Page #2: Intelligence

New Page #2!

Nathan Hale is interrogated by General Howe

Keep gathering, Nathan. I'm not sure that was the smartest response.

I know that New York City and New England are a hotbed of Dreamer readers. I hope that everyone is okay! I’ve heard from folks with leaky ceilings, downed trees and no power. I hope everyone is safe, dry, and staying warm. East Coast, if you need anything, let us know! I’m a former relief worker… if you’re new to The Dreamer you probably haven’t been around for one of the breaks I’ve taken to go shovel crap out of someone’s basement after a flood. (In fact, the seeds for The Dreamer were laid while I was on staff at a relief agency in New Orleans post-Katrina.) I know how horrible flood damage is first-hand and my heart goes out to all of you, New Jersey, Maryland Coast, NYC, Connecticut shoreline. You have our love and prayers!

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As for today’s update: Nathan, Why not lie?

It’s hard for our modern minds who have been raised on the likes of James Bond, Jason Bourne, Natasha Romanoff, Michael Weston and Ethan Hunt to think of being a spy as anything less than glamorous.

In the 18th Century, however, it was a rather despicable “profession.” It meant you were a liar, and this was in an age when a man’s reputation was everything. The idea of a duel is old fashioned today but besmearing a man’s honor in the 18th Century was nothing to laugh about. (Just ask our own Mr. Hamilton.)

So scalawags, drunks and other dregs of society were enlisted as spies. But not upstanding, clean-cut, moral Yale graduates and army officers like our friend Nathan Hale. And while he quite likely never said, “Every kind of of service, necessary to the public good, becomes honorable by being necessary,” we know he practiced that principle in his own life by being the only man willing to take on the mission.

So he agreed to spy, why not go ahead and lie?

Nathan Hale’s his real name was on his diploma which he took with him as a part of his alibi, and the ship that brought him to Long Island recorded him in the log as “Nathaniel Hale.” Not a great alias, and more likely it is just one of many such misspellings from records kept in the era.

Nathan took on the mission of a spy, but he wanted to keep his honor. He was an officer in the Continental Army, and though he was out of uniform* he wasn’t about to lie about who he was if caught.

Nathan Hale most likely thought he would be treated as a captured officer, and not a spy, which might also have had something to do with his forthrightness. Unfortunately for him, a fire was destroying New York City and he was a suspicious character arrested on that night.

*VOTE to preview the next page!*

*I draw Nathan and Knowlton and the other Rangers officers in fancy-pants Continental uniforms, but this is a bit of an embellishment. At this point in the war, Washington’s army was poorly equipped, much less fitted with fancy uniforms. And though Congress had uniform standards for how the men ought to be clothed, few actually were. The only record we have of Nathan Hale’s uniform is his friend Asher Wright’s recollection of the young captain wearing a white hunting shirt, “made of white linen, & fringed, such as officers used to wear.”

The blue and white New England coat is so much sexier. And a much more iconic symbol of the Revolutionary War. So yes, I used it. But yes, it is not 100% historically accurate in the context of Knowlton’s Rangers, who served in the summer and fall of 1776.

So just sit back and enjoy the Continental eye-candy. You’re welcome.

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Don’t forget I’ll be at CTN November 16-18, Burbank, California!

If you’re looking for me on the show floor I am at Chris Oatley’s table, promoting Paper Wings together.

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111 Responses to Page #2: Intelligence

  1. Caera says:

    Oh ever so to the point, Nathan dear. And the colors on this page are making me droollll…thanks for giving us all the backstory.

    The VI: Eh—what kind of expression is that, Howe? O.o

    To both this page and the VI: Nathan!!!!!!!!
    This is what I’ve been looking like, and will be looking like, for a while:

  2. God Bless to all those that live on the East Coast.

  3. Anna says:

    Praying for everyone on the east coast (all of us here on the plains wish we could have gotten some of that rain off your hands).

    Love Howe’s expression in the last panel.

  4. Faith says:

    Howe: “And what were you doing in New York?”
    Nathan: “ALRIGHT I’LL TELL YOU… do you know the minutemen?”
    Howe: “The minute men?”
    Nathan: “THE MINUTEMEN!”
    Howe: “Do I know the minute men… of legendary fame?”

    Yeah. I’m in that stage of denial that leads to alternate storylines based on cartoons. D':

  5. Susan says:

    All’s well in my part of Pennsylvania and my hometown in New York, but I feel for all of those less fortunate.

    NOW! Nathan is so honorable, that’s one of the things that makes me love him so! Someone should be Nathan for Halloween!

    This would have been how I would have replied:
    “What were you doing in New York?”
    “No, the correct question is what were YOU doing in New York?”
    “Excuse me”
    “Hey, I’m the American in the room”

    • Caera says:

      Hah! Take THAT, Howe!

      Yeah I’d probably be a smart mouth too. I have a habit of doing that.

      Glad you’re safe. Everyone I know made it through the storm in one piece, if a little worse for wear, so I’m glad. Hugs to everyone affected!

