We journey to the center of the earth into a Pelucidarian underworld!  Pelucidar was the name of an underground world popularized in an early series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the pulp sci-fi writer who would go on to write the John Carter of Mars (a childhood favorite of mine), and Tarzan books.  Burroughs’ work is a thematic cornerstone of the early comic book artists and writers.

Ideally this page would be half of a marvelous two page spread that would reveal the magnificent subterranean environs.  Unfortunately doing so would have taken up a lot of space and would have made it hard to fit everything that’s supposed to happen in this issue into the 32 pages allotted.  I actually did expand this page into two, with the top panel spreading across to upper two thirds, but that top image didn’t quite meet the “two-page spread” standards.  The problem is, you can’t just add an extra page.  when printed, each page is printed on a sheet of paper with 4 pages on it, so that when its folded you get your comic book.  So, if you want to add an extra page, you actually have to add 4 extra pages.  Thats not a problem, per se, but it does add to the cost of printing… so there you go.

Roger’s line about “resting beneath the shade of the trees” is a paraphrase of the last words of Stonewall Jackson, an unapologetic slave owner who ended up shot by his own men, albeit accidentally.  I have no sympathy for Jackson’s chosen cause, of course, but his dying words had a poetic beauty to them, which would suggest that he did have a soul.