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Inside Look: Perhapanauts #3

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Choopie, Big and the rest of the 'Haps have survived the Holidays and go out to chase the Dover Demon. Writer Todd Dezago fills you in on the third issue of Perhapanauts: Second Changes.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Perhapanauts , here’s what everybody’s saying about it.

“It’s a BPRD rip-off!”

Well, no.

The Perhapanauts is about a team of paranormal investigators working for a secret organization that…um…

Okay, but see, the agents on this team are actually a handful of the same strange, uncanny, and bizarre creatures that they are hunting for and …

Right.

They say that great minds think alike—and Mike Mignola certainly has one—but I think a mediocre one can get lucky sometimes too. I thought mine did way back in the 80’s when I wondered how cool it would be if there were a couple new Ghostbusters who were actually ghosts ! I had always loved the paranormal, the supernatural, the unexplained. I read everything I could find about Bigfoot and ghosts and ufos. And then…

So while Craig and I are huge fans of Mignola and Hellboy and the BPRD, and there are a few minor similarities, The Perhapanauts is something very different, and we really hope you’ll come and see for yourself.

While our first series, retro-titled The Perhapanauts: First Blood, was meant to be a more disjointed collection of stories as Craig and I tried out several different storytelling devices to introduce both the concept and the characters, Second Chances is meant to be a graphic novel, a single story arc following a major event in the team’s (so-far short) history, as well as charting the growth of each of the characters as they find their realities turned upside-down. (And that , my friends, is a run-on sentence.)

Click to enlargePAGES 1 through 5

Okay, so, the first two issues of this Second Chances story arc really shook things up for our team of agents. A visit from their future selves has left each of them with lots of hope—and LOTS of questions. Chiefly affected by this time-traveling tale is Molly, the team’s ghost, who is presented with the fact that a future version of her was NOT in attendance. She held it in for as long as she could but in an unexpected—and uncharacteristic—outburst, she demanded the team’s spiritual leader and resident genius, Big (the Sasquatch), provide her with some answers.

Our tremendously talented colorist, Rico Renzi, worked so hard to make this work! I love what the color does in this scene to illustrate Molly’s situation—her curse. She is a ghost, usually adrift, ungrounded and unable to affect things in our world. Here in her element, it is she who is much more comfortable while Big is the standout, admitting that he is a bit lost. While this scene works well to recap the events of the previous two issues, it also allows for some unexpected insights into both of these characters and plants some seeds for events in upcoming issues.

Click to enlargePAGES 6 & 7

In the medlab, the team’s leader, the telepath/telekinetic Arisa, is recuperating from injuries sustained in the First Blood series.  She is surrounded by her concerned teammates, her family; Big, Molly, Choopie (the incorrigible chupacabra), and MG, a mysterious dimension-slider and Arisa’s burgeoning love interest. Also in the recovery room is Peter Hammerskold, (jealous) leader of the alternate field team, visiting a member of his crew who was injured last issue. As Big relates a theory regarding a former creature/adversary and proposes an expedition to look into it, Hammerskold forcefully invites himself along, noting that Arisa is on the DL and they could use a man with his skills. Rather than deny him this, however, Big welcomes the brash hothead along, stunning everyone in the room—especially Hammerskold.

Craig is a master of expression and especially (comedic) timing. The fluidity of this scene and the last, mostly “talking heads” stuff, makes for some smooth and interesting reading, which would be boring or uninteresting under another artist’s pencil. 

PAGE 8 through 10

Not completely trusting this team he’s thrown himself in with, Hammerskold asks questions regarding their mission and the role he is to play. Molly relates to them (and the Reader) the true tale of the Dover Demon, a strange creature sighted in April of 1977 in the town of Dover, Massachusetts.

Again with the timing. Thanks, Craig! Also, I wanted so much for page 10, Molly’s telling of the Demon’s Tale, to be different, starker, more like a passage from one of DC’s  Factoid/Big Book series. This rough, black and white page is perfect! I love it!

Click to enlarge    Click to enlarge    Click to enlarge

PAGES 11 through 17

Landing in the town of Norton, Mass, where Big believes the Dover Demon went to ground those many years ago, the team inadvertently rouses it from it’s 30 year hibernation… and it wakes up angry!

Giving chase (without permission, mind you!) Choopie chases the Demon! Cornering the bizarre thing in a darkened drainage system, he soon finds that the creature secretes an acidic fluid that burns with prolonged contact!
Craig did an amazing job choreographing the action and lighting it in a way that moves the Reader smoothly through!

PAGE 18
An important moment here as Molly reminds Big of his habit to focus too much and lose sight of the big picture. Certain that he knows what he is doing, Big dismisses her words. And her.

Click to enlarge    Click to enlarge    Click to enlarge

PAGES 19 through 22

As the team tries to capture the angry Demon, Hammerskold plots to do it better and show up the “rival” team. When he does get his telepsychometric hands on the creature, however, an ability that allows him to see an object’s history, or in this case, thoughts, he realizes that the Demon is not angry and violent, but terrified…by them!

Suddenly slammed with his own realization, Big chastises himself, blaming himself for once again losing sight of what’s important—in this case, the creature—and making himself wholly responsible. Seeing that, now, the creature has fled to a very precarious position and is in danger of plummeting off a cliff to its death, Big launches himself to catch the Demon, receiving severe burns on his upper body as he pulls the thing to safety.
Again, Craig nails the pacing here as Big strains to keep hold on the squirming Demon, a redeemed Hammerskold strains to hold Big, and the smoke rises from Big’s burning flesh. This is his penance, this is his scar.

PAGE 23

There’s a Page 23, but I’m not tellin’ ya anything about it…

PERHAPANAUTS: SECOND CHANCES #3—On sale Now! Check out more of The Perhapanauts and read the entire first issue for free at
www.perhapanauts.com
!

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