This is something I’ve been looking forward to doing for weeks and weeks, almost since I started drawing Dragon Comics. Are you not amused?
More or less, I was basically able to recreate what appeared in my mind when the idea came to me, which is progress. Still not perfect, but the main idea is communicated by the illustration, I think. I’m fairly pleased with the shattered glass effect in panel 4. It could use some more work, but, once again, the witching hour is at hand and the terms of my agreement with myself say that the comic goes up, perfection be damned.
This kind of playing with meta perspective pleases me greatly, and it’s so well-suited to comics and cartoons. Probably the most extreme and well-known example of 4th wall breaking in animation would be the 1953 Chuck Jones Looney Tunes classic, “Duck Amuck,” in which the animator spends 7 minutes torturing Daffy Duck with inappropriate scenery changes, repeatedly erases him with a giant pencil wielded by an unseen hand, and, since this cartoon relies heavily on the viewer’s knowledge of trope, replaces an (open, functioning) parachute with an anvil. There’s always got to be an anvil. For an added bonus, the sketch ends by doubling the self-referential nature of the narrative while pushing it firmly back into place by revealing that the sadistic cartoonist is actually Bugs Bunny, screwing with his old nemesis Daffy. After establishing a refreshing commentary that reflects the separate world (reality) influencing the cartoon, the end sequence encloses the entire story back in the cartoon world.
I could never be so cruel to my characters who, as you may realize, represent my actual loved ones, none of whom have even tried to convince a hunter that it was Dragon season. I just like to play. In fact, as I get older, that kind of classic cartoon violence-for-the-sake-of-violence makes me more and more uncomfortable. Apparently, some of us become gentler with age. That kid of cartoon violence is funny. It’s just not fair. I would rather wait 3 seasons to watch Aang spend 8 minutes fighting Firelord Ozai before defeating him with compassionate nonviolence than see any number of falling anvils. Don’t get me wrong; falling anvils are still hilarious. Epic storytelling is just more fun.
Please note that even after the fourth wall has been completely shattered, The Man goes right on breaking it. He’s funny like that.