Welcome to Liner Notes, a new column that collects secrets, in-jokes, trivia and things you may have missed in each issue of Corinne Morgan, Corbie. Today we look at the making of the reworked issue #2, “My Teenage Revenge Power Fantasy” – but first, here are some things you might not know about issue #1, which we shared previously in the CMC newsletter, the Birdy Bulletin

Covers for Variant A and B of Corbie issue #1.

Issue #1: “The Power” 
Original release date: October 14, 2018 
Remastered edition release date: October 14, 2023 

The creation of the first issue of Corbie wasn’t without its challenges, especially in its original form! The rocky road to publication has been chronicled extensively, most recently in “New Bird Song”, a retrospective included in the remastered CMC #1, but the short version is that it took a long time to nail down a visual style and production method that would be suitable for the series. Even today, the look of the comic continues to be refined as we work our way through the continuing remaster issues. 

Issue #1 was originally intended to be significantly longer than it ended up being in its 2018 release. Its troubled development led to the later scenes becoming the stand-alone issue #2, allowing for a “reset” where the story would continue with a refreshed look. As a result, issue #1 in its original form always felt like the odd one out of the first four Corbie adventures, and resolving this inconsistency was one of the driving motivators behind the release of the remastered editions years later. 

Corinne Morgan, Corbie #1: Expanded and Remastered Edition marked the transition of the series from a free comic to a premium commercial title, upping the page count with five new pages and providing readers with the choice of two new variant covers (see below). 

Here are eight facts about the old and new versions of “The Power”: 

1) The items Corinne receives from an anonymous sender are all real – obviously “The Birds” is available on Blu-Ray but the cover art for the Counting Crows CD is also based off their actual greatest hits album. The Ornithology book is by Frank B. Gill and is literally called “Ornithology“. This edition is out of date now – I could have updated it for the remaster but the old cover’s cooler than the new one

2) A lot of technology in the Remastered Editions is getting updated to bring the series into the 2020s. By far my fave change is that in the 2018 version Sadie follows and responds to Corinne on Twitter, but in 2023 that interaction happens on Mastodon instead. (It makes sense that both would be Fediverse types, with Sadie being an activist and Corinne being as tech-savvy as she is). 

3) More Sadie trivia: the blue and green “awareness” wristbands she wears on her left wrist are based on the ones I sport myself. The pair she wears on the opposite side are unique to her – she has a lot of causes she’s trying to draw attention to! 

4) A late stage change present in the 2023 edition is that the blazers worn as part of the school’s uniform ensemble now include Anna Dale Academy’s badge. This emblem combines the school’s mascot – the raccoon – with mountains representative of the Academy’s home state of California. 

5) Cover A was inspired by gothic horror paperback novels popular in the sixties and seventies, which often involved some variation of a lady dramatically escaping from a spooky house. (For our cover the house is Stonydawn, the Morgan family home.) 

6) Cover B is a homage to the promotional photography for the 1984 Seiko Matsuda album “Windy Shadow”. You may have spotted that Corbie is a series full of music references, something I expect will show up again in future variant covers down the road! 

7) In the spirit of the previous factoid, here are three tracks to listen to while listening to “The Power”: 

– Snobbery & Decay – Act (5:05) 
– Fear of the World (In Cinemascope) – ABC (4:42) 
– Cloudbusting – Kate Bush (5:09) 

8) When Corinne drops the box in her grandmother’s apartment, the items that fall out in addition to the Mystical Sphere all represent “The Power”: 

– A keyboard identical to “The Power“, the magical musical instrument which appears in the Regular Show episode of the same name 
– A 7″ single of “The Power” by Snap! 
– A He-Man action figure (another sword-wielding hero who famously has “the power”) 

Issue #2: “My Teenage Revenge Power Fantasy” 
Original release date: December 22, 2018 
Remastered edition release date: May 24, 2024 

Of all the issues of Corbie old and new, the original CMC #2 has the distinction of being the only one that was entirely complete before its predecessor was even released. This was, in part, due to its origins as the intended conclusion of issue #1. The follow-up was also noticeably short, clocking in at only 13 pages of story content. 

The 2024 remastered edition melds upgraded pages from the original story with nine all-new pages. The new scenes give Corinne and Morrigan some added breathing room and the chance to further explore Corbie’s origin story. We see the I.C. getting up to no good and follow up on the early introduction of Neamhain and Macha from the remastered CMC #1. 

