Monday, July 27, 2015

Chapter 5 on a color wheel

I thought I had uploaded this but then I went to look for it and could not find it (so if you saw it already let me know where and I will delete this post) but yes: chapter 5 was drawn to follow the color wheel.

The pages around the red/purple areas were actually the most difficult to do.

It was also the reason why we only had 12 pages.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chapter 5 - cuiorisites

Upon declaring the following week "musical week" everybody in the comic started singing.

This was my favorite chapter in The Gem saga: it was whimsical, musical, the designs were challenging and fun.

Up until this moment Kane was faring well and swimming in his comfort zone: he was painting, being acrobatic, being artistic in general and being his usual self.

Singing is the real challenge. If you want to make it somewhere, sometimes you have to make it by doing the things you are not comfortable with.

Anyways it's almost the same when you get first hired somewhere and you are the last  one to come in, the intern, and will have to do what others don't want to do.

When you have to face the music you have to face it all the way: Kane feels heartbroken and is convinced he cannot sing. So he ask for help to Dingen, the official court singer, and asks him to teach him.

Rumors spread.

It's a classic "rumor spread" song.

You even hear Mr Anise speak a bit of "S'inglish".
Well, the Anises are from South East Asia, so I thought I'd have them speak the way we speak English over here, every now and then, it could be fun.

Followed by a part I call: test, enemies, allies.

Lucky for Kane he can turn enemies in allies here and manages to involve everybody in his adventure

Of course the issue right now is still figuring out what to sing and will singing be enough to get him closer to Gemma?

At this point of the story Kane has made contact with Catstalia - here drawn as derpy cat (hahaha I love this version).

This panel here is sort of a foreshadowing to what will happen in two chapter's time.

Circe is now associating Kane with somebody else - we'll know who when she'll tell Kane a story.

Kane has emotions he wants to express about his waiting, his longing... something that Circe feels "runs in the family".
Circe's feelings are also triggered by the song Kane is singing, which was sang by his grandfather all the time.

We've heard this song before. Here:

when we realized that Kane can actually sing and has a deep voice but very seldom use it.

At this point confusion ensues.
Every time somebody has a good idea a bunch of people want to hop on the bandwagon and tag along - and maybe change it to their own liking.

But no matter what idea one may have of that project and how they see it, the original author has his own vision and nobody should push him around and get the idea corrupted.

He is the one with the whole vision, from beginning to end, the rest have bits and pieces and lots of wishful thinking.
So Kane is asking for a bit of respect here.

Terry Pratchett, who had just died, expressed this concept wonderfully in the sentence you find in the bottom left speech bubble.

Of course no matter how strongly you feel about your idea, your creation and your projects, when it comes to presenting it to others - to their scrutiny and judgement - there is always the shadow of a doubt.

Only children jump into a hero's journey with no fear.
An adult, refuses the call to adventure a couple of times before he jumps in. So Kane falters for a while, in doubt.

So this is what Kane is singing, let's compare it:

The song was successful and although he did not get him a full invitation to the inner circle, Kane is invited to have merenda (afternoon snack, very much like a pic-nic) in the inner gardens, provided he makes the snacks.

He takes off halfway during the merenda to go fetch his art supplies.

It's his bond with Catstalia that finally gets Gemma to talk to him and let him in the inner circles.

Remember? If she talks to him, he is "in" but he cannot talk to her unless she addresses him first.

This scene will repeat itself at the beginning of chapter 6. Almost like a "previously on The Gem of the Mediterranean Sea", hahaha. 

Anyway, at the end of the chapter we realize that the reason why everybody looked so funny and everybody was singing and dancing was that the chapter was a puppet show, put up by Kane and Castalia to tell their story to their children (and Itzak).
A story within a story within a story.

In this panel there's a clue about Lorenzo.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Chapter 4 - curiosities

I realized we are very much behind with chapters curiosities.
(In general I did not do a good job keeping up with the blog this year).

Let's start with Chapter 4.

By now you must have figured out that this naughty white kitty is related to a certain Diagonal Cat.

And why that certain diagonal cat likes fair kitties too.
Ach, mother complex is strong in TPB characters, hahaha!

Aside from the silly cameos - which will be plenty as usual - let's go to the juicy stuff.

This ceremony was common in a lot of monarchies. The French called it Levée.

So Circe takes advantage of her morning ceremony to hear reports from Dioniso and give overall instructions as she gets ready for her day (see the little dudes in the background spying on her - like Susanna and the old men hahaha - they are not admitted officially to the ceremony but being in the inner circle they are allowed to spy).

So if Circe's looks are an illusion what is Scylla brushing and why Circe she putting on make-up? Because it is a ceremony and as such the goddess has to keep up appearances.
It's a daily routine.

In this scene we also get to know that Catstalia has a thing for human food and Gemma is keeping her on a diet.

Meanwhile Kane makes friends with all the artists living at the edge of society.
They are his kind of people and he sort of gets along with them very well: he teases them, scolds them, picks fights with them... the usual friendly pirate behavior hahaha.

These people existed before Kane reached the Circeius and so, as he works his way up, he gets to know about their relationship with one another.

A workaholic girl, rivalry between musicians who cannot get along and love stories, all come into the picture.

They each have their own priorities and probably because they never sat down and organized their work and life... they will never get to rank up and reach the inner circle.

It might not be a bad thing after all. I have a feeling this inner circle is a mighty boring place/status.

In this chapter we are also introduced to Master Dingen.

This awesome castrato will play a major role as musical mentor for Kane.

Kane also accidentally makes "first contact" with Catstalia as he involuntarily drops chicken from the window and now the Cat will absolutely connect his presence to food.

In this chapter Kane also manages to bargain his art away for the permission to stay in the library.

As we all know he studied art in University and he loves to draw and admires Pifo so much too hahaha.

If you think about it... this guy is quite a geek he likes books and art!

Anyways this display of creativity lands him the job of his dreams! (and he confessed at one point that he was never given a choice in his life but given the choice he probably wouldn't have become a pirate).

This chapter is also quite transitional.

But something very important happens: because Kane is very mercurial and impatient... he manages to take leadership of the artists and start putting order in their lives.

Again on one hand this is because he wants his share of quiet time, but let's not forget that Kane is an enabler too: he wants others to achieve their full potential.

We also get to know that Kane keeps clandestinely in touch with Westley through letters, using Bianca as a homing pigeon.

Please don't tell Bianca I called her a pigeon.

Kane likes to climb to high places (brrr, not me! not me!) and so goes all the way to the roof to write his letters and send them back home.

And here he finally makes the ultimate contact with  Catstalia, who was happily singing her meow song to the puffy clouds.

The chapter ends on a very successful opening night. After Kane has frescoed the theater and prepared a great show for the goddesses.

This is the first time we also see Circe and Gemma interact.
We know Circe rarely gets to see Gemma and gives her space.
We know they have breakfast together as Gemma is present at the morning ceremony. They have meals together in the theater.
Here they are holding hands.

After the pole dancing number they even become accomplice to the major prank Circe is going to play on Kane (when she asks him to sing).

So these sisters' relationship is actually not that bad.

But how does Gemma know that the Pirate King cannot sing?

Hopefully we'll get to know the answer soon. All we get to know at the end of this chapter is that Musical week is about to begin, and what a week it will be! :p