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Guard Story No.2 - - The Guard is Dead, Long Live The Guard. (Published August 2013).
***Please note that I am using a standard thumbnail image for all the full size pictures on this page. This is purely being done to save myself sometime.***
Did you have trouble 'reading' the first page? Readers in the western world read from left to right across the page. But if you tried that with the first page of the above story, you'll have found it didn't work. But try 'reading' the page as if it was a clock face. You're still reading from left to right, but reading in a circle as opposed to left to right across the page. I can't take credit for this idea. It's probably featured in comic stories loads of times. But the first time I saw it was in a Lady Luck strip. [More on the Lady Luck stories below]. And I was so taken with this idea, that I wanted to use it in a Guard episode. Simple, but effective.
I've also made a better stab in laying out the various panels. I've referred to Wally Wood's Twenty-two Panels That Always Work or Some interesting ways to get some variety into those boring panels where some dumb writer has a bunch of lame characters sitting around and talking for page after page! (Wood's words, I think, not mine). Please see the image below. And a very good guide it is too. Again please refer to the www for information about this American artist.
The backgrounds in my story will always be fairly simple. There's no way I can re-produce the fine detail that can be seen in some of today's comics. I tend to refer to the early days of comics, such as the early Batman strips, where you can see the artists experimenting with different ideas. Although if I see a good idea in today comics and as long as it is simple, I will try and make use of the idea.
Finally, this episode introduces us to the master criminal The Tallyman briefly and the friction that exists between The Guard and police Inspector Topham.
Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this strip worked out. The last page is an advertisement for The Guard strip. Eisner's Spirit comic section was syndicated around America and in Canada. (And other countries possibly? I don't know). My Guard comic though, is syndicated around the world, thus slowly making me filthy rich! (Or least in my dreams).
The above story is based on a Lady Luck four page story, which was published as part of the Spirit Comic section, on 20th June, 1945. The artist is Klaus Nordling. It's possible that he also wrote the script, although I'm not sure about this. The Lady Luck strip was well established by the time Nordling took over the drawing and writing reins on the 01st March, 1942 through to 03rd March, 1946.
Nordling was also known for drawing splash pages, (or sometimes just a different title banner), but with only four pages per story, it had to move the story along. He didn't provide an eye-catching title banner for this story, but I added one to mine. For further information about Lady Luck and other adventures of the female crime fighter and Klaus Nordling, please refer to Wikipedia or other sources on the web.
My own version differs from the original story, after the first page. The flowers on the coffin are respectively, a white rose, a protea flower (from S. Africa) and a Lantana Camera flower. Hopefully, both flowers will feature in future stories.
I should explain that the sign in the final panel of the above story is a British railway danger signal. It tells drivers of trains to stop. And in this case to tell readers that the episode has finished. Please see the image below.
I've reproduced Nordling's Lady Luck strip which I based my story on below, so you can see how he went about writing and drawing the strip.