Wednesday, March 16, 2016


This is the second page of a three and 1/3rd page sequence focusing on Helda. This page and page 11 basically replay the events in The Mark, volume #1, issue #4, which introduced the characters of Helda and her lover Kurt, two elite soldiers for the fascist Archon regime, and depicted Kurt’s murder by The Mark. We also are shown that Helda still mourns Kurt in spite of her proud acceptance of the role as mother to the Archon’s heir.

In these two pages, I was emulating Gil Kane’s montage splash panels. I was trying to capture Kane’s swirling dynamism on page 11, and I think I did a fair job; The reader’s eye follow’s Helga’s supine figure leads downward from her face to her toes, then zigs back upward along the line of marching storm troopers to Kurt and Helda in the lead, superimposed on a large close up on the loving couple staring into each other’s eyes (with Kurt’s symbolic shadow hiding the lower half of Helda’s face). The wrist leads the eye to the holding hands on the left, then back diagonally downward to Helda’s sleep-drowsed close up; only them do we see, almost subliminally, the extreme close-up on their kiss.

Page 12 is more angular, jarring. Helda sits bolt upright as she suddenly remembers her beloved’s death. The composition is a jagged zigzag from the upper left where we see her horrified eyes, to the lower right, where the flashback ends on Helda, bent over, sobbing, the curve of her back jutting into and mimicking the shape of present-time Helda’s pregnancy-distended belly. My inking mentors, Mike Vosburg and Steve Mitchell, suggested I study Dick Giordano for pointers on depicting blonde hair. Looking at this, I see more Russ Heath, especially in his art for “Cowgirls at War”, more on page 11 than page 12.

These are pages 11 & 12  for "The Mark" issue 2, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in January 1994. Written by Mike Barr, drawn by Brad Rader

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