sequential daze

Thursday, February 26, 2009

5.04: Oz Magellan

Oz Magellan is the Australian based Magellan group (and as mentioned previously in the History, there are various Magellan groups around the world). In the course of the past few chapters we've met Captain Victoria plus Red Centre and The Man Who Can.

Page 5.04 introduces two more Oz Magellan members - Tassie Tigress and Good-Guy.

For those readers unfamiliar with Australian fauna the Tasmanian Tiger (or Thylacine) was a carnivorous marsupial found on the island state of Tasmania... until European settlers wiped it out in the early 1900s. Taking the code-name of a now extinct species might of course not prove the wisest of decisions perhaps...! I added the pronunciation guide of 'Tazzie' and 'Taz' since that's the way it's said around these parts. Anyway - Tassie Tigress has as her principle abilities speed, strength and agility - her civilian name is Jilly Barnes. She graduated from the Academy in 2006 and joined Oz Magellan two years ago.

I should note that someone doesn't have to be Australian to be in Oz Magellan (nor do they have to be European to be in Euro Magellan, American to be in Magellan USA and so forth - they are regional organisations rather than nationalistic ones). That said, Tassie Tigress is Australian unlike Good-Guy who hails from South Africa.

Good-Guy, aka Markus Twain, is derived from one of the first super-hero characters I ever created (circa 1993!) and he finally gets his day in the sun... he was a lot cheesier in the original comic (in fact called "Captain Good-Guy") but I've toned that back somewhat here although his do-gooder demeanour remains intact. His powers center around light - he emits it (up to laser intensity) and uses it to help him (and others) fly at great speed... whilst in this state he is effectively invulnerable to physical injury. More info on Good-Guy, Tassie Tigress and the rest of Oz Magellan as the story progresses.

Spectacle Island is an actual island located within the extended Sydney Harbour. Anyone who reads other superhero comics would know that the headquarters of super groups tend to come in for extensive punishment and regular demolition from the bad guys... so why would they put their HQ in the middle of a densely populated city where people are placed at risk during an attack? At least on an island it reduces the threat to bystanders since there are none. I was going to base Oz Magellan on Cockatoo Island - which is near Spectacle Island and much bigger. Having been there I can say Cockatoo Island is awesome but it is probably too big for an outfit the size of Oz Magellan... Spectacle Island is more modest but is still large enough for a base with VTOL airpads, heli-pads, docking for boats and subs plus easy defence. Neat, huh?

Feedback/questions/comments welcome...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

5.03: Run, Tracy, run!

Page 5.03: I've had a fair but of fun working on the first three pages for this new chapter. They've been a real change of pace to Magellan Island and have offered up some interesting artistic challenges - not only from a drawing point of view but mainly in terms of colouring. I'm still not sure if it looks right, there probably should have been more black - but for some reason I have difficulty working with solid black.

Also, the first three pages have been fast and frenetic - rather than building up any major suspense or atmosphere around going down into the drain I chose to get straight to the action... hopefully it has been scary all the same.

The next update will introduce a couple of new characters from Oz Magellan!

Friday, February 20, 2009

5.02: Beware... Monsters!

We get a sneek peek at the chapter 5 antagonists. It's very early days yet so I'm not going to say too much at the moment but there are two things...
  1. I really hope I can tell this story in a way that avoids it from becoming just your basic 'monster of the week' outing... I don't think it will be but I need to know if it is, so someone tell me m'kay? The monsters are actual characters (rather than just dumb homicidal monsters) so that might help.
  2. The monster characters are based on a design for one of my first real attempts at a superhero comic which I started many, many years ago. Like most of my projects in the 1990s it never got past 2 pages, but I saved those pages and the development/evolution of these early characters has taken Chapter 5 in some very interesting directions. Once the story has advanced a few more pages I'll share the 1990s designs (and even the original 2 pages)...
Page 2 is a bit graphic... I would always advise that Magellan carries a "strong violence content" warning. Obviously not all the time, I don't believe in non-stop full-force force violence (yawn) but when you least expect it... lookout! One reader emailed me to say he almost lost his lunch... so was it a bit too much? Let me know!