Hunter Black’s Guarantee — Just The Tip of the Iceberg

You might have seen this video already; it’s trending on Facebook right now. But given Hunter’s old profession, it’s nice to know that, if anything, we’ve been understating how bad-ass an archer can really be.

I was going to save this for the next page update, but that’s two days from now…and this is too cool to wait.

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In all likelihood, by the time you’re reading this, the page is a wee bit late. Not to fear, it’s just our incompatible schedules misfiring again. I’ll take the heat for it; I was poised to make sure that all of the pieces fell together on this page…but I fell asleep. Knocked right out. I’ve spent the last three days trying to catch up on my sleep and it just doesn’t seem to be happening. It was a good nap, though. Mercifully, there’s nothing much to say about this page, so I can blather on about entirely different stuff…

…(yes, I know that 432 might not be up yet as you read this, but I PROMISE, it’s coming)…

…so can we talk about The Flash? Can we talk about Arrow??? The bar for these shows was pretty damn high, I have to tell you, before they came back from hiatus. Both shows cleared that bar with room to spare.

The Flash is giving us ROGUES, honest to God supervillains. The stunt casting ¬†of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, as Captain Cold and Heat Wave respectively, could not have worked better. Miller’s Cold persona is icy, dare I say, sociopathic. (Will refers to him as a sociopath every time we discuss the show.) Purcell’s Heat Wave is almost over-the-top in his psychosis, but it comes of as intimidating rather than as clownish; the physicality that he brings to the role is the cherry on the sundae, I think. The Rogues are a big part of Flash lore, and it’s good to think that such important roles have been placed in such capable hands.

They’re not afraid to GO THERE when it comes to using superpowers, either. There’s a scene where the Flash is full-on running up the side of a building as rays of fire and frost whiz past him. It’s the sort of thing that 10-year old me could only have dreamt of.

As far as Arrow goes, SPOILERS ON, they managed to treat the audience like adults. No one REALLY thinks that Ollie is permanently dead, and we’re aren’t expected to, because we deal with that throughout the episode…and because of that, we get to experience the emotions of the characters who DO think Ollie is dead in a very real way. We were freed to experience those feelings and see them as genuine rather than suspect that “something else is going on.” It was a brilliant choice and it made for a very meaningful episode.

Also, it’s hard not to think that Diggle’s refusal to adopt a masked guise is going to bite him in the ass, especially with him being the only field operative on the team that has a child (that he knows of, since a little white version of Connor Hawke is alive and living in Central City).

Anyway, like I said, I just joined Netflix. Daredevil is going to have to be pretty damned good to keep up with these two shows.

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Zezem’s major-domo is inspired in part by Tolkien’s Mouth of Sauron character from The Lord of the Rings. I doubt very much that Will utilized any sense of the film’s design for that character in this one, although I seem to recall him LOVING that character. I didn’t make any mention of the Mouth of Sauron in my script. Jacob gave us THREE versions of this page to choose from, trying to find just the right font for the major-domo. I know that in the age of “Select All” and one-click font changes, that’s not the biggest of deals…but it still took time. Different fonts means different balloons…and I generally trust Jacob enough to go with what he selects. Giving this choice is part of the reason why. (Jacob works with me on every project that I can get him on.)

Finally, FINALLY, the wife and I have joined Netflix. There are many things to watch; we started as I have always promised that we would: House of Cards. It’s important to point out here that The West Wing is my favorite show of all time…and this ain’t no West Wing. That is not to be taken in a pejorative sense; I’m loving what I’m seeing thus far. The West Wing was a look at government and politics at its best. Jed Bartlett was an idealist. House of Cards is the underbelly of politics, the part that is dragged along the ground as the beast that is the United States government crawls forward. Frank Underwood is a man who knows how to manipulate Washington and does so ruthlessly.

The West Wing‘s premiere takes its time revealing to you the nature of the main character, in part because the show wasn’t originally planned to be about the President as much as about his staff, and that really works well, for me at least. In House of Cards, you know who the main character is in the first 60 seconds, with a piece of disturbing and whip-smart writing.

I imagine that, by the end of March, we’ll be done with Season Three of House of Cards…and I’ll be looking for recommendations on what to watch next. Breaking Bad and Mad Men are high on my personal list, since I’ve seen neither. I’ll be watching Black Mirror too. And of course, the whole reason I got Netflix was to watch April’s Daredevil. But I’ll be hoping to hear about some other interesting stuff too!

