The Voyage Home (At Last)!

I am glad to finally post this...!

I am glad to finally post this…!

Fourteen days after I was originally intending to post it, and two months or so after bringing my car to the shop for a transmission problem, I’m able to post the rt of her coming home. For the moment, this plotline is done….there still remains this issue of getting my car smog checked, and there might be some issues with passing that check…but for right now, she’ll be back and more or less fine.

I’ve never had the kind of parts availability issues that I ran into this time around…but there is the fact that my car is at this time, thirty one years old. Parts are less available than they once were, that’s very real consideration. For the last couple of weeks, the shop has been busting their chops to make things come out, and come out right, so I have to give some serious respect to them for that. It was also very convenient to have the loaner through all of that…without that, the whole ordeal would have been very inconvenient and/or unworkable.

People ask me, pretty frequently, “would I use this shop again?” A whole lot of people have been more or less saying that the job took way too long, and so forth. I can’t exactly put all of it into their court, because I know there were issues beyond their control that slowed things to a crawl. Parts suppliers sent the wrong items, or wouldn’t stand by a deal, experts that they wanted help from dragged their feet and made things “low priority.”

The owner went out of his way to deal straight, and above board. At the end of it, he did his best to stand by the situation, and to make things right, in a financial sense. Nobody HAS to do that…it’s kind of a Big Deal. So…yeah, I think I would use the shop again. Not for a huge job that needed a Vintage Mercedes specialist, like a transmission or an engine rebuild…that might have been too much to chew. That being said, they did fine work on the suspension, months ago, and excellent electrical. The transmission itself, when they had to do a third rebuild, is set and running fine.

The smog thing may have to be a trip a little further away, to my old mechanic. I say that because he has successfully carried that job through, more than once…so I have every reason to believe he can do so again. That would be an early summer trip for my car, and I’m pretty confident that it will work out. Culver Automotive has never let me down.

It might kind of sort out that way…maintenance at this new place, because it is super convenient and very close, and Big Jobs back at Culver Automotive. Right now, I think I’m too close to the whole thing to be smart. A “Cooling Off” period is in order.

The art was done as two separate panels.

The art was done as two separate panels.

It took me a while to figure out how to compose Panel One. I wanted the Millennium Falcon in flight, with a feeling of motion. I kept coming up with compositions that had the Falcon coming toward the viewer, which didn’t seem to have the right feel. It took me a while to come up with the idea of the Falcon moving away from the viewer, with a second panel inside the outrigger cockpit. That sequence seemed to give a more active feeling of the voyage home in progress, which is what I wanted.

That’s the trick of sequential art…making the compositions tell a story, through some kind of tone. Not easy at all.

Panel Two, which was actually drawn the next day.  Heck, I did have a while, the car was there for some time.

Panel Two, which was actually drawn the next day. Heck, I did have a while, the car was there for some time.

There’s the whole crew of the Falcon, heading home. Skrull Space Princess complaining, Detoo happy to be home at last, and Zebra Pony smiling, back in his favorite chair. Every day the past two months, Mr. Z has looked a little sad in his replacement chair, on the way to and from school. The trick with this panel was coming up with the “feel” of the Falcon’s cockpit without going insane drawing loads of tiny, obscure details. It’s not as easy as you might think to even get a solid visual reference…the reference I used was in fact very different from a previous piece.

At the end of the day today, I look forward to a similar scene. In the morning, we will fuel up FC3, so that we give the loaner back fully fueled…that’s just polite. It was a neat little car, and very helpful. After school, I’m going to bolt immediately from the Edu-Mountain, and dash back home. There, I’m going to give the loaner a once over, make sure it is cleaned out, drop off my school stuff…and finally, Zebra Pony will bring FC3 home to where it lives, and drive my car home.

Still, fingers crossed. This whole plot line has taught me not to take things for granted. Everything should go just fine, but I’ll feel better once I’m opening the garage door.

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