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Author Topic: [Trollbabe comics] Life and Death  (Read 11441 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: May 25, 2004, 10:31:03 AM »

Hello,

My story with Ed Heil, Mystic Crystal Revelations, is now concluded. It should be available in full soon.

The new story, Life and Death, written by me and illustrated by Andrew Navaro, has begun, at the Trollbabe comics page. The text introducing the story will be revised soon as well.

Best,
Ron
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jrs
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2004, 10:36:25 AM »

Excellent.  I've been waiting for this one.

Julie
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joshua neff
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2004, 04:46:06 PM »

The return of the Spider Cult!

I really liked "Mystic Crystal," by the way.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2004, 07:12:47 AM »

Hello,

Josh, talk more about Mystic Crystal Revelations, please. What did you like?

Best,
Ron
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joshua neff
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2004, 04:43:28 PM »

Gack, I was afraid you were going to ask me that. Lemme see if I can nail it down.

First of all, I really like Ed's art. A lot. I really liked the look of the mushroom guy. I liked how he was small and cute, but picked up a sword & kicked ass.

But I particularly liked the tie in with the very first story, and the way it still is ambiguous as to the "reality" of the Old Enemy. (At least, it seems ambiguous to me. Unless I'm missing something that definitively points to the real existence and power of the Old Enemy.) It started out looking like the story was about one thing but turned out to be about something else. I liked that, too.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
sirogit
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2004, 12:36:39 AM »

Andrew Navaro's artwork is bloody awesome. Every panel is so evocative. Espicially the third, the way that guy's facial tones are against the sky, bloody brilliant.

But the guy in the first panel, he looks extremely.. cute. Like a muppet. and I can't really pinpoint why, seeing as the picture itself doesn't seem out of place... weird.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2004, 06:13:35 AM »

Hiya,

Hey Josh!

Quote
First of all, I really like Ed's art. A lot. I really liked the look of the mushroom guy. I liked how he was small and cute, but picked up a sword & kicked ass.


Oh, it's wish-fulfilment! I get it.

I like Ed's art too.

Quote
But I particularly liked the tie in with the very first story, and the way it still is ambiguous as to the "reality" of the Old Enemy. (At least, it seems ambiguous to me. Unless I'm missing something that definitively points to the real existence and power of the Old Enemy.)


The reader is free to think what he likes, but to this reader, anyway, the phrase "The Ancient Enemy is real!" seems clear enough.

Sirogit, that's a beautiful example of comics-reader feedback: "I liked it ... 'cept for this bit ... can't tell you why ..."

I'm getting used to it, though.

Best,
Con
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joshua neff
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2004, 06:37:40 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hiya,

Hey Josh!

Quote
First of all, I really like Ed's art. A lot. I really liked the look of the mushroom guy. I liked how he was small and cute, but picked up a sword & kicked ass.


Oh, it's wish-fulfilment! I get it.


You bastard!

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I like Ed's art too.

Quote
But I particularly liked the tie in with the very first story, and the way it still is ambiguous as to the "reality" of the Old Enemy. (At least, it seems ambiguous to me. Unless I'm missing something that definitively points to the real existence and power of the Old Enemy.)


The reader is free to think what he likes, but to this reader, anyway, the phrase "The Ancient Enemy is real!" seems clear enough.


Except "The Ancient Enemy is real!" is said by a character. I never believe what characters in stories say, except to the extent that they themselves may believe it. Maybe it comes from too much Babylon 5 and Harry Potter, where it's often very important to remember that just because a character says so doesn't mean it is so.

Eskindar seemed to really believe what he said about the Ancient Enemy, but Retta thought he was nuts. Now Retta seems to believe the Ancient Enemy is real--but maybe she's nuts. Or maybe she misunderstands what's going on.

Whatever the case, it's a good story.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
sirogit
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2004, 07:48:01 AM »

Hey, I didn't say I disliked that part of the comic, it just makes me wonder why I think a 30-40ish facial haired man looks really cute for no easily descriable reason.

It's kind of similar to my response of mortal fear to that furry, rasputin-as-a-porcupine-looking thing in Dark Crystal. It doesn't seem wrong or out of place but I it's evokative in a inexplicable way.
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ejh
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2004, 12:41:05 PM »

hey, you don't mess with Fizzgig.  



Glad you liked the art.  :)
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Andrew Navaro
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2004, 10:11:19 AM »

Quote
But the guy in the first panel, he looks extremely.. cute. Like a muppet. and I can't really pinpoint why, seeing as the picture itself doesn't seem out of place... weird.


The only thing I was really going for with the opening panel was a look of a man who has a lot on his mind.  I think the cuteness might come from the fact that Fergus is kind of nestled in his study.  His surroundings make him appear small and soft, I think.  Then again, maybe Fergus is just a cute man...

Glad you like the strip so far.  It only gets better.

