This was a fun page in that it’s a new part of the ship: the engine room. I didn’t really sketch it out beforehand, since I figured it would be fairly tight on Ril and not about showing the full room. But I wanted it to look engine room-y, so it’s just a bunch of random mech-y doodads and panels. The purple tubes are meant to be something related to fuel cells, with the empty ones being the ones taken offline for repairs. I can’t say I’ve really thought too much about the actual fuel or energy used by the ships. Maybe someday if it really factors into the story, I will. But for now, it’s mystery purple grape-flavored fuel!

It’s always nice to have a more dimly lit scene with a single strong light source. And I think Wes really nailed the colors with how the light from the torch is tinting Ril’s skin.

I always struggle a little bit with these kinds of scenes where I want some dialogue but it’s just one person by himself. I don’t typically buy characters talking to themselves out loud, and I don’t use thought balloons in RUNNERS. Ultimately, while not entirely realistic, in this case I just ignore that and do what the scene needs. I did shrink some of the text in the balloons, which I often do to convey someone speaking quietly. That way, it registers as muttering, which I think seems at least a bit more realistic than someone speaking to themselves at full volume.

Fun personal fact: like many people, I can have imaginary conversations in my head, but apparently when I do, I actually move my lips slightly. My wife Peggy regularly looks at me and asks, “who are you taking to in your head?,” because she can see my lips moving. So I guess as far as people talking to themselves, I may not do it audibly, but apparently I’m one step closer than most!