Volume 2 Page 77
Posted September 20, 2016 at 12:01 am

Panel 1: Note the very, very rare Empowered depiction of a character wearing a mask that reveals their eyes, as opposed to the blank white lenses—or whatever the heck those thingies are—that almost all superheroes and villains sport in this series. This is because, for some unknown reason, I have tremendous difficulty drawing that type of mask, especially on the simplified female facial structure I tend to draw.

Note also, for any firearm enthusiasts out there, that the Lone Gunman’s “Cosmo Anaconda” revolver is, apparently, a reference to the real-life, large-frame, large-caliber Colt Anaconda—not to be confused, of course, with the ophidian-flavored Colt Python, Colt King Cobra, or Colt Diamondback. A pity, isn’t it, that Colt didn’t keep rolling with this snake-name revolver riff—who wouldn’t want a Colt Eastern Hognose Snake, a Colt Hairy Pit Viper, or a Colt Burrowing Asp?

Panel 2: The wee little circles within that muzzle flash indicating that multiple shots are being fired is, I think, a visual riff I began ripping off decades ago from Kenichi Sonoda’s manga Gunsmith Cats. Er, unless I instead borrowed the trope from Shirow Masamune’s Appleseed decades ago, which is likewise a strong possibility. Or did Otomo first use it in Akira? No idea, alas.

I quite like the “booming” feel of the sound FX “BKOOM,” here, which to me somehow conveys more of a louder, “larger-caliber” impression than other, “quieter” firearm FX such as “KRAK” or “BLAMM” or the like. Your Mileage May Of Course Vary on this point, given that my preferences in sound FX may well be strongly personal and idiosyncratic.

Panel 3: I probably should’ve “flopped” the horizontal orientation of this panel, so the foreground pistol would be on the left and background Emp on the right, to match up with the left-right positioning of the characters on the rest of the panel. On the other hand, that would mean a touch of right-to-left movement on the revolver’s barrel as the Long Gunman raises it away from Emp, which is also theoretically a “no-no,” albeit a minor transgression at  most in this context. Motion in a comics panel should be from left to right whenever possible in a Western comic, to match the order in which one reads the panels, word balloons and so on. (For clarity’s sake, that’s “Western comic” as in “non-Asian comic,” not “Western comic” as in “featuring cowboy hats, horses and six-guns.”)

-Adam Warren

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