UPDATE: The next page has been roughed and worded, but still needs to be inked and colored. As Max-The-Artist explains, this is “Superbowl Season” in the advertising industry, wherein all the pitches for awesome commercial concepts intended for Superbowl display are being created and pitched to clients. He’s currently busy helping put together a half-dozen or so. Not all of them will make it, but right now, each is as viable as the next.

Meantime (speaking of pitches) Bob has posted a writeup he did some years ago for a “Steampunk Transformers” concept. If you’re interested in reading it, click here.  And the page will be coming!



The Ward of Protection being put to some impromptu use! That laptop’s had a rough night already.

And congrats to the winner of Max-The-Artist’s original “Bewitched” sketch! That person wishes to remain anonymous, but their prize is on the way!

As other webcomics have mentioned, please no political posts in the comments. That’s what FB, Reddit, and 4chan are for.

New Vote Incentive!  (And a high-rez version available here! https://gum.co/DdFd )

And more below!





The Art of Submission


This page was another situation where we had to have our hero fighting with someone who was not, technically, a major threat. Additionally, this particular person is one whose eventual cooperation would be desirable as Max continues his investigation into Sophie’s past.

Fortunately, soldiers in general and members of Special Forces in particular are given training in hand-to-hand combat, including various forms of Aikido. Variations of this are also taught to law enforcement officers, along with training in keeping a calm, concerned, even friendly expression during the process, because in this age of ubiquitous cameraphones, somebody’s going to be recording it. Submission holds are used as “come-alongs” to remove protestors from areas of conflict, but if they are done right, they look for all the world like the LEO is simply helping an injured protester to safety. The protestor may feel like his arm’s about to be torn loose, and is screaming and struggling as much as possible, but the hold itself doesn’t look like much. And if the LEO maintains a calm, concerned expression, the public perception of the photographed scene is not “omg brutality” but: “haha look at that whiny troublemaker, what a wuss.”

Situations like this happen in war zones as well, and while soldiers prefer to keep a hostile populace at rifle-muzzle distance, sometimes non-combatants do have to be cleared from a scene, and there will almost always be photographers. So our hero – who has had such training – has quickly instituted a fun little variation on the Aikido-based move known (in some circles) as a “hammerlock.”

Not claiming to be any sort of expert here, but as mentioned in previous blogs, the artist’s younger brother took seven years of Kenpo, and it was the responsibility of this author to drive him to classes and occasionally participate. All us boys also had some training in close-quarter combat, most of which involved Krav Maga.

Kenpo was mainly a mixture of judo (throws and falls), karate (punches and kicks) and aikido (grips and holds.) I am generalizing, of course. But over the years, I came to agree with my younger son, who summed up the three styles thusly: “Judo hurts. Karate’s okay. And Aikido is fun.”

So for this page, just a polite hammerlock, using a convenient doorframe as a supplemental brace. Technically, our hero should be grinding the side of her face into the door, but in order to assist Max-The-Artist in getting the posing correct, I went out and shot some reference photos of the scene using my wife as a stand-in for Cricket. So naturally I was a little soft on the grind. I explained the scene to my wife beforehand, and I have to say that she did a great job of giving me the angry-anguished expression we were looking for as reference in the scene above. All just acting, of course.

I think.

— Bob out.


Honey? How come you changed all the locks?