With a long term project like this, there are things that I did in the first two issues I didn't want to repeat on the last issue. When I started on this project after such a long development, I was running on adrenaline. Sorting the tons of ideas or directions I thought about all those years and then pairing it down to a workable story was daunting. I made a lot of impulse decisions in order to get the single issues done, not thinking about maintaining the flow of the graphic novel I originally worked towards. I rushed some pages and in my excitement to get the work done, shortcutted some bits of story. I think the way I did it works. My family and friends think it did. But there were bits that I felt I should have made longer or elaborated better.
While working on three there were times I would look at everything and worry once it was in one volume, it would feel lacking in places. That's why I made some changes that will be in the collected version that weren't in the singles. REMEMBER, IF YOU BOUGHT THE SINGLES AND SHOW ME AT A CON, I WILL DISCOUNT THE COLLECTION (depending on how many you bought) SO YOU CAN HAVE THE COMPLETE VERSION. You haven't missed anything. Additions are largely to make the story flow better as a single volume. This is my first comic. Made many mistakes that I caught as I was in process. One of the reasons three has taken so long is that I have gone back to two and added at least 6 pages of new content and then tried to tie that content all together with the existing pages. The additions are not to disrespect those that bought the issues. This is my first book. I have the ability to enhance as I go. Once three is done, this will not happen again.
Here are three pages I added to the second part of the story. Why did I add it? For those that read it, it works as it is printed. However, in my excitement to get the book out, I didn't give a good example of Tommy II actually trying to do a good or right thing in practice before his run. My book is about a guy being passed a legacy of doing the right thing, not just run around in a costume. I wanted to include what Tommy thought was a good deed.
Fully colored without lettering. I'll let you guess where this falls. One of these pages replaces another that while I loved, the more I looked at it, it was very self indulgent and hurried the story a little too much.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.