Sir Edmund Hillary's historical exploits, these last four frames finally settle down to moving the actual adventure's narrative along, and provides a somewhat unusually packed-panel whilst doing so. Indeed its rare for any regularly-sized drawing to contain quite so many figures all at the same time. But fortunately by the time I created this story I was somewhat happier utilising Paint Shop Pro 8's smart-size scaling ability.

This sequence also gives the first hint (and a whopper it is too) that perhaps the Abominable Snowmen the explorers have encountered are not all they seem. Plus a little bit of information concerning the Makarov pistol.

Baffled and bewildered by gun-toting Yeti, the Rambler and Danny unmask the true identity of their furry foes. But even within the group of explorers, not everyone is as they seem...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

"THE RAMBLER" "The Yeti Hunters" - Part Two Post Two

This sequence is predominantly written in order to once again inform the reader as to some of the historical exploits of Sir Edmund Hillary. However, rather than simply list them all, such as his expedition in 1953, I took the liberty of exaggerating the tale of 'Hillary's Scalp' by implying that the adventurer actually knew the Yeti trophy at the Khumjung Monastery was a fake, and even cheekily had a copy made for himself.

The final frame also brings the four-parter's main characters together literally with a bump as they run into one another, and interrupt Edmund mid-flow.

Facing a grisly death at the hands of numerous Yeti, our time-travelling heroes desperately turn to using fire in order to defend themselves. But can even a box of matches help them against pistol-wielding Abominable Snowmen..!?!

Monday, 16 May 2016

"THE RAMBLER" "The Yeti Hunters" - Part Two Post One

Whilst hardly an innovative solution to the Rambler's predicament at the end of the previous episode, these panels did at least provide me with yet another opportunity to flesh out some of Sir Edmund Hillary's previous exploits; something I always like to do with my historically-based characters.

Having established that the famed explorer has previously searched for the Yeti in 1952, I allowed myself the luxury of giving the Rambler and Danny a bit of humorous banter. Such frames are hardly plot progressing, but hopefully help make an otherwise straightforward story a bit more entertaining, and demonstrates the 'verbal sparring' I wanted the two 'leads' to have with one another during their adventures together.

Trapped once again by the Abominable Snowmen, the Rambler and Danny are forced to 'throw in their lot' with Sir Edmund Hillary's expedition. But things start with a bump...

Saturday, 14 May 2016

"THE RAMBLER" "The Yeti Hunters" - Part One Post Three

The first two panels of this particular posting hopefully provide a bit more exposition as to just who Sir Edmund Hillary is, and strongly hints at how the history books will one day remember the explorer. It also makes reference to the contentious argument as to whether his trip to the Himalayas was genuinely to search for a yeti, or whether he was actually on some sort of covert mission during the Cold War. Needless to say whilst writing "The Yeti Hunters" I allowed my narrative to follow the line of reasoning I believed would make the better story.

Danny and The Rambler's scene within the animal pit is rather lazily drawn sadly, in so much as besides a change in background, and the characters telling the reader they've clambered out of the pit, there's no actual depiction of the time-travellers climbing up the walls of the large hole. A 'third' small panel, wedged between the current two and showing the pair scrambling to the surface would have sufficed.

However as I wanted to ensure the episode finished on a cliff-hanger, and felt under some pressure to actually get this series drawn after so many months of delay, I decided to simply have Danny shown pulling his companion up, out of the hole, by the arm. Whilst at the same time the pair were being shot at.  

Surrounded by gun-totting explorers and hungry Abominable Snowmen, is it already all-over for the (mis)adventures of both the Rambler and Danny..?  

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

"THE RAMBLER" "The Yeti Hunters" - Part One Post Two

Opening with a fairly straight-forward chase scene, the Rambler and Danny's fall into an animal pit trap is somewhat lazily illustrated by the duo describing the occurrence, rather than my actually drawing it. With hindsight I should probably have depicted this particular event by 'scaling' down the characters within the panel in order to emphasise the fact that the heroes were falling down a large hole.

Sir Edmund Hillary and the journalist Desmond are 'real' people who historically were on the Himalayas at the precise time this story takes place. One of the most attractive aspects of writing time-travelling narratives is to weave a fantastic tale around 'true life' events, so both of these personalities will play important roles in the four-parter to come.

Trapped beneath the snow, and aware that a hungry Yeti lurks nearby, the Rambler and Danny must not only climb for their lives. But dodge the bullets of an overly-enthusiastic journalist...  

