With this page hopefully we’re starting to get a bit more insight into Branch’s social workings. Besides an implicit suggestion that the cyborg population are confined to the station there’s also the matter of the word itself being taboo.
The main inspiration for this idea harks back to a college english lesson considering how formerly acceptable words gradually acquired negative connotations according to social conditions. For example, consider the word ‘spastic‘ and the negative connotations its garnered through continual misappropriation. Similarly the development of politically correct terms from ‘crippled’, ‘handicapped’ and ‘disabled’ to ‘having a disability’ might also be compared. It fascinates me that new wording designed to be acceptable nearly always accumulates the same unpleasant meanings given time.
An additional influence on this page was a story I heard from a foreign friend who – upon arriving in England for the first time – unwittingly used a racial slur deemed acceptable in their home country onboard a crowded train carriage. Similarly here, I wanted to highlight Curt’s ignorance of Branch’s customs by showing him put his foot in it a bit, while indicating troubled history behind the station and the cyborg itself; a sort of mass resentment and denial of the problems which surround them.
On the art side of things I’m quite pleased with the last panel depicting the camera/scanner view. The HUD was hand drawn like the rest of the linework (colours aside) but I inverted it to white in order to make it stand out and lend a believable sort of computerised quality. Besides that I’ll admit that the backgrounds are a little lacking this time around, though with more panels and pressure to speed up production it was pretty much inevitable. Much as I hate cutting corners I have to be realistic about what I can accomplish.