Holy crap this one was a lot of work. Mostly in the pencil and ink department for a change – I moved the backgrounds to CG and photographs forever ago to put a limit on precisely this sort of thing. Even if the vast majority of detail has been rendered mush by veil effects, palette choices and shading, I’m still pretty satisfied with the results.
Eight years after being introduced with it, Tantek finally uses his sword. Five years before the events of the story I was working on eight years ago. I’m trying not to think about that too hard. It is one of those details that puts more of The Dualist into context – five years from here he’s wearing an exoskeleton and still carrying a sword. It’s not intentional anachronism or “swords are cool, everybody should have a sword,” it’s a weapon with a practical use. As illustrated here.
Guns don’t work in the veil – or rather, they do, but as the radio demonstrates, any matter not in contact with a sentient entity will fall out of the veil. The radio fell “down” while Tantek used the physical contact he’s made with the Addicaine to pull them both “up.” If the last panel doesn’t make that obvious, the next page will.
Bullets are great for sniping from the veil if your target happens to be in reality or a pocket universe. Security is one of the main reasons the majority of the human diaspora lives in space or un-annexed planets – worlds with annexed realities are almost totally compromised, all but impossible to secure with the exception of underground complexes like Cheyenne Mountain.
There’s a good example of veil-based security in The Dualist.
Layout-wise, this page deviates pretty heavily from the script thumbnail, which was more of a guideline than anything else. I ultimately opted to break out of the until-now rigidly enforced “live” area and DCR’s visual language of panels and gutters, fiddling with the layout until I got something that seems a lot more appropriate. It’s a bit more experimental than the rest of DCR to date, which isn’t a bad thing – shit’s gonna get bendy in a few pages, so it’s best to start warming up for it.