Lloyd calls all their advice to Doli "well-meaning", but Eilonwy's line has always struck me as particularly ill-timed. Besides how unhelpful it is to tell someone they are dumb for being upset about something, why would she specifically use a simile about someone's height when dealing with a grumpy dwarf? I think she's being deliberately insulting because she's so done with his drama. Not her best moment, but hey, we all have our arcs.
Oh the last panel is just STUNNING
Thank you, I do like how that came out!
Ouch, Taran's face in the second frame. I don't think I'd ever thought about it the way you have here, but now I think you're absolutely right. Putting the previous page together with this one, in which we go from Taran trying to reach out to Doli and it almost appears that they might reach some sort of detante — and then to have Eilonwy holler from the background like those two old Muppets in the theater or something — harsh!!
In other words, perfectly put together, as usual.
Omg a Muppets reference, you are my favorite now. Poor Taran, getting heckled like an inept Fozzie! He’s just as earnest and well-meaning, too!
Oh, and the last frame of the campfire and a silhouetted Doli alone on the hill — GORGEOUS!
I agree with your take, and Miss K's...yeah, E could have been a little more sensitive, and I never thought before about how she burst the little bubble Taran and Doli might have had going. But I'm sure she /meant/ it well. 😬 Love the sepia look of the last panel! It just emphasizes poor Doli's isolation so well. Great page!
Thank you! This scene was a fun one to expand.
Great interpretation of this scene! Thanks again!
Always a pleasure!
And this, from the princess who has invested so much diplomatic skill into dealing with Eiddileg. Be sure for her to kick someone's knee in the least appropriate moment.
She’s had it with fair folk.
Eiddileg is royalty. Our fellow is at best what Lewis's heroes would call a "DLF", or "Dear Little Friend". Our lass is in some ways warped by her upbringing to treat those of high rank better. Considering how she was raised after her abduction, that's not too bad.
This page is gorgeous. The lines of the faces, the lighting, everything. *chef's kiss*
I'll second everyone else's comments.
I took extra time. Glad it seems to have paid off. ;)
I'm afraid I thought those were Taran's words in the first panel, until I read your commentary. He's so foregrounded, and the balloon points toward his mouth. On looking again I can see Eilonwy's mouth is open, unlike his.
It does look confusing now that you mention it! I will fix that.
Clearer now, yes!
The last panel, as heretofore commented, is stunning.
For once, Flfewddur is not the most perceptive. Or maybe he is. Or maybe he's tired and lazy.
Whichever, thank you.
I think he’s just always trying so hard to comfort people he’s willing to stretch. After all, he also knows what it is to yearn for something beyond your reach.
Phew! That last frame took my breath away!
Funny how that was the one that took me the least amount of thought and work but that is everyone’s favorite! Lol
It's the buildup, from this and the last two comics, that makes it great. The pictures sell the story; the story sells the pictures.
I love the look you have Taran give Eilonwy in the second panel.
And, here, I know I’m just amusing myself, but the angry fire of Doli’s hair I almost see as contrasted with the comfortable fire around which the Companions are gathered in the last panel where he’s sitting all alone. Aaaand, the mirroring of Hen Wen looking at E and Doli looking at T. Like the oracular pig sees that Doli’s future and, in a way, Taran almost does too. Not really, but something to that effect. He sees deeper into the dwarf’s character than Eilonwy does, now.
Now I KNOW I’m just amusing myself, here!
Amuse away! I love when people take away something unique in their perspective. Art and literature are meant to be engaged at a deeper level and keep you thinking.
Wow...this is really beautiful. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but somehow it feels more...alive? Maybe something to do with the slightly different texture style, I don't know. Especially in the first two panels, it actually looks more like a real painting!
Also, gotta say I really like the look on Taran's face there in the second panel; FINALLY, he has something to be annoyed at Eilonwy for....bit of a role-reversal, eh?
And good old Fflam...never gets old and yeah, never gives up. Love it!
