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Guard Story No.5 - - McGill. In which The Guard visits Canada and loses his memory. (Published Dec. 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.***
This story sees The Guard out of Yorkton and visiting another country. I've always been drawn to those characters who have adventures not only in the UK, but in other far flung places. Characters such as Sexton Blake, The Saint by Leslie Charteris, Biggles and of course the comics of my youth, including The Victor. So it will be with my series. Future stories hopefully will be set in New Yorkton (USA), South Africa, Australia and the Far East. Although as I will probably only be able to produce small numbers of stories each year, it may take sometime!
This story introduces two new characters - Corporal McGill of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his wife Mary. McGill is a tough grizzled, veteran of the police service and his wife is a trained nurse. They are based in Snowy Bay, Northern Ontario, Canada. A quiet spot during the winter, but popular during the summer months with the holiday-makers.
Considering these stories are supposed to be short, this one is my longest yet at thirteen pages. I'm quite pleased with the first page, but can't make my mind up if the wording (of the title The Guard), in the lower half of the page works or not. I've shown movement on this first page by tilting the first two images, which is why they aren't straight. But does this indicate movement for someone reading the story? This might have worked better if the view was inside the train. Movement is also created by use of a the tree and sound effects.
There is quite a lot going on in this story, with ideas introduced and then made use of later in the story. The Guard has reminders thoughout the story which help him to regain his memory. I haven't used any particular story style in this episode. I've just told a story. Problems included remembering to put McGill's stripes on his upper arm. (Surprisingly, no one as far as I know produces Lego arms with Corporal or Sergeant's stripes). The bandaging on Albert's head proved to be a problem. I didn't fancy trying to 'draw' the bandaging on his head in every frame. It was easier to apply his mutton chop (side) whiskers and moustache. So if he looks slightly different in some of those frames, you know why.
And the snow. I created the snow on the ground by simply placing buildings and characters on white felt. 'Snow' was then applied to buildings, tops of trains and so on with a brush facility in the software package I use. Seems quite effective. Although I did find a snow brush in the software I use to produce these stories rather late in the day. That is, after I had completed the story. But I used it on the Seasonal Greetings image.
We also learn though two images something about the Guard's past, which causes him some mental pain. His past will be explored in greater depth at some point in the near future. (The story is still percolating in my mind.)
So overall, quite pleased with the outcome. Some of you may be wondering what the Guard was doing in Canada in the first place. Answer, I'm sure all will be explained in due course. Finally, I note that no one died in this story. I must be losing my touch!