Third Wheel: Issue 1, Part 2

Updated: Mar 21



Issue 1, page 5

Third Wheel was my biggest, best, and ultimately last attempt to pitch Reckless Life as a print comic. It's structured as a three-issue (see what I did there?) mini-series down to the proper 22-page count per issue. As part of that initiative, I wanted any reader to be able to pick this arc up with no prior knowledge of the series to date. (Even though it is BY FAR the most continuity-heavy RL arc.)

Hence, the opening third-person narration which we haven't seen much of since the very beginning of Mad at the World. I kind of forgot how much thought I put into the world-building around the Las Vegas setting. It makes me wonder why in the world I set so much of RL in other cities. (Including most of this story.) I guess my idea was Locke didn't like to shit where he lived but it seems like a waste of a cool setting. I have some ideas to maybe rectify that in the not too distant future...

Anyways, these establishing shots rule and I remember spending a ton of time on them. The old Vegas shot was particularly fun in that I drew current Vegas as it is in pencil and then wrecked it with inks. Even the extras have more personality than we've seen to this point and the guy at the card table with the bandana is definitely our Locke's namesake, Locke Cole from Final Fantasy VI.

Issue 1, page 6

Hey, we know this guy! 2005 Tim has finally done away with all the extraneous white piping on Locke's jacket and he's back to his classic style and looking better and more cartoony than ever. His personality is fully fleshed out at this point and his deep desire to feel like he's part of the master criminal cool kids' table is on full display here. As is his hopelessness with the ladies. (It appears he's hitting on Rogue from X-Men Evolution here?)

Issue 1, page 7

Not only is the page a cute little gag but it's also an example of 2005 Tim getting smart about photoshop and using repeated backgrounds to sell a gag and not just to save time. (I was penciling, inking, coloring, and lettering three pages a week with a full-time job at this point - MADNESS.)

Issue 1, page 8

This is the point in RL where Locke stops having eyes when I felt like it was more effective as it is here. I like how Daniel's hand bleeds into the white outline too.

Hey's it's a Las Vegas Ninjas callback! I think that joke works even if you haven't read LVN but again this one really does reward prior knowledge of the series.

Once again, Daniels looking cool as hell in this last panel.

Issue 1, page 9

Third Wheel also has the most words of any RL arc, or at least this first issue does. I try and keep the talking heads to a minimum and load up on speech balloons. Better to get the action! Locke and Daniels trying to out-tough-guy each other works pretty well in dialogue and in what talking heads I offer here. Sorry. I love this book and this is what the commentary on this one is going to be like!

Issue 1, page 10

"The position has been filled." Hot damn. THAT'S an action hero one-liner there, buddy.

Writing an anti-hero can sometimes be tough. You can't get the character to do something with the old "because it's the right thing to do" superhero song and dance but sometimes all you need to do to motivate someone is get a briefcase full of money involved.

NEXT TIME: All aboard the caper exposition train!

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