Saturday, February 28, 2009

Out of the Vault - Donna Matrix #1

Donna Matrix #1Built for Pleasure! Programmed for Destruction!

In 1984, First Comics published a comic called Shatter! It was a futuristic noir mystery with a gimmick: all the art had been done on a Macintosh computer (back in the days when Macs were all-in-one-box jobbers with a tiny black-and-white screen and no hard drive) by a guy named Mike Saenz. Saenz became an evangelist for CG art from then on, producting a computer-generated Iron Man graphic novel titled Crash and creating the sexy Macintosh game Virtual Valerie.

And then in 1993, he started up a comic book label and published Donna Matrix #1, written by Saenz with "art" by Norm Dwyer.

Donna Matrix was the forerunner of all the comics produced today by teenagers with Poser and Photoshop. It was generated in crude 3-D with special effects added in Photoshop and then composited in Illustrator.

Kicky boots add the crowning touch to this ensembleThe story takes place in the near-future. Horny guy buys a sex robot, a busty blonde model called an XTC 69. He wants it to perform S/M on him, but there's a law, called the "Deviate Robot Sex Act," which inhibits her from actually doling out corporal punishment.

So the guy seeks out a hacker who sells him stolen and highly illegal military software used to program robot commandos. Dude hacks up the progam so that the robot will talk dirty while it spanks him. He loads it into his sex android, which promptly kills him then goes on a murderous rampage across the city. While talking dirty.

Shiny, happy peopleDonna Matrix never made it to issue two. The book was printed in expensive full-process color, but the story was mindless, and the computer-generated models were crude and the rendering was often murky. Backgrounds were scarce, poses were stiff, textures were shiny and toy-like--whatever novelty value the 3-D had to offer didn't offset the book's many shortcomings.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Audio Wednesday - Evening Primrose

It might seem a little soon to do another Escape, but I'm going ahead and doing it for two reasons.

Number one, Escape was one of the best radio dramas. From the ominous opening brass and full orchestra (no simple organ here), to the scripts adapting some of the most popular stories of its day, to the generally high level of voice acting (including William Conrad and Paul Frees on announcing duties), Escape was a class production from beginning to end.

I chose to present this episode, "Evening Primrose," an adaptation of the John Collier short story which has also been adapted into a Stephen Sondheim musical, because it's not only suspenseful, but also a clever satire with some laugh-out-loud lines buried in the script. It's not a comedy, but a suspense story with its tongue planted firmly in cheek.

So enjoy "Evening Primrose," the November 5, 1947 episode of Escape.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TV Round-up

I still haven't watched last night's shows, so the Chuck and Heroes impressions aren't completely up-to-date, but oh well...

I don't watch Bones, but I have enjoyed some of the episodes I've watched. However, the other day, I decided to watch the recent episode involving the death of a woman in a Renfaire-looking outfit. Turns out, it was a booth babe from a science-fiction convention. I can't believe how awful it was.

The main character, Brennan, is supposed to be this brainiac who's a little out of touch with the everyday world, but they were having her miss even the most obvious of "Star Wars" references, like some alien in a 50's B-picture. I mean, I halfway expected her to say, "Is this one of your Earth jokes?" Plus, the vibe around the convention and the characterization of the fans bore only the slightest resemblance to any kind of fan activity I've ever seen. Chuck would have gotten at least a little of it right.

For instance, Chuck's big episode after the break, "Chuck vs. the Third Dimension," had Chuck protecting a rock star. Now the rock star just happens to be played by the most famous hobbit rock star ever, Dominic Monaghan of "The Lord of the Rings" and Lost. But the rock star's name is Tyler Martin, which was just incredibly weird, because the day before I watched this episode, I listened to an interview with Tyler Martin, web-cartoonist and developer of the Comicpress plug-in for Wordpress, which I use on the Hero Go Home site (Boom! Review of TV show turns into reference to obscure geek hero turns into plug for my own site! Trifecta!). Maybe they weren't giving a nod to that Tyler Martin, but Chuck is just geek-aware enough that they could have been.

