Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The sunbird and the beast

This was done by my students in 13 weeks. 6 of them. 5 girls and 1 boy. My students are, on average, 19 years old.
They worked really hard, coming to work very early in the morning and going home very late, they worked on weekends and public holidays.
They have currently entered a competition, it would help them if you followed the link and put a little <3 under their video.
Thanks for liking and hopefully sharing the Sunbird and the Beast.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chapter 7 - Curiosities

The style of this chapter was to better connect to the style of the first 5 volumes of the Pirate Balthasar, because I was going to do re-incorporations and call backs and I was hoping to give a visual aid in remembering certain things.

I also wanted I better transition. One of the common denominators. The chapters are all line based (not lineless)

At the beginning of this chapter we finally put Kane in Nicoli's shoes. Now when Nicoli had come to this realization was sort of a comical scene and everybody was dismissing the importance of her emotion in a way.
Now Kane can relate.

This is mostly because Hermes just told him that he was not really ranking up on his own, the White Horses (Gemma's bodyguards and Castalia's ex crew) were tweaking the rankings.
Clearly these guys are still loyal to their Queen Castalia and wanted for n.1 to be reunited with his wife faster.

You remember Hermes? He used to be n.28 in the ranking and now he is a 23. He was one of the boys who joined Castalia's crew during her 3 years adventure away from Kane.

In this panel Kane has just sang "Hugs". In case you forgot which special is called Hugs, it's THIS ONE.

I you remember Hugs, it's the story where Kane leaves Josh behind to live his life and be a daddy - he does not have to be a pirate anymore as Kane thinks life is pretty safe no that Gilbert Sullivan is gone and he is the Pirate King.

He manages to forgive and forget everything about his past but he still cannot hug and feels nothing for his... father.
That is why Circe makes the sassy remark.

The call back was there for 2 reasons: 1) that's the story where Josh is left on the island to live his life peacefully (it was his happy ending); 2) Circe will use this story to explain her contraddicting emotions towards Dora.


This is the box Gemma refers to. Kane's chest. The chest that spilled open and revealed some journals... two of which are the journals Castalia liked to read - because they are full of pictures.

Now upon reading all the journals and the letters, Gemma discovers she is Castalia. She does not doubt it because she recognizes her own handwriting, but she does not remember writing them at all.
At this point, remember, Kane has given her the spectacles and she has realized he is not there to steal her away (like she heard) so she is not so afraid of him anymore.

What Kane is referring to here is that the sisters cannot enter people's life uninvited. What he doesn't know is that his wife made a deal with the de-ehm-Circe under a tent 3 years (almost 4) years earlier. 

We also do not know how and when the terms and conditions of the deal were redefined.
The "If" there is no doubt about it... at this point Kane has realized Castalia has chosen to become Gemma.

Now we move on to : "While you were away". Kane has long procrastinated in telling this story. In the past chapter he keeps saying... I will tell you all about it later... 

Now some people asked who is the boy talking to Callimaco.
That's Quoque/Amil.

You may remember that initially Quoque's identity was kept secret for the same reasong Kane wears a mask (to protect his brothers).

But when he is upset, little Amil, calls Kane "big brother" in his native tongue: anna.

Well, we lost Josh but we didn't lose father James. Maybe he wasn't in Church because he is a bad friar hahaha but I am happy he survived. Too bad he has to break the bad news to Kane. 

Unfortunately though we lost both Nairi and Yester because they are very religious. There are no Orthodox churches on the island so the sisters go to the Franciscan monastery instead.

Undoubtedly Kane has always sacrificed a lot to protect his little brother.
I mean going around wearing a mask the whole time must not be an easy thing to do.

But because of his care and attention, Josh's death had to be something Kane could not control.

If it were something he could control he could go on a revenge spree and stuff like that and you don't turn emoking. You do something to feel better about it. But like this, you can't.

You turn emoking because no matter how much you tried you cannot control everything. So all you've done was for nothing.

