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In this comic, a long-standing question is answered.

Subtitle: Мой хлопчык means “My boy.”

I had huge problems with the composition and palette on this one. I think ultimately it’s a problem of Notan–the value contrasts are not forming a “readable” space.

Much of the complication has to do, of course, with rendering the mangled flying machine, which was essential to the gag. If you can call it a gag–the tone ends up more serious here. I guess the narrative format here is similar to this comic, where rather than landing on a punchline, a visual gag opens the strip, and then the comedy is undercut by drama.

I also wanted the flying machine to be believable, so I took some time to design it. I decided Babcia cannibalized a bicycle, tractor, and canvas from a truck, and did some research on ornithopters. Here are a couple of my sketches, just for fun:

ornithopter designs

11 Responses

  1. Damn.

    The attention to detail in regards to the flying contraption is commendable.

  2. I don’t think that it’ll fly, Orville, but it certainly looks to be worth the try.

    Why do you keep coming up with these great little details when I’m in a rush to “just get the darn strip out.”

  3. Perfesser_Bear

    Poor Babcia — she’s just one more person displaced the last time the border moved.

    Adding in the sketch of Babcia’s ornithopter is a nice touch. As the episode starts, we find Babcia just as Rudek does: hung out like yesterday’s wash. We don’t need to know exactly what happened (I made an educated guess), but the backstory detail is appreciated.

    • Actually, Perfesser, I don’t know how true to history this comic is but, prior to 1918, Poland was a part of the Russian Empire. After WW1, Russia wanted a buffer between it and Germany so, Poland was, basically, given its independence.

  4. As a writer, I can tell you, it’s the attention to the details that makes the moment in a story. In this case, the details of the flying machine are way awesome. And that opening moment is just MADE by the quiet “Hello”! Nicely done, my friend.

  5. Duke of URL

    No, Leonardo, I don’t know where it went. Have you looked in the garden shed?

  6. Duke of URL

    Please please PLEASE insert translations – you could easily put them in wee boxes at the bottom of the appropriate frame. Very few people can read Polish; although many more can read Russian, I suspect that your strip doesn’t get distributed in Russia.
    Keep in mind that it is IMPOSSIBLE to cutnpaste text from your artwork into Google Translate and normal keyboards do not have those peculiar letters – that leaves us wondering why she wants buried in her pajamas.

  7. Sir Rennifer of Avancourt

    Will Rudek allow Babcia to have her wish . . . to be buried in her homeland? Am I to feel Babcia will no longer grace this comic? By the look on Rudek’s face, she is now a Polish citizen. Bravo.

  8. I will be honest, I read till the last page (so far) and there is such a big difference between your art here and then. Furthermore, as a Pole my self, I felt very enthusiastic about reading this! So I want to say a huge well done, and fantastic job so far, with great story, comedy and the characters over all. Also, I either missed or have a bad sight, but I am sure Polish officers also had sabers so, (not trying to push to have everything perfect) but you do not have to anyway. Overall, a really fantastic job!

    • Thanks for your kind words! I think if I ever have the crew in a full dress uniform situation, I’ll give the officers sabres :)

      • That sounds great and I am always excited for the next page you release and wait so eagerly for the next one. As I also think it is essential the artists need to have the feedback on what they create as well the progression, so I will keep on writing these ‘compliments’ you could say, as you go along! ^^

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