Wow, you all. The amount of commentary on what was basically a throwaway page (that chapter 16 title) just threw me. I'm glad to know you're all there, waiting; that this is important to you. It sounds a bit silly, even to me, when I say that I feel like this is the work I was meant to do. But in such a time as this, I like to think it's not so frivolous after all.
Keep commenting, please, everyone. Anybody who disappears will be presumed dead.
I'm always so tempted to get chatty about the things I love about a page, but then I think there's less for you all to talk about, so I'll save my commentary for responses.
Stay home, wash your hands, read some good books.
I'm so happy for this update! Thank you! It's beautiful!
Thank you so much for commenting. :)
Yes please keep it up. I enjoy every page you post. And it is nice to hear from all the usual posters and know that everyone is keeping safe.
It is, isn't it? Online community is now a lifeline for many. I'm so thankful it exists.
Yay! I wasn’t expecting this anytime soon! Thank you, thank you!
1. I see Fflewddur has his stubble back
2. What in the world is that thing that grabbed the henchman??
3. Part of my social separation sentence is re-watching GoT with my daughter, who is a huge fan, and Taran in that next to last panel has a little creepy Ramsay Bolton going on...
4. Thank you again!
1. Yes, lol, the magical disappearing beard is now back in place.
2. I'm not sure, but they are just possibly related to some other creatures you have encountered in an earlier time and another place.
3. He does, doesn't he? I don't usually draw Taran this ticked off, but I think Eiddileg warrants it here.
4. As always, it is my pleasure.
Holy Mother of God...NO. Taran looks, speaks and acts absolutely nothing like Ramsey Bolton. Shame on you for making such a comparison. That thing was utter filth through and through with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Taran has never been a sadist and never will be, and his cruelty is limited to his youthful stupidity, not by his nature.
Sorry, I watched Game of Thrones and I am not the least bit impressed, either with the plot or the writing. I've been told the series only holds a passing similarity to the books, but when I made the comment about how grotesque much of the behavior is by many of the characters, I was told, "oh no, all that nasty stuff is in the books, only worse". As far as I'm concerned, that story should be lost and forgotten, but I know it never will. Why people are so fascinated by all that ugliness and gore is beyond me, it turns my stomach. It's more painful to watch, from a moral standpoint, than Dexter, and that was a show about a serial killer.
Sorry again for the off-topic rant, but Alexander's stories and Saeriellen's artful interpretation of it are a thing of beauty and gives you hope for life and the world, as opposed to Game of Thrones which makes me think there's no hope or reason for humanity to survive at all.
Wonderful page as usualy, Saeriellyn. Methinks the king is slipping on his own slippery slope, though that's likely by design.
I really need to find my copy of the books and read them again. Thirty-plus years removed from them is too long to recall any details.
P.S. I adore Eilonwy's eyebrow quirk expression in that close-up panel of the three, she's such a beautiful (and brilliant) girl and if I had seen her like this when I was a kid I would have had a huge crush on her. ;)
I'm sorry you were offended! I would never imply that Taran was anything like Ramsay Bolton, his expression just reminded me of him a bit in that panel. That's all. :-)
@Skyboy91: I reacted way too strongly and I'm sorry I didn't moderate myself further, but I feel a powerful sense of revulsion toward that character and really had trouble taking the comment as it was meant. Sorry, I don't mean any ill will toward you. :(
No problem at all. I agree that Ramsay is as vile as it gets.
Whew! *backs away quietly*
I actually agree with you on GoT, Thrace, based on what I have heard of it. I have never seen an episode despite being tempted, since on the surface it looks like something I’d love, while what I’ve been told about it places it squarely in the type of stories I think our world has officially had enough of now. Real heroes, please. Real goodness.
I know Skyboy would never have been deliberately insulting though. Even I recognized that Taran’s glower looked a bit disturbingly like the character he mentioned. I thought so even before I posted it and I almost toned it down for that reason before deciding to just leave it. He’s allowed to glare after all he’s been through just to be yanked around by two and a half foot pile of bombast. ;) We all know Taran is nothing like anyone on GoT - thank goodness!
Sorry, Saeriellyn and SkyBoy, I don't honestly mean to to cause anyone heartburn because of my opinions. I can delete my comment if you'd like, I just thought I should leave it since there were replies.