Interesting nod toward plausibility in the newest episode of Chuck. One of the problems with Chuck's premise is that he was infected with this huge intelligence database that was then destroyed. Now Chuck's got all the intel in his head. But intel goes stale after a while. What you knew about someone three weeks or months or years ago might not be relevant to what they're doing now. So Chuck has to get updated every now and then or else all he's got is a head full of old secrets that are currently useless.

So in the latest Chuck, he gets reinfected with an evil version of the Intersect database. However, this one comes from a computer with the latest high-speed datalines running into the building, not from an email attachment sent from a cell phone. Better.

Fox has a new show called Lie to Me. It's a mystery series starring Tim Roth as a guy who has spent his life studying lies and the way people act when they're telling them. So the camera is always focusing on twitches the actors make as they deliver their dialogue. It's a pretty good show, but the dialogue between the main characters gets awfully tiresome. (note: this is not actual dialogue from the show)

Character 1: What's wrong?

Character 2: Nothing.

Character 1 (pointing at 2's face): No! See? Right there. Mouth shrug indicating deception. You're lying. And I know what you're lying about!

Character 2 (pointing back): Ha! One-sided shrug! You don't know and you're just fishing.

Character 1: Maybe I don't. But something's wrong and you want to tell me.

Character 2: No, I don't. I'm fine.

Character 1 (pointing): Ha! Smiled with your mouth and not your eyes. Liar!

God, give it a rest.

Heroes continues to be Heroes, half-awesome, half-annoying-as-all-get-out. The characters are now fugitives from a government pogrom, which is led by the The Flying Senator who has turned Judas Goat. They've managed to make Suresh less ridiculous than in the "Villains" arc, but they've stolen Hiro's powers and turned him into a petulant whiny brat. I don't want petulant whiny Hiro. I want a Hiro who's on his way to being the ass-kicker we saw back in Season One, with the silly soul-patch and the katana slung across his back.

Other than that, Terminator is back and Dollhouse has premiered. I like what I've so far of Dollhouse, but I'll wait until after the third episode before I give my impressions.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Out of the Vault - Fightin' Army #60

I was never a big fan of the war titles, but my stepbrother couldn't get enough of 'em, especially DC's, so I became very familiar with the big names on the DC side--Sgt. Rock, the Losers, Enemy Ace, the Haunted Tank, the Unknown Soldier--mostly written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by either Russ Heath or Joe Kubert. I read exactly one issue of Sgt. Fury and his Howlin' Commandos, but the rough-and-tumble style of the Marvel soldiers seemed like kid's stuff next to the general excellence of the DC war line.

And then there's the Charlton title, Fightin' Army. I actually have three issues of this. Two were either purchases by my step-brother or else they were part of a random vacation stack my step-mother bought before a road trip. This one, Fightin' Army #60, carries the cover date November 1964, so it would have been published a couple of months before, when I was still one year old.

I think I salvaged it from a dumpster. There was a big dumpster set up in our neighborhood for people to drop off newspapers for recycling, and we discovered that sometimes people dumped old comics in there. One time, I found a bundle of old stuff, including an issue of Classic Comics adapting the tale of Marco Polo. That's where I think I discovered this.

It's not very good. Fightin' Army was an anthology title full of self-contained stories ranging from three pages long all the way to eight. The art is dull. The lettering looks mechanical and contains some odd typos like "LT? SHORTELL."

The stories aren't very well written, either. The first seems like a true-life account of a forward observer during the Korean War, Lt. Guy Shortell. Over four pages, Shortell demonstrates how awesome he is at calling in artillery on the enemy, until the final two panels of the story, in which Shortell is shot by enemy soldiers then calls in fire on his own position as it is overrun. In a DC comic, this would be a dramatic moment, with an emotional ending and the bittersweet "Make War No More" medallion at the end. The Charlton version is more like "I'm shot. I'm dead. The End." Sorry. Just "End."

The next story is written in first person, about a Special Forces soldier in Vietnam who's dealing with a Viet Cong infiltrator in a village he's trying to protect. I think it might have been sent in by a reader. In three pages, he tracks down the enemy agent and catches him. Then...

The ending is so low-key and anti-climactic, it feels as if it were written by Harvey Pekar.

