Lots of callbacks in this audition, very much a character piece. In Steel Nation I went for showing the Docs from a fresh perspective (that of one of the tournament officials), but here I wanted to just show two old friends catching up after a while. We never got to see the Docs in their respective lairs/workshops/labs in Steel Nation, so I wanted to get that in there.
In fact there's quite a few references to Steel Nation in this page, probably because when I was writing this I was still involved with the bonus "Overtime" fight at the tail end of Steel Nation. Red-Rook's Seminoid makes a cameo (because why not?), and I made sure to explain why the Docs didn't just rehash the DeathAngel for the tournament (partially because it would have been a pain in the arse to draw a mech like that across several sequential panels in a short time).
Also, Chronic the Porcupine! He's the Porcupine with Aptitude! As if the inspiration for Gyrode wasn't obvious enough already. Also I wanted to cover the small matter of Gyrode apparently conquering his arch-nemesis by turning him into a robot (actually now I think about it Mecha Chronic could just be a robot doppelganger like in that certain popular game franchise featuring a speedy mammal, but we're never clear on that matter!).
I love drawing Ralph. He's fun to draw. Like most of Sean's characters, he's amazingly expressive. Drawing him can be a real treat.
Know who I didn't find a treat to draw when we first embarked on this grand race? I'll give you a hint: his name rhymes with "Tyrode".
That's right: I entered this tournie despite the fact that I couldn't draw one of the main characters for toffee. I could never get his face the right shape, Sean was constantly telling me to draw his moustache bigger and the combination of those tiny glasses and his brow ridges had me flummoxed. I eventually got better but these early strips just leave me cringing. The horror...