The Crossroads Battle

Time for more “Hrug’s War” WIPs again.

I’m about to block out the comic’s first “real” “military” combat action:
south of the Great Cataracts of Melondel, two ancient roads cross – one, which once connected the North of Olveare with the ancient seaside towns at the Oriador opening, and another one, which leads from Eastern Olveare right to the Cliff (note to self: need to provide a map …).
It is Moruk land.

But Hrug’s minions and allies do not care.

Horseback Moruk warriors are about to drive a band of their old enemy, the Boneheads off, when they run into another enemy: a company of Northmen, well-trained elite warriors clad in iron, on their way to strenghten Hrug’s advancing forces …

Crossroads Battle #1
Crossroads Battle #2
Crossroads Battle #3
Crossroads Battle #4
Crossroads Battle #5
Crossroads Battle #6
Crossroads Battle #7
Crossroads Battle #8

C&C welcome.

Je suis …

This is neither a political blog, nor is T&D a (obviously) political comic … nor am I a political cartoonist (yet?), so …

… sorry for being OT, and sorry for preaching in advance. Rest assured it will not become common practice here, but will remain an exception justified by exceptional circumstances.

However I’m feeling the urge to make my statement concerning the events of 01/07/2015 in Paris, and their consequences here in Europe … because it all seems to go wrong.

So many people are claiming “to be” Charlie Hebdo nowadays (most of them, at least those living outside France, probably never heard of the magazine and the people behind it before). So many politicians, without regard of their political couleur, jump on the train, show their concerns about this “assault on our values”.

Well, are they? “Ours”, I mean?

So much is talked of permanent threats of terrorism, diffuse and mysterious evil growing among us, lurking behind every other corner, so much of our need to be protected of all the danger … and so few of the values, these 12 courageous people of Charlie Hebdo stood for.

This p*sses me off.

It’s just like all those guys who jumped on their beloved stages, following their favourite occupation, re-fueling their favourite toy project, just have been impatiently waiting on that opportunity all the time: finally it has happened again, finally we have something to show you: the threat we proclaimed all the years, the silent state of war enforced on us, it has not been fiction, but is all true: we now need to take measures, you must understand that, you must understand, that freedom is secondary now, must be cut back in order to fight that war, because war always has required sacrifice by the individual. We know what is good for you, we know how to protect you, believe us, blah blah.

What would these 12 people say, if they knew what is being conducted on their backs, how a cynical, power-hungry elite inverts their ideals into another excuse to implement their own concept of society a little bit further: one of permanent fear, of surveillance, of (self-)censorship and restriction, of held-back, unspoken words because someone could listen. A fake democracy, a mere hull, its core eroded, taken away together with the fear-clouded brains of its citizens, who have forgotten how nature works, a society of individuals so frightened, that they can’t see the beauty of that large tree in their backyard anymore, but only the twigs that may break loose of it and damage their nice little houses and shiny cars, the possibly poissonous fruits, the bees that could sting them … so they cut it down to be absolutely sure all that won’t happen, their children be safe, themselves once again reasoning more on everyday risks and abstract threats instead of the potentially painful why’s behind their own doings, carefully masking out any deeper thoughts … just functioning properly … individuals who’re willingly giving their self-responsibility and freedom away, for “their own good” of course, in favour of a mere promise of some virtual “safety”, in a world which makes only one single reliable promise to us: that we all will die in the end, the promise of absolute freedom, the negation of power anyone can aquire over anyone else – without regard what and how we decide within the short span of our lifes, what someone else would make us do: this will happen, to anyone, and we must not forget!

Here in Germany, people ought to have quite a tense relation towards governmental control.
However, the strategy to lull people into stupefaction, to deprive them of independent thought and instill the concept of a claim into their heads, a claim of absolute safety, superior to everything else in the constitution – a “Super Grundrecht” – they have towards their government, bears fruits. It has been in operation rather successfully over the last few years, in conjunction with a continuous self-shoulder-patting on how great we are, how hardworking, how exemplary our collective efforts, how generous towards anyone else in poor little Europe.
Its the sound of propaganda, the sound of war … and unfortunately, this sound can’t be heard in Germany alone. Nations, homeland, duty, long forgotten terms of a dark past celebrate their renaissance …

How well does it fit into that pattern, if some politician tells “us”, one day after the massacre in Paris, that “there’s no need for panic here in Germany”.
Well, who the f*ck panicked in the first instance?
How ridiculous is that, in the face of one, singular event?
Or did I maybe miss out the large-scale military assault on Europe in general and Germany in particular?
There are more people dying every damn day, killed by car accidents, heart attacks, by falling from ladders, drowning in a plate ful of soup probably. After all, here in Europe, the risk to be shot down by some crazy idiot’s AK47 is probably smaller than to be struck by 3 subsequent thunderbolts within 5 minutes and then hit by a meteor, right after you stepped out your doorstep.
So, WHY THE F*CK should anyone panic here – at least more than any other day?

