I LOOOOOOOOOVE pages like this. Action, what action, JUST LET ME SPEAK WITH PEOPLE'S EYES.
Taran's expression in the last panel took three redraws; painstaking, time-consuming, nitpicky renderings that didn't work...and when I finally admitted it needed a third attempt, this one fell into place in about five minutes. I never know whether to be elated or ticked off when that happens.
I've always loved this moment, where she hits him with this statement.
As is, I'm sure, quite obvious - so have I. :) Such a pivotal character and relationship moment. And it shifts so drastically in the next breath I knew this just needed its own page and not to rush it.
Daaaaaamn. Those are some beautifully rendered eyes. Real pretty.
As for when you have to redraw things because they're not working out and then it clicks after, like, the 5th try I HAAAATE it when that happens. Glad you did, though! It turned out really well!
I guess we should go for the Edison attitude? "I didn't fail 1500 times...I just found 1500 ways not to make a light bulb..."
But it's hard to feel all zen about something just stubbornly not doing what you want and then finally it hits and I'm like - where was THAT four hours ago? I don't have that kind of time!
I can't be too miffed about anything on this page though.
I've never been satisfied with the mental image I have of Eilonwy. Which is a weird thing, that I can't shake the same visual impression I've had of her since fifth grade. (I've never seen the Disney movie, either, so that never stuck.) This is the first rendition I've seen that befits her, truly. So, thanks for that. :)
That makes me so happy. Thank you.
Oh, look at Eilonwy blush! That's adorable! And Taran's finally looking at her like she's a person worth respecting rather than just an annoyance or someone to be taken care of.
D'you get the feeling that he didn't really see her before? Before the arrow, she WAS *this* girl or *that* girl. He couldn't see her through the haze of his grief or his own ideas about how he should be behaving (his apology to her after he accuses her after their escape). So despite how brave she was in their escape and how brave she's been since, he hasn't taken the time to notice it until right here.
In the last two panels they are both SO beautiful. You can almost imagine the orchestra swelling. Fantastic job.
Oh, joy, this is the kind of thing I love so much.
Anyway, yes! Though I think, being a genuinely kind person at heart, he has sincerely begun to care about her, he doesn’t actually realize it until this point - or, as you point out, he’s just been too preoccupied to think about it. And now, as we know, he’s kind of picking the wrong way to express it, because he’s just reacting in the moment. Even if he were thinking, he still hadn’t had time to learn how to relate to her the way she needs - as we’ll see in coming pages. Girls in general and Eilonwy in particular are still too much of a novelty and enigma for him.
I just love how revalatory this and the next page are for her character. How instantly she responds to even the hint of being valued by another person, and how quickly she pushes down that vulnerability.
Warning: Spoilers for the next couple pages if you don't already know what's about to go down.
Honestly? I think Eilonwy gets oversensitive. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Taran complimenting her skills, and clearly he *did* care about her being in danger. Her upcoming overreaction, as you say, really shows us more about her than about him--because this is an instance where (in my opinion) *she's* wrong. But because Alexander is looking over Taran's shoulder and not over Eilonwy's, we don't really get to see that. We only see Taran's confusion and hurt when she lashes out.
Oh yes, I agree. But she’s coming from a wounded place where the only interest anyone had in her was as a pawn in a power play, and the way T words his compliment triggers that sensitivity. (And then later as they are talking it over.) For just this brief second she thinks maybe somebody cares, but immediately squashes it because a) must not be emotionally vulnerable and b) wait a minute, what really just happened is he got his head turned by a magic trick.
It’s not a true or fair judgement but it’s an understandable one from somebody with her background. And Taran wouldn’t understand any of this so of course he’s baffled.
If there was anything at all Taran could have said that would have elicited an unalloyed positive reaction from Eilonwy, I think it would have been to compliment her for her bravery instead of for the spell. The spell, after all, failed, and she was upset about that; being praised for what you almost achieved tends to be received as backhanded criticism, even if that's not the way it's intended. That's assuming, of course, that she's even emotionally capable of having an unalloyed positive reaction to anything anyone says to her, which is questionable given the massive trust issues resulting from her upbringing by Achren.
I had a silly thought about why the spell failed, inspired by my experience with Dungeons and Dragons: Eilonwy had to roll a Concentration skill check to cast the spell because Taran, in a misguided effort to protect her, attempted a combat maneuver (initiating a grapple) against her during the round she was casting it, and she had to make a non-lethal attack of opportunity against him (a kick in the shin) to forestall it. She hit with the AoO, but then failed her Concentration check, botching the spell. Obviously she didn't know why she'd botched it, though, or she would have been a lot more ticked off at Taran than she is.