  6. Faith says:

    On a more serious note…

    Shout out to the east coast Dreamer fans and everyone holding fast through superstorm Sandy! You’re on my heart and in my prayers. <3

    And here's a subtle but respectful tip of the hat to all the brave, modern-day intelligence personnel who keep America safe, though the very nature of their job means going without recognition or thanks. Praise God for the life and legacy of Nathan Hale!

    • Caera says:

      Hear hear! I’m allowed to talk about it now since it was nearly two years ago and I wasn’t “called back” but I did actually apply for the CIA. lol I did it because I felt I needed to at least try, but I think in the end we all know I’d be a worse spy than even poor Nathan.

      • Dana says:

        I’d be the worst spy EVER… at least partly because I have Asperger’s and can’t seem to wrap my little brain around the concept of lying… Or at least the morality of it. :P

        • Caera says:

          Hey! Same here! Well, we think anyway. I have never been diagnosed but as time has gone on it’s looking more obvious. I have a compulsion against lying too, but mainly it’s because as a kid I was accused of lying a lot and punished for it, when I was the one telling the truth, so I take accusations against my honesty very personally. No one got their nose broken over it yet but I have terrified a few people with my outrage. :P

          • Faith says:

            I think that’s another symptom of being the youngest. It was always assumed that my older siblings were the ones telling the truth. Which, if you think about it, makes no sense at all. They were a lot more practiced.

          • Caera says:

            I think it was as much that as it was I have always had a far more creative and imaginative streak than anyone in my family. Despite my poor sight, my world is more colorful, and I perceive more than they ever did, so they just assumed I lied to myself as much as to them.

            You can’t spank honesty and creativity out of a child. You can only make them all the more stubborn.

        • Tamesin says:

          I once played a game with college friends, in one part of which everyone had to vote on who in the room would be A) the best Supreme Court judge and B) the best spy. I carried the vote on both. So go ahead: tell me your deepest, darkest secrets!

      • Lora says:

        Actually, Caera, I think you’d make an excellent spy. Just like Nathan, you’d be the most least-likely candidate. Like sending a little old woman to smuggle drugs through an airport…

        • Caera says:

          I don’t know. I think I have “terrorist” written all over my face because since I was 13 I’ve been harassed by the TSA. Remember the nightmare I had trying to get home from Boston back in April?

          Also, seeing as I have books out I was probably already too “out there” so to speak. Not high profile, really, but not inconspicuous enough to be forgotten.

          Still, I would have the “invisibility” tactic down. I walk into a room talking to someone and they turn around and scream because they didn’t know I was there.

        • Caera says:

          Oh yes. I had an American Flag on my backpack. Big Alarm there. They tore the thing apart. We nearly missed our flight and I was running after my family trying valiantly to get everything back into the bag.

          Since then I’ve been scanned, patted, had my bags confiscated and searched, been questioned, you name it it’s happened, except for strip searching (G-d forbid). My trips to the UK and from NY to back home were the only uneventful ones I’ve had since 9/11. Though flying TO Boston I had no trouble.

    • Julie says:

      I just watched Argo last night, so I’m DEFINITELY “hear hear”ing that one! :)

  7. Kristiana says:

    Firstly, my prayers go out to those in the East Coast. Hope everyone’s alright :C

    Also, such gorgeous lighting! I just can’t get over it. I must have spent the last few minutes just staring at those colors~ And though I’ve already said this, I shall say it again: Nathan’s honesty is what adds to his heroism, I think. When I read that when he was caught and gave his captors his name, rank, and so on, I was in a perplex state of awe, combined with a double facepalm. Can’t help but love him. Just can’t.

    And interesting about the uniforms! Nice to know what he actually wore. For my informative speech’s visual aid, I naively put in blue+red, because I read that was the typical color combo for those in the artillery. OTL Aw well.

    Howe: So… you admit to stealing my tea cozies… I bet you didn’t expect THIS.*begins to pull open his coat*
    Nathan: OH GOD PLEASE NO!
    Howe: *pulls out his last tea cozie from said jacket* AHA!
    Nathan: Phew! O, ok.
    (butchered Emperor’s New Groove reference is butchered)

  8. Amber says:

    Oh, you guys! *chuckles endlessly*
    you are hilarious!
    As the gladiators once said, “Are you entertained???”
    And I would say, “Very much!”
    As for the update, does anybody else notice that Robert Rogers and his rangers seem a little bit out of place in that elegant room?

    • Lora says:

      Why thank you for noticing. This is the “Blue Room” in the Beekman Mansion where Howe was headquartering at the time.

      I used this room because, uh, the house is no longer standing, and a drawing of this room still exists.

  9. Julia says:

    Nathan. Nathan. I know you are honest and honorable and noble, and that’s why we love you, but being a little sneakier could save your life.

  10. Niki says: COULD Nathan have lied with that other man standing right there handing Howe the papers he’d found…?

    On another note, I’m an Eastern Pennsylvanian, and I’m fine. :) Lost our power for a day and a half, and that was all, plus a few trees down in the yard (that thankfully, didn’t hit our roof.) I’m grateful it wasn’t worse, and hope everyone in NYC and New Jersey recovers soon.

