Haywire- Chapter 1, Strip 57

Snuka does the matrix. Unfortunately, wire stunts require split- second timing by highly trained professional and other things absent in b-movies.

And here we have a plethora of real b-movie moments once more.

In the first panel, a classic example of the infamous ‘This must mean…’ effect, in which a character jumps to the right conclusion immediately, passing over a dozen simpler, more plausible explanations in the process. It’s like Ockham’s razor, just the other way round. Of course, George Lucas can better even that:

>quote< VOICE: (over intercom) We've captured a freighter entering the remains of the Alderaan system. It's markings match those of a ship that blasted its way out of Mos Eisley. VADER: They must be trying to return the stolen plans to the princess. >unquote< Impressive: here the character actually jumps to the wrong conclusion, and to get there, he not only needs to bypass the right one, but a couple of dozen wrong, yet still more plausible, ones as well. Moving on to the second panel, we find just a few little things amiss, if we look really closely: Firstly, the wires are visible. A classic snafu since the days of Ed Wood Jr., and probably days even before those, it has recently experienced an unexpected resurrection thanks to the wire stunt fad. Secondly, the stuntman's (uhm, ok. stuntboy's) protective gear is visible. Sometimes unavoidable to ensure a stuntman's safety, yet alway irritating. Most rampant with stuntmen that get set on fire. Thirdly, there's a zipper on the mummy. No joking, some of the later mummy flicks don't use separate bandages to make up their mummy actors, but complete mummy-suits. The bandages are only painted, often rather unconvicingly, on a full body suit with a zipper on the back. Advantages: much more comfortable to put on for the actor. Disadvantages: Hardly any resemblance to actual mummy, much resemblance with Michelin Man. Most rampant in 'Curse of the Mummy's Shroud', and a number of low-to-the-brink-of-no-budget productions. (Speaking of 'Curse of the Mummy's Shroud', that movie also clearly demonstrates the problems of realizing a movie with little money in an affluent society: They needed people to play some servants starving to death in the desert, but obviously could get only some rather well-fed extras...) The last panel yields one count of 'equipment visible', in this case, as in most cases, it's the microphone beam. Oh, and Snuka's sneakers are visible as well. (Say 'Snuka's sneakers' ten times in rapid succesion. Just to see if you can.) And of course, if something goes really wrong, it's dubbed over. As a final note, the inspiration for this strip came from reading Jackie Chan's autobiography, aptly named 'I am Jackie Chan'. (I can recommend it, by the way, especially the part about his childhood and youth is very interesting.) But 'Chen Quait Fat' is not supposed to be an allusion to Samo Hung, nevertheless. The new voting incentive going up today is Harry Potter themed once more, but actually harks back to the days before the b-movie comic. When toying with the idea of launching a webcomic, I briefly considered to use Lego bricks (like www.irregularwebcomic.net or legostargalactica.comicgen.com do to great effect) but since I couldn't afford to buy a ton of bricks, I used ray-tracing to simulate Legos. Yes, there exists a special freeware tool for that, called Ldraw. (Hah, like there were any things that don't exist in the internet.) This little Harry Potter strip was one of my early experiments, and is of course based on the flying car/ escape from Privet Drive scene. Yes, the whole idea was stupid, I know that myself by now. You should have told me back then. More action, less talking on Thursday.

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