Writer's Commentary

Hi, this is Nate Raymond, aka Nate1234, writer and co-creator of NQT. This issue took forever to do; infact, well over half a year it seems. Why? Life. School started and it hit most of us like a bitch. Also, we had creator difficulties. {dixey} left last issue so we had to find someone to replace her and Tigrr, at the beginning, was planning to take this issue off (more on that later in the commentary). But, it's done now. So, let's take a look.

The cover's by Glockgal. Now, this was, I seem to remember, the first picture for this issue completed as we tend to rotate cover duties so she had this done in advance, I think (Glock did issue #1's cover, it was now her turn to do a cover four issues later). Taking into account when the cover was done, and she never has confirmed this so I could be wrong, but I believe this cover is a slight reference to the DC "face" covers they did a while back for a month.

Page 1
Pages 1 through 4 are by Girlyskin. Early on Tigrr told me she'd need an issue off because her worklife was hell and she needed a break. So {dixey} brought to our attention Gilyskin, a friend of Glock's, Marie's, and hers. She got her pages done pretty quick, I seem to remember, which was sorta ironic considering how late the issue is. =)

And, yes, this page is a "copy" of page 16 of issue #4. That was done on purpose. Originally way back when Tracie Mauk was the only artist on the series, I had intended the last issue of the first arc to be double size. Unfortunately, this wasn't possible due to time restraints. So I splt the story in two. So this page is simply to establish that we haven't jumped any time since last issue.

Page 2
Not too much to say about this page, it's right on with the script and doesn't have anything extraordinarily noticable about it. Still a pretty nice page, though.

Page 3
Ah, the flashback page. Very cool. Lots of goodies, though some are a little subtle. The top part is supposed to be the UFO crash of Roswell. This is in fact the closest you'll get to seeing aliens in this series for a long time.

The next image is the Mothman. This image was drawn several months before The Mothman Prophecies hit the theater. We actually based our rendition on the myths and legends. I threw him in because (a) I knew he was going to be the focus of a movie soon (I'm a huge movie buff, there are lots of movie references all through the series) and (b) I wanted to show that Shawn is involved in other paranormal stuff than Sierra and aliens.

Finally, baby S-409. This is a hint to the fact that S-409 was created in a lab, not found. 'Sides... ain't she cute? =)

Page 4
Girlyskin added an additional panel to this page that wasn't in the script, which actually worked a lot better than if she had drawn it the way I had written it. I changed some dialouge a little to make it more dramatic. Not much more than that (though I really like the image of Shawn blowing smoke into Sierra's face).

Page 5
Glock's pages begin here. Lots of stuff to say about this page. Not that it's important, but that's partly why. See, when I finished the script, I was a few pages short. So certain suggestions were made how to fix the problem. One of them was a page of Matt and Emily. Emily, for those of you who care, is Matt's slutty ex-girlfriend who he lost his virginity to. The thing of Emily was always intended as a joke; you'll notice the only two times she's mentioned or seen before in NQT is intended for a laugh. But a lot of reader's misinterpreted my intentions, so they wanted to know more about her. So the intention of this page is to get rid of her permanately, in theory. It's also to show the strength of Matt and Sierra's relationship (though I do plan to test that strength in the next arc a lot).

Other things of note. The fisherman there? George Clooney. I live in a fishing town and so does Glock, but most of the other artists don't and needed a reference point of how to draw a harbor and boat and stuff like that, so I told them The Perfect Storm was a good start. Mind you, Glock didn't need it, she apparently went down to her town's dock and studied those boats for this page, but I guess she just couldn't help throwing good old George in there.

Matt's boat is Leon. For those of you who stayed awake in geography class, this is a reference to the nation of Sierra Leone. Get it?

You may wonder why Emily's hair looks computer colored. This is simply because Glock forgot to color the hair by hand and so she doctored it on her comp. Oh, and also note that all of Glock's pages, unlike other NQT pages, while drawn on normal printing paper, were drawn to the dimensions of comic paper, explaining why there are white spaces on the sides of most of her pages. Eventually, I would not be surprised if all the NQT artists draw to that size, cause they all seem to be getting a lot more professional in creating their portfolios.

Page 6
Glock had to redraw the last panel of this page because S-409 was in clothes originally. More on that later. There was also supposed to be a scene of Sierra looking at S-409 and saying "Oh come now, we just did this," while preparing to use telekinesis to grab a sword (Excalibur) and stab S-409 (a reference to issue #2 where Sierra did something similar with a kitchen knife). Glock and other artists didn't understand this scene, and in retrospect it doesn't make much sense, so it was a cut.

