We left the SFX off the last panel on purpose. We also kept the panel small and in the corner on purpose.
Its such a big moment though. Torpedoes tearing through the water, impacting a submarine carrying two of our crew members. In fact, the whole Pitch Black Day story pretty much rides on that last panel. So why were we satisfied to have the moment we’ve all been waiting for to exist on such a small panel without even one of our wonderful letterer’s SFX over the top of it?
We wanted to moment to seem far away, out of reach. Not adding the SFX gave it more gravity, what we’re seeing is the very point of impact, and that moment has sucked the life out of more than just the two crewman aboard Dracula’s sub. The Captain, who we don’t even know that much about at this point, save for he was part of some crazy accident that left him bisected, had a huge problem giving this order. He knew what the choice was, and he’d make it a million times over if he had to. But that’s the point, he had to do it. That choice gutted him, and the moment shown on that last panel is very much from his perspective. Far away, out of reach, un-take-backable. In that terrible moment he’s not hearing the sound of burning oil and twisting metal. It’s hard to hear anything when a part of you is dying.
In our minds, it would be too easy to have the Captain be some unfeeling hardass who makes super hard choices and then just lives with them because that’s his job. Our Captain isn’t that man. Yes, he’s a hardass, but the people that populate his submarine matter to him. Even the redshirts that died earlier in the book. The end of Cajun Caper showed that he wasn’t some machine, despite what he may look like. He’s a man who has lived a life like any of our own prior to whatever tragedy happened to him. All we do know that he’s impossibly old and that he fought for the South.
Hopefully this page will help develop his character a little bit. He’s stuck on the sub all the time no matter what, so it’s easy to forget about him. Hopefully we can give him as many of these powerful, meaningful moments as possible so that his “screen time” is important, if not often.
Well, Chapter 4 ends on Tuesday. I’m not even going to give you a hint as to what its about.
That’s the Lunch for 3/16
To the Future,