Or did you maybe mean a more abstract form of panic? One caused by the idea that the concepts we stick to, our convictions, the philosophical fundament of our very actions, is under attack? Well, that would of course be in complete contradiction to your overall strategy to suck any complex thought out of our heads … but IF yes, then still, I see no threat towards that, as far as we do not willingly abandon these convictions – and I at least won’t.
The only real threat towards that direction I can see so far, comes from your very side.

To be honest, I assume the actual reason for that statement was to achieve the inverse: to make us panic, because usually the ship’s crew calms down the passengers only, if there is a reason to panic – a rule anyone who’s watched Cameron’s movie on the famous ship will be well aware of.
Cunning.
Really.
And not too surprising, if one gets there already, what you provided next (read: immediately next, without the short break one could expect, out of mere respect towards the dead if nothing else – not to speak of the ideas they stood for, of course):
a list of cunning, well-thought measures you will take, the clever new jurisdiction you’ll bring on the way to make sure no harm will be done to us … by that f*cking single, virtual terrorist no one has seen yet. Surely it will be okay, if we’re watched by officials a bit more (that we haven’t seen him yet, means he’s hiding, which means we have to look closer, stupid!), for our own good, and some minor rights be taken from us (really, who needs toy guns, for an instance? And no one should play around with nitric acid, anyway, you’d only endanger yourself – better you don’t even know what it is … and stop, all that has been forbidden long ago, right after Nine Eleven!).
If you don’t succeed now, never mind. You will carry on repeating your suggestions, bring it up at the next “handy” occasion. You are patient. In the long term, you WILL succeed. Your experiences prove that.

Of course, no one of us will even suspect, that all of this could be in your very own interest: to cement that order you have established, and you’d like to establish a little bit more. To use that new level of control to ensure that we all work well within the treadmill, your treadmill, play to your rules, not ours, to deprive us of any means to stop you, make us obedient little pieces in your game of chess.

No one will suspect, that all those “terrorists” are nothing but clones of George Orwell’s Emanuel Goldsteen character.
It’s just a matter of language. Of persistence.
Of patience.

One day, even the last of us will be sedated into sweet dreams by the infinite loop of your lullaby, dreams of eternal wealth we all will be deserving us by the hard, honest work of our hands, for the Greater Good, in your game, the game of men who appreciate power.

Hell, if we … the ones who appreciate freedom, freedom of thoughts, freedom to live our lives instead of some concept, some system, some higher entity you “caretakers” would like to sell us, to our best you say, to your best you will use it … if we have one important duty now, after these 12 have died, after such a courageous effort for real instead of fake freedom of mind, then it is one thing: remind you we are no minions, but free citizens. Citizens who have founded a society, not a system for some reason. Citizens who will not be degraded to become someone’s obedient minions, will not just be smooth-running gears in your machinery!
In fact, you and us, we’re part of the same game. Remember that!

REMEMBER ONCE AND FOR ALL: OUR FREEDOM IS OURS AND WE WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO BE TAKEN FROM US!

NSFW

Well, a few days ago I read through the first boy love story ever in my life, drawn by Aero Zero, a really stunningly talented fellow comic artist at Webcomicunderdogs. Even if the genre is not mine, it was a fun read, and it reminded me of a couple of illustrations I painted a few years ago, on the serious NSFW side of things too.

In fact, it inspired me enough to rework one of them a bit, one I liked, but whose screwed up anatomy and proportions I could not endure anymore these days … and left me with the intention to do some more of that kind of work, at times (in fact, I even had plans once to draw an erotic short comic, a small episode of the Telaya & Dioman saga which lends itself to it … we’ll see about that).

Remark: I usually don’t use reference images, but take time instead to allow me to see, understand – and fix – the flaws my imagination likes to produce in the first instance … at least, if there’s no timeline to be kept.

Here is the result of the beautifying process. Unfortunately that yellow smiling pill sneaked itself into it, and to my great displeasure now destroys all its effect. Anyway, enjoy:
Just A Smiley

More might follow. At times. :)
.

Into Oriador!

Time for some new WIPs!
I’ve started to concatenate some scenes of the book’s PoV threads, which resulted in a consecutive sequence of 167 pages so far.
Things are gaining momentum slowly, but irresistably – the second-last scene of the sequence:

Descending into Oriador #1
Descending into Oriador #2
Descending into Oriador #3
Descending into Oriador #4
Descending into Oriador #5
Descending into Oriador #6
Descending into Oriador #7
Descending into Oriador #8
Descending into Oriador #9

At the moment, I’m indeed thinking about splitting Hrug’s War in two parts, as there’s almost a rated break point in it’s middle, which would provide a very nice cliffhanger, and yet result into two parts with sufficient pages to read, probably >300 each.

I’m also thinking about color.
A quick experiment: adding a quick color layer to a greyscale image:
Cin'Thele Cat Girl in B/W
Cin'Thele Cat Girl colored

Not sure yet, and there’s still plenty of time to make that decision … if you like, write me your opinion.