August 26, 2017


Commentary for July 31, 2020:

I had some serious trouble with this page, and it couldíve tanked the entire effort to get this chapter done before September, 2017 if I hadnít pulled through. The image file I made panel 3 in ended up getting corrupted and was not recoverable. By that point, Iíd already done all the pencilling and was very satisfied with it; I didnít want to have to draw it again, but I had none of the 3D models in the image I needed for the background. In the end, I brute forced my way through it, using the vague pencil outlines of the original models to re-create the entire background again from scratch, using textures in Paint Shop Pro as close to the ones I wouldíve used the models for to complete the image. And frankly, if I hadnít told you, I doubt you even tell the difference. Iím pretty proud of what I managed to accomplish with this page. With so much in my life going wrong at the time, I knew I couldnít let myself give up on this.

Anyway, panel 3 isnít the only thing I wanted to talk about here. Panel 1 is also something Iím quite pleased with. First of all, Eon raises a question Iíve often asked about Angel Islandís Lava Reef Zone: how does molten lava exist on a floating island? The Earthís core is molten mostly because of the decay of radioactive elements and magma comes up to the surface in regions where tectonic plates meet to produce lava. Compared to the planet, though, Angel Island is tiny, so there couldnít possibly be enough uranium 238 or potassium 40 in there to keep any rock molten for thousands of years, surely? I figure it has to have something to do with the energy of the Master Emerald, frankly, and maybe all those pipes and traversable tunnels we see riddling the Lava Reef in Sonic 3 & Knuckles were built by Knucklesís ancestors as a way of harnessing all that heat in some kind of geothermal power plant? Or maybe they use lava moving around as a way of controlling the islandís flight path? Who knows? Either way, I wanted Eon to ask a question that was on my mind, even if I have no intention of ever trying to answer it definitively (and I certainly donít expect to ever hear an official answer from Sega).

Secondly, panel 1 is a very deliberate homage to Fleetwayís Sonic the Comic issue 137 (August, 1998), in which Knuckles has to make his way back up to the surface of the Floating Island after being thrown off by a band of criminals hoping to loot the place of its treasures. The tunnel the heroes are walking through in panel 1 is a very faithful re-creation of one in the official comic, albeit a little smaller. I always loved the depiction of the complex network of tunnels inside the Floating Island and the artwork by Nigel Dobbyn (RIP) was excellent, as always.

Finally, I am quite pleased with the lighting on this page, and still very proud of that final panel. The heroes look like theyíre getting ready to roll initiative and Iím very much here for it.

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