I haven't ever giggled so much while working on a page. Eiddileg in a full-on fairy meltdown is such a scene-stealer that I feel it necessary to point out that TARAN JUST HAD HIS MOMENT OF NOBLE ELOQUENCE for all you of so little faith that were so impatient about it. Now he's not only responding in a way that makes for a more climactic narrative, he's displaying a surprising amount of innate understanding on dealing with an adversary (or a tantruming toddler) with a grievance - get on their level and validate before you try to talk sense to them. He does this many times over the course of the series, come to think of it.
Someone needs a timeout. And maybe switch to decaf.
Prozac maybe. ?
Yes! Comic symbols in the dialogue! Love the over-emotional ring throwing panel, can't help to think back to the time I worked for the National Opera... Thanks, your work is a little light in the current situation.
I’m trying. ? Hope you are feeling better, friend!
The last frame is out of proportion. If you go by the floor pattern, then Eiddileg's hand is less than a length of Taran's upper thigh distant from Taran's knee; but in that case he is way too large. The relation of his body size to that of the others suggests that he is much closer to the viewer than the floor permits. Either that or his wrath has literally inflated him.
On the second frame, is there the red-haired guard missing who is still present on the final frame?
Sorry for the criticism. For the positive: The faces are priceless. Fflewddur looks like he wishes he had enough hands to stoop the ears of all minors present at once. Taran is appropriately embarrassed, and Eilonwy ... she probably knows Eddileg's entire vocabulary from Achren and has always endured her talking-in-hieroglyphs with the same stoic face.
The red-headed guard is hidden behind Eiddileg in panel 2; you can see his boot just beneath.
The last frame is forced perspective with a very close-up shot of Eiddileg, and while there may be some fudging and imperfections of proportions and positions, the bottom line is I can get these done in a reasonable amount of time, or not. Perfecting every detail would require that I pose people of the right size and shape and photograph them from multiple angles. I don’t have the resources for that, nor am I going to go back and make major changes to a finished page, so criticism this stark is not, I’ll be honest, terribly helpful, as it would not be an easy thing to fix. I’m aware my work has plenty of flaws, and sometimes I even go back and change the worst of them (like my overpaint of every page of chapter one, at this point) but getting such critique within an hour of posting the page is a kind of tough pill to swallow.
As for their reactions, yes, that was the fun part. I’m sure Eiddileg’s got nothing on Achren when she’s wound up. ?
Ah, yes, I see that boot when I enlarge the image.
Well, sorry, usually I don't comment on such details but in the final frame it is very much striking the eye. I had hoped this might be easy to amend, perhaps that just a layer had unintentionally been switched off during export that would have visually increased the distance by placing Eiddileg on a different foreground.
BTW, we have now the proof that the crystals are not growing out of his head. *LOL*
Orrrr maybe he ejects them when he’s angry and grows new ones! Lol I have not decided.
I’m sure I seem too thin-skinned about fair critique. Posting a new page is like showing off a new baby, and I was not prepared to have it picked apart so soon. But this is a public gallery and people are allowed their reactions. I’d be a poor artist if I only accepted praise.
"Picked apart"? Nay, that was not my intention. Just this one was so striking that I sat a while there and pondered what might have gone wrong here. Could have been a minor oversight, that's why I tried to be helpful.
BTW, Gurgi is really impressed with the king, isn't he? Must have performed quite a leap when Taran stepped forth and he suddenly lost his cover to hide so quickly behind Fflewddur. `:-)
I’m sure it wasn’t your intention. It was just my emotional reaction. It’s been a tough weekend, and I may be more sensitive than usual.
And Gurgi, yes - he jumped back there when Eiddileg started flinging jewelry. Can’t be too careful!
When you are creative, you need to acquire a fur as thick as Gurgi's. You know what happened to me once? I wrote a 12-page short story as a contest entry, and my wife read it and said, "That's pure crap, start again from scratch!" - Uh, what?
That's when you marry a red-haired girl! I obeyed with clenched teeth and began anew, same motive, totally different plot. So different that you cannot call it a new version. To my relief, she approved of this story at last.
