A comic strip by Alasdair Wilkins and Joseph Shivers, as seen in The Harvard Crimson!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14

The Complete Astounding | Astounding Annotations | The Astounding Facebook Page | The Harvard Crimson

Astounding Returns is our latest ongoing story. Due to our busy schedules, we will update whenever we are able to complete additional pages!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Astounding Annotations - Week 2

So here we go with what I'm calling "Astounding Annotations." Basically, this is an opportunity to explain some of the more obscure references I threw in (and there were a bunch of them), and to give some idea as to why I did this in the first place. Yeah, I'm aware this is pretty damn self-indulgent, so I'll try not to go on and on. And away we go...

Day 4


Recap: Hey, you notice how those things used to be short?

Panel 1: I have no idea why I called the villain "The Mandrake." This seemed to vaguely fit the notion of swinging sixties spy shows I was trying to reference. I think the "fiendish Doomsday plot" may have been a shout-out to the monster that actually managed to kill Superman. Don't worry - I start putting thought into my off-hand references any day now.

Panel 2: Is this the last panel without any kind of words at all? It might well be. Also, since this was the first time our hero unintentionally snapped back to his own universe, I guess this is as good a time as any to point out that if he ever closes his eyes in any of the panels, he's headed elsewhere, even if he doesn't want to.

Panel 3: Which makes for one hell of a funny pose. Nora's bemused expression there is also pretty hilarious. (I can say this, by the way, since I didn't draw it, so it doesn't quite count as arrogant self-indulgence. Well, any more than any of this already is.)

Panel 4: I wanted to make it really, really clear that our hero had been away for a substantial period and that he was no longer where he thought he should be. It seemed the easiest way to accomplish that was just for him to come out and say it. Mmm, that's good writing!

Day 5


Panel 1: Looking at this makes me almost yearn for a simpler time, when I could express thoughts in simple sentences instead of paragraphs. Almost.

Panel 2: "About 35 minutes ago"? Yeah, total Watchmen reference. I'm pretty sure everything I ever write will have some character doing something 35 minutes ago. I just love that line.

Panel 3: This was the earliest inkling of there being a mind/body dichotomy, which pays off in a pretty big way right at the end of Week 6. More on that later, obviously, but I wanted to make it clear from the earliest point I could that when our hero goes elsewhere, he's leaving some version or aspect of himself behind to go through the motions of his ordinary life.

Panel 4: As soon as our hero calls what he can do "a power", I think that makes it pretty clear we're headed into superhero territory. Alternatively, you could have figured that out by even vaguely knowing me. I haven't read, written, or worn (seriously, I'm typing this while wearing a Flash t-shirt) anything other than superheroes in months at this point.

Day 6


Panel 1: Hey, look, it's Widener Library! It's another Harvard landmark! It's got to be only a matter of time before the university starts using Astounding in all their promotional material.

Panel 2: As I've mentioned before, I asked Joe to draw as many transitional panels as possible to bridge the two universes. The pose in panel 4 was one of the toughest to reverse engineer back to a real world pose, so he spent a couple panels setting up. It was very much well worth it.

Panel 3: Nora's response seemed to me like what a lot of people my age might say if asked that question and not given a lot of time to respond. That seems like a pretty reasonable thing for most people 18-25 or so to want. I'd certainly take rich and famous if it was being offered.

Panel 4: This is a pretty amazing replica of Superman #1, published way back in the summer of 1939. Here's a link if you'd like to compare.

No comments:

Post a Comment