minicomics live 3– post 12 (page 7 pencils)

Back in the saddle– slept off the headache, got the scanner to reset itself, set page 6 (which is giving me fits)  aside temporarily, went to the movies. (How did that last one get in there?)  Anyway, here’s page 7, and tomorrow is a completely free day, so I hope to finish the pencils and get some inked pages out here for you to look at.  The portrait of Bud and the universe inside his train conductor’s pocket watch was hard to do, but fun.  The original sketch had a pocket watch with a hinged cover, but a little further research showed that the “railroad” watches conductors carried usually didn’t have covered cases.  They were always in the conductor’s hand or stowed safely in a particular pocket of his jacket that was often lined with chamois leather.  Watches with covers were either “fancy-dan” or extremely expensive, while a conductor’s watch was an essential working tool: very well made, but plain and sturdy.  It had the winding stem at the 12 o’clock position, so it landed in your hand right side up when you pulled it out by its chain, and a simple face with black numbers and hands, which made it easy to read at a glance or in low light.   So instead of the analog map coming out when the cover is flipped open, I guess a City train conductor presses a button or taps the stem to see where he is in the universe– and check the time in another part of town.  The hologram, or whatever it is, will be fun to ink.

I’m also really enjoying drawing the naga character. The fact that I also really enjoy drawing Josef should be obvious to everyone by now.

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4 Responses to minicomics live 3– post 12 (page 7 pencils)

  1. Wolfie says:

    Railroad-grade watches were fascinating things. There was a set of standards for railroad watches that grew ever stricter as years went on. Earlier train watches could have Roman numerals, but soon the requirement specified Arabic only, large and clear, with a defined minute register. No cover, as you said, because the face had to be open to read at a glance, with the stem at 12 o’clock. Minimum was, I think, sixteen jewels (maybe eighteen at the end), and they also had to be adjusted for temperature and isochronism (running the same speed no matter how wound up they were) as well as adjusted to run the same speed in at least five of six positions (face-up, face-down, stem-up, stem left, stem right, stem down). Most importantly, train watches had to be lever-set, never stem-set; to set the time, you had to unscrew the cover and pick out a tiny little lever (usually by the 2). This made it impossible to accidentally stop the watch (a stem-set watch generally stops when you pull the stem up to set the time) or re-set the time. It also gives us many many watches with damage and chips by the 2 (the faces were almost always porcelain). You had to get your watch certified as railroad grade by an inspector before being allowed to use it. Canadian railroad watches also had 24-hour dials, with 13 to 24 appearing in smaller numerals below the 1-12.

    • Pam Bliss says:

      The voice of the my best railroading/watchmaking trivia source. I confess I didn’t consult him about this detail before I drew my page, and its a genuine relief to find I got it right!

  2. Sean K. says:

    Josef is enjoyable to read, as well. Josef has always struck me as a cross between a dog and a cat, FWIW.

    Voop!

    • Pam Bliss says:

      The issue of “Josef, what is he anyway?” is always a thorny one. I agree that his behavior is based mostly on dogs and cats, since these are the animals I interact with most often, and see interacting with other people. I usually tell people he is a strange animal from another dimension that fills the place in the story usually taken by the dog. (Say that ten times fast.) But he does have a lot of catlike behaviors, mostly involving jumping up on counters and furniture and riding around on people’s shoulders.

      In appearance, he looks most like a thylacine, particularly his ears and his wide, gaping mouth full of primitive teeth. But thylacines have their stripes on their back ends, not their front ends. I almost certainly was thinking of a thylacine when I first designed him, but the inspiration was way down there below the conscious level and I never did even minimal research. Before I noticed the resemblance and realized I’d gotten the pattern backwards, it was too late. So Josef just looks like Josef, and is at best a backwards thylacine. Voop indeed!

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