Monday, 9 May 2016

"THE RAMBLER" "The Yeti Hunters" - Part One Post One

Drawn in July 2010, ten months after I illustrated the character's origin story "The Time Henge", these four panels not only firmly establish just which of the two characters the 'new' Rambler actually is; something I didn't think the conclusion of their previous tale made clear. But also contain a scan of a much older adventure entitled "Mammoth's Demise", which was one of the first digitally produced stories I ever created, and one that sadly no longer exists except as eight poorly-printed pages...

This 'classic clip' hopefully reinforced that there was a wealth of history already in place for the time-traveller, and one which "The Yeti Hunters" would later 'tap into' in a big way. To begin with however, I wanted to mix any exposition surrounding the Rambler and Danny with some action, and thus quickly introduced a formidably-fanged Abominable Snowman to menace the two heroes...

Chased by a hungry Yeti, the Rambler and Danny must race through the treacherous snows of the Himalayas for their very lives. But the time-travellers aren't the only men currently exploring the mountain range, and these other chaps carry guns...  

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

"ERMIN MEONSTOKE" Sacrifice Upon The Waves - Part Five Post Three

For the final four frames of such a bloody action-packed adventure, these are admittedly somewhat sedentary. But I wanted to have the room within the frames to 'show off' the disintegration of Generaloberst Fedor Von Bock and his cronies. In addition I didn't really want anything to distract from the concluding exposition contained within the dialogue.

I was very taken with the character of Mister Gotch, which is probably why he is one of the few supporting cast members throughout all of my "Ermin Meonstoke" stories to survive. I would however later pay something of a return visit to his character, and briefly touch upon the impact that this tale had upon his sanity.

Next time "The Rambler" returns to discover that there's something more sinister than heavily-fanged abominable snowmen inhabiting the Himalayas in 1960, in "The Yeti Hunters"...  

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

"ERMIN MEONSTOKE" Sacrifice Upon The Waves - Part Five Post Two

This sequence is all about setting up Generaloberst Fedor Von Bock for the imminent kill in the next four (concluding frames), and establishing just how capable a fighter Ermin Meonstoke is when both fully-armed and given a little killing room.

I particularly like the golden background of the coming morning's dawn which I use for these panels, as they not only (hopefully) establish that the night is almost at an end. But also arguably slightly tie-in to the Ghoul Collector's comments about there being a "Kingdom of Heaven" and it having a "key"; a story for another time perhaps... 

Blood-soaked and bruised, Ermin Meonstoke confronts the undead zombie Fedor Von Bock and his ghastly German cadavers one last time... and if he loses it'll cost him more than the flesh on his bones...

Monday, 2 May 2016

"ERMIN MEONSTOKE" Sacrifice Upon The Waves - Part Five Post One

As I dislike 'time jumps' in stories, usually indicated by a text box stating "Some time later...", I always try and have something happening 'on screen' when I don't want the audience to see what one of my other characters is up to.

Ermin Meonstoke's surprise entrance at the start of this final instalment to "Sacrifice Upon The Waves" is an example of this technique. However I'm not sure I've quite got the passage of time right considering both the ghoul collector and Mister Gotch somehow managed to row ashore from the ocean liner and bludgeon a load of Nazi zombies in the time it took for Fedor Von Bock to beat up Miss Priscilla. 

Timing quibbles aside though, I think it makes for a good start to this story's conclusion and also brings this series' two main characters together for the first time since the adventure started.

As the German undead launch a final attack in order to rule the World once again, Meonstoke, Miss Priscilla and Mister Gotch stand should-to-shoulder as humanity's last hope. But will a sword, antiquated firing piece and water-logged World War Two machine gun be enough to hold back a tide of Nazi zombies...? 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

"ERMIN MEONSTOKE" Sacrifice Upon The Waves - Part Four Post Three

Having given Meonstoke plenty of zed-killing action I wanted to make Miss Priscilla's sub-plot equally as action-packed, and also show that despite his successful resurrection, Fedor Von Bock was still susceptible to the secretary's firing piece.

This sequence also gave me an opportunity to try and give the impression of just how overrun the Cornish homestead was by the Nazi zombies, and thus make the feisty administrator's predicament even more perilous.

Battered and bruised, weaponless and surrounded by the hungry German undead, it looks like the end for Ermin Meonstoke's ever faithful secretary. But surely after all this time it's not Priscilla's fate to be fed to Fedor von Bock...!?!