As you can tell, despite having watched the whole TV series, Game of Thrones ranks highly on my list of garbage stories. It has few redeeming qualities and those are almost entirely outweighed by the bad; poor & inconsistent characterizations, terrible & lazy plot holes, unexplained motivations (especially the Big Bad), and extremely graphic & repulsive gore and sexual content. I can put up with some of it (obviously since I made it through the whole thing), but ultimately I think it's a poor writer who relies upon shock value to cover the fact that they really aren't very creative or good at their craft. The only character who really showed any degree of intelligence, Tyrion, was one of the few highlights, but even his credibility was severely strained by the end of the story.
I have a great deal of respect for authors like Lloyd Alexander and creators like yourself, Saeriellyn, because you take your craft to heart and make it more than just passing entertainment, you give it *life*. Enduring stories live through their creators and the lasting impression their work makes upon their readers. This is why the stories of Tolkein, Christie & Doyle have sold millions of copies, and tales as far back as the Bible, Gilgamesh and Aesop's Fables survive to this day. The heroic journey is codified for a reason, and even the more tragic stories offer succor to those who read them, unlike the mindless pablum offered up by too many modern day authors.
Oh, no need to delete anything! I'm quite touched by your impassioned defense, actually. And you make me doubly glad I've never watched GoT.
It seems like wholesome heartfelt stories are hard to find anymore. I wonder how many are out there, not finding publishers, because they aren't considered "edgy" enough for modern audiences. :/
1. Your art is worth waiting for.
2. Well, Your Majesty, you are kind of a dick. Not necessarily a thief, but certainly a liar.
I mean he doesn't really lie, though? He literally just wasn't going to say anything. An omission of crucial information, worse than a lie and totally a dick move, but...
It's one of my pet theories that fae can't lie just like they can't break their word, so they will resort to all kinds of verbal gymnastics to get around it.
Eidilegg and Doli are a novel spin on the concept, but it seems to be true enough of them. (I don't recall whether it's true of Gwystyl or not, though.)
I think Gwystyl does straight-up lie a lot. so much for my theory! But maybe that's why he's so gloomy...goes against his nature.
But he's been poisoned by proximity to Arawn, hasn't he? Further, there are all sorts of Fair Folk, and the rules may differ between them.
True! Also he seems to react very poorly (physical symptoms and all) when he's negotiating with the humans, so perhaps his attempt to deceive are painful to him. :)
That's a pretty awesome calling, I must say. I expect your kids love this stuff, even if they won't show you that they do.
They are beginning to appreciate it more. My middle son and I just got through the second chapter of The High King tonight, and little girl wants to start over with The Book of Three because she has begun to take interest in this comic. I have renewed hope.
Oldest boy, named obliquely for the protagonist, still takes as much interest as he does in any work of fiction: zero. Heartbreaking, but I've come to accept it. He's very like his namesake and I can only hope he grows up as well.
Hi! Long-time lurker here. I first discovered the Chronicles of Prydain at the age of 21, through the Disney movie. I think I saw Eilonwy on a list of "unofficial Disney princesses" and wondered why I'd never heard of her before. That led me to the movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed, then I read the books which completely blew the movie out of the water and became my favorite book series. Taran Wanderer in particular spoke to me on a personal level. At the time I was halfway through college and had no idea what my life would look like after graduation. Taran's journey to discover who he is resonated with me as I questioned who I would become, and the answer he found was exactly what I needed to hear.
I've been following this comic series for a long time (since before Eilonwy's chapter, at least) and absolutely loved every page, but never took the time to comment. It's time I remedied that.
Recently I had an urge to reread the series for the third time, and while going through The Book of Three I alternated between reading a chapter of the book and a chapter of your comic. Having followed the comic with the long waits between pages, going through it all at once gave a somewhat different experience, as I didn't feel a loss of momentum between pages. (As a modern day Eilonwy might say, it was like marathoning a movie series when you've only seen each movie upon its theatrical release.) It also highlighted the changes you made from the original text, most of which I'd say enhance Lloyd's original work. Comparing your comic to the book gave me a new appreciation for just how much passion you've put into this project.
I just finished rereading The Book of Three today, and found myself with the last few chapters imagining how you would depict those scenes in comic form. And much to my surprise, just after I finish I find a new page has been uploaded!
I love the sequence depicting the Fair Folk's rescue of Hen Wen. Creepy zombie-like hands emerging from the ground to "make short work of" Hen Wen's pursuers isn't something I ever considered, but it makes me think twice about messing with the fae! The companions' expressions are also priceless. Eiddileg's been caught red-handed! It's been said many times before by other commenters, but the expressions you give these characters are always top-notch. Keep up the great work, and stay safe!
