April 2, 2016


Commentary for December 23, 2019:

Originally, I was going to call General Severnaya “General Polarclaw”, but Polar Claw is the name of a Transformer and I didn’t want to be that on the nose with a reference. I considered “General Winters”, but there’s a character in the Fallout series called Winters, so I considered General North, but then I remembered actual US marine corps veteran and right-wing political commentator, Oliver North and I definitely didn’t want to make a reference to him. So, I looked up the Russian for “north” and, what do you know, I learned that that island group in the Russian Arctic, Severnaya Zemlya literally translates into English as “North Land”. And that’s where General Severnaya got his name from. It’s just Russian for “north”. Because he’s a polar bear. Honestly, I find it very hard to come up with names for characters.

Anyway, he’s a fairly last minute OC, if I recall correctly. I didn’t have him in mind at the planning stage, but he came to me as I was writing the script. He was also a difficult character to design. I’d never created a bear character before and I couldn’t quite figure out how to draw him. I tried out a simplified style along the lines of Bark the Polar Bear, an actual Sonic character, but that looked absolutely wrong for what I was aiming for, so I walked it back. There are a few early design sketches of Severnaya, including one where he has an eye patch, but is otherwise a fairly ordinary soldier in uniform. But I wanted something grander and, frankly, more intimidating. I took a little inspiration from the villain, Fuhrer King Bradley from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and gave him a dress sword (a very large one, as it happens) and put him in a long coat, and I was pleased with that look. He goes on, as you’ll see, to play a bigger role in Chapter 7.

The hovercraft in Panel 3 are AG-23 Tiger Sharks. They fulfil a similar military role to helicopter gunships in the real world. In other words, they’re armed to the teeth with guns, rockets, and missiles.

As with the previous chapters, I have now made an updated version of this page, which is larger, with clearer text, to make it consistent with Chapter 7 onwards. Hopefully, this will make the earlier chapters easier to read.

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