Dark Reign: The Rascals…The Epic Finale!

This was a chore to do on the time table I had.  As a result, I love it...it came out better than I imagined.

This was a chore to do on the time table I had. As a result, I love it…it came out better than I imagined.

There’s not going to be much metacommentary today, instead, I’m going to focus much more on the process, and the art. What we are looking at above is a pencilled sketch cover for a non existent Marvel Comic, “The Rascals.” As long time readers know, “The Rascals” emerged as a spinoff subplot over the summer of 2014, and has been healthily reappearing since then. “Dark Reign” and “The Rascals” were always intended to be finite diversions, and here we see the end to both plotlines. They kind of emerged together as it was.

For a long time I had intended to draw this more formal, more “Old School Punisher” version of the protagonists current costume. With this as the final “Rascals,” it seemed necessary to do it now, although that costume isn’t going anywhere for the forseeable future. I may experiment with making a print, and coloring with marker, which I have only done like…ONCE. It is an interesting enough image for that.

Visually, the content is a metaphor. A heavy handed one, as always. Note the heavily armed Union Rascals in the background…a Union Hulk, a ninja, and a regenerating mercenary. The kind of tools that those guys use are brute force, or just destructive…the kind that the protagonist is discarding as she walks away from them. A lot of help they’ve been anyway.

You may have notice that they show up in the background a lot, but those guys don’t really do anything. Anything except make you compromise your values, that is. Yeah…I just said that to YOU, UTLA. With some changes that have happened, and some changes in my own viewpoint, the need for such rough tools, such compromises seems…over. Seems done.

One can hope, right? That though, is the huge metacommentary that drove the piece. I especially like the protagonist’s disgusted posture as she walks off. Disgusted with them, and herself.

Things changed quickly this week, in my life at least. Narratively, the process is to use things that happen to me as emotional fuel to draw. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes bad, but a pretty therapeutic process. I rarely post out of order, meaning that in the order that I actually drew the piece.

In this case, I woke up, and drew today’s content. It more or less demanded being put on paper, in a way that is hard to explain.

The art sans Marvel trade dress.

The art sans Marvel trade dress.

As vacation nears its close, these are the ideas that are on my mind. How to handle things less politically, to refocus on the two things that matter…teaching English and keeping kids safe. All the Union hullabaloo has little to do with me, or that…and they didn’t step up to the plate on ANY of our site politics. I want nothing more to do with them, if I can possibly avoid it.

Sadly, they will still take money directly off of my check, which is somehow legal. Ugh.

As bonus art for today…a panel with the Star Wars content that has been driving the week to a degree. Since Saturday at least. This takes it’s content from the all but for gotten non-computer animated Clone Wars series, at least in terms of the stylings. That style is really crisp, well suited to animation.

The chancellor of the Old Republic being carried to safety by an Alien Jedi Knight.

The chancellor of the Old Republic being carried to safety by an Alien Jedi Knight.

It’s pretty challenging to draw in the style of that studio, and was a very worthwhile exercise. The key part was getting the idea of the whitewashed skyline of Coruscant, without killing myself on the tiny details. I also wanted the Jedi to have a look that said, “Why the @#$% am I carrying this guy?” without having any kind of human face. All pretty rough challenges, that used a huge amount of reference.

There’s only a subtext there if you see one, True Believers. That bonus image is a futuristic politician being carried to safety by an Alien he doesn’t necessarily like all that much…no more, no less. I’m thinking that alien has some issues that the other Jedi don’t know about, anyway…since we see him at the Cantina on the sand planet, without any of his fancy robes.

Plus, the Chancellor has all kinds of offices, throughout the City Planet, where he can get all his important work done. Its not like he will be in any real trouble until Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, and that’s only after Vader rebels against him, possibly for the rotten health care package he has received. Seriously…generations of TIE Fighters come and go in twenty years, and you don’t make it so that your Main Guy can breathe without that helmet? You invent and build a Death Star, but can’t slide some research dollars to better bionics for Mr. Skywalker?

Somebody should audit the Imperial Budget. Maybe that’s what the rebellion was all about.

See? All about Star Wars trivia, Gentle Reader. Star Wars trivia.

Next Issue: Road Trip!


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