Page 7
I love this page, it looks so cool. And, yes, the last panel was doctored on a computer.

Page 8
A very nicely formated page. Not much to say about it, really. I remember a lot of artists questioned me on why Shawn would put Sierra in a cell she could so easily break out of. It's because he wants her to break out. That's the difference between Shawn and Sierra that you will learn very quickly. Shawn's like a good chess player: he plans his moves carefully and is fine with sacrifice as long as it benefits the big picture.

Page 9
Marie's pages start here. There was a hell of a lot more dialoge in this page originally, but the page looked so nice and the panels were so small that I just found a smaller phrase for her to say. Oh, and that last panel is currently SugarBomb.Com's 404 message, so type in something stupid and you can see it.

Page 10
God, I swear, I wrote so little about this page and Marie ended up making it one of the most exciting pages in the issue. For some reason I keep thinking Pulp Fiction when I see this page, but I'm not sure why.

Page 11
There was a single sentence describing this page: "The bullets hit S-409." Marie actually redrew this page later thinking S-409 wasn't supposed to have coughs like she first drew her, when in fact it turned out she did. And somehow I think Tracie's going to freak when she sees this page cause S-409's her favorite character (she's her baby).

Page 12
Although this page does look very nice, somehow I feel I must've written something wrong because in my mind it played differently. Ah well. The main intention of this page was to get rid of Sierra's gun. I didn't want her battling Shawn with guns, it just seemed like a waste of good powers.

Page 13
This is one of two pages by Netlady. She was supposed to be {dixey}'s replacement. Unfortunately, she's resigned from drawing NQT, so this and the next page will be her only pages in the series. You also may notice the last two panels look very similar to a scene in issue #1.

Page 14
This page is very much a reference to issue #1. It seemed only fitting that her first use of powers in this arc would be the same use to close out the arc. Also, Sierra looks a lot more mature than she had in issue #1. Unlike issue #1 where it was just a reaction from her mind, this time Sierra is actually concentrating to do this.

Page 15
What's this? Pages by Tigrr? Well, like I said, Netlady left us, so, since it had been a few months and I knew Tigrr was getting a better footing at work, I asked her if she could finish up, which she did. And it's quite some amazing work. Check out her art form issue #1; her current work is like ten-times the quality of the first issue's.

Tigrr and Marie also seem to be the only artists to have actually used the office designs we had made for this issue, and you can barely see most of it. Also, this last panel... Netlady begged me to end the arc at the panel before, but I didn't want to. It seemed wrong. Because I didn't want some sort of trashy surprise later on in the series.

Page 16
I now want you to look at the other pages in this issue. Shawn in the beginning had a black tie; later, a white tie. S-409 began the issue naked; she later was clothed with shackles. Now the live one is clothed too though without shackles, but we just figure Shawn decided off-panel to put one back on her. It's sort of assumed that she usually fights in the nude, like a wild beast.

So why did Shawn do this ploy? Because he knew she could read minds. He can't fake his thoughts, so he had her read someone else's. Besides, he knew Sierra could kill him, why risk his life? This also gives Sierra a false image in her mind: she thinks she's free but in fact is still under the watch of Shawn.

Originally, I had wanted S-409 to die. I really have no purpose for her in the later arcs. But she's Tracie's favorite character and she was a tad angered when she heard my plans, so I changed the script. Tigrr, when drawing this page, had been doing it off of an old draft, so it originally didn't have a live S-409. That's why Shawn looks so saddend over the death of fake S-409.

This was very last minute. I realized I had yet to get a pin-up yet for the issue and then thought, "Ya know what'd be cool? If Trace did one." Which really is cool. I mean, it seems suitable. I mean, she is the co-creator and all. It took Trace about two days to draw and color (and, yes this page does violate the rules of color pages on the "interior" of NQT comics, but hey, it's the pin-up, I figure that page is allowed to break a few rules). Oh, you might notice on Sierra's t-shirt it says "Alt Studios." I have been alerted to the fact that this is the "studio" which Trace, Glock, and {dixey} have created. You'll notice it's their initials (Amber, Lori, and Tracie) (thanks to Tracie for pointing out this fact that I have missed on my own).

Well, that's all for arc 1. It'll be a while til issue #6, I won't lie. We need to find one more artist and also I'm still trying to figure out exactly what will happen in arc 2. So we'll see. But don't worry, we will be back. I mean, there are still loose ends, don't you think? How did Sierra's mom die? What's up with Sierra's dad haunting her house? Oh, and let's not forget about that crazy pyrokinetic stripper named Kindle. So, don't worry, we got lots more in store.