SIDEWISE Commentary, Part 1

I apologize for my extended absence on the blog, but I assure you that I have been extremely busy with various comic and novel projects.

Yes, I am currently working on my first Young Adult Novel with my beautiful and talented wife, Rebecca MacPherson.

More on that later.


This is something I have wanted to do from the beginning. As the 14th page has now posted at Zuda, I guess you could say that I’m a bit late.

Okay… you could say that I’m extremely late.

My goal is to post a page commentary on my blog each Thursday to coincide with a new comic page posted at To catch you up to date, however, I will make several posts over the next few days.

Following is commentary for the first five pages…


Page 1 was very important. It is the first page reader see, so I really wanted to capture readers’ interest from the beginning to ensure they kept reading.

I decided to include first person narrative to fill the reader in on what has transpired before the events depicted on Page 1. I realized it could get tricky to continue the narrative as the story progressed, but I’ve never shied away from a challenge. I think readers will agree that it works nicely after they finish reading Season 1.


“We’re not in Kansas anymore.” After the mini-cliffhanger on Page 1, I really wanted to impress upon readers that Adam is in trouble on many different levels. Not only is his time machine broken, but he’s also been transported to an alternate universe. A universe with steam-powered robots who are not happy to see him. We find out the extent of their displeasure on the next page…


Lost and alone in an alien universe with no hope of returning to his world, Adam learns the robots want to kill him. What started as a mission to gather research for a college paper has ended in a life or death situation.

I also wanted to introduce the name “Tesla.” Of course, Adam is aware that, in his world, Tesla was not in England during the early 1900s. Still, seeing the scientist’s name adds to his discomfort. After all, everything Adam has encountered has not only been disconcerting, but downright disturbing as well. It says a lot about Adam’s fortitude–or his hubris–that he is joking as death closes in on him. As the story progresses, we’ll discover which one it is.


Ah, our first glimpse of Nikola Tesla, Wells and Hopping. After the advent of the steam-powered robots, readers should not be surprised with the futuristic technology displayed on this page. My hope was that readers would find it intriguing and cool to ensure they would “turn the page.”


Time for some action!

As well as introducing action into the strip, I wanted to develop the characters of Wells and Hopping a bit. Yes, they are wearing futuristic armor, but they are still very much your average Edwardian teens. This is where I turned to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist for a bit of guidance and inspiration. What results is that Hopping Wells address one another formally, but there is also an air of playfulness. They’re not stodgy, but they’re obviously not completely mature, either. I wanted that to come through. I really wanted that to come through.

It also sets up…

To Be Continued

I would love to be able to sit here today and finish the commentary, but I simply don’t have the time. I apologize for breaking this into “bite-sized” posts, but it should only take a couple days to get you up to speed.

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you tomorrow with another blog post!


One thought on “SIDEWISE Commentary, Part 1

  1. Interesting read, Dwight.

    We would love to include commentaries in our mobile comics as optional text or as an optional audio track.

    Pity Zuda requires exclusivity. If you ever want to experiment with this with one of your various projects, drop us an email.

    Congratulations about Sidewise, BTW.



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