Updated: May 13, 2021
Hey baby, I hear the blues a-callin'. Tossed salads and scrambled eggs! (Many years later I have no idea WTF that means. Welcome to Seattle regardless.)
There's a pretty cool reason that I set this story in Seattle but we'll talk about that next week. CLIFFHANGER IN THE COMMENTARY?!
As you can see, 2003 Tim actually puts some effort into his backgrounds unlike his predecessor 2002 Tim. I can tell by the line work that I started doing my backgrounds in Adobe Illustrator at this point. At this stage it has that kind of "I can tell you did that part in the computer" quality that some 2D animated movies and shows from the 90s have but I got better at it over time.
If nothing else there is some nice background detail on this page that Mad at the World just lacked.
Poor Locke. He may be the star of the series but the girls in panel four don't care. Don't worry buddy. Good things are right outside the door.
Speaking of: Hey! It's the person with the hat that made a cameo in Mad at the World!
I love Locke's fourth wall-breaking joke about not wanting to get into another crosstown chase. Eat your heart out Deadpool.
Seriously, 2003 Tim? You introduce your second favorite character of the series with a chest double-take joke? Ungh. Sorry, literally everyone. Young Tim had some things to learn about introducing his strongest female character but then immediately objectifying her.
Anyways, meet Paige! She is my second-favorite RL character. (After Locke, of course, though many people ended up liking Daniels best.) We'll learn plenty about her over the course of this story so I'm not going to ruin anything about her now. I will, however, say that not only was her "disguise" look inspired by Carmen San Diego but in-story she herself intentionally modeled herself after that most educational of criminals. (This is never even eluded to in the narrative but she's my character and I know what's going through her head when she picks out her clothes.)
Great full reveal of Paige right out of the gate here, 2003 Tim. This shot is spot-on model. (She doesn't stay that way even on these pages but I guess I put some extra effort into this drawing.)
This whole sequence showcases how I tend to handle talking heads, which is with a LOT of speech bubbles and the bare minimum of drawings. I always figured save the drawing energy for the fun stuff and at the same time not bloat the page count with a lot of square panels with unimportant reactions. (No, I'm not picking on Brian Michael Bendis, I ADORED Ultimate Spider-Man.)
I love Locke and Paige's report. They're always trying to out-clever one another which is something I find attractive in real-life. (Again Locke is my id.)
Speaking of things I find attractive in real-life, Paige hits Locke right where he lives here: a shared love of his passion. I've always wanted to have a partner to 'team-up with." This is Locke living out 2003 Tim's fantasy as he had not even had a taste of that idea at this point in his life but it appears he at least knew what he wanted and that counts for something.
The result is Locke's first genuine smile of the series. I draw him smiling a lot but it's usually with mischief or malice. This is Locke just being happy for a second.
This page shows something that 2003 Tim still needs to work on and that is a tendency for his art to skew slightly to the right. You can see it in Paige's face in panels one and five. Subsequent RL artists would learn to reverse their art in Photoshop so that skew was easier to see and correct but right now a lot of Reckless Life is in desperate need of a V-8.
NEXT WEEK: Locke gets invited in for coffee.