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No. 34 Running Commentary

***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.***

© Adrian Banfield
page one.
© Adrian Banfield
page two.
© Adrian Banfield
page three.
© Adrian Banfield
page four.

© Adrian Banfield
page five.
© Adrian Banfield
page six.
© Adrian Banfield
page seven.

Behind the scenes

© Adrian Banfield

Story Notes

This story was an intriguing challenge, could I create a comic around a poem and illustrate it? I can’t write poetry so I had to look around for a suitable railway themed poem, which I found in The Poetry of Railways: an anthology by Kenneth Hopkins.- London: Leslie Frewin, 1966.- (The complete unabridged and un-amended version of the poem is re-produced below).

I haven't been able to find anything out about Anthony Rye, so I haven't been able to ask his permission to use his poem in this way. Hopefully, it isn't a problem.

I had to make a few small amendments to the poem, so it fitted in with the Guard’s world. Next was the problem of how to illustrate the story. I decided on one picture per verse which would illustrate the main piece of action in that verse.

In order to show the strangler running away on page one, I shot the strangler in different poses (see the Behind the Scenes page below), and then ‘brushed out’ the background and placed the prisoner in the desired position. I then faded the two images between his starting and finishing positions slightly to illustrate movement on his part.

As only seven views of Yorkton were required, I wanted the photographs to have plenty of detail (including in the background), so the eye when roving over the pages, has plenty to view.

I converted the shop name from ‘pets’ to ‘café’, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to work out how to create the second horizontal line for the letter ‘f’ yet.

Below is the poem by Anthony Rye as originally written, from the book -

Here’s a commotion at a railway terminus:
What’s all the row about? Anyone say?
Only a deserter slipped his escort
National Serviceman running away.
Oh? Well I hope he’ll get what’s coming to him.
Vermin. Too much of that today.


Like a harvest rabbit, plunging, weaving,
Doubling among the sheaves he dives, forces free,
Off along the platform – and doesn’t he run too!
Yes, well he’s young and spry you see.
They’ve got to be fit in the army nowadays.
And he’ll need to be.


Follow him, shall we? Dodging through the barriers
Now he’s in the street, they’re pounding along in the rear;
Well he’s a trier, there’s no denying it!
Into a doorway and up the stair
Six at a time and pretty near flying. It
Seems he’ll do it yet. No fear.


Out of a window and up the fire-escape –
Have to admit he’s leading them a dance –
And out on the roof, and creeps among the chimney pots,
Hides, but he hasn’t a chance.
Besides now he’s tired, he’s had about enough of it,
That you can tell at a glance.


Better give up; no sense being obstinate.
They’re closing in, see? Only risk a bash.
Hey – but look out, there! – mind what you’re about!
Rushing across the leads in a flash
Somehow he’s tripped, flung up his hands and dipped
Through the skylight - crash.


Fifty feet down, a sheer drop to concrete…
They say your whole life passes before your eyes.
Do you believe there’s anything in that stuff?
Eh? Oh, probably all lies.
Wouldn’t take long in his case anyhow,
Would it? That’s about the size.


Wanted his freedom. Well, by the look of things
He’s had it now, poor laddie.
Well what’d he want to go acting so rash for?
Couldn’t have been anything like as bad as he
Was running from, could it? Whatever it was
He’d done. (By the way, what had he done?)

Green Lion Comics, story and characters © Adrian Banfield, 2016.