So, the comic started one year ago, and I feel the need to add some final thoughts about the new pages:
Cover: It's of course unusual to have the cover after some pages. Yet, I wanted to Intro Chapter on Amazonia as some "Cold Opening", about the same way Elizabeth Swan found the Aztec Amulett in "Pirates of the Carribean", to be followed by the Intro credits.
The cover features the major characters, yet, there was not enough room for all of them (e.g. Zapp Brannigan and Glab).
Page19: Was glad I finally could abandon the "Kid Amazonian" plot. It was a necessary introduction, but yet - I finally needed to get back to the major characters. As some folks (mostly the ladies
) commented: I let "30" play in a time in which Fry and Leela are already together. Fry chasing after Leela has imhO been done enough times. Also, commited couples are better to get unto each others nerves.
Little detail: You can see Tank from Butterjunk effect (who will be a minor recurring char in 30) with her son among the passer-bys. The sad expression was done on purpose.
Page 20: Must admit I am a big fan of the French U-Comix (U = Underground. Rather silly and exaggerated). Those comics often featured random, silly background gimmicks. The "walking on eggshells" scene was one of them.
Page 21-22: The mall (inside and outside) was based on pics of real malls. Yet, the inside and outside belonged to different malls.
I noticed that -when I have a big "middle pic" I often do the framing pics a bit more lazily (less background).
Page 23: The "Big Meme is watching you" pic showed one typical strategy. The plot itself did not contain too much humor, but rather resembled a briefing (which it basically was). Therefore, background gimmicks and shenanigans must be used to uphold the humor level. Also, kudos here to Tachyon for helping me finding a term for the correct pun. (Wanted to go for "Guns" -which would have worked in German- but he informed me that this term in American would rather apply to a biceps).
Page 24-25: I must admit I considered lots of possibilities how to give Fry the gun. At first, I wanted to make him rush back to Leelas place, getting one of her weapons. Much to her confusion/wonder, as a ragged Fry in his underpants searching for a gun is eligible to make everyone nervous, I guess. The scene also would have allowed a quoatition of a famous Simpson dialog. "Fry, you are up to something stupid, are you" "Leela...I do not want to lie to you", and wondering off without any further comment.
Yet, in the overall context, I did not want to have Fry leaving his starting place, to run back there as soon as problems arise. "Let the plot, and also the character run", so to speak. Therefore, Fry will not return to Leela until the "Valentine's Day problem" is solved. Anything else would not have made sense.
Page 26: As stated before: I wanted Fry to have the gun, trying to set it to stun, trying to send other to sleep. A "let a character start his own problems/plot" device, so to speak. Yet, it would not have looked like Fry,
and therefore needed Bender to bring the Gun into play. Also Bender would be the only one setting it to "kill", shooting down the candelabra. Aslo, I decided to leave Fry's eye hanging out, until someone will take properly care of it:)
Page 27: Much dialoge, isn't it?
Worked a bit with the frame, that were supposed to look like shattered glas.
Page 28: Cliffhanger like ending, and perfect opportunity to switch to another scene.
Page 29: I wanted to lash out at the media. Their behaviour in the George Zimmerman/Tryvon Martin gave me that idea. The headlines were basically "He shot him because he was black". Really? Shouldn't that be a courts job to find out? Shouldn't a witnesses job be to supply the observed informations? How tall/heavy/intimidating were both persons involved, were there any injuries, was one of them or both under drugs, did one or both of them have a criminal recored for illegal weapon possesion/assault/etc....? Yet, the beginning was "He shot him because he was black", and -as that theme was likely to cause an uproar- much of the media behaviour was "We see only what we want to see".
Page30: First page without any background at all. Some more media bashing, basically done by Abner. I must admit I consider myself a rather honest person. Therefore, the whole media bashing is not really subtle, but rather "straight in your face". Well...South Park does basically the same, and they have enogh fans. So, some random guy drawing fan cartoons in his spare time should be entitled the same allowances, I guess
Page31-34 Another of those A2 Mega-Pages. (I just like that format
). Fry comes back to the plot, and leaved immediatelly again;)
I wanted to go for "Fry has a minor task", and will manage to cause as much chaos as possible. And getting some "Last Minute Valentine's Day flowers" is not really something that unusualy, I guess.
