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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 10: High Roads #2

Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from High Roads #2, which was published by DC/Wildstorm and is cover dated July 2002. Enjoy!


High Roads is, as you can see, created by Scott Lobdell (who writes this) and Leinil Francis Yu (who pencils this). It’s inked by Gerry Alanguilan, colored by Edgar Tadeo, and lettered by Comicraft. It’s also a Comic You Should Own!

That doesn’t make this particular first page all that great. It’s the second issue, so Lobdell isn’t concerned with starting things off with too much of a bang, but even so, this doesn’t give us a lot. The logo is nice, though – more comics should have fancy logos like that. Yu’s drawing of a man leaping from what appears to be a train on the back of a horse is nice drawing, certainly – it’s probably fairly hard to draw the horse from this angle, with it going all 3-D on us, and still get a good view of the man and the speeding train in the background, and while the horse looks a tad bizarre (it appears to have one front leg – the other one is bent behind the horse’s head, which hides it – and the back legs … well, I’m not even going there), it still gives us a nice sense of motion, dynamism, and even a bit of forced perspective to make the man appear larger than he is (his big secret is that he’s a dwarf, which in 1930s Hollywood was apparently a no-no for leading men). The horse’s mane looks a bit too much like it’s a nicely-coiffed hairdo of some movie star, circa 2002, but that’s just nit-picking. Mainly, Yu does a nice job with a tough assignment, and don’t discount the fact that Arthur (the actor’s name is Arthur) is facing to the right … directing us to turn the page! Whether this page is enough to make you turn that page … well, I suppose that’s up to you!

Next: Joe Rice’s favorite writer has a turn!


That horse looks like it’s going to land on its head. The horse is tilted too much to its right to stick that landing.

At least this waste of space is a grabber–unlike the first page of Wolverine: The End. But it’s so awkward you have to spend minutes decoding it. Has the man’s right hand been amputated? No, there it is. How about his right foot? Nope, can’t find it, so he may be an amputee. The horse too…how many of its legs have been amputated?

And is that a speeding train they’re jumping over? Off of? At first I thought the horseman was in an old B&W movie. And the dark silhouettes were oddly-shaped audience members watching the screen.

Wonder how many of the horses’ legs will break when it hits the ground from 15 ft. up? Assuming it has more than one leg, that is.

Someone else’s version of a man and horse jumping off a train might make a decent splash page. This one is a failure.

Rob: Yeah, he’s supposed to be jumping off a moving train, as this is a shot from a movie. And I think it appears his leg has been amputated because he’s a dwarf. You and sandwich eater are right, though – this is a weird drawing.

A weird drawing and indeed that poor horse will break some bones when landing…
Also weird that other than the info box on the bottom I might have mistaken this for a cover picture and not the first page.

Were any horses harmed in the making of this comic? Does the ASPCA know about this? People, don’t jump your horses off moving trains!

That is exactly what a horse looks like when it’s jumping. Horses fold up their back legs like that, especially when jumping over objects. Maybe this pic will help:


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