Well, whatever it is it sure got her attention…
Hunter didn’t have the gumption to swing his white-hot sword, but somehow I can’t blame him.
Not a clock… A clockwork casket? A clockwork obelisk?
A Clockwork Orange?
He’s probably gotten whatever it is he was there for since she caught him exiting. That’s a mighty fancy locking mechanism on the front of that box.
What could be inside? The suspense is killing me already.
Steam powered robot ?
Truly, they are both reluctant to deal a “killing” blow, or neither has figured out how to do that to a basically supernaturally alive opponent–so could whatever this is possibly make them work together again? What does Hunter know that Vane has yet to learn about?
Hey hey HEY! I don’t care if you don’t want to kill him yet Vane, don’t take your eyes off of Mr. Explodey McFirehands!!
Ooooh, sweet obelisk. Burled walnut? It reminds me of a metronome’s box.
Happy Easter Erin!
I hope your Easter was swell.
Starting with his hat, JHH looks like he’s begun losing his third fancy rig…
I guess John was planning to use the sword for decoupling the cars, not in defense against Vane. I doubt he anticipated her leap any more than I did.
Going back to the start of the comic (to remind myself how many hats this man has had and lost…) I was startled by how far the art has come. A lot more goes into each page now, particularly in this chapter. Erin, I wonder where you will be by the end…
The light in the interiors on this page is particularly wonderful. Two sources, the window and the doorway, enable each character to be dramatically lit. Vane is lit from both sides, like a destroying angel, with John lit from behind and above, partially in Vane’s shadow.
And those last three cells… The sudden stillness after all those frames of action. The sound of the train gone from foreground to background. The three camera angles, showing her wonder. The changing expression on John’s face (about the only movement in this moment, except for her lowering guns) lest we forget that John’s mind is still moving as fast as the train.
And that starting expression, and the angle of his head, show that he has eyes only for her, but not out of fear or anger… He is watching her with laser focus, but not as a fighter. It looks like he doesn’t want to miss her reaction to the object.
I also love the way the object is too tall for the frame.
The fact that the coffin shaped/sized object is standing on it’s “head” (if it were a coffin) seems to indicate that it does not have a body in it presently. If it is ever supposed to contain a body… What are these two “people” up to? And why is Vane so surprised? She knew to expect him/something on the express. Is she surprised at what the object is? At how the object looks? At being so suddenly in the presence of the object? Was she trying to ensure the destruction of the object (using the train and the unfinished trestle…)?
I am looking forward to John’s words. Knowing John, I expect speech rather than action next. He could move first and fast to change the odds in his favor before he speaks, but I suspect he will feel in enough control without moving. Languid western confidence.
And is the hat gone, or will it be retrieved?
Nope, hat’s gone Arnly
Two further reflections… Looking at the earliest pages again I realized how much the subtleties in the current level of story telling are supported by the greater artistic control and detail. Much more nuance is conveyed now through light and shadow, stillness, the backgrounds, “camera angle” (though there are some great angles in the very first chapter), and body language and facial expression than would have been possible in the first few chapters. We started out reading a comic but now I usually feel like I’m watching a movie. I saw the first pages, now I feel and hear them, as well.
And I meant to contrast John’s inability to keep a hat with the fact that Vane seems to still be wearing her first.
And just how she does keep her hat jumping from platform to platform is a mystery.
SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCI-SCI-SCIENCE!
Now for my observation. Vane is incredibly agile to hit her mark (clearly better then her marksmanship at this juncture) John Henry center mass with flying kick, karate style. Gees, she even knows the marshal arts?
Considering the gear she’s carrying, and then to hit while sailing through the still RED HOT and dangerously edged rot iron railing. All this with enough force to push a 6’3″, 240 lbs. man clean through a, heavy closed door with iron bars on the window? WOW! That’s got to be some woman.
Now for the strange device in the pay roll car. Not a coffin that would be what a human would be buried in, at least not from what I gather. And check out the unusual mechanism at the monolith. Looks like some kind of locking device.
Beautifully done Erin. Deeper and deeper we go. ;D
About Vane’s agility, You should also consider that the train is going uphill (http://www.nexttownover.net/?p=1955) and she’s jumping from the first section after the locomotive (look at the first panel in http://www.nexttownover.net/?p=1938 and the first panel here) to the recently detached (http://www.nexttownover.net/?p=1955) second section. I’m not sure how does this arrangements of vectors help in this flying kick – I’m not good at physics so I can only by my own common sense consider it as favourable conditions.
Aaand, totally unrelated to her agility, is it only me or does Hunter at the second panel look like he hestitated to deal a fatal blow? We see that he “turns off” his sword and backs off, just to be kicked into the doors. For me it looks a little like he was afraid that the sword could end Vane for good.
I think my storytelling on the last two pages — in particular the transition between them — is really lacking. I suspected as much as I was drawing this page but a fix didn’t occur until it was way too late to implement.
The express car isn’t [supposed to be] detached; he was going sever the coupler with his firebrand, and then this happened instead.
Like I said a few weeks ago, if you’re having to explain your comic you’re doing it wrong, so whoops & associated apologies. I have been down the wire on the last few pages and less able to reflow things that don’t really work.
… as far as the actual content of your comment, I’m not going to confirm or deny motivations because I’m a jerk.
Erin, first, you are not a jerk. You do like to teas though. You are, however, doing a hell of a lot work and as a person who dabbles in art, and has been around it all my life, it’s hard to get every little detail done unless you are creating a master piece. Which you are.
Second, you don’t have to explain anything. you drew the scenes clearly for us to see what is going on. The two cars of the train were not uncoupled because, as Vane says, “You can’t uncouple when you are going up hill.” That’s just physics.
Hunter was going to cut the coupler with his white hot fire sword to maybe buy him some time. Obviously he didn’t count on Vane’s gutsy move, thus the “turning off” of his fire sword.
The one thing I notes about your wonderful work is your attention to detail, which a lot of us who follow NTO just love. You even place the pay roll car (express car) behind the tender car which is exactly where the company would want it should it need to be uncoupled in case it needs a quick get a way. Brilliant!
So if some of us don’t get it at upon first look, don’t you worry about it. Just be patient with us. Well see it eventually. ;D And yes, Happy Easter, hope it was a nice one for you and the fam.
steam punk? well sorta–anyway, kinda cool music
Oh, it’s THAT thing!
personally i felt the first three panels could’ve been combined into one or two to make the whole leap-and-kick thing smoother and more fluid. However, I love how the last three panels are completely silent–perhaps you could have contrasted this a bit more with some noise in the first few? I don’t know whether you were trying to get a sense of tension in the leaping part but I just think it would’ve been better. A minor issue. Anyways love Hunter’s look in panel 4 and how Vane completely ignores him. Also the way the light pours in in a kind of musty way and filters through some dust?
I kinda want the next page to be hunter trying to get up but Vane shoots him (non fatally of course). Then they converse about this mysterious object.
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