Oh I'm SO glad you came out of the shadows! What a great origin story. :) And I love hearing how the comic enhanced the reading experience and vice-versa. This is how a good adaptation should work.
Messing with fae is a bad idea no matter what world you're in, but I admit, my notions of what sort of creatures might inhabit this realm are taken far more from traditional folklore than Lloyd's softer, kinder version. I have recently felt vindicated though, during a re-read of Taran Wanderer, by a few lines Doli drops that hint about how powerful they really are. It makes sense to me that there might be several "species" so to speak, in the dangerous category - like whatever these are; something carnivorous with a taste for humans normally kept in check by Eiddileg - unless he has a reason to let them have their way.
And expressions, goodness, yes. I love them. I'm so happy my readers do as well.
C. J. Cherryh's stories of old Rus (Chernevog is grimly satisfying) have very interesting takes on fae that fit with those here, but they're more prone to depressing endings or driving one mad. Of course, so are her tales of many of an actual Celtic outcast in a tartan, so maybe most of that is just her and her background in the grim world of teaching Latin at an all-girls school early in her professional life.
Vodniky and Baba Yaga, despite modern fun versions, are terrifying, whereas domovoi and such are merely alarming. That Krampus stuff is heavily influenced by all us Slavs, and in turn, everyone from Iceland to Central Asia has a lot of Celtic sadness within, often without the alleviating silliness.
All true. Something about living in the cold and dark northern realms really had its effect upon the collective psyche, didn't it? There's just a dangerous and dark edge to almost everything.
Yay, another post! There’s been so much good discussion over in the FB group that I almost forgot about the comments here :). This is really good. Love T and E uniting to lay down some truths to a king, and the scene of the fair folks taking out henchmen is perfect.
It's been pure delight over there for sure! Who knew there were so many people just waiting for the chance to chat? I've been thrilled. But so glad the folks over here are so responsive.
Where is the FB page? Maybe I will go lurk over there for a while. :-)
Look for Prydain Fans United. :)
Not dead, just lurking.
Lurk away. :) Just stay healthy while you do it.
Bahaha Taran's deadpan in that second to bottom panel. ? And Eilonwy's adorable little eyebrow arch... I can't handle her!
Nobody can. ;) That eyebrow is everything and he’s going to know what it means for years to come.
Update! Whoehoe! Thank you!
Eidileg definitely feels pushed in a corner...
It almost feel like the fae and the companions speak two different languages and try to communicate.
At home we speak English. Me translated from Dutch and my partner translated from Japanese. Normaly goes wel, but at some moments we just don't understand each other, even after beong a long time together. It is funny, and we developed a little 'radar' for it to avoid becoming angry and just try to explain each other with lots of 'aha!'.
Good to see you are still continue, I am sure you make a lot of people very happy, especialy now. Thanks!
Good to hear from you! Wow, that sounds like an interesting partnership! Congrats for making it work - communication is so important and you have to work extra hard at it, wow.
Yay! I get so excited for a new page! I love their cranky expressions in this one.
Lol yes they are all pretty cranky!
Glad to see an update! This whole seen frustrated me as a kid when I was reading it. It felt like conversations I had with my parents. They just didn't understand. At the same time it is interesting to me how Alexander weaves in some of the traditional elements from the legends of dealing with the fae. As a mortal you never get a straight answer, you're pretty much always on your back foot, and nothing is ever as it appears. Of course this is all lightened up here because otherwise when they popped back up on the surface three hundred years might have passed or they aged so fast they turned to dust. LOL.
That whole time discrepancy is absolutely in my mind! I always wonder if they actually lose more time in here than it appears.
Kudos as well as thanks for this beautiful page, Saeriellyn!
Everyone stay safe (and positive)! :)
So glad you checked in!
For starters as my commentary--those facial expressions!! Man, you nailed them:
Fflewddur's sad, somewhat scornful, somewhat confused, almost pitying mien. (He knows the responsibilities of a king. He's felt confined by them. He's fled them. But he's never outright flaunted them or been so "sharp" as he succinctly puts it: "Sharp, even for a king.")
Taran's barely contained wrath, the tension you can see in his mouth, neck, and shoulders.
E's pure, haughty skepticism.