Other stories are more typical war comic fare: a soldier who's assigned a screw-up buddy who ends up saving his life, a World War I pilot challenged to an aerial duel by one of Von Richtofen's aces, and an odd little story about an American soldier sent to fetch a bottle of champagne for a general in northern France during WWII. He takes a wrong turn and ends up behind enemy lines. Luckily, his family was German, so he speaks the language. He steals a uniform and, posing as an enemy soldier, loses the champagne but manages to kill an enemy commander.

Really, the most interesting thing about the comic is the cover. If you've ever seen comics that were published during WWII, you'd remember covers bulging with action--hordes of soldiers shooting each other, or shooting at Captain America or the Human Torch, skies full or warplanes dropping bombs, shells flying everywhere.

This comic was published after the Comics Code Authority had been established, so it has to give the appearance of mayhem without actually depicting it. Two soldiers in the background tear down a Nazi flag, while a third soldier fires his sumachine gun. At first glance, it looks like it might be taking place during a raging battle.

But if that's so, why are the two soldiers in background wasting time tearing down a flag instead of mopping up the enemy? Why is the third soldier shooting at an empty Nazi helmet floating in the air? Is there a dead soldier flopping on the ground just out of frame? Or did somebody toss the helmet in the air for target practice? Or is the soldier simply invisible?

Seriously, what's the deal?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big Audio Wednesday - Lights Out in Studio B

Lights Out will forever be associated with the inventive work of Arch Oboler, but Oboler was not the original writer on the show. Wyllis Cooper originated the show and established the basic format which Oboler then tuned to great effect.

One trick that Cooper loved to use was to break the fourth wall and have his characters acknowledge their existence or the existence of the audience, a trick that he continued to use in his follow-up series, Quiet Please. A closely-related trick used several times on Lights Out was to present a "behind the scenes" story: the episode "Murder in the Script Department" was about two secretaries locked in the offices at night while typing up one of Oboler's scripts, and "The Author and the Thing" featured Oboler dreaming up a monster for his final episode, that of course comes to life on him.

But before those episodes came this Cooper classic, "The Coffin in Studio 'B'," about tragic happenings during rehearsals for an episode of Lights Out. The show has the feel of a real rehearsal. The ending is telegraphed pretty early, but on Lights Out especially, the twist wasn't the point. The point was to listen to extended scenes of people dying in frantic, painful ways. Lights Out was the forerunner of today's torture porn movies like "Saw" and "Hostel," but with occasional humor and wit (ETA: although not so much in this episode--the death scene is relatively brief--still, my point remains: the endings were usually clearly telegraphed, and half the fun was getting to the ending you knew was coming).

So turn your lights out and enjoy this look behind the scenes of horror radio in the 30's as Lights Out presents "The Coffin in Studio 'B' " (this is a 1946 rebroadcast of a show originally done in the 30's). Click the widget to listen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Falling Behind But Hanging On

I've fallen a bit off my schedule on Hero Go Home. Not enough to put me in danger of missing updates, unless I were to do this for a month or more, but still enough to cause concern. I'm spending my energy being concerned at falling off schedule on the webcomic to avoid the bigger concern of being unemployed for my third week. Signs are promising that I'll have something next week, but it may not pay as much as I was making, at least initially, so things will still be tight for quite some time. I've got just enough money to squeak through the rest of this month. March will be super-tight, and then things will loosen up in April, I hope. If things don't go well, I'll probably be selling off some or all of my animation art on eBay.

I hope it doesn't come to that.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Out of the Vault - Dracula #6

Dracula #6I'm not entirely sure where I got this superhero take on Dracula. I have a vague memory of buying it at some sort of rummage sale they had at my school, along with the comic adaptation of "The Valley of Gwangi," which I had missed in the theater when it was first released. I was probably nine years old at the time, although I may have been ten.

Although the front cover (and as always, you can click on the images for larger, more legible versions) says "COLLECTORS ISSUE," it's actually a reprint of Dell's Dracula #2, which appeared in 1966. The first issue adapted the Bela Lugosi film, and then Dell, hoping to jump on the superhero bandwagon, transformed Dracula into a costumed adventurer (along with the Frankenstein monster and the werewolf in their own series). The experiment didn't succeed; the series only lasted three issues, ending with #4.

