Issue Three, Page Five

September 22, 2022 in Issue Three
Issue Three, Page Five
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Author Notes:

MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 9:00 AM
MattSchofield
If you’re wondering why this page took so long, it comes down to the element of my process that’s both a boon and a curse. From the beginning, I have just been making this story up as I drew each page. I know how the story will end, and how I want each issue/chapter to end (at least I think I do), but the twists and turns of how it gets there are formulated, and often reformulated, every few pages. This means that sometimes I will be torn between going with my original idea, or going with a bright, shiny new idea. Delays happen when I have to think through the wider story implications of the new idea - “if they do this, then how do they get where they need to go for the next scene?”... “If they could have done this all along, why didn’t they do it earlier?” It can be a rabbit hole of possibilities. That’s what happened with this page. It was a mental tug-of-war between the most expedient way to get the characters to where they needed to go, versus a way that was going to be more complicated, but more imaginative and fun for me to write and draw.

As I’m sure most creators do, I have a notebook filled with ideas for characters, gags and stories. There are so many that I’m almost certain I’ll never use them all, but I occasionally look for opportunities to bring them into the spotlight by having Steamroller Man cross paths with them. Whenever I am feeling uninspired to work on the comic, I find that bringing in a new character suddenly makes the story fresh again for me, and gives me a little jolt of creative juice.

Night Knight and Sleep Tyke were added to the story in this fashion back in issue #2. Originally, though, I was going to introduce them amongst a larger group of characters who were all riffs on various archetypal detective characters from comics and pop culture, called the Detective Collective (the “Super-Effective” descriptor was a late addition). At the time I second-guessed the choice due to my reluctance to draw and wrangle so many characters. So I narrowed it down to Night Knight and Sleep Tyke, but I have been looking for an opportunity to show off some of the others, ever since. I found my chance on this page!

The Five O’Clock Shadow is an homage/parody of pulp-style characters like The Shadow, The Question, and The Spirit.
Dutch Masters, Private Investigator was originally going to be a hardboiled Sam Spade-type, but as I was drawing him I thought it might be funny to give him an 80s TV cop-show vibe - hence the mullet hairstyle, the Magnum PI-style Hawaiian shirt and the Miami Vice jacket with rolled up sleeves.
Solvitron 9000 was originally going to be a completely different character from my list, but I grew less enthusiastic about her as I was drawing the image. So I thought it was a funnier idea to have one of the city’s greatest detectives be an old 1960s era reel-to-reel computer that is completely immobile and produces punch cards to communicate.
My original idea for Penny Lincoln was a Nancy Drew-type of “girl detective” who solved crimes with the aid of the ghost of her ancestor, Abraham Lincoln. I thought it would be fun to depict her in the style of a Hanna Barbera “teen gang” cartoon (Scooby Doo, Clue Club, etc), so I added a dog and handsome but dorky companion to create The Gettysburg Gang. I actually tried to ape the art style of master HB designer Iwao Takamoto here - I’m not sure how successful I was, but it was a fun panel to draw.

I haven’t even mentioned the final panel, which foreshadows the reveal of yet another character from my book of ideas! He’s a fun one, but you’ll have to wait until the next page to find out about him!

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At the beginning of this month I got the unexpected and exciting news that Steamroller Man was in the Top 5 most popular comics on the GlobalComix platform in the month of August! I was amazed to be ranked so highly, so if you have taken the time to read the comic there, thank you! If you haven’t heard of GlobalComix, I highly recommend the site as both a creator and a reader. They have a great interface and are very supportive and responsive to their creator base.

Thank you for reading and spreading the word about Steamroller Man, as always!

Find my links to read the comic around the web, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram here.

Comments:

MK_Wizard 22nd Sep 2022, 9:24 AM
MK_Wizard
Can't really think your way out when you've got THAT distracting you.
McGrenivan 22nd Sep 2022, 10:47 AM
McGrenivan
Amazing!!!
I wish I could go back to the 70’s and promote the idea of Penny and the gang to ABC. I didn’t need an explanation to know what you were going for.
Five O’clock Shadow….masterful concept. You could easily spin off with that character.
Inspiring. I gotta get back to my drawing board!
MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 5:58 PM
MattSchofield
Wow, thank you! It's humbling to hear that my work has inspired someone else!
Guest 22nd Sep 2022, 2:02 PM
I think that 'Super Effective Detective Collective' has got to be one of my favorite one-liners ever!!
MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 5:57 PM
MattSchofield
Awesome, thanks so much!
Mrremoraman 22nd Sep 2022, 3:02 PM
Mrremoraman
Holy shit is that a FUnky Phantom reference I see over there?
MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 5:57 PM
MattSchofield
I was definitely referencing all those Hanna Barbera "teen mystery-solving gang" cartoons, and yeah, Funky Phantom definitely inspired the inclusion of Lincoln's ghost as a member of the team!
Trainer-mana 22nd Sep 2022, 3:25 PM
I've been waiting for this...
MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 5:59 PM
MattSchofield
Sorry you had to wait so long!! Hope you like the page!
Trainer-mana 22nd Sep 2022, 6:30 PM
My dear Matt,
I love it.
Surenity 22nd Sep 2022, 3:53 PM
Surenity
I love the Super-Effective Detective Collective, it’s hilarious. Solvitron 9000 reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode about this gigantic 1960s computer that falls in love with a human. Very retro look.
MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 6:00 PM
MattSchofield
Fantastic, I'm so glad!
Awesomeness Studios 22nd Sep 2022, 4:46 PM
Awesomeness Studios
The Gettysburg gang had me laugh out loud, especially with how they stand out stylistically.
MattSchofield 22nd Sep 2022, 6:00 PM
MattSchofield
Awesome!