Earlyish upload, because I can. Two pages this week so tune in on Thursday!
Great facial expressions here! Fflewdur's excitement in panel 2 (I almost get a since of Doc saying "Great Scott, Marty!"), Eilonwy's (pretend-grudging?) admiration with her arms akimbo, and the intensity of Taran's look at Melyngar in panel 3. Also, interesting perspective on Eilonwy's face in the first panel, angling from the top down. I don't remember seeing that angle before.
I don't do top-down angles much as they are really difficult for me. But in this case it just happened to be the way it worked out to show her looking back over her shoulder - also a weird and hard angle to get right, if you intend to show any of the face at all.
I like how character-specific Fflewddur and Eilonwy's reactions are to Taran's unexpected brilliance. Fflewddur's just completely on board and Eilonwy's like...wait, did you just do something clever?- I don't even know how to handle my admiration so I'm going to pretend it's not there.
Already hinting at events in the next chapter with Taran's characterization here, I see. Five books, and unless you count Gurgi (who really falls somewhere in between a person and a creature), Taran really doesn't get to show off the affinity for animals he developed under Coll and Dallben at home. To say it like Eilonwy might, "For an Assistant Pig-Keeper, you really don't do much pig-keeping, do you?"
Well, presumably she gets to witness that particular skill once she's living at Caer Dallben! If not, his title is really the biggest joke in the entire story. XD But yes, I do love his understated affinity with animals. I mean they don't even HAVE horses at Caer Dallben yet, but he seems to take to Melyngar just fine in the story. There's something very instinctively appealing (to me anyway) about guys/men who are good with animals...maybe because it brings out a nurturing/gentle side they don't often show in our culture?
Well, I was making an Eilonwy-ism, not saying that she could actually say that. Of course SHE sees his pig-keeping. WE just don't--except in moments like this.
You're very right, though, that there's something powerful in showing a guy who is good with animals (and in TW, with kids). I actually think it's very crucial to characterization in this sort of story and plays into the same thing you were discussing earlier about the healer king. The best leaders in this type of story aren't necessarily the best warriors (though they may be excellent ones). Ref. King Smoit in books 2 and 4. The best leaders are the caretakers, people that you can trust not only to protect a home but to heal its hurts and judge with compassion. Taran aspires to be a more conventional action hero in Book One--he wants to be the macho, mighty war leader with bulging biceps and songs written about his awesome defeat of terrible enemies. But his male models (Coll, Dallben, and Gwydion), whether he knows it or not, are all of the first type, and readers actually get to see his definition of what it means to be a man and a leader shift over the course of the series--to a model he's actually much better suited for and is hinted at in his treatment of animals.
So many webcomics have otherwise good drawing and then totally phone in the horses, but not this one!
With how many photo references there are online, there's really no excuse.
I can imagine the horse thinking to itself "Dudes... We're totally going the wrong way... Home is THAT way" all the way up until this point.
But like any well-trained horse, she's just following along waiting for the humans to come to their senses.
The only thing I have to add is more praise for the Taran/Melyngar soul staring panel.
Good on ya for that.
Soul-staring! I like that. I'm going to use that in conversation now.
RIde Melyngar! Show us the meaning of haste!
That was the first vibe I got; the second was a reference to the movie Warhorse.
You know your movies. Panel three is straight from a War Horse screencap. I cheat sometimes, don't tell anybody. O.O
Poor, slumped, tired Gurgi -- you're on your way to safety soon!
Boaaaaaah - Eilonwy, you absolutely had to do it again, hadn't you? For once she acknowledges that Taran has done something right without her being shattered by an earthquake before, and even then she cannot step out of her mindset and keep her personal flask of Achren-brewed venom closed.
Delivering it in this Dare-to-challenge-me?-posture is most cute. Only her proportions are somehow not right. In this frame she looks more like an eight-year-old than like a teen. Must be a problem with the relative size of head to body, I think.
It may be that she looks a bit too small in relation to Fflewddur.
I don't think it's that; at any rate she is standing behind him as his elbow shows and therefore should look smaller. It's rather a slight problem with the proportions. Her apparent age seems to be correlated to her mood, anyway: When she gets soft, her face looks like 10, when she locks up she is more like, say, 13, on that daring view down her arrow-shaft I'd even guess her to be 16 ...
At any rate, that's so Eilonwy: the first word she directs at him since he treated Gurgi's leg, and this is how it came out.