PAGE TWENTY-THREE.  Interior, commercial freightlifter TK-421.

The last page of 2010.  And a bit of a sudden end for a number of unfortunate passengers.  We get to see exactly what a MK. 6 Combine Pulse Rifle does and it isn’t pretty.  I’m still really digging the red lighting effect; it is perfect for the chaotic tension of the trooper’s attack.

Now, again, Nic and I have a difference of opinion on this week’s music pairing.  Nic likes Metallica’s cover of the Misfits song ‘Die, Die My Darling.’  It makes sense, and I do like the Metallica version.  However, my choice this week is maybe a little obvious:  Broken Bells, ‘Vaporize.’  The laid-back tone of the song provides a nice counterpoint to the violence and chaos of the page.  I also think the Broken Bells had one of my favorite albums of 2010.

A few things.  First, if you are a fan of the comic and don’t mind a little tame nudity, you need to hit the deviantArt link up there on the right and check out Nic’s last piece of 2010.  It is a slightly risque version of our drummer, Samantha Darkness.  Sam has an “exotic” day job in Volcano City and Nic wanted to do an illustration of her at work.  So, again, if you’re interested you should check out Nic’s dA page.  The piece will eventually end up in our B-Sides section.  Twitterers already got it.

Second, we wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Nic and I agree that we received three amazing gifts this year.  The first two are named Benicio and Charlotte- Nic’s amazing son and my daughter.  The second gift was the opportunity to put this project together.  We were really lucky to have found each other and I couldn’t ask for a more talented and, frankly, telepathic creative partner.  ‘Free Mars’ and the Martian punk band Sisters Grimm were based on a ten year old screenplay, but it wasn’t until I saw Nic’s work that I realized the potential to tell the story in this medium.

Nic and I also want to thank our “fifth Beatle”, Chris Borer.  Besides being a multiple Slayer Sword winner (I’m sure some of you know what that is), Chris is also a fantastic editor.  He gets to read everything first and his often vehement criticism has been invaluable to the process.

And finally, at the risk of sounding overly naffing sentimental, today’s my birthday.  And the best gift I’ve gotten (besides baby Charlie) are all the emails and posts from you guys.  You, ladies and gentlemen, are awesome!  So thanks for reading.  See you in 2011, gremmies.

Dave  12/31/2010