Where Has Our Hero Been This Week?

Yep.  Still waiting on a part.

Yep. Still waiting on a part.

This post isn’t about much. Coming up, I have some interesting posts about education politics and teacher ethics, but right now, here in the weekend, I only have this to think about, that has dominated the past few weeks for me, personally. My car is actually slightly older than Michael Keaton’s Batmobile, and recently went in for a transmission rebuild.

That went great. Seriously, it was on time, and worked fine. During the shakedown drive, there was a fuel flow issue, and we have been waiting on a part for the distributor cap as a result. At this point, for a while. I’m wondering if they are importing the part directly from my car’s birthplace in Germany. I’ve had a loaner car, for free, the whole time, so it hasn’t been that inconvenient. Still, a part of me thinks, “I should have just gone back to my old mechanic, despite the distance.”

That sentence seems a bit mean and unfair. These guys have done a good job, and do high quality work. They just aren’t that great at staying in touch with me, or getting a hold of parts. I’ve never had this kind of parts availability issue before, so it sits kind of funny with me. As a result…I’ve started to be more…”hands on” in the process. Before, I was pretty content to leave the mechanics to their work. The lack of contact has put me more in the mindset of checking in and staying on top of things. Which is precisely what I don’t want to have to do.

To me..you drop the car off, you get an appraisal of the problem, you authorize the fix, and then if other things come up, you hear about it, and repeat the process until the car is fixed. Very “hands off” from my end.

The ETA for the completion of the repair task is now early next week…Monday or Tuesday. Again, it all hinges upon the one part being delivered, which seems crazy to me. Still…it also says a lot to me that these guys stand by the quality of their work, and aren’t going to get a shoddy part and kludge it in. Sort of a “mixed emotions” feeling here.

In this image, I went back to the 1989 Batmobile as the visual design, obviously. Ultimately, I think I will be moving away from Batmobiles of any kind as a visual reference for my car, because of a simple point. Batmobiles, by their very nature, are disposable items. Batman doesn’t repair the things at all, he just constantly buys new ones with his vast wealth. They are the exact opposite of the way that I look at my car, a very personal item that needs to be repaired.

As I mentioned once before, the feeling is a lot more like the portrayal of the Millennium Falcon. A fixer upper, because of its age, but something that you labor on, and put effort into, out of love. A part of identity, a “home” of sorts, not something that is disposable and external. I’m probably going to be making an artistic shift on that front, I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

The Falcon has appeared with Horsey at the wheel more than once in prior years of the strip, so it’s well within the bounds of continuity. It’s also past time for an appearance of Horsey, so there’s that as well.

I really liked Panel Two. I drew both panels separately, as much larger pieces. In fact, Panel One shows the entire Batmobile pre-cropping…I felt that cutting the image down helped with the composition of the page. Still, here’s Panel Two, since I liked it:

Pencils on Bristol Board.

Pencils on Bristol Board.

I didn’t use the shading that I usually do on the protagonist’s face…I wanted the simple line work, and her posture to show disappointment. Zebra Pony is not happy…he wants his favorite seat back. Even the Quislet is floating in a fashion that is troubled. I liked the emotional “feel” from the panel.

Still…this should be my biggest problem. Ultimately, I can just throw money at it, and it will go away.

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