On the Verge: the Arrow of Time, four

It’s not that stuff hasn’t happened in the story up until now, but this chapter is where things start to get interesting…

I’m really happy with how this cover turned out. I’ve got to admit that drawing “cool” covers for OTV has been hard because not a lot of “cool action” happens – Hannah isn’t a superhero after all. But I think I managed to capture a good amount of Hannah’s personality and attitude here.

Here are the pages. Click the thumbnail to read!

Ok, as many of you already know, this was the original chapter that I created for THE ARROW OF TIME. At the time I called it “chapter zero” because I wasn’t 100% sure just what I was doing and I was pretty sure that this wasn’t the actual start of the story, but it’s a good name because this is pretty much ground zero for when the shit hits the fan.

I’m still really happy with how this chapter looks 6+ years later. I was just figuring things out at this point and this chapter really set the mood for how the rest of the art ending up looking. I was also trying some stuff out with the storytelling and seeing what I could do and after the fact, I think those things I tried really do work.

This chapter is also where we start to follow Hannah – which is key because she’s our gateway into the world of On the Verge.* Whereas I discussed earlier that Jeremy, Lucas and the Professor were set up to follow the three different types of scientists, Hannah was purposely different. She’s new to everything and really seeing it for the first time just like the reader is. Plus, since she’s not defined as one of these types of scientists, she really gets to question why things are like they are.

I always worried about not really focusing on the main character until this far into the story. But at the same time, I kind of like the plot twist that it serves. We kind of follow this celebrity scientist and the poof! he’s kidnapped. And at the end of the day, it’s how everything kind of shook out. I really tried fighting Hannah being the main character, but it just made so much sense. And now that everything is done, I kind of look back and wonder why I ever doubted it.

So a couple of quick points that I feel are worth sharing:

  • One of the big things that I was trying to do was figure out “how” to draw the characters here – which is one of the reasons why Hannah is doing so much different stuff. Page 95 for example has seven panels – six of which are Hannah pulling different faces as she works.
  • The original story that made up “chapter zero” ended when Hannah arrived at home and found the appartment in shambles and Jeremy missing. At this point, I decided I didn’t know what to do next and went off and did part one of THE JUMPER. When I came back, I added the six pages where Mr. Tall deploys the test for the Arrow of Time.
  • And then the last bit with the Daily Recorder got added in when I decided to go back through and add those sections to each chapter. This really provided me an opportunity to give the reader lots of detail on things that had happened and not take up too much space.

Anyway, I’ve always really loved this chapter and I still do. It’s got a bunch of great little character moments in it and a couple of hidden Easter eggs. I’m glad it still holds up!

*One of the things that I think worked especially well about the Harry Potter series is that as you read through it, Harry is basically the stand in for the reader, seeing everything for the first time. I liked that idea and wanted to replicate it.

Source: On the Verge

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