The worst thing about it is that it also won the contest.
Always listen to the red-headed girl. :D
She has taken her chances to rub it in ever since.
Tricks like this are very common in comics. False perspective, exaggerated poses, frames cleared up by removing objects, action sequences that would be impossible if every intermediate position was shown, thirty second dialogues accompanying a single punch, etc. It's one advantage comics have over movies.
I think this looks great. Eiddileg is just where he should be to tell the story of the scene.
Full-bodied tantrum gets full marks from this judge. [Holds up placard with 10 printed on it] He really brought it home by going boneless and catatonic at the end. That's going to be tough to beat in the finals. =D
My kids could give him a run for his money. At least, as of a few years ago. We are mostly past this now. ?
Well I turn my back for a moment and what do you do. You really pulled it off! I never doubted you would for an instant, I had plenty of faith! ;-) And I agree Taran's speech coming at this point is as effective, if not more so, than the original.
Yes Eiddileg is hilarious, and all the expressions are excellent. I especially like Gurgi's expression hiding behind Fflewddur in the last panel! I think of all the Gurgi versions out there (canine vs. primate etc.) , this is the best for my taste. He is so cute.
All questions of perspective aside, I think this is one of the best and definitely one of the most humorous pages in the Fair Folk realm, and maybe in the series. From my perspective. ;-)
Thank you Sky. ☺️ This page was a delight. I feel like I’ve hit a new stride with the scenes in the Fair Folk realm and it’s been especially rewarding to grab so many new readers in the last several months. I appreciate your encouragement.
I'm finally caught up! Thank you, author, for bringing this beautiful story to life!
I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! Thank you for being a faithful reader!
You know I love Taran and will defend him from all sorts of point-missing criticism, but here the best part of this page is Eilonwy just being like, "What am I even looking at? This goober supposed to be a KING?" while Taran and Fflewddur look uncomfortable with the meltdown.
I think Eilonwy, having witnessed Achren’s tirades, is just like “psh. Amateur.”
I mean, no heads are rolling and no one is being fed to the ravens? Pssshh. Total bluff.
I wonder whether she dared to speak to Achren like she spoke to Eiddileg. Quite probably she did - only that with Achren, at least the table dish would fly at the walls while Eiddileg only has some minor rings to shed.
Poor Taran looks meanwhile like he had the horrifying vision Eilonwy would behave like that at Caer Dathyl ... /gr/
At least Eilonwy was able to bite Achren!
I imagine she did, though the consequences would have been more severe than flying dishware.
I too laughed a ton while reading this!! I love the facial expressions of the three other fair folk attendants up at the top. Like they’re thinking that the humans might be on to something regarding their leader....
Love seeing all of these pages continue to roll in. Certainly a welcome distraction for everyone right now...
Idk about all of them but that red headed guy certainly seems to have his King’s number. ?
* Clue drop for those paying attention! *
I was busting out laughing at this page. The ring throwing was a genius touch, and the expressions you depicted were as top-notch as always.
I love how Eiddileg's literally falling off of his throne. His little meltdown here is so melodramatic I half wonder if he's intentionally putting on an act as part of that fae trickery, although it really seems they touched a nerve here. I especially love that panel. One might almost think Eiddileg was slain in battle but he was defeated by his own tantrum.
Also, expressions. Taran and Fflewddur are shocked at the king's tantrum, while Eilonwy just seems to be waiting for him to stop muttering nonsensical gibberish. Although I love Taran's expression in that next to last panel, where Eiddileg's words, in spite of the melodramatic delivery, really hit home. Fflewddur and Eilonwy really seem shocked that Taran's having such a calm, respectful, and mature response to an angry dwarf. Even Gurgi, though cowering from the king, still peeks out in surprise at Taran's speech. Really great placement for that speech, by the way. It's been a few weeks now since I read that scene in the book so it's not as fresh in my mind, but I'd say it was worth the wait.