--Andrew Navaro
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2004, 09:24:18 AM »

Hiya,

Clinton has fixed up the comics page! Now with current crediting and with the full Mystic Crystal Revelations for your reading pleasure.

Josh, you wrote,

Quote
Eskindar seemed to really believe what he said about the Ancient Enemy, but Retta thought he was nuts. Now Retta seems to believe the Ancient Enemy is real--but maybe she's nuts.


Or maybe they're both right, eh? Which doesn't necessarily mean that Eskindar didn't kill all those people. "Ancient Enemy is real" = "Retta killed them" is a Jesse-ism that got established way back for no apparent reason. In which case ...

Eskindar = nuts, because he massacred a bunch of folks.

Eskindar = correct that he and Retta are Ancient Enemies in some kind of reincarnation-y weirdness.

Retta = not nuts, and correct that Eskindar was nuts.

Retta = incorrect that Eskindar was completely nuts, i.e., concerning the Ancient Enemies.

Merely a suggestion.

Best,
Ron
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Valamir
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2004, 10:18:17 AM »

Hmmm.  Ok now that I've had the chance to read all of the strips...it still doesn't make sense to me.  Maybe I'm just not hip to all of the hidden comic code that signals what stuff is supposed to be.

I get it right up until they're ready to leave the cave and the shroom dude pulls her back.  What is going on in that last panel with the bubbly things?  Is that some sort of hallucenatory transition?  Was it triggered by both Rhetta and Shroom-boy touching the crystal at the same time?  If so then IMO the comic would be much clearer with the addition of text boxes  "As they both touch the crystal..."  then in the bubbly frame "...a strange vision".

Then in the next strip theres 3 panels of music stuff.  The first one could say "music from nowhere strikes a memory"  Then the "ancient enemy is real" cry in the second panel has a context.  The last panel could say "a face in the shadows..." which would provide nice contrast with "and it knows me"...or at least that's the best I could figure after staring at the strip for about 5 minutes scratching my head and trying to figure out what that whole sequence represents.

Then in the last strip the shroom guy dies...from what?  Drained by the crystal?  Killed by the ancient enemy? Dried by the sun?  And what did the "back to normal" comment mean?  A signal that the hallucination had ended?  A random gripe about how screwed up her life is?  A reference to  her being alone again after the death of shroom-boy?

And what was the crystal, just a Macguffin to get Rhetta into the cave? Another something that means something that we'll find out eventually?


I don't know.  Maybe its just me.  But it seems like just a few small changes could move these strips from being (for me) frustrating exercises in attempting to interpret what's going on, to enjoyable story telling.  There needs to be either more expository text, or more frames per strip.

Maybe folks with more experience at reading comics are used to piecing things together from disjointed frames and fragmentary information...but I'm just having all kinds of trouble getting into these.  Its like reading a novel with every third page ripped out.

edit:  I should also note that I thought the exact same thing about Graveyard Greg's Gaming Guardian's strip...which is why I finally stopped reading them.  They made almost no sense to me.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2004, 11:23:38 AM »

Hey,

I'm posting the following to be a pain.

Quote
I get it right up until they're ready to leave the cave and the shroom dude pulls her back. What is going on in that last panel with the bubbly things? Is that some sort of hallucenatory transition? Was it triggered by both Rhetta and Shroom-boy touching the crystal at the same time?


Yes.

Quote
Then in the last strip the shroom guy dies...from what? Drained by the crystal? Killed by the ancient enemy? Dried by the sun? And what did the "back to normal" comment mean? A signal that the hallucination had ended? A random gripe about how screwed up her life is? A reference to her being alone again after the death of shroom-boy?


Yes.

Quote
And what was the crystal, just a Macguffin to get Rhetta into the cave? Another something that means something that we'll find out eventually?


Yes.

But whether I'm being a pain or not, actually, those are the answers from my perspective as author. You did indeed get it.

Now, whether you think the enjoyment is worth the effort, well, that's up to you.

Best,
Ron

P.S. Retta's name has no "h" in it.
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joshua neff
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2004, 04:49:02 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Josh, you wrote,

Quote
Eskindar seemed to really believe what he said about the Ancient Enemy, but Retta thought he was nuts. Now Retta seems to believe the Ancient Enemy is real--but maybe she's nuts.


Or maybe they're both right, eh? Which doesn't necessarily mean that Eskindar didn't kill all those people. "Ancient Enemy is real" = "Retta killed them" is a Jesse-ism that got established way back for no apparent reason. In which case ...

Eskindar = nuts, because he massacred a bunch of folks.

Eskindar = correct that he and Retta are Ancient Enemies in some kind of reincarnation-y weirdness.

Retta = not nuts, and correct that Eskindar was nuts.

Retta = incorrect that Eskindar was completely nuts, i.e., concerning the Ancient Enemies.


Exactly. Good stuff.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
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