Harker Issue 2 - annotations

Friday at 15.5.09

A busy day here at Harker Central, as Vince and I nipped to the pub this afternoon to sort out the layouts for issue six (a big exciting chase, very action packed, I'm sure you'll love it!), to make a list of the things we wanted in the first collected edition (map, cut out dolls, cut-out diorama, a long interview, covers, these annotations... it should be a nice hefty book once it's all put together), and to discuss Book Two which starts in October. I've got the plot pretty much nailed down now, and we're itching to get to it - just one more issue to go and we're there! Issue four goes to the printers at the end of this week, and just wait until you see Vince's gorgeous cover to issue five!

Anyway, I'm waffling - here we go with annotations on the Harker Issue 2...

Our most popular cover so far, and I love it too. Vince and I have to stand in front of that cover, all giant and blown up behind us at comic conventions, and it's very odd standing in front of a poster that looks so much like us... though we always deny the resemblance!

Page One
Isn't this amazing? I asked Vinnie for an overhead shot of the British Museum, and he delivered this. Absolutely stunning. The houses where most of the investigations have been taking place are on the street directly to the right of the Museum, close to the top of the page.

Pages Two - Three

My favourite piece of Harker art ever. I'd like this double page spread framed and on my wall. I especially love the way the shadows are falling - it's mid-summer during this story, incidentally.

Page Four
The idea of numbering these panels came late in the day, just to help clarify that our detectives are visiting a whole bunch of different bookshops.

Page Six
Further to the ongoing book-nicking activities of Harker and Critchley (after Harker pocketed that copy of A Study In Scarlet in issue one), keep an eye on the book that Critchley is looking through on this page.

Page Seven

You'll note in panel three that he's still holding it...

Page Eight
And look! In the last panel! He's taking it with him! Cheeky sod...
Remember this bookseller, you'll be seeing him again.

Page Ten
Vince generally prefers to use real locations, and this rather bleak looking building really is St Pancras Coroner's Court, the most local place for a body found in that area to be taken. Note in panel two that Critchley makes another mention of Hawksmoor, revealing his comic geekery. It's safe to assume he's probably a massive fan of From Hell.

Page Eleven
This is Jenny Griffin again, whom we met in the first issue. Harker's love of old bookshops is something he shares with me. Check out Critchley straightening his tie in the first panel, as he's about to talk to a pretty girl. Harker, on the other hand, couldn't care less.

Page Thirteen

There's the Russell Hotel in the background of panel one again. In panel three Harker makes a joke about the number 23, referring to the 23 Enigma. It's been used before in comics by Grant Morrison, particularly in his superb Invisibles series, and you can find some general information about what he's talking about here.

Page Fourteen
That bizarre building in panel one is the 'London Gherkin' designed by Norman Foster.

Page Nineteen
Vinnie may correct me here, but I do believe that's a statue of Shiva the destroyer in panel one, here disguised as Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance.

Page Twenty
If this looks cheesey to you, it's intended to. "Make it as much like a black magic ceremony in a Hammer movie as you can" I said to Vince. "Ultra-cheesey." The reason for this will become clearer in the next couple of issues...


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