Harker Issue 9 - annotations
They used to say that corpses on the cover sell comics, so Vince has given us two here. Harker, of course, hates the sight of dead bodies, which is why he's looking from behind his hand.
"It's blue, have you seen it" - just in case this isn't clear, they're discovering the corpse here - the very same corpse we saw drifting in on the tide the previous evening, in issue #8.
We've done a lot of location photography around Whitby for this story, to get the setting as authentic as we can - Vince got this unusual overhead shot of the bridge here by asking very nicely at a solicitor's office, explaining why he needed it. They very kindly let him into an upstairs room, so that he could get the best angle for the establishing shot I'd requested.
You'll note the 'Whitby Gazette' sign on the sign of the white building - that's actually there, and also provides a neat link to something fun that we have planned for issue #11...
For those wanting to accurately place Harker's hotel, it's the building at the top right of the panel (which is in reality a Tourist Information Centre for the Abbey).
And there's the Whitby Gazette sign again in the first panel, just to make sure it's noticed. Fishboy (panel two) was the Denizen of the Deep in Buster comic in the late 60's and early 70's. He had webbed fingers and toes, could breathe underwater and talk to sea creatures.
This is intended to deliberately echo page seven of issue #1 - the arrival of our heroes on the case. You'll note that the conversation about sandwiches is similar to the one in issue #1 too. There's also another quick appearance of the Whitby Gazette, and Vince's ongoing visual gag about the local football team's woes.
Contrast Harker's method for getting the local police out of his hair, in comparison to Critchley's more reasonable approach in issue #8.
Marine Boy (panel one) was an early Japanese anime cartoon shown here in the UK in the 1960s. He worked for Ocean Patrol, could breathe underwater using his 'oxy-gum' and had boomerangs as his main weapon.
Here's the iconic Whitby Abbey again. In our version of Whitby, the wild grassed area alongside the Abbey continues straight to the moors - a little artistic licence there, as anyone who knows Whitby will tell you, but we needed to mess with the geography just a wee bit for the story, as you'll discover in issue #12.
As acknowleged by Harker, this is a reference to the Grimpen Mire, into which the villain Jack Stapleton meets his fate in Conan Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes story 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.
And there's the black dog again - a further Holmes reference, as well as being a local Whitby legend (the folklore tale of the Barghest, a spectral black dog that preys on lonely travellers). Dracula takes the form of a black dog in the Bram Stoker novel 'Dracula', though the local legend predates Stoker's incorporation of it into the novel.