The artwork for issue 2 is done, and I am very impressed with the work of my artistic team. Blonde the Colorist has brought a real vibrancy to the pages. Take a look at the page on the right where Lilya scores her first kill.
Just so you know, Lydia “Lilya” Litvyak was the first woman in world history to score a confirmed kill on a Junker Ju-88 bomber, which is what is being depicted on the page. I have done my best to stick as close as possible to the historical record, but I do admit to taking a few liberties here and there. I’m making a story here, not a documentary, but I didn’t have to change much to make this history compelling!
If you study the page closely, you’ll notice that Lilya is not wearing an oxygen mask. This will help you, the reader identify her in panels. Were her face to be obscured, it would be harder to tell which character was featured, but that’s not why we did it. Neither Lilya nor Katya wore oxygen masks in combat. That’s because the plane they flew, the Yak-1, was not equipped with an oxygen system. That means that they were at a disadvantage compared to the enemy who could operate at higher altitudes for longer.
I’ve always found that the charm of their story. These women were the underdogs in every way imaginable; not only did they have to fight the enemy with inferior equipment, but they had to fight the sexism within their own organization. On the page at right, the women are being introduced to the new squadron. Lilya is looking at Alexei’s slick American-made P-39 Airacobra. She notes in the second panel that HE gets an oxygen mask. Lower in the page, Katya gets assigned a bunk belonging to a now deceased flier. She has to push aside the family portrait of a dead man in order to take her bunk. Grim stuff.
I have to say those, page 23 is my favorite page of all. Here we see Katya and Lilya flying into combat, and Lilya bears a smile! Why is she so happy? Because she loves every aspect of this: the power of the plane, the thrill of combat, a chance to prove herself to her chauvinistic colleagues, the chance to kill the enemy, and the chance to die for her country. I know it’s hard to believe, but there are people like this in war, and the historical figure of Lilya seems as close to one as I’ve seen.
There is another reason why page 23 is my favorite page of the entire issue, and that would be because it’s the last one! The artwork in the issue is finished. Now it’s off to the letterer. The Kickstarter for this completed issue will go up towards the end of March.
I’m planning to do this Kickstarter a little differently. I will be offering Early Bird special pricing for my special first backers who CONTACT ME PRIVATELY with an interest in backing the program. What I will do is discuss the rewards we’re going to offer and find out your pledge level. Once the Kickstarter is live, but before I publicize it, I will contact you with the page details. You will find specially earmarked pledge levels just for those select number of early backers. But you’ll have to act quickly, because I intend to publicize it in less than 24 hours.
If you are interested in generating a bit of extra income for yourself, I do have a referral program by which I can provide you a link that tracks how much you bring in. I give out 5% of all money you can generate.
I am excited to bring issue 2 to you. Work has already started on the third issue. More to come.