(Also, in the first panel, Gurgi jumping around like an excited dog, and Eiddileg's awkward "Eh. . . heh. . .")
Another little detail I love (man, you pack 'em in there) is the hint of blood on the ground and on the ax in panel 5, when the Horned King's lack is being sucked into the earth and moss. Giving just a whiff of the violence and danger that the Fair Folk actually represent. It's not all glittery caves and bismuth thrones, nor dancing in rings and wearing silly hats, people.
Wow, you don't miss anything!
I noticed that too, but it's a great subtle detail!
Ahhhh, man, you’re all like drugs. The dopamine hits just keep coming. You see everything. Thank you!
Eiddileg’s little nervous cough in panel one was even funnier as I was working - I kept switching the direction of his eyes because I couldn’t decide which way I liked them, and toggling back and forth from one to the other resulted in a hilarious bit of animation. If you hunt up my Instagram or Facebook page, you can see how it turned out. I’ll see if I can link one.
Here it is.
I saw that on the Facebook page today...yep it’s hilarious! :-D
Not dead. Still here. Loving how united the companions are in their disapproval despite how powerful Eiddileg has shown himself to be. "Okay, sure, you can freeze us with your brain or lock us away for centuries, but we still think you're a jerk, and we'll say so."
And Eiddileg just *pouting* about it. Honestly, Taran's just lucky it is Eiddileg this time instead of one of the characters later on who don't respect moral authority and a code of honor.
I think they’re genuinely surprised that he could be that petty. It’s a weird thing for someone that powerful.
Or....it should be. *sits on hands to avoid typing ugly political comments*
Yay, another page! In all the nuttiness that is going on right now, and the forced social separation, it's nice to have some things (on the internet, largely) still doing what they can to be normal and stable and not make me feel so cut off from everything. I could easily be a hermit, honestly, but it would be very boring without things like the webcomics I follow updating to give me things to look forward to. :)
LOVE all the facial expressions on this page, and the imagining of what "our own methods" for dealing with humans are.
The hermiting isn't as difficult for me, but having to school three kids and trade art time with my husband is tough. And he's now about to be out of a job, so that's tougher. Art is my escape and it keeps me sane, so I won't and can't stop, but I don't know what it's going to look like over the next few months. Thanks for being here. :)
I’m very sorry to hear that about your husband. So Disney is laying him off? Is the job loss due to the coronavirus?
It's a furlough, not a layoff - for now. We will have no income as of the 18th. The hope is that it's temporary, but with park opening pushed out indefinitely due to Covid, the future of his position and that of every other Disney employee is a big unknown.
I don't know exactly what we are going to do, to be honest. We pull in a little through sales of other types of artwork, and I get the occasional freelance gig. I am thinking about launching a patreon account for support also. Every little bit helps, but of course the entire world is in the same boat as we are and very few people have money to spend on non-essentials.
Again I’m very sorry and I hope it’s temporary. If you do set up some kind of account, please let me know how I can contribute - and anything else I can do to help. What Disney SHOULD be doing is hiring you as creative director for a Prydain movie...sigh.
I'm so sorry to hear that!!
That is the worry i have for us - we are lucky to get at least some support money, and the government really tries to support what is possible, and still compa ies will fall (imagine to have a bar now). I would put definitely put a message out to your fans when needed money - we all love your art and maybe can do something back when needed.
That's right. The company under the banner of the White Pig has to stick together!
True! Although i was meaning the US, not us. That was a nasty spelling mistake besides hitting the post button twice -again-
But it is true even if the banner gets as weary as it became, and never mind the eye color.
Still here. Don't know how long it will be until I strangle my husband and end up in jail, though. Thankfully the weather is improving. Having 2 teachers at home, one has ADHD and talks a lot and needs to learn to use a headset when he has online meetings... The issue we have here is my daughter is a senior on high school. Every single thing she was planning on (her school's first comicon, her 2 year research presentation, prom, the senior concert, graduation) all cancelled. The tears are on daily.
I can imagine. My kids are all young enough that they have easily transferred their social lives to daily minecraft sessions with their friends, and the nearly unrestricted "screen time" in comparison to their usual allotment has them too giddy to complain. We aren't stir-crazy yet; we are healthy and comfortable and during the day I can almost pretend we're on a nice staycation. But with no end in sight, and income ending in two weeks, my views on it at 3 a.m. are very different than they are at 3 p.m.
