And here, in the final page of the first chapter, we finally meet our true protagonist: Gilbert Graham, the original Standard, now an old man, long retired.  And perhaps now the true story that lies ahead is taking shape.

Conceptually, the structure of THE STANDARD makes it tough to pitch.  On the convention floor, I’ve had to take to opening with, “It’s about a retired superhero whose former sidekick is murdered…” because that IS what the book’s true inciting incident is.  But because it takes the whole first issue for it to happen, to actually tell anyone about what the book is about beyond vague thematic discussion requires you to spoil the big climactic event of the first issue.  This was a problem that I as a newbie comic writer didn’t anticipate, but it’s made me think more carefully about how I’m going to pitch my subsequent comic projects.

One more note about the artwork: how killer is that establishing shot at the top of the page?  Jon Rector was doing freaking boss work with his blacks in this issue.  So atmospheric!

Thanks to all of you who have read Chapter 1 and who have been following along with my commentary.  Be sure to come back tomorrow, where we’ll be diving right into Chapter 2!