I did use a different method for the background just for kicks, and Taran’s face in the first two panels is a direct knockoff of a pro artist’s face I admire - so this one is a level I won’t be able to maintain but it was fun, haha.
I see...still blows me away. :)
Beautiful work as always, Saeriellyn. I think you've added definition to each of the characters' faces, which makes them look older than they did in previous pages, though perhaps it's just the change in shading technique? Not being an illustrator of any skill myself, particularly in the digital realm, I'm not exactly sure how to describe the changes, I just know that they are there in the recent few pages, partly by design, as you previously noted.
On the subject of Eilonwy's interjection, I think you're right that it was ill-timed and inconsiderate, but I also think she deserves a little slack, especially considering how she's been treated for most of her life. She doesn't know how to be comforting and supportive by her upbringing, she's only had glimpses of it and is still learning in the company of Fflewddur and Taran.
All of them are tired and stressed from the magnitude of the changes in their lives: Taran far from the safe home he knows and trying to lead a rag-tag group on an important mission, Fflewddur caring for two children, Gurgi and now a dwarf when he's used to being on his own most of the time, Gurgi trying to be helpful so he can stay with people who actually treat him well and feed him, Eilwony losing the only home she knows, terrible though her life there may have been, and Doli leaving the safety of home (exiled by his thoughts) to escort children and fools on a mission he doesn't care about. Given all of this, I think it's fair to say that they are all holding up remarkably well.
Thank you again for another wonderful page, your labors help salve a weary soul on a long journey toward a brighter future. The timing of your fan inspired work seems very apropos to the events that we are experiencing and I find it both encouraging and, if you'll pardon my odd sense of humor, somewhat amusing how easily it could be interpreted in a much larger context. ;)
I often wonder if anything I do has any appreciable impact on this weary world.
You make me believe it does, Thrace. In whatever tiny way.
Trust me, Saeriellyn, it's the little things in life that can have the greatest impact without us knowing it. A kind word, tiniest gesture of respect and caring, or even a smile, can make a person's day go from terrible to manageable. When I was younger I thought more like others, that I wanted to change the world and make it a better place, but my life experiences taught me that you can't force change, like so many believe, you have to encourage and nurture it in yourself and others, which is a much longer, much more arduous task.
Your art and storytelling do that for all of your readers.
You gently bring forth the masterwork of an author who is, by today's standards, relatively unknown, and share it with new generations who have no idea that there used to be literature written for young and old alike, that is thoughtful, fun and filled with examples of how to behave in the face of adversity, to suffer defeat with dignity and press on with courage. Especially for the youth of today, living in a world turned upside down from politically charged societal feedback from people who should know better, Lloyd Alexander's world comes to life in your art. Having read the Prydain Chronicles when I was a child (2nd or 3rd grade?), I may have forgotten the details, but I never forgot how it made me feel: hopeful, inspired and capable of being a hero like Taran, even in a small way. The story became an integral part of my being and reinforced the values that my parents taught me, values that help make me a decent human being.
I could ramble on even longer, but suffice to say, you, Saeriellyn, are a conduit for a work of fiction that inspires and teaches what it means to grow up and become someone that can be proud of themselves for who they are, not measured by some arbitrary measure of success like money or power, but by how well they treat others and behave responsibly. And that, my dear creative, is a fraction of the reason why I hold you in such high esteem. You matter. Your art matters. Your contribution may not land you on the front page of magazines and a highlight on the evening news, but you make a positive difference in the lives of all who discover your body of work, and that, is most certainly not something to take lightly.
Thrac your avatar is annoying but you do know how to turn a phrase. One I wholehearteldy endorse.
The avatar is very old and meant to represent a character that I created ages ago whose name I've usurped for an online handle, but I'm sorry it annoys you. It follows me around wherever I post and I think I set it up on a site called Gravatar? I'm not likely to change it, but I appreciate your feedback.
Oh, I certainly don't expect anyone to change an avatar on my account. It's just close enough to fitting the pseudo-Medieval atmosphere, but not quite, that I always notice the incongruity. Kind of an "Uncanny Valley" effect.