  11. Liz says:

    I love the way you mirrored Bea and her mother with Nate and General Howe on the first panel of each page. I kept flipping back and forth between them to compare their stances. ^_^

    Thank you for your kind thoughts. I’m in NYC and have been “enjoying” my three days off from teaching school. I’m lucky in that I never lost power, but I have friends who still don’t have it. hopefully we’ll be recovering from this very soon.

  12. Julie says:

    Thoughts and prayers coming from Texas to you New Englanders!! Our local news program mentioned yesterday (or the day before) that we sent a batch of power company workers in a convoy to New England in advance of the storm actually landing so they hopefully would get there not too long after power outages started…I sincerely hope that those without power don’t stay that way long (I hear it’s going to get chillier).

    As for the update…well…I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, but seriously Nathan?? Seriously?? I’m still mad at you for keeping your orders in your shoe! :(

    • David says:

      Where COULD he have hidden it? They would have searched the rest of his clothing anyway.

      Actually, there WAS one possible hiding place that Nathan could have used, but those scuzzy Rangers would have probably looked THERE as well! Ick! :P

      • Niki says:

        “Where COULD he have hidden it? They would have searched the rest of his clothing anyway.”

        Ahhh that was EXACTLY my question! :D

    • Caera says:

      I didn’t know you lived in Texas! We should meet up. ;)

  13. Nathan: “I shall never betray my country! I am Nathan Hale. And I see a whole army of my countrymen standing in defiance of tyranny. They have come to fight as free men, and free men they are. You can take my life but you’ll never take OUR FREEDOM!!!!”
    Howe: …is that original?

  14. Sam1775 says:

    If Mrs. Loring steps out of the bedroom and nudges an equivocating General Howe to render the thumbs down to Mr. Hale, I and all discerning gentlemen will be disappointed. Some secretly like blonde bad-girls, but not THAT bad.

  15. ShariIsLikeWHOA says:

    Oh Nathan. Sigh, you are so honorable!

    So I just got my special edition Assassin’s Creed III yesterday ^.^ which is set in the American Revolution and with it came George Washington’s “Journal”, and who do you think was included in the journal? None other than the Hamilton himself! I am sooo excited to play this game and I hope I get to run into some more Dreamer All-Stars!!!

    *campaigns for a Hamilton T-shirt in the store* XD

    oh and I’m still fairly newish here and at the risk of sounding stupid, but how does one go about getting an icon next to their name O_o?

  16. trevor says:

    First off, those guys turning Nathan in are traitors. Second, he’s not doing a very good job of keeping his secret mission a secret. Worst spy ever.

    Third, Disney just bought Star Wars. Unrelated to this comic, I know, but still…kind of reeling from that one.

    1) LucasFilm creates PIXAR, which is sold to Apple, who then sells it to Disney
    2) Disney CEO Michael Eisner is ousted by the Board, replaced by PIXAR CEO John Lasseter
    3) John Lasseter buys PIXAR – so Disney owns PIXAR, but PIXAR runs Disney
    4) Years later, Disney buys LucasFilm

    So LucasFilm made PIXAR, and PIXAR runs Disney…and now Disney has bought LucasFilm. The circle of ownership is now complete.

    Insert meme of Vadar saying, “We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master.”

  17. Half Moon says:

    My heart…IT’S BREAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Hahaha, you are so funny, Lora. The stuff about the continental eyecandy. That’s funny stuff :D

  19. Kristee says:

    Wow. I can’t help but notice how handsome Nathan is in these scenes. So strong, so bold, so adamant. And so undeniably admirable. These pages have translated Nathan’s history perfectly. Beautiful colors and dialogue lately, too. I’ve been on the edge of my seat since the last issue! You’re killing us here! LOL! Though, now, I’m very sad. Because I know what comes next. My heartthrob from the Revolution is going Home. :( Hopefully, there will be happier times later in the story!

  20. Kristee says:

    BAHAHAHA! Just read thru all the comments on the page! MAN, I have GOT to remember to come around here more!!

    And prayers of safety to y’all in Sandy’s path, BTW! Can’t believe I forgot to mention that!

  21. deb says:

    Yikes. I feel like it’s been AGES since I poked my head around the comments section! I am in the land of Red Coats for school and been so busy! But i’m ready to jump back in the bandwagon!

    My thoughts on what’s been going on so far:
    – At the rate Bea is going, I feel like Mrs. Whaley really *will* take her to a therapist. It feels like her life is rapidly falling apart. Also, I can’t help but dread the moment where she and Liz talk about that phone call.
    – Nathan’s capture felt too soon! OH NOOOOO!!! ;A;
    – I think me and my sister were mostly really surprised at how fast he got caught. Then again, we’re mixing it up with modern world spydom so yeah.

    & I hope everyone’s safe on the east coast!! x

    • Lora says:

      Nathan left on his secret mission over a hundred comic pages ago. (Beginning of Issue #13).

      What he’s been up to most of the that time has happened off screen, since the story followed Alan on his near-death (mis)adventures.

      But now that the spotlight has been pointed back onto Nathan, yup, things are unravelling fast.