Page up! Yes. Finally. More on that below.

Scales is using the “talk fast and push hard” method of manipulation. Given that he is on an encrypted police band it’s reasonable for Washburn to assume Scales’ authority is real. But Countdown has spotted something important…

Admittedly, when I wrote the script, I hadn’t quite anticipated the distance, nor the decision by Max-The-Artist to fade the setting to evening for dramatic effect. Fortunately he also made the decision to have Washburn using a neon sign as cover, so there was a sufficient light source. Even as it is, our hero is apparently using RangerVision to spot a familiar tat at that distance. But hey, as always, Rule of Cool.

And since people thought that Countdown was holding the other end of the sheet on the previous page, we figured: well, why the hell not? So yep, he was, and tying it off here.

Addendum re the hand signal: There are a zillion military hand signals, and as was shown in “American Sniper,” they change and vary so much that even different branches get confused. But at the risk of a possible spoiler (which everyone has probably guessed anyway): Ranger fire teams do not wear insignia in the field. Partly to prevent snipers from being able to spot the most high-value target. The team knows who the leader is and everyone else is a possible enemy. However, on occasion, one does come across friendlies in the field, and sometimes in a conflict situation. This hand signal (three fingers across the upper arm – Sergeant stripes) indicates that the person giving it is the leader of that particular team. Washburn’s dialogue is intentionally ambiguous.

More below, including a (hopefully temporary) schedule change!



Pressure From Above

Irksome though it is, especially for a longform comic, we’re going to have sporadic updates for a while. We’ll be shooting for every two weeks, and we’ll try to be consistent there, but even that can’t be guaranteed. It’s not what any of us want, but here’s the reason:

Max and I both work as freelancers in our day jobs. Freelance, if you do it right, can be quite liberating. If you are fast and good at your job, you can make a reasonable income without being subjected to all the office politics, stress, and infighting of a staff position. On the downside, there’s no feeling of security – although any job security in this day and age is basically an illusion anyway.

When gigs are offered, you have to make the decision whether to take them or not based on whether they are interesting and/or financially remunerative. Ideally both. They also have to be feasible given your current and upcoming commitments.

The problem is, about half the proffered gigs either get delayed or fall through for one reason or another. Nothing ever goes according to plan. So in order to cover themselves, a freelancer will generally commit to approximately twice as much work as they can possibly handle, assuming that half of it won’t actually occur. I call this “stacking the maybes.

Two major problems can occur when you do this. Either everything falls through, and you find yourself desperately scrambling for work; or on rare occasions nothing falls through, and you find yourself seriously overcommitted.

Currently, Max-The-Artist finds himself in the second scenario. And since this is a father-son team comic, I certainly have no intention of finding a replacement artist.

Eventually, he will dig himself out of this mass of work, and since freelance assignments tend to ebb and flow, he’ll find himself with more time in the schedule for the comic. We’ve both been very pleased with the comic’s growth, both in readership and in the quality of the comic itself as we each learn our respective nuances of the medium. We appreciate you, the audience, joining us for the adventures and hope you’ll continue.

We just need to ask your patience as we get through this period of artistic overwork and get ourselves onto a reasonable schedule again. Thanks so much for understanding.

— Bob out