This concludes the mission briefing. The reference to IEDs here is sufficiently vague, I think, to safely be included. Other, more detailed references have been omitted. After this page, also, I have decreed that it has become night and all skies will be flat gray. As it is, I will have to go through this page and the previous one and darken the sky to be in keeping with some previous panels . . . or just deem it that we are facing West now and that is the brilliant, bright, Iraqi sunset. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
This panel makes the book 40% complete, which seems like a milestone.
Aaaand we’re back to 7 Nissan, with Page 39, following a long delay caused by me drawing pages 37 and 38, Thanksgiving and some other things. To put this in context with the missed pages, this is the end of the mission briefing. No one has ever asked “any questions” and been met by anything other than dumb stares and blinking. I used an inset panel here to avoid having to draw two pages to show a very simple concept, which is how I originally wrote it in the script. I drew the inset panels in the previous two pages with very little color, so I stayed with that to emphasize the continuity with them — they are all part of the same speech. Hopefully it’s more visually interesting this way and moves the story along more.
Eventually, it’s going to be night time for the purposes of the story, and I am looking forward to that very much, because trying to paint the same blend of yellow and gray for the sky every single time and have it look good is getting to be annoying.
This is the entirety of the short comic “Apocalypse Now.” Ultimately, I will re-draw it digitally, as these sketches are much too rough to publish, but having it all drawn out will shorten the process when it comes time to put it all together. It also lets me practice a little with pen and ink, which I use all too rarely. This is the sort of thing that is going to go into my next book to fill out the “Best Iraqi Ever” story featured elsewhere on this site. I have about a half-dozen stories of similar length dealing with bizarre people and situations that I have met, or that my friends have met, on deployments. In this case, a tank company commander in Iraq who had been in the sun just a little too long to drink the COIN cool-aid. If you’re looking for an hilarious punchline at the end of the comic, may I suggest you try Ziggy. “7 Nissan” returns next week.