Reckless Life: Mad at the World (part 9)

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Welcome to the ruins of Old Vegas


Page 23:

As I mentioned in earlier chapters, Reckless Life's vague "future" setting was mostly an excuse to not be forced to adhere to closely to reality. The setting of "Old Vegas" was similar but different. It was definitely an excuse to make up my own "New Vegas" and not deal with critiques on geographic or architectural mistakes but it was something very of the time times. Reckless Life was written in the shadow of 9/11 and terrorism was certainly very much at the top of everyone's minds. The idea that someone would want to strike at the heart of Western opulence and consumerism seemed pretty plausible to me as did the idea that Vegas, the ultimate "tear it down and rebuild it" sort of town would just up and re-do the whole thing.

It's also just a really cool setting that I sometimes utilize to it's best and sometimes don't. A later story co-written by Matt Shepherd uses it best but we've got a way to get there. You'll have to suffer through my handling of it until then.

All that said, this page is one of the few instances in which I acknowledge Old Vegas's "origin." There was a LOT of fiction based around terror at this time and while I liked this two Vegases idea it's not what I wanted RL to be about.

I did love drawing these ruined Vegas pages though. Taking existing landmarks and just wrecking them is a fun drawing exercise and it's something I come back to often throughout the series.

You say this idea of an "no man's land" city that has been declared dead by the government has been done? Whatever. The Bat office didn't invent the idea either.

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Crossroader: An old term for Casino cheat. Originates from the Old West where Gambling saloons were located at crossroads.

What an awesome name for an awesome setting. Great job, 2002 Tim. The Crossroader is in almost every RL story and often frequently. It's a little bit Noonan's a little bit Hellhouse. These are very intentional references to my two favorite 90's comics runs which have since been popularized by the Harley Quinn animated show and the Deadpool movies respectively.

I was in my early 20s in 2002 and logging a lot of miles in bars so the idea that Locke would not have his own favorite watering hole was unthinkable to me.

The Crossroader is run by the surly but lovable bartender, Paulie who is not only named after Burt Young's character in Rocky but he shares some of his physicality. The red-haired cocktail waitress is a series regular too but not so much so that she got a name. Oddly enough she looks a bit like my ex-wife. No, that was not intentional. This was before her time. Maybe I should be careful about who I draw into my new stuff...

Meanwhile, poor Locke. He just wants someone to be impressed by him. That's definitely something we'll see more of throughout the series.

Hey it's another reference to the Martinelli mob!

Poor Locke PART 2: he's finally proven right about something and it's...

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Wow, Daniels is really angry when he shoots for some reason. It's almost like his creator read too many 90s comics because that's not at all consistent with his character.

Locke's line "accept no substitutes" is totally my stock answer to that same question. Sometimes it's a little hard to tell where he ends and 2002 Tim beings. I'm sure I'll end up saying the same thing about my new charterers and current me in 20 years too.


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