Of course Wes tells him he cannot blame himself. Wes can relate to the pain Kane is going through but he can only imagine what is going through Kane's mind and how useless all his efforts are appearing to him.

 By the way this is the first time Foxy and Cat see Kane's real face.

Kane goes to the fountain to his brother's face one more time... and then faints.

When he comes to his senses, he sees the very thing that did not make all his effort useless: Josh has left a mini Josh behind. Little Fimi. 

In a way he can continue protecting Josh, through Fimi.

And now we know why Kane's hair is short. Josh's hair was probably shorter at the time he left his daughter. This is probably when the little one realizes this is the other daddy, not her daddy daddy, but Kane is convinced that she does not need to know that Josh is gone and so decides to replace him.

And here he is talking about turning the place of the landslide into this heavenly peaceful place.
Notice, both times, back view.

 This is clearly....

....I don't need it anymore because you are gone....


...I need it anymore because I have you...

And this is why Kane uses the same exact words with Castalia when they meet again.

It might have escaped some of you but as cruel as Circe is, she actually has tears in her eyes.  The feeling of loss it is not something she cannot understand - we don't know her full story yet so I won't say much.

But she is still a mischievous prankster, she probably did not plan it to happen like this but when it does she owns it, she is a proud villain, let's face it hahaha.

This is the face of a man recognizing his mom cooking. Definitely Dora had fed him plenty of other things but when she was his mom all she fed him was potato soup instead... which ironically, at the Circeius, is considered to be her specialty and a real treat~!

These two are almost quarreling like siblings here, but let's face it... Circe's answer is almost funny if it weren't a dramatic moment. Yes, let's not forget she has a tattoo on her back to cover a pretty nasty scar. 

 And this is the moment I was referring to earlier.

Circe probably has her own version of "Hugs", if she had her own comic we could probably read it and figure out why is Pandora so difficult to forgive but also so impossible to live without.

Whatever it is, her words strike Kane so much that he manages to calm down.
It's a soul tearing experience, being able to relate to your enemy.
Up until now they had just been civil with each other.

Even so the mystery remains: what really happened that night? Why was Benedetta there? And why is it that Kane cannot remember her?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Back from Beijing!

These are some of the pages from the Sketchbook I brought to China. I left out the ones full of tickets, leaves and packaging and short diaries.
You will see the statistics though as I always keep them when I travel around and make travelling journals. 

Day 1 on the plane.

Lots of security in Beijing due to the upcoming Victory Parade.

First stop in Qian Men.

Tian Tan park,  Tai Chi in the morning.

 The actual Temple of Heaven

On the bust to 798 - the Art District.

 Confucius Temple and the Imperial School (in the sketch the Imperial School)

The Summer Palace, this pavilion is where the dowager empress Ci Xi would  go with her lovers... in short it's her "paradise".

The Lama Temple was too beautiful
One thing I realized right away is that it is impossible to draw China, you can only capture an impression of it but the details are so complex that you cannot catch them all.

There are no diapers in China, kids go around bottomless. The Great Wall of China was another thing impossible to draw.

This is the hostel/family stay in Badaling, we were close to the abandone village or Cha Dao so we went on to sketch a horror/ghost story.

This is where I realized that the floral decoration in the architecture came from the grass planted in front of the houses.

Some fun facts about China. I am not posting here the page commenting on the taste of scorpions, spiders, locusts and centipede though because it's just silly.
We decided to create a rubric to grade fairly the spitting champions.
And because it was very hot a lot of man rolled up their shirt and went around like happy buddhas.

The Forbidden city - it was difficult to draw here. When people see you draw they crowd around you and want to take pictures with you and they really lean over you and in the Forbidden City there is a huge crowd so there's very little room to draw in some areas.
Also it was huge and we were "kicked out" - it was closing time - before we could finish exploring the whole thing.

The national Museum was free. Ceramics were the best, little animals and people statuettes show that the ancient civilizations are still the best character designers ever.