Page 65 of my graphic novel. The idea here, and in the next couple scenes, is to show how quickly these guys can go from almost shooting an Iraqi civilian (pages 53-63) to interacting with many of them very closely and peaceably, and the very subtle changes in circumstances that make a scene potentially violent or not. The Iraqi, of course, is supposed to be scared to death because he has no idea if the Americans will come out shooting. So, there are two sides to what’s happening here, and hopefully that comes across.
The vehicles really are that high up. I’m 73″ tall and was always able to rest my arms on the floor of the vehicle while standing on the ground. The doors weigh about 500 lbs.
After a longer than expected delay, we’re back with Page 64 of my graphic novel project.
I didn’t publish the last ten pages, but they show an escalation of force incident in which they almost, but ultimately do not, shoot an Iraqi civilian. It’s meant to show the sorts of decisions that these guys have to make hundreds of times a day, where they have a split second to decide whether someone’s a suicide bomber or just a lousy driver. Since it could, by some stretch of the imagination, be said to talk about U.S., rules of engagement, I’m not publishing that section until the book gets cleared by the DOD. In the meantime, they’ve just arrived at the road that they’re supposed to fix and are setting up.
The “beep the horn if the boss calls” battle drill lasted until the middle of the deployment when we found a half-dozen handheld MBITR radios under a team leader’s bed, where he’d hidden them for “safekeeping,” having signed for all of them, for some reason, on day one. Discontinuity alert: I drew the officer character with an MBITR antenna on his uniform, because nothing says “officer” like an antenna, and it’s hard enough to make the characters distinctive when they’re all dressed the same. As depicted, he would be able to hear headquarters calling him on the radio and talk to the vehicle crew directly.
There are 40 pages to go, and I will be publishing all of them here as they are completed. Then the cover, then the editing, then the layout, then the rejection letters. I expect to be complete some time in late Summer or early Autumn.