The rifles for the crew in 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – which the divers carry with them on excursions underwater – are deliberately reminiscent of rifles that were also available on land, and of firearms from the time when the graphic novel and Verne’s book are set (1868). I couldn’t imagine the reader believing that you can shoot – even more, underwater – from something that looks significantly different from a classic “rifle”.
However, I made a few modifications. For example, there is a kind of hatch on the handlebar of the weapon, because it runs with a miraculous electrical technology – and I think loading it rather works by inserting a kind of cannula than classic cartridges. Anyone who can follow the notes on this sketch (though they’re in german) can also see that I have thought about the materials (I partially followed those thoughts later for the comic).
The weapon doesn’t look too steampunky because I indeed use steampunk in the graphic novel – but in other, from my point of view more rewarding places, that keep the magic of the source material more: the onboard machines, drive mechanisms and the overall design of the “Nautilus” (also it’s interior).