Turbo- prop. – Chapter 1, Strip 41b

Time to check on the progress of Prof. LaFebrezé’s assistant. Good there’s always the Royal Flying Corps to count on.

In case you don’t remember the gentleman in the first panel, he is Prof. LaFebrezé’s assistant, on his way to Prof. Doctor carrying the ‘Book of the Living’ with him. Apparently, these red, dotted lines are only reliable when operated by someone of Indy’s experience.

Panel two showcases the magic of blue- screening: You can have two actors doing their bit before a blue screen somewhere convenient, then simply paste them into a fitting backdrop. Or, in case of many b-movies, a non-fitting backdrop. (Sidenote: if you have a situation like this in a real movie, where one actor, in this case the assistant, would be required on two different locations, in this case Egypt and London, he will simply be replaced by a stand- in in one of the shots, who will always been shown from behind. If you look carefully, you can spot instances of that in a lot of movies.)

Props is short for properties, and since b-movies are all about being on a tight budget, it’s often a question of making do with what is available. Recylcing props is a common practice, and it’s always a treat to the b-movie afficionado if he spots a particular piece of equipment he already knows from other productions. Note, for instance, how the statue of the Egyptian god from the original ‘Mummy’ movie ended up being worshiped by Emperor Ming in the ‘Flash Gordon’ serial.

While props and models are often simply relabeled like that, the example in panel three is a bit of an exaggeration, I admit. Still, to give it the right feel of authenticity, I did not simply draw it, it’s an actual digital picture of a paper model I built for this specific purpose, using all of my authentic incompetence in papercraft to achieve a truly shoddy result. (And getting it wrong like that required a lot of incompetence, since it’s the most simple model I could get, made up from all of three separate parts.)
Speaking of authenticity, I took extra care to have the model held up by visible wires. In b-movies, nothing flies without visible wires. (My model was actually held up by these wires for my pic. The reason the wires are not taunt is just that this paper model weighs around 5 grams.)

I know there are a lot of movie prop collectors around, but if anyone collects webcomic props, he should drop me a line. I’m willing to part with this wonderful model for a comparatively reasonable price 😉

The ‘Royal Flying Corps’ was predecessor to the later ‘Royal Air Force’. In allusion to the dangers posed by their still rather primitive equipment, it’s pilots sometimes referred to themselves as ‘royal flying corpses’.

Please vote for me, perhaps I’ll be able to afford better props then, someday. And come back on Monday, for a episode full of magic and visions. Sponsored by Ka-mart.

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