Linda's second job as hooker was basically the end of my media behaviour bashing. Subtle as usual
The big house at the lower right corner was modelled after one from my hometown, that stands at the limits of the right lights district (which is basically 100 meters of streets, with sight blockers, and mostly used by studens as a short cut to university when they are late. Not really what you consider an impressive underworld, I guess...
Page 35-36: I must admit "Butterjunk Effect" was far from a favorite episode. Yet, the character of "Tank" was just perfect. I needed some "down on his/her luck" character, on a "will go to the extreme" task. And a mother trying to save her terminally ill child will probably not consider any action unacceptable. Unfortunately, I did spend too much time on that supporting character than I wanted. Yet, I want to give everyone in the comic an own agenda/motive/goal. Supporting characters should not just "pop up", with the reader wondering "who is this person". But rather -when that person interacts with others- the reader should know what this guy/gal wants.So, in order to save her child, it's obvious that this character will go to extremes. An ally that will immediatelly backstab you, as soon as she suspects your enemies might be more suitable to help her achieve her goal. A character that will ALWAYS be driven by her motive, and under no condition deviate from it.
Also, as the plot loses much of his humor (let's face it: A mother trying to get into prostitution to get the hospital bill for her terminally ill child is not really gold comedy material), I once again increased the number of gimmicks/cameos. The brother/strip club scene is probably my record so far.
37: I must admit: I wondered quite a while how someone could tell about her dying child, yet to keep some jokes in those panels. Wanted to have generic that doc from "Cold Warriors" first to bring the news, and Cahill to tend after Tanks injuries later. I took quite a while until I got the idea to use Tank's episode dialoge, ("got a little boy at home who is dying", and this time it is to be taken literally) and let Linda's "Ooopsie" lead to a typical Cahill behaviour (acting like the blonde bimbo in a rather serious situation) in the flashback.
Also, little poke at Groening and Cohen.
That joke is basically rather a parody on Futurama itself. Many early Futuram episodes feature a blatant "Women are much better than men" undertone. So, they will have to stand being questioned in a joking image, wether these plots were born because of a masochistic character
38: Completely random girl-on-girl scene. But needed it later, and another page that featured only "background gimmicks" otherwise.
39: Bender's return to the plot, and the Space Pirates first appearrance in the comic. As the cover shows Emperor Grog in a duel with Leela, it's obvious he will required some page presence.
40: And Bender's departure from the plot again;)
41-43: Emperor Grog will take the role of a "Boss Monster" (though not the biggest one). Therefore, the following pages should establish him as some close combatant to be reckoned with. He finished of Tank with one hand, and Leela stood no chance against Tank. Message: Whenever there will be a fight against Grog, it will certainly NOT be shouting "Hi-Ya", and laying him down with one kick. That strategy will rather be suicide. So, whenever a direct confrontation with Grog takes place, a plan and strategy will be needed.
44: Callback to that stupid boob holding scene before. The opportunity to raise the hospital money of 98.765,43 passing Tank by is a joke I got from the German comedy "Otto, der Film". The protagonist was basically a dumb, but well meaning/nice loser. He was in debt (9.876,50 Mark, yep that movie is old). And evertime he did something decent/nice, he learned later in hindsight that being an asshole would have lead to him getting the needed money. Okay, Tank is not really nice person, but yet, I wanted that joke
45-46: So, I spent enough time on the supporting chars, let's get back to the main folks. In "Futurama Space Battle", I showed the Pirates being taken down by Fry (without him basically knowing).
Again, they suffer from collateral damage caused by Fry, again without him really noticing (he got other things to worry about). A running gag I will repeat, that scene will certainly not be the last time the Pirates are taken down by Fry in a "collateral damage" way.
So, that was the first year of "30". Hope you enjoyed it so far.
On the next pages, the main characters (Fry, Bender, Leela and a imho rather popular villain from the show) will take over.
The next 8-12(?) pages will be Fry, then 4 pages of Bender, and then Leela will join the plot (which is about time, as she has not spoken a word in the comic so far;) ). Well..I rather wanted to wait to "activate" that character when there is something for her to do. Instead of bringing that character in play, to have her stand around without anything to do.