Book 2 - Page 37

Book 2 - Page 37
Comic - Book 2 Ė Page 37
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Don't have time to dig, but I'm pretty confident it has been established in Book One that Jack was crazy about Jillian.
I thought that, too, but then I dug and couldn't find more than Jillian stating that he had a crush on her. She might be mistaken there.
robak wrote:
I thought that, too, but then I dug and couldn't find more than Jillian stating that he had a crush on her. She might be mistaken there.


I think it was pretty heavily implied in Book One, and this snippet from the text update is pretty conclusive, IMO.

He followed her gaze to the near pass, where Princess Jillian would soon appear. Too well, he knew what the Lady Firebaugh meant. He didn't believe the Croakamancer was aware of their common affliction, but he could never be sure. "There would be defenses," he said quietly.

Based on my understanding of subject-verb and possessive construction, I believe "their common affliction" pretty clearly refers to Jillian. It also builds on all of the past implications.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think the magnitude of that type of switcheroo would be pretty head-scratching.

Not to mention all of the dialogue between Parson and Jack that tends to paint Wanda in either a crazy or negative light.
There's no other way I would read the passage quoted by Anson but as a statement that they both have feelings for Jill.
I used to think that, too, but I don't think it anymore.
I think it would flow better if instead of 12 panels of talking heads, it was some bigger panels with lots of text balloons in them. The first four condenced into one big view of the room with Slately happy and Tramennis nonchalant, Panel 5 and 6 to the side with the Slately jumping out of his desk, 7-10 condenced into Slately angry Tramennis grinning or nonchalant, and 11+12 Tramenis turning away from his father, having made his decision, perhaps mirroring Slately's jumping from his disk.

I can find no fault with the individual art pieces, but the composition does not take advantage of the medium.
spriteless wrote:
I think it would flow better if instead of 12 panels of talking heads, it was some bigger panels with lots of text balloons in them.


So you'd lose so much of the significance of the expressions, the relative positions, the body language and the camera angles? The medium here is primarily visual, not textual. You want visuals, especially in such an important conversation.

The text update today only underscores what a crucial scene this is. Consider: Trammenis is not doing what GK expects, at all. He's calling Charlie, for one, when GK assumes that they aren't speaking. For another, Parson's plan assumes that Jetstone will offer insulting terms of surrender, but Trammenis wants to talk and he's a skilled negotiator, meaning that he will demand, and get, Parson's full attention. In short
order, he should discover that Ossomer is not the Chief Warlord for GK; that Wanda isn't either. He is likely to find out that Parson is, and to get a good sense of what he's up against. We found out today that Charlie is being cagey about Parson, which means he's treating Parson's existence as valuable information, which means that if Trammenis finds out about him, and finds out that Charlie is being cagey about him, he has significant negotiating leverage over Charlie. He's likely to find this out because Parson has no idea that Charlie is doing this, and will likely show himself readily, just as he did to Ansom. If Trammenis twists Charlie's arm, we might not have seen the last of Jillian in this fight--she should have more than enough move to get back to the scene, and she's already in a delicate position with him.

On top of all that, GK's entire strategy assumes that Slately is in command, and will go through with his stuffy boilerplate tactics in his stuffy boilerplate way. This comic conveys, powerfully, the shift in influence to Trammenis, who's not going to think the way they expect him to think. I doubt Ossomer will be any help; I don't think he ever understood his brother. Trammenis also has the considerable pressure of time. This has to resolve quickly, or Jetstone will implode into its empty treasury. Jillian would be the obvious choice to tip things in his side's favor--except that he doesn't know how close she came to betraying his side. Neither does Parson.

