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Tandra Page 951, September 30, 2007

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I had proved to myself I could complete a single page from a white sheet of Bristol Board to finished ink drawing in two days with Tandra Page 950. There was less detail in page 950 than I prefer in a finished piece, but the page met minimal standards for a Tandra release. I had no problem with placing my signature at the bottom. I had invested something in the range of 18 hours to complete Tandra 950. If I pushed it, I had an outside practical limit of some twenty-four hours in a two day period to invest in creating a page. So, while I was not unhappy with the minimum of detail in Tandra 950, I determined to move back toward a more polished page with Tandra Page 951. I began work on Tandra 951 near 8:00 in the morning and I had completed pencils by 6:00 in the evening. I grinned as I looked at the page. I could indeed produce a more detailed page within my time limitations. Next morning I began inking about 6:30 and I had completed the page by 7:30 in the evening. Alright, so it was a long day, but I was much more contented with the quality of Tandra 951 than had been the case with 950. One more thing, I knew without doubt I could continue to maintain the rigid schedule I had set for myself. I was in for the long haul and there remained over a month before my deadline when Tandra Page 949 was promised to post. I had enough advance time so if I came down with the "blue fungus" or some other annoying disease that kept me from the drawing board a few days, I would not come up short and miss my posting schedule.

Back in the thirties of the last century, syndicated comic artist Milton Caniff had the ability to come up with memorable and exotic names for the female characters in his newspaper strip Terry And The Pirates. There was The Dragon Lady, of course. But there was also Normandie Drake, Burma, and Little Nasty. After Caniff abandoned Terry, artist George Wunder continued the tradition with somewhat reduced success. Other comics artists, impressed with Caniff's abilities, created exotic and memorable names for their female characters, some with more success than others. I was not immune from the temptation to try my hand at creating a memorable and exotic name for one of my ladies. I remember a song from the fifties titled "Cry Me A River" as sung by Julie London. The song was a major hit for her. Along with her chart topping songs, Julie was a lovely Hollywood B picture actress. I would go to the Saturday movie matinee to drool as I watched her parade around on screen in a skimpy "Jungle Goddess" costume. When "Cry Me A River was featured in the recent movie V For Vendetta, I decided to create a name for a female that would bring the song to mind. The essence of the song's lyrics run as follows. Julie sings with that sexy,smoky voice of hers "you done me wrong and I cried my heart out, but now you say you're sorry, so Cry Me A River". Those lyrics sum up the female character in a nut shell.

River is an obvious name for a person. She would be Ms. River. As for the first name, there is an area in the old Russian Empire known as the Crimea. Perfect! She would be Ms. Crimea River. I first envisioned her as an executive in a multi-national corporation and she would be in charge of customer satisfaction. That was the joke, doncha know. When it came to her introduction on Tandra Page 951, she became a member of The Right Honourable Senator R. Miles Haggerty support staff in charge of the Senator's Constituent Outreach Initiative. The model I used for Ms. River is a British Porn Site personality marketing herself as Faith Nelson. Not that I made any attempt to get a facial likeness. Ms. River as drawn looks nothing like porn personality Faith. The case is I had access to a set of fotos with Faith all decked out in a costume I thought looked sexy and was most appropriate to Ms. River's personality, so I used the fotos as a reference.

In hindsight I missed the opportunity to draw Ms. River in the image of Julie London. However, as it happens, I have no available fotos of Ms. London and I did not have the time to go searching for fotos I could use. A tight deadline does set limitations on the time investment allowed. You might think the above indicates considerable effort for a character reserved to a single page appearance, but I have future plans in the years ahead for Ms Crimea River and she will appear again.

Next week; Tandra Page 952 titled “The Story Rejoined ”

See ya then,

May the sun always shine on your parade.