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Chapter 4: Page 6
One Vision: Page 6
NOTES FROM JASON
And so we begin to delve into the backstory of Warren Harker. I mentioned a long time ago that this chapter would be similar to Chapter 2 in that it would be a flashback chapter. That is still mostly true, though the flashbacks themselves would alter a bit, but I’ll delve into that in a later page. For now, we’ll just keep this about Harker himself, just the way he’d like it.
Of all the characters in The Jacket, he proved to be the most perplexing to figure out. I originally envisioned him as a mirror to Colton, with a fair helping of William Foster from the movie Falling Down as a template. Just a government office drone, working in the Ministry of Information, doling out lies and propaganda as a fact checker or sensitivity reader, or some other profession occupied by the dregs of society. Day in, day out of this repetitive, oppressive career of oppressing would naturally cause him to one day snap and go the rogue path that we saw in Volume 1, though whether this happens as a result of obtaining his shades or before that was one of the many queries I could never find a satisfactory answer for. When it came time to draft this chapter, problems arose. No matter how many times I tried, how many different angles of approach, it just didn’t work the way I saw it in my head. I even considered changing Harker’s profession to a janitor or maintenance man, working inside the clock tower. That didn’t work either. It was incredibly frustrating each time I tried and failed, and it came to a point where I considered scrapping the backstory entirely.
Then one day while I was driving to meet Randy to talk about the comic, the solution to the Harker problem hit me. All this time I’m picturing him as a nobody who became notorious, but what if that wasn’t the case? What if he was already a somebody, a big somebody, a household name, a movie star maybe? That seemed to click. And when I pitched this new development to Randy, he also took to it. The more I thought on it, the more right it seemed. From that point on, Harker became a hell of a lot easier to understand. Writing for him also proved a bit easier, though there were still some bumps here and there which I’ll go over later. He still retained a bit of Foster’s influence, but no longer was he a mirror for Colton. That simply wasn’t his role in the story. Took me a bit too long to come to that realization, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Before I go, I wanted to also comment on something Randy mentioned in the previous page about the first in the flesh appearance of President Carnelius. It never really occurred to me that one of our main villains was only now appearing four chapters in. I suppose that’s because he’s already had quite the presence throughout the story, with all the banners and posters and broadcasts. He’s always been around, leering and looming all throughout, much like Diamond Tower. I hope all of you reading have the same impression. Anyway, in previous drafts, he wasn’t conducting this interrogation, though he would still show up later in the chapter. That ended up changing, mainly because I thought Harker’s mental showdown would be a lot more interesting and impactful if he was going against the big man himself rather than some nobody interrogator. Plus, it’s already been two weeks. By now, they’d probably be taking things up a notch in their quest to break Harker, and Carnelius most definitely would want to take part in that.
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