Back-Up Vocal~ Back when I was a junior in college, I took a class on Semiotic Analysis. The movie our Professor chose for us to study was “Aliens“. It was the second movie in the film franchise, written and directed by James Cameron. We broke down the gender roles and paradigms for all the characters in the film, including the aliens themselves. Sure, as a Sci-Fi geek, I had seen it numerous times in the past. But, I never caught the vast array of symbolism below the surface of the film, until I had to watch it 14 times to write a paper on it. I still have the occasional nightmare about those creatures. In crafting this particular Comic, I thought back to the brief scene involving Ripley, Burke and several of the marines reviewing schematics of the complex. It was the perfect way to start my first Panel. Just like our Yoga Boy, I now find building schematics and blue prints a bit….creepy. 

Broken record time here: one of the principle inspirations for this Comic was my bass guitar hero, Pete Trewavas. Throughout his career, I have seen him play a variety of bass guitars from a variety of companies. A brief period of roughly 6 years, saw him playing an incredibly sleek model by Status-Graphite. That became my introduction to the brand and their line. They’ve built a considerable following over the decades. I will freely admit that I can’t play bass to save my life. Yet, I own 6 Status-Graphite t-shirts and I carry a great love for their creations. Because, Pete Trewavas played them. That’s all the reason I need. In more recent years, he has switched from graphite basses to a Warwick model, which is wood to the core. I just returned from the 2019 Marillion Convention Weekend in Montreal. During the 3 nights of watching and listening to my favorite band live, Mr. Trewavas wielded a double-neck guitar for a few songs. It was a Rickenbacker 4080 model. The upper neck a 4-string bass, the lower neck a 6-string guitar. Double necks have always fascinated me and I love to see them in the hands of a player who truly knows what they’re doing with one. These are not instruments for the faint of heart. Many models are demanding and heavy. They require considerable attention and a fair amount of maintenance. Excessive use can lead to neck and back problems. Bottom line, the double-neck is a commitment. But, the sound just can’t be beat. True, I work ahead, so I had made this Comic a ways before I left town for Canada. But, watching Pete T playing that double-neck on stage, validated my decision that the Manifold© model for this current little side-street of a tale had to be a double-neck, too. 

The most crucial element for all serious guitar and bass players is the wood used to build the instrument. Options abound and each type will pack its own properties to define sound and tone. Graphite is another avenue with offerings all its own. I’ve even run across articles about various models that combined a wood body with a graphite neck. The real thrust of the Manifold© model Manny was coerced into building, was that the ducks who demanded it had no clue about the intricacies of the finished product. They just sought a bargaining chip to entice the road bassist they wanted. I felt it was vital to emphasize the previously uncharted and utterly insane weight of the beast Manny made. Manifold© models were never meant to look user friendly in the first place. So, exaggerating the notion to an even further degree was the best way to go and more fun than I should be allowed to have. 

Finally, there are nods to the “12 Monkeys” TV series (I’m currently on my 6th marathon viewing in under a year) and “Local Hero“. Here at Mannyacs, we like to see who all is paying attention now and then. A Pago Pago expatriate living on the glistening shores of Splendorland, within the Janflone County Line?! That one shocked me as well. Perhaps further investigation might be prudent down the road. Stay Tooned.