In all honesty, I have no idea where the portrait is from, it was in a pack of fan made avatars for the computer RPG Baldur's Gate and I adopted it for a character I had made for a story years before that. My guess is that it's from a fantasy novel book cover, but I don't know. I got sort of a Greco-Roman fantasized vibe from it, which fit the background of the character and I've never bothered to change it..
Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 are still some of my all time favorite gaming experiences!
Aye, BioWare definitely did a good job on those games, especially by introducing thoughtful romances with NPCs you cared about. I was one of the few who pursued Jaheira and was well satisfied with her personality, enough so that I joined FanFiction.net years later to read other people's take on the story. Similarly, I was one of the odd man out guys that liked romancing Ashley in the Mass Effect series, though she did lose out to Miranda in one of my playthroughs and Tali in another. I keep meaning to go back and finish another run for both Liara and Jack, but ME3's ending sort of sapped my will in a number of ways.
Amen! I have always cut the girl a lot of slack. Also, she's decent, loyal, and ... and sadly this matters, pretty.
Yes, Eilwony is most certainly pretty and I think any honest man would have to admit that affects their judgement somewhat. :)
I tend to kind of overlook Doli. Through the Chronicles, he's sort of like a second-string or guest star companion. But you're really giving his arc and his pain a chance to shine (or glow). He genuinely can't wait to get this job over with here. He genuinely BELIEVES, at this point, that the Fair Folk send him on the hardest, most unpleasant tasks because he has what amounts to a learning difference. And if he could just get it right, maybe he could get away from these idiot, blundering humans and the drudgery of escorting them through their pointless task. Or at least hide from them in moments off duty.
Like Taran, at this point, he really doesn't recognize his worth—that King Eiddileg calls him to tasks like this not because they're horrible but because they're hard and unusual, and Doli is incredibly smart and capable. Later, he comes to see how he's valued. His "complaining" becomes a lie: it's covert boasting, and a way to protect himself from the accusation that he's really grown incredibly fond of these three humans and the whatsit, in a way that probably isn't very politic in the Fair Folk realm and he feels might be undignified among the humans themselves.
Right now, though, he's legitimately angry and hurting, and in those feelings, isolates himself from people who are trying to reach out to him (with the exception of Eilonwy, who, as you say, may actually be insulting him here and certainly later is somewhat cold over the way he treats Taran after a certain incident). You do a great job of showing that.
I had a hard time with Doli too, rocking back and forth between wondering if he really IS a screwup who can't do much right and so that's why he gets stuck with the grunt work, OR if he's actually brilliant at everything and kinda Eidilleg's right-hand man, which means he gets the important jobs nobody else can be trusted with but are sometimes really unpleasant and/or seem beneath him. Either idea has interesting ramifications and could be run with, but as the artwork has evolved I've come down pretty hard on the latter.
And yes, I love everything in your second paragraph. So very true.
There's a theme here that's repeated with Doli, Taran, Eilonwy, and Flewddur (and maybe even Gurgi): They all have great potential that they don't recognize, and that others don't admit to recognizing even if they do. "An assistant pig keeper, a girl with a sword, a yellow-haired idiot with a harp, a shaggy whatsit..." is the echo of "...Doli, he's all I can spare." Bildungsroman for all!
I find it easy to forgive Eilonwy these days, she is still just a kid and they aren't always the best at reading the room so to speak. So yes, not her best moment but definitely still rings true.
Very true! Taran takes her flaws very well all things considered, so I think we can take our cues from him.
A fan comic for The Chronicles of Prydain?! This is one of the best things I've found on comicfury. I love how you have adapted it so far.
Thank you, glad you stumbled in!