However, in 1972, Dell decided to reprint the books, so Dracula returned with issue #6 (no one seems to know what happened to #5). In this retelling of Dracula's origin, the modern-day Dracula is a medical researcher living in isolation, ashamed of his family's horrible legacy. He is working on a serum to heal brain damage, which he has isolated from the brains of bats in an effort to further rescue his family's reputation.

Worst Medical Researcher EverHe finishes the serum and sets the beaker on a shelf, intending to send it to a friend of his for experimental use on asylum patients. Then (before the serum has actually been tested), he sets the bats free in his lab because he has no further use for them. He then pours himself a toast to his success, a "refreshing glass of mineral water," and apparently doesn't notice that one of the bats set loose in his lab has knocked over the beaker with his precious serum, dumping it into the glass he's about to drink from. What kind of crappy housekeeper is Dracula that he doesn't notice or care about the pink residue in the bottom of the glass he's about to drink out of?

Anyway, he drinks the potion and blacks out. When he comes to, he's flying over the country side, because he has turned into a bat. Wow, good thing he didn't send it to Doctor Schwartz in Vienna for use on all those brain-damaged patients, huh? Imagine fifty mental patients tripping on bat serum flying all over the European countryside.

He's Eval, get it? Get it?Anyway, Dracula decides he must shut himself away from the world forever, lest it learn his terrible secret, that secret being that he is a total freaking moron. Alas, it is not to be, for Eastern European strongman Boris Eval trucks up to the castle with a few truckloads of nuclear missiles and sets up shop on Dracula's front lawn.

Eval, who looks like Josef Stalin in a Harpo wig, has an eval plan (get it?) to take over the world by starting a nuclear war between the superpowers.

Master of DisguiseStep one: disguised as a common workman with an outrageous mustache and a Harpo wig, Eval plants bombs in an international peace conference. He plans to kill all the officials at the conference, then while the world is in chaos, launch his missiles into space, fooling the superpowers into thinking that each has launched a first strike on the other, triggering a nuclear holocaust. Then, Eval, who is tucked away safely in remote Transylvania, will emerge to claim the reins of power over what's left of the world.

Luckily, the conference is being held within easy bat-flight range of Castle Dracula, so Dracula is able to warn the conferees of the danger. Eval's plot fails.

Wow, that's a handy gadgetHe still has his nuclear missiles, however, so Dracula next leads a horde of bats in an attack on the missiles. Panicked at the thought of the missiles toppling from the weight of the bats and exploding, Eval flees and wrecks his car. Luckily, his disarming device falls out of the wrecked vehicle, and with one flick of a conveniently labeled switch, Dracula saves the world.

Dracula then decides to use his powers for the good of humanity. He orders a ton of gym equipment delivered to his castle in ominous-looking wooden crates. There follows a quick training montage, in which we learn that T-shirts bulk you up.

Dracula in civilian garb:

98 lb weakling

Dracula in gym clothes, but still before training of any kind (check out those guns):

Welcome to the Gun Show

Dracula then goes to a nearby village, where he leaves an order with a tailor for a costume, then captures a couple of robbers with his newfound muscles, where this happens:

Did the bullet bounce off? Did the robber miss? Was Dracula wounded, but healed quickly? Or was he wounded and merely fighting through the pain? Who knows? Who cares?

So Dracula picks up his costume and returns home to find his castle in flames. The superstitious townspeople, terrified by all the suspicious deliveries and activity around the castle, have decided to put an end to the evil in their midst. Dracula is appalled at the fear and ignorance of his fellow men, and pledges to fight against evil, corruption and greed in an effort to make people really, really like him.

So ends Dracula's "collectors edition" origin story, at which point nine-year-old you says, "Wait a second! This is a Dracula story without a vampire! What a rip. I might as well sell this thing to some other idiot at the school rummage sale."

That idiot, of course, was me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Audio Wednesday - Sleep No More

So I listened to a huge chunk of Escape and Suspense (one of which will be next week's Big Audio Wednesday) and decided to look for something more offbeat.

Which led me to Sleep No More.

Sleep No More was a different kind of suspense show. Instead of performing dramas with a stock cast and maybe a weekly guest star, Sleep No More was formatted around a man named Nelson Olmsted, who read and performed all the short story adaptations in the series. He was entirely a celebrity of his time, quite famous and successful in his day, virtually forgotten now.

