Hey avapeople the comic is back! In a limited, noncommittal fashion at least. I'm a little unsure about starting it up again, but I've got about 4 pages in the queue, and wanted to start putting them up. For now, it's going to be one every other week like it was previously, but after those are up it might be longer between pages as I've found that my hands can handle about only about 1 hour of art work per day. So... Yeah. I'm being noncommittal.
This was a difficult page, and I wondered if I was just being too silly having the troops trying to jump out of the panel to get away from the fire tornado. In lots of comics they use the 'out of the panel' thing for action shots and it works fine, but as soon as the characters acknowledge it's there it gets a little fourth wall breaking. Regardless, the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea, so I left it in anyway.
I also debated the pseudo-swearing. There's no language like this in the show, but I tried having them yell something like 'run' and it just didn't have the same effect. If someone throws a fire tornado at you, chances are swear words are going to result, probably without even thinking about it. This is about as much swearing as the comic will have, though.
On the previous page I mentioned the guy with the tongue hanging out. It's referencing the show's creator's tendency early in the show's development for crazy tongue flapping in the wind action, shown in three places:
1: The pilot episode that's included on the DVDs but not part of the actual series during the fight between Aang and Zuko.
2: The opening sequence briefly as Aang scoots by on his air scooter (found by hmsnike)
3: In the art book for ATLA on pages 28 and 29 (you can see Zuko on page 28 by 'looking inside' on the amazon page) where they show the first pencil tests for the series where Zuko is rolling with his tongue out, and Aang is... uh... I'm not sure how to describe it, but I'll just say it's the most over the top martial arts tongue action I've ever seen.
Sorry it took so long for this page, and I hope people didn't waste too much time searching for tongue references. In retrospect, I should have just posted the answers earlier.
I tried a new technique on the first panel, and it simultaneously worked and didn't work. I basically painted directly in the program with color rather than drawing to block out where characters were. It worked well for the positioning, but then when I tried to draw over it, it was awkward and came out weird. Oh well.
When making comics, sometimes a panel doesn't work out. Normally I would redo the parts I'm unhappy with, but with my hands the way they are I can't really redo them unless they really bother me, as these pages take long enough to make as it is.
Whoo! I managed to finish a Zuko poster in time for Metrocon, where Dante Basco will be! My original idea was to do a Zuko/Azula picture because I'm a big fan of both characters, but I could not get the two of them to work well together. So I went with my second favorite person with Zuko - his father figure, Iroh. One telling part of Zuko's character and his family dynamic is that he can't conjure his own lightning, but Iroh taught him how to redirect someone else's lightning with a whole new technique - and the first time Zuko ever has to use it is when his own father attacks him.