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Sgt. Bob vs. Death McKill

Sgt. Bob vs. Death McKill was, I think, the first comic book I drew. It's divided into 11 chapters of one page each. Notice on the cover the title is Sgt.Bob & Death McKill. I did that last and just neglected to pay attention to what I'd been calling it. I was always on top of things in that way.

The basic story is akin to that of The Fugitive except with neither motive nor reason. Death McKill is a bad guy and Sgt. Bob is trying to capture him.


1 Here we meet the main characters and find out why Sgt. Bob is chasing Death: he typed his name into a computer. If that's not damning evidence, I don't know what is. I like how in the intro frame even though they're both supposed to be looking cool and smoking cigarettes, Death McKill looks more like an angry crackhead.

Also, I don't know why they always give the big missions to the guys with no depth perception. That's a level of difficulty I don't think I'd be comfortable with.

2 Death McKill has escaped into an airplane via a convenient rope lowered by his employer. Turns out he had been after Sgt. Bob! In any event, McKill's failure causes him to be pushed out of the airplane right by a waiting Sgt. Bob.

If you read about my other comic, The Four Horsemen, you'll know I was a big fan of gas bombs as a way for characters to escape. But the joke's on McKill as he's escaped right into the path of a giant underground drill!

3 Chapter 3 is what I like to call "The Jazz Fight." Light on meaningful words, heavy on sound effects. It's as if Ken Nordine was in 6th grade and had no access to a ruler.

Also, take note of the outsized question mark at the end of the chapter. I was really into giant question marks as a way to take up space and move on to the next page.

4 My favorite bit here is where McKill, as he's being stepped on, says, "Ahh, steel toed army boots." Without an exclamation point, it sounds as if he's actually quite pleased. "Ahh, ice cream." "Ahh, new pants." "Ahh, steel toed army boots."

A close second favorite would be the last frame where Sgt. Bob appears to be doing some sort of Russian dance just as he's dying. Going out in style!

5 All I know is that between each row of frames about ten minutes worth of action must be passing that are not shown. Also, we learn that McKill will grow his muscles as the situation demands.

6 Let's see: faux Asian script, a kick that starts in one frame and lands in another, cross-legged parachuting; must be chapter 6! For those keeping count, this is the third chapter in which someone is pushed out of an airplane. Redundant? No! It's a motif.

Astute observers will notice the shadowy figure standing on the jutting cliff in the final frame. Someone standing on a cliff while someone else is using a parachute count: 2.

7 This is a cautionary tale. If you're ever skydiving and you pass by a highly-trained marine stuck on a butte, give him a hand. If you don't, you'll likely end up impaled on an improbably placed tree limb.

Also, I neither condone nor encourage anyone to jump off of buttes onto rope bridges. It's dangerous and should only be attempted by trained professionals and characters drawn by 12-year olds.

8 At first glance, the exchange, "I wish you were dead."/"Practice makes perfect.", seems to make sense. But upon further reading, it's pretty nonsensical. I know at the time I thought I had come up with something real clever there, but it actually just highlighted my misunderstanding of the concept of "wishing".

Question mark count: 2

9 Um, that guy's name is supposed to be George, but at the time I didn't know how to spell it so I just gave it my best shot. On the other hand, how many guys named Gerge do you meet?

10 That's it, I'm totally making a t-shirt that just says "GERGE" on it in big, block letters.

Question mark count: 4

11 Here it comes, the thrilling conclusion: Gerge is dead, we learn that Sgt. Bob has a built in altimeter, and...it was all a dream! Ha-ha! Oh I bet you didn't see that one coming.

But wait, the new ground leader is D. McKill? NoooO! Can this really be...the end???

Yes, thank god.

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Copyright © 2005-2013 Graham Cranfield