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The last time we introduced a new character in these pages, it was Aeryn Thornheart, and I think I told you about how Will and I differed on what we wanted from the design. What ended up on the page was vastly different from what I described in the script AND from what Will initially drew. In this case, Will took my description and just completely made it his own. In the broadest sense, this is what I described, but it looks nothing like, and way better than, the design that I had in my mind’s eye. More on this character on Wednesday.

So, I’m frikkin’ exhausted again. Last night was a hard night at the old night job; I didn’t end up crawling in bed this morning until around 5:30 am. Then the wife got me up to rent a truck and pick up some furniture that a friend of her family was getting rid of. What I didn’t quite get was that I was moving a LOT of furniture, not just for my wife, but for her mom and aunt too. Now, they helped us move last week, so I’m happy to have done it…and I would have been happy to do it in any event…THEY’RE OUR FAMILY. But I didn’t really get that I was going to be doing the moving for everyone. The days of me carrying heavy pieces of furniture for other people were supposed to be over. (When you’re 6’5″, those days are never over.)

I say all of this to say…yeah. Not as much commentary as I might otherwise like this go ’round. I’m still struggling to get my writing mojo back in a new space and after putting the keyboard down for a few days to move. (It’s funny, but I can waste a lot of words saying that I have very little to say. Jacob describes this as “being Justin Peniston.”)

I will have more for you on Wednesday. #YouAreTheThirteen #TheThirteenAreInfinite

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Man, I feel like I have so much that got skipped because of my move. The last few pages were definitely pages about which I had something to say. “St. Rivus” is reference to a character, who was NOT a saint, played by a friend. He had a memorable line of dialogue in a short-lived campaign I ran. Belrak was the name of a character another friend played, and I’ve been wanting to shout out to him for a while. Of all of my friends, he’s the most vocally supportive of Hunter Black. The city of Kneebone comes from a legend that says that the Wyrmspires are ACTUAL dragons that have been turned to stone. The name Volux comes from a canine companion one of my characters had back in the day. There was also a discussion to be had about how Jacob and I go over dialogue sometimes, but that’s too much for a catch-up post. Anyway, how about this page? Will’s on fire lately.

Let me tell you, I HATE being thrust out of my routine. You’d think that, after years of traveling, I’d be more used to it than I am, but I’m just no good at it. I hate being away from MY computer, on MY desk, in MY office. I hate not having access to the Internet, and using my smartphone doesn’t really cut it.

Complaining aside, I’m pleased with my new office. I’m typing this surrounded by UTTER CHAOS, don’t get me wrong, and I have a lot of personal touches to add to the huge blank wall in front of me. My brain starts it itch when I think about how completely out of whack my books and trades are. I’m just OCD enough to want them in some kind of order…and let’s just say that at the moment, my book collection could not play a paladin. (Actually, I guess that has changed, but you get my drift. UTTER CHAOS.)

Once I’ve decided that this room isn’t an embarrassment, maybe I’ll share a picture of my workspace.

SAD FACT: Moving is often about divesting oneself of junk, and this move was no exception. Sadly, I ended up throwing away/recycling HUNDREDS of pages of old D&D stuff. Adventures, notes, worksheets, even props. Even having rid myself of about 100 (not D&D) books, my shelf space is VERY limited, and I find myself considering getting rid of all my 1st (of which I don’t have much), 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Edition D&D stuff. I mean, I haven’t played 2nd Edition D&D in…10+ years? I’ll NEVER play 4th Edition again if I can help it.

I probably have close to 100 D&D books when you consider all five editions, and I’m currently using only THREE of them. It’s hard to argue with getting rid of least SOME of it. (My wife would consider it a victory.)

*sobs uncontrollably*

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One of my favorite pages so far. who doesn’t love drawing vikings and zombies? I can imagine the conversations going on at the bar, Hunter does not look amused and Jasoom is using his best game.

I’ve started re-watching Firefly while I draw. Man, it’s a great show. My internet sometimes can be, fickle. I usually like to stream stuff on my Ipad while I draw but, on days where it doesn’t wifi very well I watch my DVD’s. Everyone couple of months I pop in Firefly and binge watch it. I sometimes wonder if it would still be such i hit if it wasn’t canceled. Could they have kept the steam going? Or would it have fissiled out? What do you guys think?

-Will

 

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