Harker Issue 6 - annotations

Monday at 28.9.09

Here we go with annotations for issue six, hold onto your hats...

Page One
Harker uses a Zippo, which makes him something of a smoking enthusiast as far as I'm concerned.
You'll notice here his habit of talking to himself - partly a plot convenience for those moments when he's alone, but also an interesting view of his odd, scattered mental condition. He speaks to Critchley as though he's there with him, to calm his own nerves, but there's clearly more to it, and we'll be exploring this as the series moves on.
Harker is not a man of action, incidentally, and is making a rather stupid move here, one which almost leads to his death.

Page Five
If there's a theme to Book One, surely it has to be tea and coffee. It's clearly something of an obsession for Vince, who seems to have our characters constantly indulging in caffeine. No wonder Harker is always so wired...

Page Seven
Vince spent some time researching abandoned tube stations and the like for this issue. The poster is authentic, and there is indeed an abandoned British Museum tube station, now completely sealed and inaccessible from the surface. The mummy haunting story is also authentic.
The comics that Harker is referring to here are probably the adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere TV series, which depict a society living in the labyrinths under the surface of London.

Page Eight
The Phantom of the Opera is of course the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, since adapted into any number of movies, shows etc. Issue six borrows a lot from that story, which featured as the title character the tragic, disfigured Erik, who built a home for himself in the cellars underneath the Paris Opera.

Page Ten
A ladder that leads up from the underground labyrinths straight into the British Museum? Ridiculous, I know, but it's a conceit I pretty much borrowed from Neverwhere, and helps to bring our plot back to the place it began.

Page Twelve
I especially like Vince's little visual gag here, on the sign in front of the vase that Harker grabs. I told Vince I wanted him to smash up as many of the exhibits as he wanted to in the Museum, but he ended up being remarkably restrained - he probably likes it in there too much.

Page Fifteen

This is the Grenville Library, which is just off the Great Court. Usually it's not quite so messy, of course...

Page Sixteen
And we return here to the Reading Room in the Great Court of the museum - pretty much the first thing you see as you enter the museum, so I'm sure most of you will be familiar with it. The murderer drags Harker up to the spot where he was talking to Critchley in issue four, precisely where he had the premonition of his own death.

Pages Seventeen - Eighteen
I'd say it's pretty much completely impossible to smash a car through the rather heavy doors at the entrance to the museum, let alone fit a car through them, but I felt that John Woo absolutely wouldn't care about such a piffling detail, and consequently neither do we.

Page Twenty

I strongly suspect Vince has been spending all the profits from Harker on helicopter trips... I really must have words with him...


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