Now, obviously this is speculation. I don't know that any of this will happen. But it demonstrates how much everything is on a knife's edge right now, and every word is profoundly significant. Every side has an ace, a serious information deficit and a critical vulnerability. One slip could spell disaster for any of them. This strip goes a long way toward setting up a perilous situation; how is it filler, or inefficient?
Well, maybe part of the problem is that I don't read body language as well as you, because I don't see the difference in message between grinning with one's arms out gesturing and grinning with one arm close and one arm out gesturing, especially if I can't actually see the motion. There is not as much information, I think there would be more if I could see more of them, or if they were zoomed in closer, or if there was motion conveyed in the text balloons, it is just a limited format. The other twelve panel comics also had lots of change of scenery: page 36, for example, had Stanly's throne room, Jack and Wanda in flight, Jack and Wanda in flight but with mist protecting Wanda (which is visual information I can digest), Jetstone's view of Gobwin Knob's air force (infantry and archery), and a silent beat panel to boot. 37 has the throne room from 12 different angles, which is a lot of effort for less information, and only (to me) a few interactions of body language.
1.Tram collected while Slately is vindicated. (4 panels)
2.Tram collected while Slately is enraged (2 panels)
3.Tram cracks a scowl in the confrontation (1 panel)
4.Tram collected, resolute in his decision while Slately is angry (5 panels)
Some of these can benefit from being spread about multiple panels, some not. Slately stomping across the room is dramatic. Tramennis making himself look small beforehand less so, and kind of odd his response to confrontational stomping was making a passive sweeping gesture. I guess he is trying his hardest not to cower? Is that the vibe you got? Am I wrong? I have a hard time telling these things so please explain. Even if each frame of expression is vital, she still could have combined some of the ones that only show one of them into wider panels.

Also, when you draw the same scene from scratch too many times, you run the risk of Tram's chair shrinking under him as the angle changes. A lot. I missed that the first time. Drawing less takes less time and results in less mistakes.

I am not trying to harp on Xin and make her feel bad. She does great work on all the drawings, just less so the layout. I'm just trying to provide constructive criticism. Comics are not as linear books or movies, one can use space to imply time in a way they don't. Nor are they stand alone paintings or storyboards. 12 rectangular panels a page is easy to storyboard but harder to draw! It does not save time!

Also, I don't mean to be mean to you either Wender, I really have to read people's expressions in weird ways (shoulders mostly) and am used to artists showing expressions in more ahh, neurotypical ways; cartoony faces are a godsend for me. :3
Wender wrote:

The text update today only underscores what a crucial scene this is. Consider: Trammenis is not doing what GK expects, at all. He's calling Charlie, for one, when GK assumes that they aren't speaking. For another, Parson's plan assumes that Jetstone will offer insulting terms of surrender, but Trammenis wants to talk and he's a skilled negotiator, meaning that he will demand, and get, Parson's full attention. In short
order, he should discover that Ossomer is not the Chief Warlord for GK; that Wanda isn't either. He is likely to find out that Parson is, and to get a good sense of what he's up against. We found out today that Charlie is being cagey about Parson, which means he's treating Parson's existence as valuable information, which means that if Trammenis finds out about him, and finds out that Charlie is being cagey about him, he has significant negotiating leverage over Charlie. He's likely to find this out because Parson has no idea that Charlie is doing this, and will likely show himself readily, just as he did to Ansom. If Trammenis twists Charlie's arm, we might not have seen the last of Jillian in this fight--she should have more than enough move to get back to the scene, and she's already in a delicate position with him.

On top of all that, GK's entire strategy assumes that Slately is in command, and will go through with his stuffy boilerplate tactics in his stuffy boilerplate way. This comic conveys, powerfully, the shift in influence to Trammenis, who's not going to think the way they expect him to think. I doubt Ossomer will be any help; I don't think he ever understood his brother. Trammenis also has the considerable pressure of time. This has to resolve quickly, or Jetstone will implode into its empty treasury. Jillian would be the obvious choice to tip things in his side's favor--except that he doesn't know how close she came to betraying his side. Neither does Parson.

Now, obviously this is speculation. I don't know that any of this will happen. But it demonstrates how much everything is on a knife's edge right now, and every word is profoundly significant. Every side has an ace, a serious information deficit and a critical vulnerability. One slip could spell disaster for any of them. This strip goes a long way toward setting up a perilous situation; how is it filler, or inefficient?


I like your take. It gives a plausible way for Tramennis's diplomacy to turn out very positive for his side, which would avert some of the fears I voiced earlier. I hope you're right - if Tramennis manages to turn the tables and outmaneuver *Charlie* of all people, and get him to do to Jillian what he did to Hagar... that would be impressive.
I don't know if her recent reconsideration of Charlescomm is more ethics or self-preservation, but either one would count as an improvement.