I don't think Eiddileg is pretending. He is used to humans being scared by his airs and graces, and here comes one who feels right on home territory and tells him off in front of his own court, Little-Achren style - he might just see his entire carefully hosted choreography falter.
I wonder whether Eiddileg has ever made personal acquaintance with Achren. Perhaps he recognised all this, that unwavering posture, the stone-cold face, the wording ... There are two of them? Yikes!
I personally think Eiddileg has some personal experience with Eilonwy's ancestry, and holds her in both high regard and a tiny bit of intimidation, because he knows what she is capable of - if she actually knew how to harness her power. But he was on good terms with the House of Llyr, overall.
Good question on whether he knows much about Achren. It's likely the FF have encountered her at some point in her long life.
I think Eiddileg is in control. He permits himself a wider range of expression than is typical for other political leaders, but that doesn't mean he can't turn it on and turn it off and that it doesn't reflect his choices. You can see that on the next page, where he isn't going to perform for Doli the way he does for the visitors.
I am here, witnessing Taran give his speech. ?
Having him extend the olive branch after Eiddileg's meltdown IS a bit of an upgrade from the verbatim progression of the scene.
The contrast here is pretty stark, actually. Eiddileg takes insult at a just reproach and throws a tantrum about it. Taran moves to make peace with grace, poise, dignity, and eloquence, turning the conversation neatly back to the bigger issue in the process. It's far more aplomb than he's shown previously, and in this moment, he looks much kinglier than Eiddileg.
Of course, with Eiddileg, appearances aren't necessarily reality. Though I thought the appearances were cool too.
As far as doubts go, consider me as one of the companions in this very scene. I will hold you to the highest standards of storytelling (not as qualified to judge on artistry, though I hope you know I love and believe in your work), because I know you're capable of keeping to those high standards. You have brought me near tears with your writing before, and I am an emotionless robot. You have a deep, considered grasp of character and nuance, and I've been spoiled to expect it. I don't doubt you. I want to see your best all the time, because it's amazing.
Full disclaimer! When I originally excised this line of Taran's, I did so without any real thought of inclusion later. It seemed, at the time, just a way to streamline dialog, and I had not yet pushed my plans for how to arrange this scene into the next chapter. It was your pointing out of how important it is for him that made me rethink it, and prompted me to write out all the rest of the scene to get it back in at a place that made sense. The solution wound up, as you note, being even more effective than the original (at least for this format; I do not claim to know "better than the author" about the books themselves, but as a visual narrative this seemed to bring the scene to a more natural climactic curve). So thank you, for always being thoughtful and giving me such great feedback; I do often listen and adjust my plans for future pages based on reader opinion.
My mild snark above has more to do with the fact that the topic got brought up three or four more times, by others, in the interim, after I had already publicly stated I was going to address the issue and I got a little exasperated about that, though mostly just amused. XD Hopefully everyone finds this solution equally satisfying.
Your praise is hardly won and thus all the more meaningful. Thank you so much for your support over the years, encouragement always tempered with honesty and tact. I appreciate you, my friend.
God bless us all.
Thanks for the cheers that this page brought, Saeriellyn: both the LOL cheers at Eiddileg's temper tantrum (too bad the companions didn't find it as funny) and the YAY cheers at Taran's . . . "Taran-ness".
Always my pleasure, love. Keep on keeping on!
The guards' reactions were awesome.
Also Achren had a reason never to hurt our heroine, so she's perhaps a bit too jaded by his majesty's impotent wrath. I suppose Achren never had the wit to get our lady a friend whom she could threaten.
Yeah, that's a scary thought. It could have changed a lot of things. Maybe Achren was vain enough to think that Eilonwy actually liked or respected her.
I think Achren hurt Eilonwy fairly regularly. She’s very nonchalant about getting a whipping in her conversation with Taran in his cell. The fact that she’s still rebel enough to fight back (the biting) indicates that it hasn’t been cruel enough to break her, and that she’s growing bolder the older she grows. Achren has too many plans for her to injure her permanently, but in my mind there’s been a fair amount of at least mild to moderate abuse.