.....I feel like I have to turn in my nerd card now, Mantis. I have literally no idea what you said in that second paragraph. XD
First, I look forward to your pages every week, and am always excited when I discover a new one is up. And you continue to impress me, and I'm not trying to be oleaginous here. I can see why you only get go a page a week, even if the wait is often a li'l difficult.
Second, I have to say I like your interpretation of the description of Eilonwy's blush here: quite literally like the sunset that is happening behind her. I always pictured it as a much more violent shade of red, and I'm not sure if the actual blending of the sky with the coloring on her face was deliberate or not, but it was a great detail in any case--and complements Alexander's prose in the book beautifully. I like getting a different angle on the story; I guess that's one reason I keep coming back here.
Third. Case in point: the way you drew her face in that panel, and the sort off quavery shape to her speech bubble adds some poignancy to the scene that (again) I had not read there, myself. (Always being a bit more prone to read the comic aspect of it that is coming next page, and the whole, "Ha! She likes him but will never ever admit it!" part.) It looks like she's about to cry, and like all her defenses are down; and this speaks so much to your take on her character, that it is convincing, 100% authentic, and a bit painful. (It also underscores what is about to happen next. But--hey!--I use to many parentheticals!) And this is probably E's first experience of someone genuinely, openly, enthusiastically complimenting her, so *of course* this is going to be emotionally hefty--and of course she reacts in the confused way she does in . . . just a bit.
Speaking of confusion: fourth: Taran's expression of, "Oh, man, somehow I don't know if I like where this is going. . ." in the last panel is superb.
You won't, buddy. You really won't.
'Course, I guess it could be a li'l guilt.
oh, ohhhhh...*cackles, rubs hands together, preparing to dive into this commentary headfirst*
First, I learned the word "oleaginous" today, so thanks for that. I don't run across too many new vocabulary words at my age and education level, but being a logophile, I'm always delighted.
The colors here, mirrored in the light and her face, are quite deliberate, and I like that you picked it up - just from a compositional and color theory standpoint it's kind of standard art thing to do, but it worked particularly well to underscore the textual description, and I'm impressed that you remembered that detail well enough to notice (or cared enough to look it up).
Your third point is EVERYTHING, really, because yes, this brief moment of openness is a crucial one, in my interpretation, for what it reveals about her; and at least for you it seems to have hit all the right notes.
Fourth: that's exactly the expression I was going for - a mix of genuine admiration, bashful confusion, and a little bit of the typical deer-in-headlight look worn by most teen boys when smiled at by a pretty girl - pleased, but nervous, without any clue about how exactly to respond.
It'll take him a while to learn that.
Nerdily enough, I remembered. Reread the books last year, which prompted web searches, which led me here.
Don't be too impressed with my vocabulary--evidently, I can't even spell correctly. Chalk it up to excitement.
Wow, who are you - and what did you do to Taran? :o
...and Eilonwy is so pretty and beautiful here... <3 <3 <3 ...and her eyes... <3 <3 <3 *sighs*
Everything's been pretty much said already in the comments, but this panel is really good! This scene is an early building point in their relationship and you've capture do it so well. Looking forward to the next one!
Thank you! :)
You're so good with boys and girls.
I wonder if being the mother of boys gives you an edge in writing these scenes.
I remain quite clueless about girls despite being married and having a great (smart and pretty and wise-cracking but totally square, every father's dream) older teenager, but I've learned orders of magnitude since we had her.
Anyhow, awesome ...
I hope I can talk that way about all mine when they are teens!
My boys are far more straightforward than my daughter, in most things.
Well, yeah they're straightforward ... they're guys. That's why people are so surprised when men get indirect (or even situationally aware - ask my long suffering wife). It's rarely an innate talent for us.
If you parent like you write, your kids should be fine. You seem inherently worried, which is probably a good thing in parenting, but I'd be shocked if there were major issues.
your art, Oh my god.. falls over and worships her :D
LOL I don't know how I missed this one until just now. You're the bomb, Cent. Thanks for that ego-boost. :)
This page is just stunningly beautiful.
:) Still one of my favorites, two years later.
Taran? <shoulder-tap> Uh, Taran ...
THIS GIRL IS IN UTTER NEED OF A HUG!
Such scenes from you are among my favourites. I am good at landscapes and animals but I regret that I can't draw people like that. Just a few panels ago, Eilonwy looked so resolute and showing off her maturity, and now the vizor has dropped to reveal that desperate little girl within yearning for any bit of human warmth she has been deprived of all her life. A grand scene! Making the most out of a detail that Alexander has only hinted at.
Thank you. This is a favorite of mine too. ❤️
Okay, THIS is my favorite page! 😍
Welcome to my world.