Tomas de Rat / Tomas the Rat

De Ijzeren Vogel / The Iron Bird page 3

As you can see, on this page I suddenly decided to crank up the amount of rows. This was because of several reasons, mostly because I wanted to cram a longer story in the same ten-page booklet. It had the (dis)advantage that I could draw less details per panel, and a larger ratio of the page was taken by text balloons. Due to the small size of the comic itself, some panels were only a ridiculous 22 mm high, less than an inch! Nevertheless, even though it must have been one of the worst ideas I ever had, I would continue using seven bands per page for most of the upcoming comics. Only in some of the last comics I started, I went back to six rows or less.

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

De Ijzeren Vogel, page 3

Rows 1-2

Suddenly the volcano erupts, although you already knew it would when you saw the name Volcano City. Tomas & friends don't have time to get back in the bird, but luckily it is built to withstand being hammered by falling rocks. It is even programmed to launch automatically when in danger and fly back to its pilot!

Rows 3-4

The bird appears to be large enough to hold the population of the entire city. Probably Volcano City wasn't that large, why could that be…
They manage to take off just in time — of course — when the city is demolished by earthquakes, falling rocks and liquid hot magma. Of course, at that age I didn't know yet that the city was much more likely to be wiped away by a pyroclastic flow.

Row 5

Apparently Tomas knew of an abandoned city which is a suitable new home for the Volcano City citizens. Of course, the city being abandoned is not quite a good sign, but it can't be worse than having a constant risk of volcanic boulders crashing through one's roof.

Rows 6-7

Tomas has prepared a surprise trip to Brussels for the crew of the bird. For SNIK however, this is not such a surprise because he appears to have placed a bug in the cockpit, or found a way to tap into the intercom system with his evil little satellite dish. The animals spot him, but he gets away.

In the last panel we get a pointer as to where Animal City is located, like I said before. It takes five hours of flight to get to Brussels, Belgium. Because the bird is probably near-supersonic, this makes sense if AC is located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, between Africa and South-America.

Go to page 4