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Tandra Page 968, January 27, 2008

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We have a winner! We also have sunburn, on the David Galon character. First the sunburn.

Depending on your perspective, you are either surprised with David Galon’s pale skin tones in the final panel of Tandra Plate 967 last week or you are amazed at the darker hue for this week’s installment. There is indeed a logical reason for the drastic change on colour. Actually not so logical, but there is a reason.

When I began to arrange to create new Tandra pages on a weekly basis, I drew and coloured a sample as a test case. I used the Earthflesh colour I have used since the first Tandra plate way back when. Ya see, “way back when” I set up an Earthflesh colour that was inspired by traditional ink on paper comic book colours and then modified the process colours to my own taste. That Earthflesh colour has served me in good faith for many years. For those of you curious about the matter, Tandra native flesh colour is inspired by the Martian stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and many other great characters. I made the Tandra people with skin biased toward red in tribute to the red race of Martians in Burroughs’ series.

Back to “sunburned” Galon, in the test colours for the page mentioned above, I used the original Earthflesh colour and was not overly pleased with the results. Some skin tones blended in overly well with my new limited palate of colours for the weekly pages. As I have been working recently with photographs in my alternate identity as commercial illustrator, I decided to sample a few photographic representations of actual human skin tones until I had a colour that pleased me. This I did and came up with a more representational Caucasian flesh. This revision is the Earthflesh colour I have used in the Weekly Tandra Pages since September 15 last. This new and lighter colour worked well on Earth with other Earth Humans, but when I applied it to Galon last week, I really didn’t like it. Compared to Kenia, he is really too washed out.

Still I was committed and began colours on this week’s page with pale Galon. Here on Page 968, I really did not like “Pale Galon”! So, with the page ready to post, I clicked a button and changed Galon back to the darker version we have known since Tandra Plate Number One. And that is the reason Galon has suddenly developed sunburn on Page 968 and will continue with the darker flesh tone we are used to for the future.

Now you know the secret of the sudden sunburn syndrome.

And the winner in the “What in the world is dead David Galon doing in the final panel of Tandra Page 967 looking fit and trim and younger than when we last saw him looking bruised and battered and older?” is:

“My guess is that his memories/thoughts have been transferred into a synthetic body. Regardless, I'm very happy to see Galon back.” E-mail signed, Jim Woodall

And, as we can all see from this week’s page, Jim Woodall, Tandra Fan Extraordinaire hit it pretty much on the nose! Congratulations Jim, Our first Tandra Brigadier Supreme for dedication to and possession of Tandra Lore above and beyond the call of duty. For his exceptional skill and knowledge in determining how and why I was able to pull off this bit of Tandra surprise without violation of established mythos, I am sending Jim a rare copy of ink on paper Critter Issue #13. This is, in fact, an item Jim has previously expressed an interest in locating to fill out his collection of Tandra publications. Because Jim had already expressed his interest in obtaining this item, I have chosen to send it to him as his special first prize as winner of the coveted Tandra Brigadier Supreme honor rather and in substitution for the standard First Prize amount of $10 million that would normally have been awarded to Jim’s personal bank account. I know Jim will be thrilled with his prize, en route to his home address as I type this. Again, Congratulations, Jim!

And thanks one and all to the others of you, dedicated Tandra Fans all, who submitted deductions, hunches, and Wild Ass Guesses for our little contest. There were several correct answers, and you know who you are, but the earliest entry wins the prize. Because this fan participation event was such a success, there will be another soon, when I can think one up. Thanks again, one and all.

Now, with the introduction of the “New” Galon, “a brand new character you will remember from long ago”, as advertised, we have protagonist David Galon again, but with a difference. It is a tradition in comics to have a character die, and then get over it. Superman does it all the time. I have even been tempted to pull the same traditional stunt with a character of Tandra when a dedicated fan in years past insisted Samaelayia could not be allowed to stay dead. My argument was that people in the real world who die do not recover. They stay irreparably dead. His argument in reply was they sometimes turn up alive after having been erroneously reported as deceased, which is true. I worked with a man some years back who was reported killed in action in World War II. The family went through the whole burial ceremony (minus the corpse, of course). The “dead” man then returned home completely unaware he was “dead” and walked into the living room. His mother fainted flat onto the floor at sight of her “dead” son. So it does happen the “dead” return, but not so frequently as comics writers would have us believe.

In any case, with Samaelayia I was intrigued enough by the story possibilities to look at ways of making her live again. I think my story was indeed successful. You are, as always, entitled to your opinion. Be as it may, one “return from the dead” Tandra tale is sufficient. I was determined this David Galon return would not recycle the same elements as the Samaelayia rebirth. The David Galon of Earth we all knew from the first Tandra Pages, the David Galon who followed Princess Kenia through the Star Door to Tandra is long and unalterably dead. We shall not see him again. My implied contractual agreement to not cheat on you and pull a fast plot stunt for effect by violating established plot concepts of the Tandra Universe remains valid. The David Galon introduced with Tandra Page 967 is indeed a brand new character, although with definite echoes of his famous namesake.

This, I believe, brings about exciting new story possibilities. This David Galon is obviously similar in many ways to the Earthian of which he is a copy, but in how many ways is he different and his own unique person? Though possessed of the totality of the Earthian’s memory and experience, he is obviously much younger. How will his youth influence his judgement?

Kenia is, on the other hand, the very same woman (bitch) we have always known. How will she react to a synthetic version of the father of her first child? These and other questions I find of unending interest and I can hardly wait to explore the new possibilities opened up by the introduction of this “brand new character you will remember from years long past”!

Next week; Tandra Page 969 titled “A Second Chance.”

See ya then.

May the sun always shine on your parade.