Exciting mechandise update: I'm happy to announce that, for the very first time, Empowered has a few items of "merch" available for purchase over in the "Store" link! There, in the top row of items, you can see a brand-new range of luxurious 12" X 18" full-color prints—well, "full color" except for the mostly black & white one. The first bunch of prints available (for $15 each) include the three "crowd scene" covers from the out-of-print Empowered Deluxe hardcover collections, featuring Emp posed against a panoply of characters from each third of the published series. Note that the print for Empowered Deluxe vol.3 is the cover art from a collection that won't be released until mid-2017 or so, making this puppy technically an webcomic exclusive! Anyhoo, in the future we'll be adding more prints to the Store's selection, so stay tuned, folks! Thanks to the fine folks at Hiveworks for setting this up, with special thanks for Photoship-related heavy lifting going out to Mildred Louis, whose fine webcomic Agents of the Realm I heartily recommend. (Probably my favorite comic out of the many fine ones hosted here at Hiveworks, by the way.)
And now, back to our regularly scheduled commentary:
A sign that early Empowered was still operating in “not a real comic” mode from my point of view: the fact that this page, as well as most of this story’s restaurant sequence, is told almost entirely with close-ups. In a more conventional storytelling approach—such as what I used during my time working in mainstream print comics—alarms would’ve been blaring in my head, screeching admonishments like “Needs a medium shot! Reestablish the setting! Hit up some full-figure shots, damn it!” Ah, but in these carefree and heedlessly impulsive days of Empowered yore, I quite enjoyed ignoring all the narrative strictures and structures that I’d spent the previous years carefully and studiously working within. Yeahp, once upon a time, working on this series was really was all about the fun and spontaneity, folks. Nowadays, things are a fair bit different, because I’m—ahem—“hunting bigger game” with what I’m looking to accomplish with Empowered.
Panel 1: If you think that Thugboy’s use of the word “Manichean” seems a bit of a stretch, rest assured that I have an explanation in store. No, really!
Panel 5: Well, using the term “Manichean” is one thing, but rattling off “superpositioned quantum states of hotness indeterminacy” seems a bit more of a stretch—though, as you’ll see in a few pages, I have the same explanation for Thugboy’s use of the terms. Then again, given that he had frequent occasions to interact with Empverse ultratechnology during his time as a supervillain-victimizing Witless Minion LINK LINK LINK, he might well have a much stronger grasp of “superscience-y” concepts than your average goon—though I tend to believe his knowledge base would be more practical and “hands-on” than theoretical.
Note: Left the seemingly cryptic words "LINK LINK LINK" in the previous paragraph just for the heck of it, as that's how I flag where an Empowered archive link should go when I'm writing the text (offline) for these commentaries. Alas, I failed to notice the indication when I posted this text, hence the presence of "LINK LINK LINK."
Panel 6: Whoa, dig the stylistic flourish of Emp’s super-long hair in this shot. As I’ve said, I had—note the past tense—a tendency to periodically “go wild” with her hair length in some early Empowered shots just for the hell of it, to “jazz up” open areas around her. Needless to say, though, the hair length shown here is technically inaccurate, as heaven forefend that her flowing locks should ever grow long enough to cover up her Thugboy-praised, Demonwolf-labeled “toothsome rump”—though, of course, that’s supposed to be part of the reason why Emp hasn’t cut her hair to a more practical length.
A final note, in closing: As I’m presently sliding inexorably behind schedule, I was hoping to write up some briefer, less time-consuming commentaries for these webcomic pages. Six g-d paragraphs later—not counting “hover text”—I seem to have notably failed in that regard. Whoops! Well, maybe next time I’ll wax less verbose. (Aaaaaaand cue the random dillweed commenting “tl, dr.” Sigh.)