Updated: Jan 13
In which I learn to share.
Welcome to the very first (of only two) Reckless Life stories that I didn't do entirely on my own. This story was written (unsolicited) by Reckless Life editor, Drink and Draw Milwaukee co-founder, and many, many other things, Terry Haller. As I believe I mentioned in earlier posts, Terry was my mentor in comics when I was but a young Avenger and remains my closest artistic collaborator and sounding board. We tried to do a shared commentary for this one but we just ended up drinking old fashioneds and talking about life instead. I regret nothing.
Terry: Quit it, you’re making me blush. Also, Old fashions are good.
Terry Haller, folks! He's dropping in to add to the commentary. His thoughts are in red italics. Back t the show:
Anyway, one thing Terry and I did cover that evening was how little this story changed from Terry's original script. In my mind, I made MAJOR changes but upon re-reading it that's really not the case. This is mostly Terry's story and he even described some of the panels in great detail in the script and I drew them just as he laid them out. That's the ONLY time I've done that.
It was weird having someone actually listen to what I said.
This story begins to address some of Locke's backstory and that's where I made changes as Terry was making guesses at stuff I'd only alluded to in-series and vaguely described to him over juice at the cafe inside Harley-Davidson corporate where we both worked at the time.
Quality time avoiding work.
Anyways, this was a fun one to look back on! I (we) hope you enjoy it.
What Tim said.
This story has some nice establishing panels but this airport shot is not one of them. YUCK. Someone doesn't like drawing vehicles and it's 2004 Tim!
2004 Terry on the other hand loved drawing vehicles with stupid levels of detail and still does. So think of this as my way of torturing Tim at the time.
Also: there's a missed opportunity here to show a fussy Locke trying to de-plane but oh well. Cold is part of this story so we had the desk attendant say it instead. That's not a thing but neither are Las Vegas Ninjas so I suggest you let it ride.
This is both Terry and my favorite page in this story from an art standpoint. The snow effects are a fun change of pace and the panels where Locke swipes the winter gear are STRAIGHT from Terry's script. I rendered it well but all credit goes to him for coming up with that bit.
I super love this whole sequence. It made me laugh then and it makes me laugh now. The RL animated series would be loaded with bits like this.
These museum exteriors are nice too and a sign of how this book is going to start handling architecture going forward. (Which is to say: better.)
For the record, you were continually ramping up both your speed and your style, and these one-offs were sort of your break from the long-form stories, meant to loosen you up and give you a bit of a break. I think you really made the most of them and every arc that came after them you took things up a very clear notch.
This is one of the only stories where Locke narrates a lot of what is going on. (Spoiler: the OTHER story that had a guest writer is the other time.) It's not something I did much of. It's not that I don't like it but most RL stories are action-driven and I found I really didn't need much in the way of narration. My preference at the time was to just draw what you needed to know.
Anyway, I enjoy Locke casing the place even though he's clearly here for another reason. Again, all Terry.
Nah, that’s good character definition by you dude. I was just writing what made sense most based on what you’d established. I imagine he cases his own room as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning (and by morning I mean some time after noon when he wakes up).
Pages 5 and 6
Making Locke wait in line is very Reckless Life humor and Terry got that exactly right. This is the only heist story anywhere the thief just has to sit and wait.
I admit this is probably one of my favorite RL bits ever. Your Art makes it. Otherwise, he’s just standing there.
Clearly 2004 Tim was more interested in drawing the manic pixie dream girl in line with Locke than the security guard who doesn't even have eyes let alone a consistent model.
I believe 2004 Tim described that as “priorities”.
In the last panel, we see where the story gets its title from. I will take credit for that. In Terry's script, the McGuffin was a cd.
In my defense, I think I was originally was considering an 8-Track tape and thought it would be too dated.
Why does Locke want this particular record? Find out next time!
NEXT TIME: Find out what Locke is up to here. I just said that.
Yes, you did. You’re buying next round.