For the purists among us, yes, I've gone out on a creative limb here.
Number one, it's a little too soon for this scene, which technically happens the next day, after the companions have another spat with Doli and he sulks all night. Number two, Taran doesn't have this conversation with Eilonwy; he just silently admires the mountains and determines in his own mind to climb the Eagle one day.
The moment is a beautifully symbolic bit of foreshadowing of the height he ascends by the series end, and given that he doesn't do that alone, those of you who know the ending will, I hope, appreciate my adaptive license here, or at least forgive me a self-indulgent moment of Taran/Eilonwy connection. Because this is also the healing counterpoint to every scene so far in which one of them has snapped at the other and stomped off down a hillside. So you see, I satisfied multiple literary devices. ;) Along with my own desire to take a break from drawing multiple panels with five people and two animals, which is getting really tiresome.
As for the chronology, I'm just condensing the Doli stuff by moving his next outburst to the evening in camp. It made things more efficient, along with keeping the setting for this scene during sunset, which you all should know by now is always my go-to for dramatic lighting.
Just gorgeous. There is just something glorious about the bright afternoon sunlight, the movement, and the power of the scene. The look of longing on Taran's face, the moment their eyes meet, and the shared emotion. And the look on his face as she walks away..."This is the girl I want to be with for the rest of my life."
Lol I’m not sure he’s quite there yet! My intention was more of a “wait, she’s being nice to me? Ok, that’s...oh, that’s very pleasant actually.”
But maybe you see the subconscious shining through, and I certainly cannot fault you there.
Subconscious? Maybe. I think there are a few moments when you meet a person that stun you, that floor you, that show you what the future could be..and this is one for him.
Welcome back! That's a beautiful moment. And Hen Wen's knowing face there at the end. XD
I was just waiting for somebody to notice that grin of hers, haha.
Anyway it's a lovely scene, and in the spirit of LA, if you compare this with Medwyn's Valley. Taran is just stunned that for once, they have something in common.
Why is there smoke issuing from the Eagle? Has Smaug switched residences? *gr*
Yes I think it's a shock for him!
Those are clouds.
It's beautiful and I totally understand what you're aiming at. However, I'm a bit confused about the direction they're walking in. They have travelled past the Eagle Mountain? So they've seen it all the time and it's now behind them but Taran only NOW realizes why Gwydion loves his homeland?
Remember, most of the way through the mountains they were underground in the Fair Folk realm.
Taran has been admiring the landscape all along, of course, but he just didn't say it until now. On any journey through mountains, there's moments where some bit of scenery gradually becomes clear and breathtaking, and this is one of those moments.
Personally, I think taking some creative license here was justified, and the end result is lovely. I don’t think a mere thought bubble or two would have had the same heft — just not as much time to stretch out the moment, and thereby convey the landscape’s grandeur and the awe Taran feels for it. Using it as a small moment of connection between Taran and Eilonwy is also a smart move. Over the course of this adventure, they must have been developing some sense of closeness / companionship, for all their outward bickering, but that isn’t conveyed much in the book until the very end. Adding a moment like this helps to show that bond forming gradually.
Visually, this is as good as always. I continually marvel at your skill with both lighting and conveying subtle shifts in facial expression and emotion. Even Hen Wen has personality, here — that’s quite a satisfied smile she’s got in the last panel. So perfect!
I almost added a little chuckle/grunt from Hen in the last panel, but ultimately decided that grin was enough. Pretty sure that prophetic spirit of hers already knows what's up. ;)
Yep. She's thinking, "You'll thank me later for running away, T. Trust me."
I wanted to add also, that the look Eilonwy gives Taran in the third panel is just knockout stunning. It may be my favorite look from her so far in this series.
I'm also loving the artful way you portrayed "The Sleeping Eagle" in the mountain. So much to enjoy on this page! I see more every time I look at it.
The mountain is modeled directly off of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - the highest peak in Wales. :) Thought I might as well stick with the authentic source - though the landscape toward the bottom was my own addition.
Well, there's practically nothing I can say that hasn't already been pointed out...but this page really is spectacular. In a quiet way, like how your everyday surroundings can be if you just step back and look at them for a moment.
Absolutely loving the play of expressions here. You're the best!
