Yeah, yeah, you’ve seen this page before (and in color). I am aware. But just look at it, again. It’s probably my favorite page Taylor’s ever done. There are plenty of others that make me smile, even more that I marvel at, a small few that I question, and only one that I was adamant that one panel must change (I’ll let you guess both the panel and the page). But this page, it’s just perfect.

Here’s what I wrote in my script:

Page 1
Panel 1: Major Tom, the Alien, is in his flight suit, sick over a bathroom sink.
Narration: Ground control to Major Tom!

Panel 2: Same shot, Major Tom wipes the sick from his mouth.
Narration: Ground control to Major Tom!

Panel 3: Major Tom now swallows a drink, holding a hypersleep pill bottle in his hand.
Narration: Take your protein pills,

Panel 4: Major Tom now fixes the large helmet on his bulbous head.
Narration: And put your helmet on.

Notice here, that my panel descriptions are very minimal. I had a pretty clear picture in my head for each one, but, unless there’s a specific angle I’m seeing or need for storytelling purpose, I try to let Taylor use the best tool in his kit — his imagination. He took my few words and just created an utterly believable setting and character (almost cinematic), but so, so alien. I hadn’t even taken that into consideration, really. Just radical.

The moment I saw this, Jordan and I were in our Atlanta hotel room (double beds, ‘phobes) resting on the last night of Dragon Con and I got the page in my inbox (that’s what she said), and I knew instantly that Taylor was the right person for the job. He’s totally half the mind behind The Unstoppable Force. I took so much from this one page; originally, my concept for the series was much brighter, louder, more Saturday-morning-cartoonish. But this wasn’t cartoonish at all, it was real. The series became a lot darker after that, especially after Jordan colored it (that night).

During the giant-sized #1, I learned to go forth with tongue firmly entrenched in cheek to leaven the mood. I also learned from the above page that Taylor could handle in medias res with panache, and that set up how I would ultimately try to write that story, and the project as a whole. The format of giant-sized issues plus graphic novels, each telling contained stories that progress the master plot forward, came naturally from all of us disliking the current state of mainstream comic book storytelling. So, yeah, I love this page. I hope you like it, too.

You’ll probably also notice that the script has narration, specifically the lyrics to David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Did I mention you should listen to that while we go through these pages? No? Really, okay, I thought I had. I wasn’t really concerned about using the lyrics, I would have given Mr. Bowie full credit, I just thought the pages didn’t need it. Listening to the song gives it the pace, but the images just sort of do it naturally. Plus, we haven’t really decided if his name will actually be “Major Tom”. I like it, but it may be a little Venture Bros.y, y’know? Anyway, I don’t think the page would be any better with words on it. I could be wrong, it happens.

So, yeah. That’s page one, in a nutshell.

-Rob of War

All right, all right, you jackals. Here’s Taylor’s initial Major Tom sketch, which really inspired the story to begin with, just because it’s badass.

Taylor’s Original Major Tom Sketch