More than anything else, the primary focus of the new material in the issue #2 remaster is filling perceived plot holes in the original story (and in at least one instance, an inconsistency that arose via the new material in the retelling of issue #1’s story). Given the passage of time while Corinne was developing the Corbie armor – which took several weeks – why did Neamhain and Macha not immediately pursue Morrigan and Corinne, her new host body? Along the same lines, why did the I.C. wait several weeks to hit back at Sadie for making the save when they attacked Corinne? We get answers to these questions this time around, along with countless other corrections and upgrades to the art, dialog and overall quality of the comic in much the same fashion as the issue #1 remaster. 

I feel confident in saying that of the four original issues, CMC #2’s glow-up for its remastered edition will wind up being the most exhaustive and significant, not just in terms of how much better it looks but also for the incorporation of so much new material. Moving forward, issue #3’s remaster (scheduled for a July 2024 release) will focus on making more subtle tweaks to the original art, while still including new, previously unseen additional material. 

Here are eight facts about the original edition of “My Teenage Revenge Power Fantasy” and the new 2024 version: 

1) This issue marks the only appearance of the prototype armor developed by Corinne prior to the creation of the familiar crow-like black armor used in her first official outing as Corbie. The white paint job with the red and blue stripes was partially inspired by Herbie from The Love Bug, but also just because I just think this color scheme is neat. (Sometimes these things really do just come down to whatever the artist thinks will look cool.) 

2) Speaking of the proto armor, it receives a lot more attention in the remastered #2, including an explanation of why it was hastily replaced by Corinne. After working on the comic for months, it was only in the last few days prior to publication that it dawned on me that this creates what could be perceived as a potential plot-hole in the “building the armor” double-page spread / montage: why did Corinne have blueprints for the finished armor when she hadn’t, at this point, made the decision to replace it yet? Hurriedly, I made a last-minute change, swapping out the illustration on the blueprint with one depicting the test armor. 

3) Continuing the tradition established with Corbie remastered #1, here are three songs to listen to while reading “My Teenage Revenge Power Fantasy”: 

– “What I Can Do for You” – Sheryl Crow (4:16)
– “I’m Not the Same Without You” – Donald Fagen  (4:32)
– “Shitlist” – L7 (2:56)

(An “Official Corbie Soundtrack” playlist containing all the songs suggested in Liner Notes so far can be found on Spotify and YouTube Music. This will be updated as each subsequent issue of the comic is released!) 

4) When Corbie was a free comic, I was relatively lax about things like using song lyrics in the dialog, but now that it’s a paid retail title the legal ramifications of such things must be considered. In the 2018 version, Sadie is seen singing “Who Owns Who” by Prophets of Rage; in the remaster, she’s singing… some off-the-cuff protest lyrics that aren’t intended to be representative of any specific real-world song. (You can add “Who Owns Who” to the CMC playlist if you like – Sadie would absolutely approve of its inclusion.) 

5) Mr. Boostafazoo (and his struggling pizzeria) owe their name to a line of dialogue from the Simpsons episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)”, when a disgruntled Bart remarks that Mr. Burns “needs some serious boost-a-fazoo”. I just like the way it sounds! 

6) The perpetually red-faced and angry customer at Boostazaoo’s Pizza is named G. Eamonn Reddy, and his look was in part inspired by the “wig alert” guy from the first Police Academy movie. It may surprise you to learn that despite the name, he wasn’t intentionally modelled after G. Gordon Liddy, but I did look him up after the event on Wikipedia and… well… 

Mr. Reddy will probably return. I just have a feeling.

7) The book Morrigan reads in this issue, Michael Caine’s autobiography What’s It All About? is real, and yes, he does justify his appearance in Jaws [4]: The Revenge in it on the basis that he loved da bloody house it bought, albeit not in precisely those words:

SIDE NOTE: You may have noticed that Morrigan’s behavior is… considerably goofier in the new pages that were added to the story than in the scenes which were present in the 2018 version. I’m pinning this entirely on the fact that not enough people have been buying and reading the comic to hold me accountable and rein me in. Goofball Mo-Mo will continue until the Corbie fanbase grows large enough to be able to pressure me into cutting this silliness out. 

8) In the original run, the battery / backpack on Corbie’s armor had a big “X” on it, which didn’t stand for anything, and I’m pretty sure it was selected for its symmetry more than anything else. This is retconned beginning with the remastered editions, with the test and final armor batteries marked as “A” and “B” respectively. 

These are just some of the easter eggs, in-jokes and small details present in the pages of Corbie, and I hope that you’ll enjoy just how much has been packed into the first two issues. Look out for another edition of Liner Notes when issue arrives later this summer! 

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