Thank you kindly! After all the traveling, I was ready for a quiet page.
I like it! Particularly the for-once-unqualified smile we see from Taran.
It is nice to see, isn’t it?
Eilonwy: "I'm yours."
Deer in headlights!
No need to apologize for T&E connection.
I didn't think so!
Somewhere in the back of her mind, she's thinking, "It's a date, then" or whatever the Prydainian equivalent of that is. And it looks to me like she's thinking, "Let him parse that one out a bit," as she walks away confidently.
I just watched Treasure Planet with my kids this weekend, and I really appreciated how closely they stuck to the original story, as well as when they felt free to depart from the text to make the movie better.
You understand the visual medium, and by this point I trust you not to fall into sappy self-indulgence, even as you "fill in the gaps" left by Lloyd Alexander, especially in T&E's developing relationship.
Everyone's already commented on the beauty of this page, but I wanted to point out the wonderful contrast between all the Hollywood-beautiful panels and Doli's determinedly-sour expression at the bottom of panel 2. If he's impressed by any beauty, he doesn't let it reach his face!
Ahh Treasure Planet is such an underappreciated delight! I may be biased by my notion that the character design for Jim is more or less how I think they should have designed Taran, but I also have a real soft spot for Emma Thompson’s glass-sharp Captain Smollet.
I most certainly WILL fall into sappy self-indulgence, how dare you suggest otherwise. And I will drag you all down with me. Muahaha.
I am 1000% in favor of creative license, especially when adapting to a new medium. (My sister talks about it being "respecting the heart of the story" when she discusses someone adapting her work.)
I've always said that in any remake/adaptation of Prydain I want to see Eilonwy's story more central. I get the books are close in on Taran so we don't see it but there is just no reason to limit that. Seeing them grow to each other rather than she be this mysterious force that he can't understand is much more satisfying if you aren't doing it in straight prose where we basically stay in Taran's head. The moment we are external you have to show all the things he is probably missing because... Well... He is an Assistant Pig Keeper and you know that they are like. ;-)
Thanks for still taking this up. I kind of lost track of it during all the COVID nonsense and stumbling back upon it and seeing it as lovely as can be is delightful.
You have no idea how much I am looking forward to the poor wounded fledgling to come.
Omg I love everything about this comment. Thank you!
Sorry about the double post.
Feel free to delete.
(And I completely agree this works as an echo of all the stomps down the hillside and Taran has no idea how to react to them agreeing.)
No worries, happens all the time since the site got updated, even to me. I think the glitches are still being ironed out.
And yes he’s just totally gobsmacked here. She’s been going about this all wrong; at this point if she really wants to win an argument all she has to do is be sweet to him; he’ll be so stunned he won’t be able to come up with a retort for hours.
Hahaha! So true! My wife has already learned that lesson! :D
We women have innate talent at figuring out this trick. ;)
I LOVE this! The majesty of the mountain! The lighting! Hen wen's knowing grin! Taran's stunned silence! Fflewder's growing stubble [Thank you! I feel like I got my own personal shout-out]. And you already know how much I love the depth you add to Taran/Eilonwy, from all my comments over at FanFic. The foreshadowing is superb. From all of what I have read and seen of your work, I implicitly trust you with any and all Prydain stories; something I don't say lightly.
Stunning work! As always, I'm eager for more :)
More on the way!! The muse is singing in my ear! ...or maybe that’s all your reviews, idk. Thank you. :) :)
I can't really add anything that hasn't already been said. The scenery is spectacular. Taran's and Eilonwy's expressions are incredibly well done, and I think anytime you have taken creative license in this series, it has been for the right reasons and has added more depth to the story.
Many thanks! It’s the action that drives the story but it’s moments like this that pull out its heart, I think, and those are my favorites. :)
Wow, beautiful! I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said, but I just love every part of this. It's nice to have a more intimate scene with just the two of them rather than the whole group, as well as them actually getting along for once, as a break from the travelling and getting annoyed at each other and at Doli.
Lol that’s true, a break from everyone being crabby is an additional perk here.
Ah, the fresh air does the companions good (except for Doli). Hen-Wen must be the happiest pig in the universe!
She does look like a beautifully content creature doesn’t she?
Such faces! That includes one mighty fine swine.
