As the story unfolds, Leo Noiret - whose definition of a bad day at work is a lot worse than the rest of us - decides to recruit them to help in his investigation, completely forgetting that there's a little bad blood between him and the rodents.
Here's a script excerpt from the sequence - adapted slightly to fit the blog format - followed by Jim's beautifully expressive art for the same page. I've left out the speech balloons to show the artwork in all it’s fully painted glory:
1. Big Pic, if possible: Slightly High Angle Shot, Noiret, stripped down to some extremely unflattering underwear, is stretched out in King Reggie's lair like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput, rats scampering over him, his body daubed with red paint to indicate where the prime cuts of meat are. His earlier assessment of the situation was obviously a little optimistic...
King Reggie, a Fagin-like figure with delusions of grandeur, who dresses in the manner of a miniature Dickensian gentleman, stands on Noiret’s big belly, lecturing his subjects like a cordon-bleu chef & pointing out the tastiest parts of Noiret’s anatomy with a cane.
The King’s lair is a large sewer cavern, lit by futuristic lamps & decorated with stolen paintings & missing museum pieces, some of them recogniseable works of art from old masters.
KING REGGIE: LECTURE TIME, LADS, SO KEEP THOSE EARS PEELED.
KING REGGIE: IF WE WANT TO CLIMB THE EVOLUTIONARY LADDER AND STOP SLOSHING AROUND THE SEWERS, WE NEED TO GET OURSELVES A LITTLE MORE SOPHISTICATION.
KING REGGIE: IT’S HIGH TIME WE STOPPED SNIFFING AROUND THE BINS AND EATING HUMANITY’S SCRAPS. WE DESERVE THE FULL, THREE-COURSE, CORDON-BLEU MEAL, SO I’VE GOT US A NICE BIG HUNK OF MEAT TO PRACTICE SOME RECIPES ON.
KING REGGIE: WE’LL SLICE HIM INTO A SUCCULENT SELECTION OF CUTS AND SERVE HIM UP WITH FRESH VEG AND A VARIETY OF FRAGRANT SAUCES.
2. King Reggie turns to face Noiret, who stares at him in exasperation, thinking hard.
The rodent removes his hat in a mocking sign of respects & shrugs apologetically, as if he has no choice in the matter.
KING REGGIE: HOPE YOU DON'T MIND, LEO. WE MIGHT BE SCAVENGERS, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN'T ASPIRE TO CULINARY EXCELLENCE.
NOIRET: LISTEN, EATING ME WOULD BE A BIG MISTAKE...
3. King Reggie prods Noiret’s hairy flesh with his cane, as if confirming the poor quality of the produce.
KING REGGIE: GRANTED YOU MIGHT NOT BE THE FRESHEST SPECIMEN ON THE PLANET, BUT I RECKON ALL THAT ALCOHOL YOU’VE SOAKED UP OVER THE YEARS WILL ACT AS A TASTY MARINADE.