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[Trollbabe comics] Mystic Crystal Revelations

Started by Alan, March 15, 2004, 12:22:19 PM

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Ah, a new strip, a new life!  A new homage?  The mushroom man looks like he stepped right out of the sample adventure in Donjon.

Let me be the first to speculate on the sexual symbolism: couple makes love in cave, fungus creature is born from the floor beneath them after they leave.  What does he want?  Where's he going?  What exactly does he, with his cylindrical body and handsom cap, symbolize?

- Alan

A Writer's Blog:

Ron Edwards

Hello Alan,

You might be interested to know that one of my instructions to the artist was to avoid having our mushroom fellow be absolutely totally a walking penis. I think Ed did an admirable job in this department.

I mean, there's a certain visual association, undeniably, but how far you wanna take that is up to you. We're talking underground comics, after all.

Personally, I think the li'l fellow is cute. I really like his "I exist!" panel.



Keeping Mushroom Guy from looking like a walking penis was indeed the toughest thing about his character design.  I thought I'd succeeded, but like the saying goes, you can't fight Freud. :)


I guess I'm not that much of a pervert.  I didn't even make the mushroom/penis connection until I saw Ron's comment (even Alan's little "cylindrical body and handsome cap" comment didn't get my neurons firing that way).  So, Ed, good job!  It's not very phallic!
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Ron Edwards

Yeah, to me, he seems to be wearing a swashbuckly hat, which is just right for him.



How did I know this was going to be Retta story?  The minute I saw mushroom man, I KNEW it was a Retta story.  Anyway, I'm not the biggest Retta fan but...

Damn, does the girl ever get a break!?



You know Jesse.  You and I agree on a lot.  But I gotta say, I enjoy Rhetta as a character 100 times more than Tha...delving into dark mysteries of witchcraft trips all of zero of my triggers.  Athletic Red Sonja asskicker with horns on the other hand...yeah...I can dig it.

And Ed...every strip the characters look a bit different.  I love your take on Rhetta.

Ron Edwards

No "H"! No "H"!! R-E-T-T-A.

Anyway, I'm kind of hoping that this might be the "Retta story that Jesse likes." We'll see. It's a turning point in plot terms.

Jesse, that's a good point about Retta getting a break. One of the things about Trollbabe stories for me is about choices, especially those made by women. Have you ever noticed that people (not just women) spend a lot of time agonizing over choices that they might have to make, or could make if they decide they ought to, but spend no time at all making real choices. Wham. Choice made.

Oh, maybe they'll spend ages afterward justifying or revising the "story" of the choice. But making it? Wham.

Retta and Tha both do this. Whether it comes to men, or to violence, or whatever - they realize afterward, hey, I made a choice. What does that say about who I am? And it's disturbing to both of them that they can't really answer that question.

I like these characters a lot. Retta is a butt-kicker and a free spirit, but like most of the free-spirit women I've know, she doesn't know when she's happy and when she's not. And Tha is a deep, scary brooder - and like the women I've known who really are this way, and not posers at all, she fixates on goals without reflecting on them.

Any other thoughts?



If I keep misspelling her name will she come over to my house and punish me for being a bad boy?



Thanks, guys!  I've had a lot of fun drawing Retta.

Paul Czege

Hey Ed,

I'm quite liking the evolved "hard outline" art style you're using here. It has a pronounced "stained glass" aesthetic that really clicks for me, and that I didn't get from The Birthroot Bargain. So I have to ask, is stained glass an artistic destination you're consciously pushing toward, or am I projecting?

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The hard outline thing is definitely a conscious choice, though I wasn't particularly thinking of stained glass.

To be honest, I've been working very hard on style and technique for this comic.  I hope it doesn't produce too much inconsistency over the course of the story, though I fear it might.  The fact is that this comic is the only major artwork I've done in the last year or two, and I'm doing it in a medium (Corel Painter) which I'm learning as I go along.  So it's a constant battle to figure out the most effective way to accomplish things.  I'm learning a lot, and it's getting smoother and faster as I go, but it's not as neat and polished as I'd like.   I'm glad people are looking past some of the roughness of the linework and so on and enjoying the characters and action.

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

Wow, that's two Frazetta homage panels, one in Colin's story, and one in this week's strip.

"Retta broods heroically over scattered bodies of foes."

I like it, Ed!

And for archival purposes, the mushroom guy isn't inspired by Donjon, but rather by the mushroom beings in the 4th module of the old D&D "Slave Lords" tourney series. And perhaps a fair dose of Vaughn Bode, infused into my mental landscape at an early age.



Is there supposed to be text in any of these strips.

So far there have been no words at all...yet this is the second time you've apparently quoted from them.

Is that you paraphrasing the panel, or should I be seeing words?

Ron Edwards

I'm paraphrasing the panels' content in verbal terms. Someone else might come up with completely different phrases, by their interpretation.

To be absolutely clear: none of the panels of the current story have yet contained any dialogue, and only the first strip included captions.