Tomas de Rat / Tomas the Rat

De Ijzeren Vogel / The Iron Bird page 2

In the comic, there was no shading from this point on, except for Tomas being coloured grey in some panels. I added some ‘digital’ shading to the scans in the same style as I would have done it back then with ordinary pencils, to make some objects stand out more.

The panels were originally separated only by a thin line, which made it often difficult to see where a new panel started. Therefore the digital clean-up also involved fattening those lines by placing the panels slightly further apart.

Click the image to toggle between the original Dutch text and the English translation.

De Ijzeren Vogel, page 2

Row 2

Here you get a look at Tomas' arch enemy from the main series, a hedgehog. In Dutch I called him ‘SINK’, which means nothing in that language but somehow sounds evil. I swapped two letters in the English translation to avoid the not quite evil reference to kitchen/bathroom furniture.

In the second panel we get a redefinition of ‘contraption’. Mind that apparently SINK/SNIK is an abbreviation, judging from the marks on this thing. But I don't think I ever bothered to find a meaning for it. Anyway, the ‘plane’ looked so silly I had to add the huge asterisk which is explained at the bottom of the page. And I went for a silly onomatopoeia for the engine sound as well. Have you ever heard a plane go “zuuuuff”? To top it off, I made SNIK say hahee, which is the kind of mixture between ‘haha’ and ‘heehee’ that all evil guys in the comics use to emphasise their insanity.

Rows 3-5

Yes, that's a skyscraper scraping a cloud. In Dutch this silly joke works better because the word is ‘wolkenkrabber’, and ‘krabben’ (to scratch) is the act of using your hands to e.g. remove an itch, hence literally it means ‘cloud scratcher’.

Tomas & friends are going to Volcano City (an actual city, because I used the Dutch word for it). That's right, some animals were smart enough to build a city right next to a fuming volcano. Don't worry, they will pay dearly for it in the next panels. Also notice the mysterious disappearance of the jumbo-sized bird in the second panel of row 4. We'll keep the explanation to a viewpoint change.

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