Humanoid Locusts Descend…!

Pretty much what entering any retail establishment this weekend is like.

Pretty much what entering any retail establishment this weekend is like.

On Friday, I spend some time at a local comic book store, Pulp Fiction, in support of their “Black Friday” event. “Black Friday” is more of a week long thing now, with extended deals, stores opening at midnight and other ways to maximize the retail experience. The holiday season is of such paramount importance that people descend on stores in droves, and are only too willing to haggle on already greatly reduced prices. I’ve never done retail on a Black Friday before, and it is something to behold.

Pulp Fiction had one fairly impressive rush, early on, but a consistent flow for the day. Apparently the web business, with orders to be shipped, had been booming for the week. In an ironic move, I actually helped liquidate the store’s inventory of Funko Pop! BB-8 Star Wars figures…the same rolly bot that earlier this week, I swore that I would wait to purchase myself.

I drew the art just after the rush, as a direct sequel to yesterday’s artwork…hence the Mighty Thor being on hand to help out against the alien, humanoid locusts converging from all sides. That’s not really that much of a metaphor, people…it was a direct observation. The comics fans were actually quite well behaved, it was the crush of people that I could observe in other strip mall establishments, the press of traffic near Target, Best Buy, and around the Westside Pavillion mall that inspired real dread of the shopping experience in me. Sure…a few “retail moments” had to be sorted out, but comics fans are generally pretty reasonable, or at least fashion themselves as reasonable people.

That’s why Thor seems pretty calm about it, and is holding her big ol’ sledge in a “keep back, bro” kind of fashion. In yesterday’s piece, the first panel was done on one kind of paper, and the second on another, and digitally merged to one page. The difference in paper stock really shows in terms of the pencil to paper contrast rate…which was not a problem here, with one large piece. Still…I’m getting the hang of the shape of Thor’s new helmet…it’s pretty elongated compared to prior versions of it. The costume overall is at least as much of a hassle as our hero’s current uniform, with all sorts of little shiny details. Her big ol’ sledge is pretty different than the Hebrew Hammer that our hero sometimes uses…you’ll note the much longer handle, and the overall better maintenance of the big ol’ sledge.

The locust men were an interesting problem. They needed to be bug like, and predatory, but I didn’t want them to be too derivative of Venom and the other spider symbiotes. I wanted a general pointiness, punctuated by a swarmy kind of ickiness. You know, like large crowds of crazed shoppers.

For all of the ideas here, and the pretense of hanging out with the noble and worthy Thor…let’s not pretend that I haven’t participated in direct consumerism myself. There are plenty of things that are on sale right now, on the internet and at Hot Topic, that I quite simply think that I can’t, or shouldn’t, live without. I may be down on the holidays, but I’m not down on conspicuous consumption of things that I like.

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