For this week's feature, here's the November 21, 1956 episode of Sleep No More, an adaptation of the Nelson Bond short story, "Conqueror's Isle." Click the widget to listen.

"Conqueror's Isle," first published in 1946, had been adapted before. It was an episode of Escape in 1947, and was performed on television in 1953 as an episode of Tales of Tomorrow. I haven't seen the television version, but I think the Escape adaptation is much better than the Sleep No More.

So why am I presenting the Sleep No More version? Because this adaptation differs from the Escape one in one significant way (actually two, but the other isn't the reason I chose it).

You see (and I make no apologies for the spoiler here--the story is over 60 years old, and it's not that great to start with), "Conqueror's Isle" is about mankind faced with the threat of evolution, specifically with a race of advanced mutant supermen with abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans.

And in this adaptation, those mutant supermen refer to themselves specifically as Homo Superior. Now, I know that the term was first coined by Olaf Stapledon in the novel Odd John in 1935, but I wonder if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, when they were creating X-Men in 1962, would have been more influenced by an almost thirty-year-old novel or by an episode of a popular radio show that aired a few years previous.

I'm not saying definitively that this show inspired the X-Men. I'm just saying that it's possible that it was an influence. At least, it's fun to listen to in that light.

Monday, February 09, 2009

On Pins and Needles

It was a low-key weekend. Went to see "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." It was fun enough. "Die Hard" is just about my favorite movie ever, so the simple fact that it was a "Die Hard" parody was enough to get me into the premise. But the movie spends an awful lot of time trying to convince you that Kevin James' loser character is actually a lovable loser, and then spends a long drunk sequence making you think that lovable loser is really just a creepy loser. It takes a long time to win back that lost goodwill. It's okay, but there weren't enough big laughs, and it needs to take too many big plot leaps to make you think this guy would have any freaking chance on Earth to stop the bad guys.

Spent much of the rest of the weekend listening to old radio shows--Suspense, Escape, and X Minus One mainly. I've got shows scheduled for the next three Big Audio Wednesdays.

I was mainly just trying not to panic about this week. I'm waiting on a very important phone call that my immediate future hinges on. I hoped it would come today, but it didn't. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good news tomorrow.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Out of the Vault - DNAgents

In 1983, as the direct market was first finding its feet, several independent publishers jumped into the market and started publishing new titles to compete with Marvel and DC. One of the first and most fondly remembered is Eclipse Comics' The DNAgents.

Created by Saturday morning animation veterans Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot, the DNAgents were five superpowered teenagers who had been genetically engineered in a lab by the Matrix Corporation, and were used as corporate troubleshooters/bodyguards. The five were Surge, who could shoot electricity; Tank, super-strong and super-tough; Rainbow, a telepath and illusionist who relayed orders from their bosses at Matrix and functioned as a leader; Amber, who created electromagnetic discs that she could use as force shields or weapons; and Sham, an insecure shapeshifter who could also fire any weapon made.

The series ran for about two years under its original title, then switched gears and became The New DNAgents for another 17 issues.

Thinking back, I had thought that I would write a big entry on the DNAgents, but couldn't remember much about them. Digging into the Vault, I discovered that I only have four issues. No wonder I couldn't remember them well. But why did I only buy four issues? Rereading the issues, I remembered.

They were bland.

I'm not sure what it was specifically. Meugniot's art was part of the problem. He has done storyboards on tons of shows I really liked, but his skills didn't translate well to the page. His layouts were often cramped and confusing, which resulted in stiff, unnatural figures.

For instance, the panel at right, featuring Surge fighting the hit-man Luger. There are two big figures performing four simultaneous actions (Surge drawing glass fragments out of his eyes while shooting lightning, Luger dodging the lightning while throwing a knife at Surge). The layout takes your eye in a nice circle and down to the next panel below, but the two figures are really crammed in there, with Luger in particular having to wrench into a painful pose.

At the same time, the writing was walking a strange line between reality and fantasy. The DNAgents tried to seem more realistic than Marvel and DC comics by using genetic engineering and corporate malfeasance to ground its setting. And the characters went through their share of angst, with Surge especially going through a dark phase as he attempted to avenge the death of his one true love in issue 3.

