Valkyrie’s been laying low from her usual criminal career due to threats from her fellow Blacktron pirates, so I figured that had to be driving her law enforcement pursuer, Officer Freundlich, nuts. Freundlich’s quest to capture Valkyrie hasn’t been depicted in a long time, and in reading back through their previous comics, I realized I had actually shown Valkyrie displaying her face to the guy who was after her! D’OH! This kind of conflicted with later comics in which she was very concerned about anyone seeing her face, or at least connecting her visage to the notorious Commander Valkyrie. The facial distortion field in Blacktron helmets is absolutely a retroactive fix, but I also liked the idea. And Valkyrie is the kind of person who would take a chance like that for the thrill, and to taunt an opponent she was also trying to briefly distract with her flirtations in that particular story. When the comic started, both Schwartz and the reader assumed that Valkyrie was a man, until the dramatic reveal. I’ve settled on her gender perhaps not being known by everyone, but not a secret either.
Archive for ‘Valkyrie’
I’ll admit that this wasn’t the original fate I had planned for the clones. Initially, I thought I’d write them out by having them go off on a deep space mission, then one day have them inevitably return to cause more problems for the real Galanos and Schwartz. But then a couple things changed my mind. The first was that the Best-Lock ships fall apart if you as much as exhale on them, and photographing them was an immeasurably frustrating experience. There was no way I wanted to shoot another story with those ships (as cool as they looked), let alone try to keep them assembled in storage or go through the frustration of trying to build them again. I suppose my annoyance with the ships came out in what happened to them in the story, which is meant to be a darkly humorous meta moment. The other factor, perhaps more important, was the fact that the clones were intended as a slightly distorted but still recognizable reflection of our heroes, an alternate take on the paths they could take. And the idea of experiencing the death of your clones (perhaps akin to experiencing the death of a twin in the real world?) eerily hits too close to home.
Anyway, that’s the end of “Bootlegs,” the longest story I’ve ever done. Geez, it lasted five months?! I’ll probably try to keep the stories a little shorter in the future, but no promises. I did make an effort to include a lot of characters and locations in this one so it felt a little more varied than other longer stories I’ve told. Next up is a short visit with the Space Police, and then we begin “The Search.”
- This is not an official LEGO comic. This is a tribute. Nor is it related to Best-Lock.
To give you an idea of how far ahead I plan out stories, the scene of Schwartz and Galanos talking in Schwartz’s yard was shot in January 2011! Some of the sets I use repeatedly aren’t always accessible to me, so I might shoot current scenes as well as scenes I know are coming up just to have those ready and in the bank. We’re actually coming up to the end of “Bootlegs,” which is the longest story I’ve ever done.
I was going to use this post to ask you guys to support the fan-created LEGO “Shaun of the Dead” Winchester set posted on LEGO CUUSOO, but it just hit the 10,000 votes it needs to be considered by The LEGO Group as an officially-released set! This is amazing! Congrats to its creator, Yatkuu! Man, do I want this thing. An empty display shelf awaits it, and I have Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” in my iTunes queue. Simon Pegg, Shaun himself, is to thank for getting this set the attention that it needed. He asked people to vote for it during an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show, along with recounting a prank on his Twitter followers that was so devilishly awesome that the man must have a kinship with this comic’s own Commander Schwartz! Click the link in the previous sentence to watch the video!
This comic page was a satisfying one to create.”Bootlegs” is a long story, so it’s nice to begin a new chapter of it in a new setting. The setting is not new to the comic itself, as the Raven’s Port Bar has shown up many times; it’s one of the comic’s main locations. The respect just won by Schwartz follows his fairly regular assignment of being sent to break up bar fights between those uninhibited and wacky M:Tron scientists! The “Have You Seen Me?” poster is of course for Scouse, who went missing when he was abducted by aliens right outside the bar! Finally, Valkyrie sure made good on her golf-related promise from earlier in the story, didn’t she? FORE!
Please bear with us as we deal with these technical difficulties.
- The Management
- This is not an official LEGO comic.
For me, the urge to write and draw is such a strong force that I become extremely unhappy when I go too long without doing those things. Sometimes I wish I could be happy just getting home from work and relaxing. I of course do plenty of that (especially once the TV is on), but there’s always the inescapable feeling that I need to be doing something creative. The problem is that I’ve always lacked enough discipline to commit to writing a novel for anything more than patches of time, since that’s like, you know, real work. This comic serves as a satisfying if imperfect fix. It allows me to tell stories both visually and through writing, and in a reasonable amount of time. The down side is that it takes up enough hours to prevent me from spending too much time on any other projects (even when I’m feeling more disciplined and determined to work on prose), and it has its limits in terms of how far it can go. I don’t completely own it.
Getting back to my first point, I feel like my innate urge to create is similar to Valkyrie’s destructive urge to steal and otherwise cause chaos. She doesn’t do it because she needs the money or because she’s expected to act that way in her career as a member of organized crime. She does it because she loves it, because it’s thrilling and core to her being. When it’s taken away – such as her self-preservation-dictated hiatus from her usual brazen antics after they pissed off the wrong people – she goes stir-crazy and listless. The result is her committing somewhat minor acts of crime such as stealing restaurant silverware and shoplifting to get that fix. It’s small-time enough that her crime lord superior won’t notice, especially since she’s out of uniform (another reckless thrill in itself). It may not be the current career path of her dreams, but it’s satisfying in its own ways.
I’ll admit that I’ve lost track of the timeline in the comic. Even though the comic itself started in early 2008, four years have definitely not passed in the internal story. With so many ongoing characters arcs, each one moves at a snail’s pace in real time. (On a side note, I consider all the Christmas comics I’ve done as having happened in the same year.) For Schwartz and Valkyrie, three months felt about right for where their relationship stands.
Had one unexpected comic in my head to add to this storyline. More Masoch is a good thing, right? Next up is the final comic of the year, as we resume “Bootlegs.”
The “Anastar Ruby” is actually one of those little plastic sprues that some LEGO pieces used to come attached to. This particular one held together the trans-red discs for my Blacktron Invader.
Masoch noticing Valkyrie’s hair (if not her name) might seem like an error on my part, but I assure you it’s not…