Howdy DAREDEVILERS and Luchskateers,
Lets get right in and talk about the page. Here we see both aspects of the Shaman. The spirit version, whose hands can bend like regular hands, and who’s eyes can look around – and the Shaman from the sideways reality that Joe is inhabiting, who’s hands are clearly covered with big boards and who’s mask just looks dead ahead. More importantly, here is where Joe completes the challenge that the Shaman has set before him.
Joe’s challenge was not to overcome bears on a sled, or to hunt and fish and make camp. It was to bear witness to the demise of the Shaman’s people, and to judge those who brought that demise upon them. From the Shaman’s point of view, Armstrong brought to his tribe a great sickness that no spears or shields could defend against. It’s 1938 and the medicine of the time can explain what happened, but being eternally bound to your tormentee has detached the Shaman from that modern medicine. To him it was the “unethical” whaling practices that brought about this doom. And punishment must ensue. Forever.
Joe was tasked to witness this, and to pass a judgement. Does he still seek the ambergris that can complete Doc’s perfume? Or does he see Armstrong as the foreign evil that massacred the Shaman’s tribe? He made his choice, and the consequences of that choice will play out in the final pages of Chapter 4. We left this as open ended as possible. Did he make the right choice? Does Armstrong deserve a chance at freedom from his bondage? Or must he pay always for the sickness he spread?
This was the page that the comic hinged on. The DAREDEVILS will embark on many adventures in the future, and each will hopefully be unique and original. Even more hopefully they will each give the reader something more than a plot that trudges from point A to point B. We don’t expect to write Citizen Kane every time we put pen to page, but we do expect to give you something more than a mindless story that leaves your head just as easily as it entered it.
Speaking of writing, last week I went on and on about what influenced my comic writing and style. This week I’ll let fellow
ThreeOneFivist TroisUnCinqanauts ThreeOneFiver Dan Fifield talks about his comic experience and influences.
Like Evin, I didn’t collect comics when I was young. I have a vague recollection of some Archie comics and some Casper the Friendly Ghost, but as a kid I was more into MAD and Cracked. I met my fellow ThreeOneFivers when Evin and I both started working for Staples back in 1996. We had lots of common interests, but comics weren’t really one of them for me. Matt would try to get me to read comics, but at that point the only ones that interested me were the ones written by Jhonen Vasquez.
It wasn’t until Matt convinced me to read Grant Morrison’s run of New X-Men that I really started to get into comics. I didn’t pick them up monthly but bought the oversized hardcovers, something that made Matt insanely jealous. It was in the aftermath of New X-Men that I started picking up comics every week, but I was also about to go through the worst time in my life.
It was late 2004 and the first conversations that would eventually lead to the forming of The ThreeOneFive were taking place. It was also around this time that I noticed a lump under my skin that I would later find out was Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Disease. It would end up requiring 8 months of Chemotherapy and Radiation to get better. While, obviously, it sucked having cancer, it was during this time that my true love for comics was developed. My therapy sessions were on Wednesday mornings, so a ritual of picking up my comics on the way to the doctor was born. It was during this time that I first read Watchmen and the Invisibles, along with all the other monthlies I was reading. It was the perfect escape from sitting in a room full of dying people while poison was being pumped into our veins.
Even though I was drained of energy most Wednesdays, I still hosted our weekly “Comic Book Night” get together with Matt, Evin, and some of our other friends. We would debate which comics were best that week, could Wolverine kill Superman, Star Wars vs Star Trek and any number of other amazingly nerdy topics. It was out of these kind of discussions that The ThreeOneFive would eventually decide to try our hand at writing comics.
So my cancer would eventually go into remission and, to be honest, I soon stopped buying my comics weekly. Now I just read in trade whatever Matt says is worth getting (most recently being Locke & Key which is truly fantastic). But I’ll always remember how comics were there for me in a time when I really needed them, and they hold a special place for me because of that. I’d also like to thank my parents, Matt, Evin, and all my other friends who went through that time with me. It wasn’t an easy time, and I still appreciate all the love and support that I received.
Thanks to Dan for getting a few words in the Lunch this week, and next week I’ll have Matt – the third and final member of the ThreeOneFive, and only remaining comicbook collector – on the blog.
And that’s the Lunch for 10/28
To the Future,