Duel In The Somme – Page 20

This comic is free! If you like it, please throw us a tip.

This entire comic is free to read and share, under Creative Commons licensing. There are a lot of reasons we presented it this way, but it's mostly because we want as many people as possible to enjoy it. Writers and artists need to make money, but paywalls are stupid and evil and no fun.

If you think this was the right way to go, please show your support by dropping a little something in the tip jar.

Any tip will get you a full .pdf copy of the comic, plus the original 4000-word story by Ben Bova. Tipping $10 or more will get you a copy of the big and beautiful physical book (8 1/2" by 11" full color), postage and handling included! ($13 or more outside North America). Top contributor before midnight September 30, 2010 will also get the unique misprinted proof, with a missing page and a duplicated page, signed by all three creators.

14 Responses to “Duel In The Somme – Page 20”

  1. Geoffrey Kidd says:

    Gotta agree 100% with Tom. To quote Miles Vorkosigan in Lois Bujold's wonderful new novel, "Cryoburn":

    "An enemy’s mistake is a tactical gift that must never be wasted."

    • Joltz says:

      Another important rule to live by is "Never underestimate your opponent." I could be horribly wrong, but I expect that Kelso's maneuvers have some degree of practicality to them.

  2. Django says:

    There is a small mistake in pannel 4 "jagdstaffeln" = "Hunting squadrons" is in plural, you probably want the "Jagdstaffel" which is the singular.

  3. The Ridger says:

    Ah, I see I was right when I looked at the argument yesterday over what plane he was flying. Kelso IS in the triplane, "SO" our hero upgraded to a French plane also not historically correct. It's all in the words. :-)

    • Lightdefender says:

      No, no, go back to page 8. Our hero had initially been using 1916 for his test environment. He bumped it up to the 1918 battle for the dogfight, to preserve historical accuracy. Kelso got his red triplane (used by the baron in 1918) and Zorro's using the newer-model plane the French had in 1918, instead of the one he'd been testing in 1916.

      I wonder if that's going to throw Zorro off, though, that he's not using the same plane he'd been testing.

  4. The Ridger says:

    And yes, I realize I should have said something when I looked at 19, but I didn't think of it. Besides, I might have been wrong :-D

  5. von Adler says:

    I am thinking Zorro might actually be at an advantage. He probably knows the advatnages and disadvantages of the planes being flown, and above all, as a geek having flown combat simulators he probably know aereal tactics. Do Kelso know boom'n'zoom energy tactics as opposed to hairball dogfighting? Methinks Zorro has chosen the perfect plane to combat the Fokker Dr.I - the weak engine of the Dr.I made it incapable of sustained climbing - with his fast and powerful SPAD, he should be able to boom'n'zoom his boss to death.

  6. Aussie fan says:

    True that the Spad had a better engine but all comes down to how you use the plane.

    As to what probably happens? See page 1....

  7. Old Prof. Otter says:

    I wonder if any of these editorial corrections of historical accuracy will ever be reflected in the actual on-line book.
    I suspect not, as the paper books have already been ordered.

  8. Talleyrand says:

    I'm actually really hoping that Kelso beats Zapopolis, or at least, neither of them win. So far, the comic seems to be building up to an AGONIZINGLY formulaic and cliche "Stereotypical unattractive, nerdy everyman defeats arrogant jock/executive and wins the heart of the (generic, forgettable) girl" ending. A 'white knight' like the Zapopolis character doesn't make me feel good about being a geek. It makes me feel horribly, horribly embarrassed. Kelso, meanwhile, is such a ludicrously unrealistic straw-man of an antagonist that there can be no satisfaction in seeing him get his comeuppance; having him win/tie but be a good sport about it would be a decent subversion of reader expectations. Having him lose magnanimously would at least save this comic from the deepest depths of cliche hell. But I have a sinking feeling that when Kelso is defeated he'll react in a childish and pointlessly mean-spirited way like trying to fire Zappo, only for some higher-ranking executive or similar to come in and fire Kelso instead, or something like that.

    After the relentlessly deconstructionist "Erfworld", reading 'A Duel in the Somme' is downright painful so far. I suppose I can't blame Rob for it, since he didn't originally write the thing. Likewise, I can't claim Ben to be a hack quite yet, since the story isn't over yet. But I will say that if the story ends the way it looks like it will, then I can, and will, acknowledge that he lacks an ounce of creativity.

    Kudos to Bill Holbrook for the illustration, though. The man has a fine visual style. Let's just hope he didn't waste it.

    • Supah_Ewok says:

      You realize that the end of the dogfight is on page 1, right? We already know who wins...

    • Geoffrey Kidd says:

      Personally, I don't care whether it seems a tad cliched or not. Pakhtash like Kelso are poison to a good work environment and despite their airs of omnicompetence, they never get the best their people are capable of out of them.

      They deserve being slapped down. Hard.

    • Gabriel says:

      You're right, the characters do seem to be following a fairly cliched pattern.

      That said, having read Erfworld, I still have faith in Rob's ability to throw us a complete curveball to make the apparently predictable tension end in a surprising and satisfying way.

  9. alexander says:

    If he expects me hang back. should be "me to hang back"

Leave a Reply

AWSOM Powered