The first panel has to be a tribute to the thrill I felt as a kid in the 60s (and continue to feel now) watching rocket launches. I loved depicting this “old-school-style” liftoff!
It wasn’t until after I had first sketched out the cargo drone that I noticed how much it resembled the Gamilon ultra fusion missile in Star Blazers. Like I’ve said elsewhere, some of what goes into this series gets there subconsciously.
When my son saw this page, he remarked on how stark the last panel is, almost marveling at how I “dared” to have “so little background detail”. I told him what I’ll tell you: for whatever reason, when I try to pack a lot of fine detail into a drawing, it ends up looking so cluttered and messy that — to my eye — nothing is clear. And I (try to) avoid making you stop and need to decipher what it is you’re looking at. I would love to be able to do mind-blowing backgrounds like so many manga artists do (usually with the help of studio assistants, I hasten to add!). But either that’s a skill I still haven’t managed to pick up yet, or else it just ain’t in me. I’m pretty sure that Alex Toth, at least, would tell me that I’m better off “stripping everything down to bare essentials” … 😉