Fate, Meet Destiny

Yep. Mister Exposition. Jake the Explainer. Information Dump. Pages like these are a common trope, and they’re equally common in TV and movies. And you know why? They work.

Kind of like camera shake. Pretentious types think that camera shake is some sort of cheat. I know, because I used to be one of them. But when I had to actually make shows myself, I discovered that judicious use of camera shake gave an explosion scene more punch. Made flying scenes more visceral. Blastwaves more realistic. I came so far around to the other side that CG artists had to wrestle me to the ground lest I stuff camera shake into everything, including landscape pans.

Hell, I had a producer who insisted we should insert a “whoosh” sound every time the camera passed through a cloud layer. I thought that was stupid, so during the mix (when the producer was out of the room) I had the sound guys take it out. Know what? Scene went dull. The producer was right and I was wrong. I apologized and asked the lead sound guy if he could restore things. He gave me a dry look, clicked one switch, and the whooshes were back.

I got the impression they were used to us pretentious types having to eat crow.

Anyway, everything on this page has been hinted at throughout the preceding pages, and an astute reader could have pieced together most of it without this dialogue, but why be cruel to your audience? This is where we we tell you, the astute observer, “Yep, you were right,” and throw in some extra backstory and flavoring. And if you are just joining us — here’s the setup in a nutshell.

Welcome to Three Minute Max.

Bob out.

Artist’s Notes:  As Dad alluded to above, this page was added as an afterthought when, after previewing the rough comic pages to a few friends of mine, they all had the same kinds of questions: “So he lives?” and “So, he can stop his heart?” and “Is that supposed to be some kind of superpower or something?”  Sigh…  I had reservations against adding scenes that broke out of the “real time” schema we had going.  But probably nobody noticed that anyway.  And some things did need explaining.  So here you go.

In the first panel, you can see the different coloring of the separate characters’ word balloons used to keep them distinct.  Pretty sure I got that idea from the Watchmen graphic novel.  Worked out pretty well here I think.

Comic book dialogue (expository or otherwise) bores me because it completely arrests any sense of action, but here we have a quiet moment in which it actually compliments.  With Max in the ICU (an interesting experience, to which I can personally attest), we can see the gears turning in Cicerone’s head- we can guess what’s coming next.  -Max


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