Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Page 164

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There's no point being coy about it: Sparky is really, truly gone and I'm sad (and my wife's still mad).

Now I want to tell you a story I promised back on Page 117 . . .

I had a very hard time beginning work on that page and spent a few days fiddling around and procrastinating. I couldn't figure out why. There wasn't anything particularly daunting about the art or writing, yet I couldn't bring myself to sit at the drawing board and put ink on the paper.

Then I realized: it was the start of Sparky's last day on Earth, and I just didn't want to kill the old villain! I knew that once I drew that page, his fate was sealed.

Being the Grim Reaper is a tough gig.

My original idea for Page 117 was that Sparky wouldn't sleep at all, tossing all night wondering whether his lifetime ambition had been misguided. I changed my mind at the last second and let him fall asleep. It seemed somehow important to have a clean break between all the other days of his life and his last. I didn't want him to face his Robot already exhausted. A three-hour nap wasn't much but it was . . . merciful. I owed him that.

* * *

New readers and Eisner voters! Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it. If you'd like to catch up, I recommend beginning with my story's Preface before going on to Page 1. It's a pretty quick read.

You can use the links above to navigate, or click on each page to advance to the next.

And if you like the story, please come back and tell a friend. Thanks!


  1. Poor ol' Sparky. Love the "young Sparky" pic at his funeral.

  2. I was hoping it wasn't so...good-bye Sparky.

  3. Damn damn damn damn damn...

  4. Not quite evil or irredeemable enough to be a true villain.

    Too callous, cruel and blinkered to be a classic hero.

    Too... real and human to be a modern anti-hero.

    Sparky, you were unique.

    Thanks for introducing all of us to him, Brian.

  5. I suddenly realised. The last panel of page 117. Robbie tapping Sparky awake for his last day.

    His finger/claw looks an awful lot like a scorpion's sting...

  6. Thanks everyone. I hope I haven't broken your hearts so much that you won't see it through to the end. I think it'd be worthwhile.

  7. I like the irony that the people in Sparky's "To Die" list are in the pew together at his funeral: http://lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.ca/2014/12/page-122.html

  8. He died well; few people are given an opportunity to die so well as he did. And he died happy, having achieved his own final goal, and regained for a moment the genius he had thought forever out of his grasp. I do not think he would be terribly angry at you.

  9. Oh, DAMN YOU! I just got the joke about that tube that poor Sparky couldn't find! IL PU36 ESM -- Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator!!!!!

    I haven't read other comments yet, so I'm sure I'm far from the first, but... DAMN YOU! That was PAINFUL!

  10. Well, you're not the first,, but very few got it at all so I'm happy you did! Thanks especially for your earlier comment.

    1. My pleasure. This was a rare read indeed. Homages of this type are very hard to do, let alone do well.