Just Like Beggar’s Canyon…?

Drawn on “the road” in the Sonoma/Napa area of California.

This mostly was inspired by the plane that I took to get to the Napa Valley area, where I visited with my old friend, the former owner of comic book store Comics Ink. I realized that coming into Santa Rosa was a small airport, but had no idea the kind of plane that would be actually doing so.

The kind of plane was a small Q-400…something that I didn’t even know existed until walking onto the tarmac to board it. There’s no jetway…you walk on the tarmac, up to the plane, and get on. Oh…and it is SMALL. You get two carry on bags…except there is no space for the second bag, so you put it on a cart on the tarmac, that then gets put in the cargo area of the plane. No overhead bins that can hold any real amount of luggage.

So…getting technical…the Q-Series, previously known as the “de Havilland Canada Dash 8” or DHC-8, is a series of twin-engine, medium-range, turboprop airliners. Turboprop. No JETS. Propellers. The Dash 8 was developed from the de Havilland Canada Dash 7, which featured extreme short take-off and landing (STOL) performance. So it can land at tiny airports, and can hold a max of 78 passengers.

Let’s take a look:

The Q-400 in flight.

Yes, it looks like it would be at home in an “Indiana Jones” movie. In fact, a close friend asked me (when I sent a picture) if I had to fight a guy and chuck him into the propellers to get my luggage. everyone that got that picture responded with an “Oh @#$%!” at first glance.

As someone who is pretty intensely claustrophobic, and troubled by modern air travel, it was a pretty intense ride.

Both panels were done in Northern California, with my older drawing board. They took some serious time, as there was no defined “sit down and draw” time to do the panels. I wanted the janky old shuttlecraft as a direct reference to the Q-400 plane, and considered somehow putting the “Q-400” on the shuttle somehow. In the process of drawing, I decided that yes, the Enterprise IS still at that desert planet with Vulcanoid Radicals, because it made doing those desert mountains make sense.

I was asked about the narrative of the two panels, and then had to deal with a logical question: Cap can fly, right? Why doesn’t she take applejack herself, and leave the janky shuttle that she’s complaining about on the Enterprise? It’s a good question.

She didn’t fly herself for much the same reason I didn’t take a car to northern California. She’s bad at flying, and she gets LOST. Getting lost sucks, especially when you have no idea where you are. The Shuttle, janky as it is, has a nav system, much like the Q-400 is pretty much guaranteed to get to Santa Rosa.

I am back in Los Angeles now, so both flights went well…although turbulence is crazy on a smaller plane. It was worth a day’s sarcastic commentary.

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