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Comic 978 - Not Christmas Without You, Page 23

31st Dec 2020, 11:00 PM in 26. Not Christmas Without You
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Not Christmas Without You, Page 23
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Author Notes:

31st Dec 2020, 11:00 PM
Adam C.
Heheh.... Yeah, after quite a bit of hype and mentioning... Jack Tryon finally shows up.

Gonna admit, I had a lot of fun working out the outfit here, which was a light amount of back-and-forth with me and Martin while doing this page. ^^ Martin came up with the idea of a head-to-toe power armor set (had been picturing like a buff, survivalist marine myself when he first pitched the character to me), and from there we just hashed it out. Wanted it to look tough without being too bulky, and the end result was just a bit Star-Wars-y, but I think in a good way. Actually, maybe less Star Wars and more Metroid? This looks like one of the rival bounty hunters that Samus would go up against.

Honestly, more I look at this the happier I am Martin went this route; we've never really done a Powered Armor bad guy in the comics yet, and I just think they're a lot of fun for a villain (unless you do that thing where the armor gets more emphasis than the poor shmuck wearing it). I mean, there's Protocol in WaR, but a powered-armor hero always feels really different from a villain; bad guys have a lot more emphasis on being walking tanks that dole out destruction and soak up punishment. Like, I'm getting hyped for the fight scene the more I type this. ^^

Speaking of, this chapter idea was in mind since the start of the comic. A lot of specifics have been juggled around, but will let Martin get into that.

Oh! Right, I should probably mention Occam. He was uh... Not really much to be much of a presence, just sort of a little side figure we thought would be neat to pop in. He didn't even have a design until like just before this page went up. But... Remember how I said there was a lot of back-and-forth to get Tryton just right? He sort of wound up being tweaked in the midst of it and.... Eheh, yeah, came out sort of overdesigned for a random b-character. In particular we've grown to like the tiger-vs-dragon trope so he got those tats, and wanted to see how Seahawk's mustache would look on a character so thus the facial hair. Tehn got the face paint on top of it... Yeah, the character sort of wound up being a runaway train, but I like the place it wound up.
31st Dec 2020, 11:05 PM
Martin F.
This probably isn't too huge of a surprise; Tryton's name was on the year 10 preview, was mentioned in the last chapter in a way pretty clearly designed as a reminder of when the matter had come up previously, and there was a random gun on the cover of this chapter. Still pretty overdue I think but yeah, this appearance from Tryton here wasn't really designed to be a gigantic shock in isolation.

Although I am realizing that this is kind of a big page for what-could-have-beens; there are kind of two separate sets of them to unpack here, one relating to Tryton at large and one relating to the page itself and how this sequence of events plays out. Let's start with Tryton.

Remember that I mentioned waaaaaay back when Xandy was first revealed to be a blue blood that it was unlikely she would end up going to the center because there were specific plans she was needed for in Wright as Rayne? This is what I was specifically referring to, being present for when Tryton first showed up. Eventually it was decided that we could make that work despite not having Xandy in Atlanta most of the time, so we decided to just go ahead and go with her ending up in the school.

This encounter with Tryton was originally supposed to happen much later for the record - since plans when we get there (which'll probably be sooner than you think) will likely be very different than they are now, doesn't hurt to say that it was going to be Valentine's Day - but ultimately, between the school being closed, playing well into Alex's current problems, kind of feeling like it'd been too long since the Arc storyline had really had any progression, and some other factors, the decision was made to move that up to here.

There's a whole other could-have-been matter to discuss in regards to Tryton - honestly kind of two more though one is comparitively minor by comparison to the other - but we'll get to that later.

Also, I feel like it should be noted in case anyone's wondering that Tryton and White Noise have nothing to do with each other; I tried several different color schemes for Tryton when doing this current design (which was first done alongside Jodie several chapters ago) and this is what worked best for the militaristic look I was wanting out of it, and only realized as I was coloring the page how similar they color schemes are. I tried to steer away from that a bit with giving the white kind of a green-ish tint and replacing what were going to be darker green bits with brown, but it feels like I should acknowledge that there's a passing resemblance there.

Now, as for this page specifically...

While the overall point of this run-in with Occam - Alex sees some random other hero who gives a tip about something going on where Xandy's at - was planned for a long while, it taking this more simplified form kind of took awhile to settle into place. For a long while the plan was to actually try to do a brief sequence running into Patricia and another chosen person of hers, with her new recruit getting the jump on Alex then Occam lending a hand leading to a bit of conversation between them that led to the Tryton subject, but between her cameo earlier in the chapter, essentially getting that same thing from her in the previous chapter, the amount of time the sequence would have taken up, and it being a footnote to the plot of the chapter at large, ultimately the decision was made to cut all of that down to this random chance run-in. I'd say it's for the better, would've been a largely pointless scene and we don't really need to put more focus on Occam anyway because this is his only contribution to the chapter.

Do hope everyone enjoys this one, and hopefully your year is better than 2020 was.


1st Jan 2021, 1:34 AM
Oh boy what in the world is going to happen now.