On this page, the Archon is released from the hospital and manages to escape the attentions of the FBI or the CIA or whatever agency Special Agent Pierce and her cohorts are special agents of. I had to make the page work as a single, coherent whole, without dialogue cues to help the readers understand or render plausible the mechanics of the Archon’s escape. It is the job of the cartoons to make the implausible plausible and the contrived seem spontaneous and natural. I’m somewhat pissed at the letterer for doing a really hack job in panel 7 on the trucking company’s logo. It sort of blows the joke, such as it is.
Speaking of jokes, I’m reminded of Milton Caniff, artist, writer and creator of Terry and the Pirates, Male Call and Steve Canyon. He structured each daily and Sunday strip as a gag cartoon, even as they served to advance a larger narrative. Usually each strip had a set up, development and payoff in 3 or 4 panels (more if a Sunday page), often adding an ironic twist or comment on the frequently suspenseful plot. Mike Barr, the writer of “The Mark”, and I tried to emulate Caniff in this sense. Not that Mike and I ever sat down and discussed this as a matter of philosophical intent, but I’m sure he would agree it was our unspoken motivation.
This is page 20 for "The Mark" issue 3, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in February 1994. Written by Mike Barr, Drawn by Brad Rader.
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