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C11P37 – The Order

C11P37 – The Order published on 8 Comments on C11P37 – The OrderPurchase

I had a lot of fun with the geometric designs on this page. I wanted it to be reminiscent of the cave-painting style histories we had in an earlier chapter, but with a more rigid style. If you were living in Itsuri, you would see geometric patterns very frequently in Visionary art, with an emphasis on square and circular shapes. You’ll note that same divided circle design on both Warren’s shoulders and Milan’s medallion. It’s also echoed on the floor of Visionary temples, as well as the shape of the buildings themselves. And while we’re at it, on the tiles in the halls of the High Sage’s Palace. (Also…wow…my art has gotten SO much better…)

This symbol alone is like one of a bajillion little Easter-Eggs in this comic. I wonder how many times this symbol appears?

…That was not a challenge, by the way, as I know some of you might actually feel driven to find out, and even I, capricious though I may be, am not that cruel. 😉


Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Noooo! Archive binges are wonderful-until they end! I discovered your comic several years ago when it was just starting out, and then lost the bookmark in the mess of new computers and college and so on. I just rediscovered your wonderful story these last two weeks.

Having read through the whole archive in fairly short order, here are a few impressions:

I’ve really enjoy your characterization. Even your minor characters hint at full lives and personalities behind their brief appearances. It’s also been cool as a storyteller (and instructive) to see your struggles and conundrums about story and character.

I particularly admire your depiction of racism in Zhiro’s, Tama’s and Mizha’s story. It feels very real in the horrifyingly effortless way it emerges from such likable characters. The same could be said of the way you’ve been portraying the views of the “antagonists” in this chapter.

Your art has improved substantially in detail and expressiveness. I noticed myself taking longer and longer to read each page to make sure I was catching everything, and also just to enjoy all the work you put into each image.

Your world-building is fantabulous! You’ve created one of the most interesting worlds in webcomics I’ve come across. You seem to borrow freely from real-world mythologies and themes, but then add a unique flavor which really glues the whole thing together. It makes for an excellent mix of exotic, familiar and wholly fantastical. You’ve also done a good job introducing the reader to the world. You leave a lot out, but that serves to entice or surprise rather than confuse. For example: the realization that there had been timu slavery as recently as ten years ago in the world completely changed the way I saw Itsuri society previously. That realization seemed to mirror Tama’s and Mizha’s journeys toward deeper knowledge about their culture.

In the way of constructive criticism: I wondered about your choice to show Dreameater’s thoughts in chapter ten. A lot of the draw of the gods was trying to figure out what they were up to based only on a few cryptic words or images. I definitely liked having more revealed about the gods’ histories, but having it revealed through Dreameaters thoughts seemed to humanize the god somewhat (maybe that was what you intended?) and didn’t seem quite true to the mysterious, otherworldly impression I had of Dreameater. That’s a pretty specific/narrow criticism, but that’s because I think you’re in general just a really good storyteller.

On a different, not necessarily critical note, I was wondering something about the way you portray Zhiro as a child. He almost looks like a puppy (is that weird that I think that?). I also noticed some people kind of cutifying him in the comments (I realize that’s not necesarily a bad thing). It made me sort of uncomfortable, though I’m not sure why. This feels like a weird thing to point out.

Anyway, sorry for my giant wall of text! I just wanted to let you know how thoroughly I’ve been enjoying your story, and also that over the last week, I’ve come to admire you as a writer and artist.

I’m so glad you found your way back! Even more so, that the story was worth the journey. We’re still just on the tip of the iceberg in so many ways with the characters, the gods, and the world. I hope you’ll enjoy the tale as it continues to grow!

I don’t think it’s strange for you to be bothered by Zhiro’s puppy-ish-ness. I am purposefully trying to make him seem vulnerable, and his large eyes and round features when he’s young are to emphasize that vulnerability. However, there’s another aspect to it. Zhiro has been treated, by much of his adoptive family, as a pet in many ways. That’s the flip side of the visual design. A disturbing dehumanization can creep into cutifying a person. Making something cute implies that it is inconsequential, temporary, and easy to dismiss. Even if the cute “thing” in question is a person, with complex motivations and problems. So I often emphasize Zhiro’s cuteness, so that later I can follow it up with the ugliness of doing so.

I love the eye in the symbol. Actually, I love the whole symbol–it has many layers that you can keep finding, like the pupil and iris being an eclipse.

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