Oh, you don't know how happy this update made me! I was sitting here this morning with massive writer's block and feeling like I want to jump out of my skin, and then POP -- here I find a lovely new page to distract me (in a good way).
I like how you cut to actual scenes of Hen Wen's own adventure to break up the Eiddileg panels. And as for Eiddileg himself, you make him look so perfectly, maddeningly pouty. It brings his dialogue to life wonderfully.
I am all too willing to distract, even when I should be working on more lucrative things. I can only draw coloring books for so long.
The Hen Wen scenes were an afterthought, but I'm glad they worked. It was nice to get out of this throne room, even if just for three panels!
Taran, UR FACE
Felt like now was a good time to poke my head in the door and let you know we're not dead, we've been following your comic for nearly a year, and loving it all! Thanks for your wonderful hard work and endurance; we need our stories now more than ever.
Oh hooray! More secret admirers! Thank you so much for continuing to check in!
I really like the way you designed this page with the 3 Hen Wen panels in the middle of the page to give us a visual break from the argument between Eidilegg and our heroes.
I'm sorry to hear about your husband's job. I hope it's a very short layoff. These are tough times.
Yeah it was nice to pull back from the throne room for a while.
Thanks - it's nerve-wracking for sure but such is life when you are in a non-essential business. I always used to joke that when the apocalypse happened we were screwed because we have no practical skills. Not so funny now.
If it helps, I think you have phenomenal skills...both as an artist and writer, which are the envy of most of the people on this site, and that most people with "practical skills" (like me) could never even approach. I can barely draw a straight line with a ruler, or write an intelligible paragraph. And this crisis won't last forever, although it sometimes seems that way.
I will admit, there is a part of me that is trying to believe a permanent separation from Disney could ultimately be a good thing. I've never liked living in FL, but his skillset is so specific (there's not a lot of places a guy who cannot even sew a button on can make a good living as a costume designer for 30 years) that it's difficult to transfer. And for various other reasons we have valued the stability of being employed by a large company over the questionable "adventure" of venturing out on our own. My gypsy soul wants to take the family and take a camper around the world, sleeping in hostels and travel-blogging, while my practical side interferes with thoughts about health insurance and college savings. But we may be forced to be adventurous after all. It's too damn bad the UK has made it so hard to emigrate there. I'd pack everyone to Wales in a heartbeat.
Whatever form your future dreams take, and wherever they take you, I think you have the capability to make that all happen. When in doubt about decisions, I try to be more level headed than I used to be, and ask myself, "What would Jesus do?" or even sometimes, "What would Taran do? Or in your case maybe, "What would Eilonwy do?" All I know is, this is not a fantasy, it is the struggle of our time, it's a war, we are all who we are and where we are, right now. People we know and love are not going to survive. Other people are going to try to take advantage of the chaos, and feather their own nests, or solidify their own power, and maybe even change our country in permanent and detrimental ways. We all need to do our part, however we can. And when your grandkids ask you, "Grandma, what did you do during the Great Epidemic of 2020? Maybe to provide support and comfort to others?" I think you will have a lot to show them.
I always pictured Gurgi as a little more bushy. I like how you're sticking to the story more than others do when making images or such. I'm an artist myself of sorts. I've always said that their should have been music with lyrics to them since the Disney movie came out. I've been trying my hand at that to make it come to life but some of the scores are a tough challenge. What do you think?
I think all creativity should be encouraged if it is true to the high ideals Alexander espoused in the books! Funnily enough I was just thinking in the last couple days about how fun it would be to write a musical number or two about Prydain - though in my mind the songs taking shape were parodies.
Now that you mention it - I happened to listen to "A Garland of Song" by "The Owl Service" on my car radio yesterday and thought they would nicely emphasise the atmosphere of Prydain.
Incidentally, the band has taken its name from a fantasy novel by Alan Garner.
This exactly illustrates my point I raised in the comment to the previous panel: Taran and Eilonwy teaming up shoulder to shoulder! And the girl assumes that inviting posture again that we have first seen on p. 156 frame 4. She would even go out of her way to support Taran in the matter of Hen Wen that so far did not seem to have been much of a concern for her - assistant pig-keepers' matters, you know. I wonder whether Fflewddur would later contemplate in a silent night at the campfire how profoundly "his" children had improved at that point since all the lashings and slashings at their first meeting outside Spiral Castle.
This raise of the brow ... She may be mimicking Achren without being aware of it?