But the added "realism" just made the superhero aspects of the story that much harder to accept. In issue 10, Surge's and Tank's girlfriends react with horror when they discover that their boyfriends are artificially-created organisms with superpowers. It was supposed to be poignant or something, but all I could think of was, "Their names are Surge and Tank. You had to know something was up." (And if you are wondering about Surge's girlfriend in issue 10 when he's mourning the loss of his true love from issue 3, well, let's just say that consistent characterization wasn't a strong point, either).

Another problem was the tension between Evanier's Saturday morning instincts and the attempt to introduce more adult fare into the comic. Meugniot loved to draw cheesecake into the comic, such as the above shot of the DNAgents in their breeding tank, or this shot from issue 2 of Tank's soon-to-be-girlfriend (and later-to-be-ex-girlfriend) in a towel.

(And given what has happened in the comics market since, it's amazing to note just how controversial this was in 1983--the issues I have print several letters complaining about the semi-nudity in the book)

At the same time, you had villains like Mega-Man, a combination of Transformers and Voltron (a giant robot formed from the combination of five transforming trucks). The silliness destroyed the realism and undercut the mature aspects, while the darkness and adult overtones made it harder to accept the silliness.

Which isn't to say it was a bad book. It was just dull enough and inconsistent enough that I wasn't compelled to keep picking it up. The best thing to come out of it, in fact, was its spin-off, Crossfire (which will be discussed separately some other time).

If you're interested in seeing DNAgents for yourself, the early issues were collected into a trade paperback just last year.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Big Audio Wednesday - Escape

Today's Big Audio Wednesday offering is a "classic" Arthur Conan Doyle story titled "The Ring of Thoth." It was presented on Escape on Aug. 11, 1947, and stars Jack Webb in a surprising turn as a non-military non-cop. (ETA: This broadcast is available on the Escape HQ Encodes page-the audio quality on these episodes is awesome, much better than most of the old radio transcriptions on Internet Archive). Click on the widget to listen.

As stories go, it just proves why Conan Doyle's non-Sherlock Holmes work has been mostly forgotten. It's not very good, frankly.

But aside from the novelty of hearing Jack Webb play a millienia-old sorcerer, I'm posting it today because of its central premise: a man who suffered a tragedy so great that he was unable to move past it, even after centuries had passed.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the greatest tragedy in my life. It's something I don't talk about; very few people who didn't know me then even know about it. But as bad as it was (and it was very bad--something broke in me that day that will probably never be fixed), I moved past it and have been able to find life and a measure of happiness since.

And that's the way it should be, I think. It may be very romantic to think about a love so great that it completely destroys you when it's gone, but I think it says something more and better about the human spirit that people are strong enough to absorb that damage and move past it and keep living.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Just for today, try Hero Go Home with a side of bacon.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Hero Go Home is now officially live. It will be updating every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

As I've mentioned before, the first couple of weeks are going to look really rough, because I didn't have the technical steps in the process worked out. I've got the process pretty well mapped out now, so by the time you read the strips I worked on today (in five weeks time), technical problems will no longer be an excuse and any weaknesses in the strip will be purely my own.

Another caveat: this is not a gag a day strip. I'm adapting the plot of what would have been a Digger novel, so things may move slowly. In fact, the first month could be considered the pre-credits sequence in a movie. But stick with me, and I'll try to give you a ride worth taking.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I am officially unemployed. There's not much else I can say to that right now.

Still plugging away at the webcomic, trying to get that last strip finished to make a five-week buffer before the official launch tomorrow.

I've come a long way in the last month. I've gotten back into the swing of penciling and gotten a lot of practice with the graphics pad. My pencils have gotten a little tighter and my inks are getting cleaner. The big problem I have right now is consistency.

One hallmark of professional strips is their consistent look. Dilbert is poorly drawn, but Dilbert and Dogbert and Wally and the rest have a consistent look from panel to panel, crude as that look may be. In animation terms, that's known as being "on model."

And that's what I haven't yet achieved in Hero Go Home. You can recognize Digger by his costume and hairstyle, but I have been unable to draw a consistently recognizable face from panel to panel. I should be able to draw Digger in a dress (and that may be real concern at some point in the future) and have him be recognizable by his posture and facial features. But I haven't achieved that degree of consistency yet. That's something I need to aim for going forward.