Dynamite has sent us a new writer's commentary featuring David Avallone talking about Bettie Page #3. The issue has covers by Joseph Michael Linsner and Scott Chantler, Interiors by Colton Worley.
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Chapter Three! Bettie in trouble with pretty much everyone, still manages to hit my favorite bar in Hollywood. As always: spoilers abound! Read the issue and come back for the inside scoop.
The covers: another fantastic Linsner pin-up of Bettie. I don't know if people know this: a lot of times the covers are drawn long before your poor author has written the issue or even closely plotted it. Scott Chantler emails me about once a month and says, "Got any idea what happens in the next issue?" This time I said, "No, but I have a cool idea for a cover." I described it and he drew it and it exceeded my wildest dreams. Bettie's tongue sticking out while she takes aim absolutely kills me. So great.
Pages 1, 2, and 3:
Colton Worley returns for the first half of the book, with his usual noir-infused goodness. Bettie is still wearing the Commie Space Queen costume designed by my wife, Penny Starr, Jr. We meet Lyssa Druke for the first time. I know a lot about Lyssa that I'm not telling you just yet. But I love her, and you will hopefully be seeing a lot of her moving forward. If the name "Druke" is familiar to you… go to the head of the class. Bettie references THE DAY OF THE LOCUST, a famous novel which ends with a nightmarish riot in Hollywood.
I had a bully in Junior High whose last name was Callahan. Eventually I made friends bigger and tougher than him, but I still remember him. Be careful, bullies. Writers have long memories and eventually you'll turn up as a vicious dumb crooked cop in a comic book. Crazy thing: I described Callahan in pretty sketchy terms in the script, and yet I'll be damned if that doesn't look like Callahan, all grown up. Weird.
Elroy Benway on TV, talking about Sky Science. "Any resemblance to public figures, living or dead, is purely coincidental" etc. Lyssa references Captain Video: "Captain Video and his Video Rangers" was a popular science-fiction television program that was on the air in 1951.
The Global Pictures gate looks a lot like the Paramount Pictures gate, but smaller and seedier. Trivia: Paramount Pictures front gate is about a three minute drive from the Hollywood LAPD station on Wilcox.
Pages 8, 9, and 10:
Esau Figueroa takes over the art chores, and does so beautifully. Colorist Brittany Pezzillo helps smooth the transition. Letterer Taylor Esposito finally gets to bust out the fun sound effects.
The drive from Hollywood to Pasadena is a pretty one, even in 2017. I'm sorry I didn't have the panels to show it to you, but Bettie talks about it.
Hate to see a perfectly nice Pasadena Craftsman house go… but that's why they're the bad guys. No respect for human life, or architecture.
Anyone who knows me knows my home away from home, and late-night office, is the Dresden Room, a bar in Hollywood. It's been immortalized in a few movies. I couldn't set a comic book series in Los Angeles without using my favorite bar. I went by one night and took a lot of fresh photo reference, which Esau reproduced faithfully. If you're ever in LA, stop by and you'll be amazed at how well he captured it without having been here. Here's one of the Dresden's publicity photos, and two of my shots of the interiors.
The lounge act at the Dresden, Marvin and Ellie, are based (not very subtly) on my old friends Marty and Elayne Roberts. Marty and Elayne have been knocking them dead at the Dresden since the 1980s… not the 1950s… but I couldn't resist putting them in. Lyssa digs them, because she has taste. Bettie says, "They're alive, and staying that way…", which is a reference to a very popular cover tune Marty and Elayne are famous for.
"No one is going to shoot me during 'Autumn Leaves,'" is my favorite line in this issue, maybe the whole series. It's inspired by an old Jack Ziegler cartoon. Ziegler was the best New Yorker cartoonist since Charles Addams, and he passed away recently. I recommend you look him up, if you've never seen his work before.
Pages 17 and 18:
Phil Vega tells a story while he drives. Is it true? Project Grudge was a real thing… a precursor to Project Blue Book, if that tells you anything.
Pages 19 and 20:
Benway has apparently bought Rudolph Valentino's old house (the "Falcon's Lair") and we hate what he's done with the place, but it suits his massive ego. So here we are: Bettie and Benway, face to face. It all wraps up next issue in BETTIE AND THE BEAST. And then… Bettie is off to new adventures, all over the world! Stay tuned!