You're likely right about this: "Lloyd calls all their advice to Doli "well-meaning", but Eilonwy's line has always struck me as particularly ill-timed. Besides how unhelpful it is to tell someone they are dumb for being upset about something, why would she specifically use a simile about someone's height when dealing with a grumpy dwarf? I think she's being deliberately insulting because she's so done with his drama. Not her best moment, but hey, we all have our arcs." but people tend to and almost always have taken it better from women, at least in the West, and it helps that it's in some part delivered in jest.
I like how Taran gives E the side-eye here. He's doing his best. Thank you for sharing this!
I love how Hen Wen is looking up at Eilonwy when she's talking in the first panel, like she's forming her own opinion of why Eilonwy is saying that.
Hey, just wanted to pop in and say I just binge-read your story Single Wild Ember...or that is to say I read all there was of it, and all but pulled my hair out in frustration over where it ended. Cliffhangers! I hate 'em! ...not really.
Beautiful work, as always...I didn't see anywhere to leave a comment on FanFiction, so just dropped a line here instead.
Also, and I imagine you are probably very busy these days, but if you get a chance to visit my DeviantArt profile again, I have several more chapters of my own posted there, of the novel I'm working on. Would really appreciate your take on them!
I just want to echo everyone's comments that this is a terrific page. I absolutely love the sharp look Taran gives Eilonwy in panel 2, and my hear really goes out to Doli in the last panel, silhouetted alone on the hill while everyone else is gathered around that beautiful fire.
Thank you so much, and same to you! I hope the day was a blessing for you and your loved ones.
Mmmm~ the highlights from the fire on their faces on the last panel!
I also really like the fuzzy (expressionistic??) way you do backgrounds and out-of-focus figures in the last two pages.
I love the last panel. The textured watercolor strokes really help set the atmosphere.
Aaaand I'm caught up.
Question: did that audiobook thing ever get completed?
Sigh. No, and it’s rather a bitter topic. I am still hopeful, but it’s entirely out of my hands now.
Ahhhh. That's too bad, I went through and listened to the chosen voices for each character and they were really good. I'm sure it would've been a fun audiobook.
Was it a legal thing, or did the project just sort of fall apart?
The pandemic hit, and then various big life events that sapped extra time away from the folks who were doing the lion’s share of editing. I won’t go so far as to say the project is dead, but it is certainly in an indefinite coma.
where is the rest?
Solidly filed away in my brain and waiting until I have the time and energy to create it. I update, at this point, about once a month, so if you are in a hurry this is not the comic for you.
Take your time, we'll be here!
I think that what people often forget about online fanworks like this is that
1. They're free and NO ONE is entitled to them. What bothers me most is that you'll have an artist or author create some incredible series, post it for free, and within a month have people either complaining about it ("this is so bad now ever since [creator] did [thing I don't like]") or demanding changes.
2. The creator has a life outside their project. You have a couple of kids you're raising, right? That's a time consuming job.
3. Sometimes the creator is just tired. Or uninspired. Or their mental health is off and their comic/webnovel/fanfic is the last thing on their mind.
Anyway, I'm super glad for all the pages that you HAVE done. Before your comic I had no real image for any of the characters or scenes--now, your Eilonwy and Taran and ESPECIALLY Medwyn have become my own headcanon too. Thank you for that!
Side note; I love how well you write Eilonwy's dialogue on your non-canon side projects and in CompanionWanderer's fanfics. You really capture her fun little similes in speech :)
Thank you, Wenja. You hit it right on the nail for all those reasons. I wish I could work faster, but these days just keeping my head above water takes everything I’ve got.
I really want to get back to work on this in the next couple of weeks though.
Hi i just joined here i love this when is the next page being uploaded?
Welcome! I’m so glad you are here! I wish I could tell you exactly when the next page was coming but I have no consistent schedule - I work on this in between my professional work projects and running a five-member household, so I get to it as I can. Next page won’t happen until after the holidays but I will try to prioritize it for just after new years.
This is amazing. I am in awe. Thank you.
Thank you! I can’t wait to get back to work now that the holidays are done!
I hope you and your family had an enjoyable holiday season!
It was very nice, thank you - I hope the same for you!