A delicate situation delicately handled, 3MM-style! Because we’re all about the sensitivity.

Besides, given the chronological constraints, it was time for Countdown to go on the offensive. Fortunately, he’s got spirited backup to make sure his opponent is in deep sheet.

Upvotes are awesome!

More below!


Staging A Battle


First off, I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the new muzzle flashes on the last couple of pages. I’ve been wanting to do some 4K flashes for a while now, but decent blank ammo has been really hard to find. You can find stage ammo, but that’s generally pretty pathetic, since the manufacturers have to assume that people are going to do stupid things with it. Regrettably, Jon-Eric Hexum and Brandon Lee would probably agree with them. I used to have a reloading specialist that would make custom blanks for me, but he’s apparently dropped off the face of the earth.

So these flashes are actually something I’m calling “22 Supers” – which are nothing more than short nail-gun blanks in a .22 revolver, with the remainder of the cylinder space filled with slower-burning shotgun powder and capped with a bit of wadding. When fired, the majority of the powder is burned in the air, creating a stunning basketball-sized muzzle flash and an earsplitting BOOM that rattles windows. All from a Dan Wesson .22 revolver. Here’s an image. You can see the size of the blast compared to the end of the barrel to the right, there.



The problem, of course, is that while they may be blanks they are scary loud, even though I am using them in an enclosed staging area. Not popular with wives or pets, so I only shot enough to cover our needs for these pages. And even that was tough; muzzle flashes happen so fast that even with a slow shutter the camera only catches about one out of three, and half of those are only partials. That’s why movies — even if they are doing practical gunfire using blank ammo — generally have to “sweeten” the footage in post by adding flashes. I’ll get more, but I’ll have to make a night run to the Mojave to do it.

I also have to say I really like what Max was able to do with the action on this page. We used gChat as we usually do, but this page took longer than most, since we were trying to work out the posing for a fight sequence. Naturally Max could have done it anyway, but anything I can do to expedite things. He was directing me into the moves and then we’d try to get the angle right, which got extra complicated when we realized that his monitor showed a mirror image of what I saw on my own monitor. So I’d have to get the fight pose and then try to figure out how to do the same thing but with the other hand, and facing the opposite direction. And then hold it while he sketched. It got complicated, but it was damned amusing at the time. Here’s a screen grab of what was on my monitor as we tried to work out Panel 3.


Yeah. Probably best I stick to effects. I think any ambitions I may have had as a camwhore are going to be necessarily limited. It was fun though!

— Bob out