Any kind of friend would have meant a risk to have Eilonwy turn away from her as her only available social contact. Apparently she had not even a closer acquintance among the henchmen (not cauldron-born)!
But there is this matter about the pets that would not stay with Achren. Maybe she got one for Eilonwy to be abused that way, and Eilonwy slipped it out of her secret exit, too.
At any rate, she indicates that she has had a fair amount of beating and of crying. Achren's ultima ratio, however, was locking her up, which Eilonwy thwarted by means of her secret tunnels. Ultimately she suffered more neglect than abuse.
Oh wow. This may be your most spectacular page ever! Eiddileg's facial expressions remind me of my two year old sister when she does NOT get what she wants! (Sometimes, that is.)
And let me say, pertaining to the mild interchange above, that you are one of the most spectacular artists whose work I have been fortunate enough to see. I really like the power and vibrancy of a good comic, and your combines that with a nearly foreign level of wholesomeness and purity. Congratulations!
(Sorry if that came out a bit stilted. I tend to write too fast when I get excited.)
That’s very kind. I myself find plenty of things I want to change in nearly every page! But that’s just part of the process. I love that so many folks are loving this. ?
Am I the only one who sort of feels badly for all of them right now, even though I'm enjoying Eiddileg's antics? That's the kind of powerful emotion this story, and your art, conveys to me. That Taran is able to put the dire situation overall into such soft language with grace, particularly without any apparent training related to diplomacy (who knows how fantastic of an educator Dalben was with just reading and writing?), just underlines his overall fitness for his eventual service as High King. That kind of greatness can be tempered and refined, but it can never be learned, it is innate.
True leadership is a funny thing sometimes, and often unrecognized when it's not polished and 'proper' like so many of us want it to be, but even Eiddileg, with his bombastic personality, shows why he is king even while appearing a knave.
All true! and yes it is fair to sympathize with them all here. He's not making it easy for them, but Taran is, as always, rising to the occasion.
Eiddileg's tantrum is hilarious. I especially like the "ring fling" in Panel 4. And Taran gets his moment too. Nicely done!
I'd love to play in After Effects and make those flying rings actually move. :D There's so much I'd do if I had the time!
Those crystals popping off of Eiddeleg's head is a priceless image.
I'm so glad I found a chance to catch up. Your pages and interpretation are, as always, a joy.
I'm so glad, too! Good to hear from you again! :)
The guards’ expressions, Eiddileg’s over-the-top flailing, bold and clever Gurgi hiding with that perfect concerned puppy look... you really went above and beyond with this one! I’ve been incredibly impressed with all your Fair Folk settings and characters as Alexander doesn’t give a ton of description. As a kid I pictured caves but not a true realm, which of course it would be. The sense of the companions’ growing closeness conveyed without words is lovely as well. Your work always makes me feel like I’m completely in canon, just with more detail, and who wouldn’t want to spend more time in this world?
I couldn’t help reading some comments and would just like to say that as an artist myself I’m amazed by the amount of work that would have to go into each page, especially with such dynamic poses and expressions and non-human characters to boot. A sense of feeling is much more important than perfect perspective or lighting, and as far as those things go, I think you’re doing a marvelous job anyway. Thank you for being a bright spot in these wild times!
Thank you so much! I'm happy you are enjoying it!
It is indeed a lot of work, but I'm grateful for the way my skills have been challenged and pushed throughout this process. Having this as a passion project has given me the confidence and ability to net paying illustration jobs, which I always wanted to do. I look back at pages I did five years ago and am horrified, but the progression of my artistic evolution is evident for all to see, and I hope it's encouraging to others.
The red headed guard looks like he's seen this before, and already knows exactly who is going to have to deal with the sulky aftermath.
Eiddileg reminds me a little of a famous movie meltdown of another blue-eyed tyrant, played by Bruno Ganz...
Re: The guard, yeah you got that right!
Re: The tyrant, I'd much prefer to be at the mercy of this one.
Sure that's not a racist statement? :)
After all, he was the only guard who stayed while the others were wise enough to look for cover.
Ha ha ha ha