Page 265 is out, so make sure you’ve read it, then read the notes below!

1. I like big titles, like this one, that takes up the top third of the page. Totally worth it! Especially since this is a story that doesn’t focus on the Electric Team, it’s important to be clear about what’s going on. There was also a big title at the top of “Time Troubles,” my previous collaboration with Josh Burnett.

2. Josh is the only artist other than Sam and Abi who has drawn Electric Team stories. He previously drew “Swords & Serpents” and “Time Troubles.”

(That version of “Time Troubles” is black and white; if you want to read the color version, you need to order a copy of The Electric Team #5!)

3. But really, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Why Beowulf and Chrysanthemum?” I’ve always liked the idea of doing short stories with different artists. My original plan to do a bunch of solo adventures fell apart for various reasons, and we only did solo stories with Plant Man and Mr. Amazing (they’re both in issue #5).

In recent times we did the Bart Hill story, though, and that went well, and I’ve always wanted to do more. Earlier this year Abi and I sat down to make some Electric Team plans, and I asked her what character she’d most like to see in a solo story. I gave her several options, and was pleasantly surprised when she said Beowulf.

4. In The Electric Team #8, the Nazis have captured Findlay and his daughter Chrysanthemum because they want Findlay to tell them the location of the Fairy Fountain. This is mentioned in the dialogue–the head Nazi asks Findlay where to find the fountain. It’s written in German, though, so this is not immediately obvious. And now that I plug the German back into Google Translate, it looks like it doesn’t say what I wanted it to say?

Anyway, the Nazis were looking for the Fairy Fountain. The Electric Team beat up those Nazis, but then in the “Time Troubles” story, Bart Hill tells Mr. Amazing, “Findlay says they’ve got a lead on another hidden Nazi lair.”  Which tells us that there are more Nazis out there, hiding. So I wanted to do one more story where we saw the last of the Nazis making their big play, and I wanted Beowulf and/or Bart Hill to deal with them.

5. Abi and I also really wanted to do a story spotlighting Chrysanthemum. She was introduced in issue 8, but only appeared in a couple of panels; she doesn’t show up until the very end. She’s a character we’ve been planning on introducing since before we started the comic, though, and she’s going to be a significant character in the series, so it would be good to let readers get to know her.

6. We wanted to do a Beowulf vs. the Nazis story, and we wanted to do a Chrysanthemum story, and then one day it hit us–they could team up! We already established that Chrysanthemum and her dad know the secret location of the Fairy Fountain, which is what the Nazis are after. So if Beowulf wanted to go warn the fairies about the Nazi threat, Chrysanthemum could volunteer to be his guide . . . and it all fell into place.

Huh, this page doesn’t mention the Nazis, does it? Well, it’s not much of a spoiler, they get brought up on the first panel of page 2.

7. Another reason that I wanted to do a Beowulf vs. Nazis story is that I thought I could get Josh Burnett to draw it. He really likes drawing heroes beating up on Nazis.

8. You should check out Josh’s blog, order a copy of his zine Crepuscular, and back his Kickstarter for Draugr and Draculas. I backed it, and I’m glad I did! I’ll talk more about that stuff next time. Also, the last time Josh was drawing the comic, I got him to contribute to the notes. I forgot to do that this time, but maybe next time we’ll hear what Josh has to say.

9. In our previous collaborations, I wrote the words and Josh drew the pictures. This time, for the first time, Abi is part of the mix. And she is really earning her co-writer credit–she was heavily involved in plotting, and she wrote about half the dialogue. In fact, Abi wrote almost all of Chrysanthemum’s dialogue on this page. Since Abi’s a 10 year old girl, and Chrysanthemum is a 10 year old girl, the voice really seems to fit. Abi also wrote Beowulf’s dialogue in the last panel. I’m so proud!

10. Chrysanthemum doesn’t want to hear Beowulf’s story, about how he was in a swimming contest with Brecca and ended up killing all the monsters in the sea, but if you want to read it, you can. It’s in the epic poem Beowulf,  right around line 500. It’s pretty awesome.

See you next week!