In her way she’s as pretty as they are.
Just gorgeous! And oh, that glance!!
Taran doesn't realize it yet, but he's destined to be the luckiest man in all of Prydain.
I wish I were half as lucky as that Assistant Pig Keeper.
Edit: Because I as overly self-indulgent.
I think panels 3 and 7 are my favorite when it comes to Eilwony's facial expressions, but it was a difficult choice. Your art carries a painters touch that establishes a degree of realism that is pleasing to the eye, yet still light enough to make it feel otherworldly, almost as if you're reaching into the ether and showing us photos of Prydain as the story unfolds. And while I know that the writing is Alexander's, you add touches that bring us closer to the characters as full, well rounded people, without unnecessary deviation from the source material.
I can be a harsh critic sometimes when it comes to adaptations, and usually keep my peace because of it, but you are one of the very few I've seen who actually seems to understand how important the Chronicles of Prydain are to many of us who read it, how close it is to our hearts, and you don't just feed our nostalgia, you make it brighter, clearer, and more emotionally satisfying.
Thank you for caring, Saeriellyn. Your courage and thoughtfulness in sharing your labors with us is most appreciated, even if I can't keep up on a regular basis or comment as astutely or conversationally as others. Maybe I'll eventually have time to sit down and reread the books and offer as much for you to discuss, but until then, just know that at least one of your lurkers is eternally grateful.
Consider this a hearty and sincere "seconded!" from this quarter. I don't think I am as articulate as Thracecius here, but I share the sentiments completely!
Oh gosh I don’t know how I missed responding to this! I think I must have started to and got interrupted, and then it got buried behind others, I’m so sorry.
Thank you so much for your sweet words, this means so much to me. I’m sorry that my output has become so painfully slow, and I am so thankful for all you readers who put up with my inconsistencies and delays. It’s so heartwarming to get such positive responses and I wish I could create faster, for all our sakes. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing in my joy here. ❤️
You are most welcome, Saeriellyn. At the risk of sounding like I'm singing my own praises, I think it's fair to admit that I don't give you high praise lightly, you've --earned-- it in my estimation. When I come across art and writing that makes me feel as good as your adaptation has, I don't like to hold back, I want the artist/author to really understand how grateful I am that they brave the harshness of the internet to share their work. Maybe I'm overly sentimental, after all I can barely recall the stories after so long, but the feeling they left me with never dims, and when I see someone with your skills and talents shine a light on that heartwarming feeling, I think it's only fair to return the favor as best as I can manage in words.
Now, it's possible I am biased for various reasons, but those biases are part of who I am as a person, so if they are of a positive nature I don't see the harm in letting them influence me. When you're a lonely middle-aged guy, living vicariously through one of the best adventure, light romance, stories of your childhood is a life-sustaining exercise.
Enjoy your summer, Saeriellyn. I'll be returning to enjoy your creative efforts for as long as you keep going, no matter how long it takes. :)
I love this wonderful aside. I remember Taran thinking this in TBoT.
Exactly! I like to bring those thoughts into the open and avoid thought bubbles.
Ahh this is so beautiful! I love their soft expressions and smiles, and I really like how you chose to adapt this scene. Good thinking on all counts! And the lighting and colors are just perfect as always. It makes my day to see a new page go up, thank you for sharing your talent and hard hard work with us!
Thank you so much for sharing your encouragement!
Really beautiful, and I love how you show time passing between the scenes/pictures.
That’s a nice observation - the “time passing” can be a little hard to nail but it’s fun to experiment with what works to communicate that.
Once again, a brilliant piece of artistry! Keep it up!
The highpointer in me wants to climb that mountain as well. I look forward to the day I get to climb Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales.
It’s one of my goals as well.
Just checking in to see if everything is okay. Hope you’re doing well!
Very well, thank you! Just busy with summer activities and LOTS of writing projects!
Cool! Glad to hear that! We’re all sticking around, so no worries!
Great Artwork so far! Hopefully you can find the Joy to continue this through the first Novel at least! Appreciate the hard Work, Nicholas!!
And having lots of projects is a good thing.
Thank you for creating this beautiful adaptation. It’s wonderful to re-visit this story. ❤️❤️
I’m so glad you are enjoying it!