Friday, March 21, 2014

G0DLAND - Getting Away From It All - R.A. Wonsowski

The story so the early days of Archer's ascendance, he is soon overwhelmed by the demands put upon him, by his government, by his newfound celebrity, and his family. All three slide into panic when Archer disappears. In fact Archer has taken to walking America's highways, and has most recently been traveling with a semi-driver that hauls freight and is known as a roaming preacher man, known colloquially as TRUCKER CHRIST.  TC is a portly middle-aged man, greying brown hair pulled into a ponytail through the back of his JESUS mesh baseball cap, and sporting a greyer ZZTop-style beard. He and ARCHER are wearing similar flannel shirts, jeans, and aviator shades. Fun fact: everyone mispronounces his name, and it's pretty much the only thing that gets him angry; it's Christ, rhymes with LIST.

Panel layout: 3 rows of 2

Panel 1 - TC starts the ignition of his big rig.  It's an old Mack, but the familiar bulldog has been replaced by the Virgin.  ARCHER climbs in the cab, shading his eyes from the sun as he watches other big rigs pull away (off-panel).

ARCHER:  Unbelievable...

TC:  Howzat?

ARCHER:  ...I guess I was just...I dunno...

Panel 2 - Through the windshield, we see both men buckle their seatbelts before hitting the road.  The back makeshift shelf of the cab is filled with stacks of National Geographics. TC smiles as he gestures to the yellow spines with his free thumb.

ARCHER:  ...not part of the stereotypical idea of the trucker in my mind...

TC:  Ha!  Thought I just had these fer the nekkid tribal women, didja...

Panels 3 & 4 are a bird's eye view of the truck stop they were at. The parking lot is full of big rigs, RVs, and cars.  Speech balloons are tailless.

Panel 3, TC's rig is about to pull into the highway; panel 4, it's moving down the freeway in front of the truck stop.

Panel 3 -

TC:  'dja use the restroom?

ARCHER:  ...uh, yeah...long way to the next stop?

TC:  Not my point.  Notice anything?

Panel 4 -

ARCHER:  That you have a knack for finding the cleanest bathrooms on I-80...

TC:  Ain't no knack, man. Simple rule of the roads.

TC:  We ain't nomads. We got homes, and we spend too much time away from'em.  So we look for places like home...

Panels 5 & 6 are another diptych. We are looking out the windshield of TC's truck.  Panel 5 is TC's half, he gestures as he drives, the steering wheel is his pulpit.  Panel 6, ARCHER leans against the door as he looks and listens to TC.  The open road speeds before them.

Panel 5 -

TC:  For most folk, that's a solid meal, a clean place to do our "heavy thinking", and community.  And for a lot of us, community means church.

TC:  And my church takes'em all, Christian, Jew, Muslim...shoot, I got a Sikh and a Maori Mormon I hook up with whenever I do the Alaska-Canada run.  All of us, I use the same word...

Panel 6 -

TC:  Transcendence.

TC:  We're all seeking out something better'n what we got, and examples of how to get it, and roadmaps tell us where we can find it.

TC:  All we differ on is what kind of man'll help us get there, and who'll set the tone for the Paradise we all seek for in our souls.

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