Tomas de Rat / Tomas the Rat

De Ijzeren Vogel / The Iron Bird page 4

You may wonder why the first row still has the same height as if there are only five rows per page. Me too. I guess I was too lazy to re-distribute the seven rows evenly over the page, and just copied the dimensions from the previous page. Originally this even went on for the whole rest of the comic, but when inking and re-making the last pages I corrected it, boosting the height of the lower panels to a whopping 26 mm!

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De Ijzeren Vogel, page 4

Row 1

Tomas hasn't made reservations in just any hotel, he chose the Brussels Hilton. You can see a few more hints of perspective in the second panel, but I was still far from drawing interesting viewpoint angles. Nevertheless you can see the drawing style evolve, the drawings are getting more regular even though they are smaller.
As you can see, Tomas appears to speak French, although those two words must have been among the only ten French words I knew myself at that time.

Row 2

Although Tomas did choose the Hilton, he was skimpy enough to only order three rooms to cram the entire crew in.
‘Pricky’ is the name of Tomas' best friend, a hedgehog (just like SNIK, coincidence?) Of course the ‘prick’ in the name refers to his needles, not his personality.

Row 3

The ultimate way to get rid of your enemy is to blow him up, that's for sure. Subtle ways like guns or poison are for pussies! I think, counted over all the comics I have drawn, more stuff explodes than in the movie ‘Commando’ (and that is an accomplishment). In one particular comic, an enemy blows up an entire airport in a failed attempt to kill Tomas. Now that's some serious overkill…
Too bad for SNIK he picked the wrong room to blow up. But still it was enough to ruin Tomas' vacation trip to Brussels, because he eventually decides to go back home the same night.

Row 4

Either someone had the jolly job of piloting the bird all night long, or it just flew on autopilot. Anyhow, there's no better breakfast than some shooting practice. Yes, the iron bird has a pair of powerful laser cannons built into its eyes, all powered by the fire crystals of course. And in a freak coincidence, SNIK is again spying under the bird with his flying contraption at the same time, so he is an ideal target for the first salvo!

Row 5

I didn't often use ‘super-sized’ panels like these, only when something really spectacular happened.
The funky effect on the eye is not drawn, it is actually some kind of little gold-coloured plastic disc to decorate clothing, which I found at my grandma's house. Gluing it to the paper made the area around it quite messy, but I cleaned it up in the scan.
At any rate, SNIK is history now. At least he exploded, so it was an honourable death. But with Tomas' arch enemy wiped out, how would the story continue? The little burning paper flying towards the bird will tell us on page 5.