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C13P30 – Zhimaki

C13P30 – Zhimaki published on 16 Comments on C13P30 – Zhimaki

Behold, the proto-Warren.  Turns out, being jerks runs in the family. Specifically, the Zhimaki family, which we delved into the most back in chapter five.

The past few weeks I’ve been running features on the new Spider Forest members.  Today, I’d like to give shout-outs to two comics I consider honorable mentions.  SF has been growing significantly over the past few years.  We get more and more applications every round, but can still only take on about 10-15 new members.  That means a lot of comics that are quite good don’t always get in.  Comics are also chosen by group vote, so sometimes there are comics that I really love that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.  Other times, there might not be quite enough content for some members to feel confident (yet) and those comics might have a better shot the next time around.  Regardless, there were two comics THIS round that I really liked and I wanted to share them with you.

Indigo Sisters

This comic is fairly new, but I see a ton of potential in it.  It’s got a grim opening, but even with a lot of dark implications it still feels like an ultimately hopeful story.  I’m also really curious to see them explore the magical elements of their world more.  I am a sucker for urban fantasies.  The main character, Angel, has been bothered by recent visions. Things only get worse when her haunted roommate Sam moves in. They have to learn to master their fears and awaken their powers if they want to save Sam’s ghost. But along the way they learn it might not be enough to save their world.

Shades of Gray

(No, long-time readers, I do not mean my own old comic Shades of Grey, although I’ll admit the name gave me a double-take!)  Where Indigo Sisters is relatively new, Shades of Gray is loooooong.  And it is an incredibly slow-burn story.  It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you really love character drama and don’t mind decompressed pacing, there’s something about this one that really drew me in.  I will admit, at first glance I did not expect to like it.  Yet something about it kept me reading through the entire archive.  There’s some magic and gods and dream stuff and scifi stuff, but overall I’d actually put this more under a slice-of-life category than anything else.  It’s a lot about college/school life.  Making friends, growing as a person, goofing off, cramming for a test.

It almost has a Harry Potter vibe in that way.  Sure, it’s a magical school, but it’s still SCHOOL.  And all the good and bad that comes with it.  The main character is a boy named Ten who deeply wants to be a pilot, but both physical and mystical ailments threaten that dream.  Fortunately, he’s able to get a little help from his friends.  And frienemies.  And possibly the spooky fuzzbutt creatures that only he can see that may actually be real or could all just be an elaborate figment of his imagination as his condition renders him insane.  But…nah.  I’m sure they’re real.  It’s fine.  I’m sure it will all be fine.

A few warnings:  1)  There is some swearing and adult situations in this comic, so I’d probably rate it PG-13 at a minimum.  2)  Be prepared for some archive art shock.  The artist has improved their craft A LOT in the years they’ve been working on this project!

So there are two newly discovered comics that I think deserve some more love.  If you enjoy them, please leave a comment on their sites!  I know from experience how meaningful a kind word can be.

Do you have any new favorite stories you’ve found recently?


Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

A) I love the little art piece in the corner. B) I am glad to see that everyone has accepted their flufferbutt overlords. That’s Dream Eater’s real scheme, isn’t it?

Also, I think Warren’s gonna have to go on another lifechanging field trip with Pakku. And Una.

I imagine they’re like the dog Cory’s parents have. Her name is Oshi, and when she wants you to pet her, she will sit down some distance in front of you. And then…slowly…so slowly…slide backwards. Until she is leaning on you. Very pointedly. I’m pretty sure that’s how Rakaros insinuate themselves into one’s personal space.

I’m adoring how Kali is shnuggling in with the flufferbutts. Also, I feel like Professor Dream Eater is the closest we’ve seen Dream Eater to his natural element. He’s a trickster, sure, and we’ve seen a lot of that face of his, but he really seems to be enjoying sitting back and Learning People A Thing.

He really does enjoy this.

Also, what was that thing that Mizha said about staying focused? What question was it they came here to ask? Ah, I forget, this history lesson is surely related. Surely. Right?

I just realized that Kali has Bone Matron’s patronage/direction, and Bone Matron is the primary challenge to Vision. All the things her visions/headaches have prompted her to do are probably intended to set Vision up for a fall, or something like that. And it’s probably no coincidence all the mysteries that aren’t Vision have representatives in this little adventuring group – and arguably Vision does too, through Tama, heir to the throne.

It’s interesting, too, the divided associations some of our main characters have. In a lot of settings, once a person is claimed by a god, other gods won’t touch that person with a ten foot pole. But here we have Kali, granted insight by Bone Matron, adopted member of Raviki’s tribe, whose pleas for rain are granted by Waiziki. Tama, Va Naza heir, would in many settings be a paragon of Vision’s values, but as noted he acts more like the (popular, distorted version of) Nikiwa.

Tangentially related fan theory time. We know Va Naza senior got the job despite being second son because his elder brother died. Naza senior has himself noted that he doesn’t feel cut out for the position, and we all know Tama is not, but Naza senior’s brother was apparently well suited to the role. Maybe that means that his brother was, or would have become, a true vessel of Vision as the first Va Naza was, but the transfer of power was derailed by this jink in the bloodlines, because only one heir can actually be born per generation, and that heir must be the child of the previous heir.

Tama seems like a great Heir to me, if not of Vision, then at least of Lightning Snake.
Fractious and Unfocused? Check.
Acts only when he pleases and often nothing comes of it? Check.
Zanaza’Zha’el’s most famous proteges received ONE inspiration and then left. What if they had received two, three, ten? Would the second enhance the first, or, more likely, completely override it? Now imagine constant inspiration: the desire to write a treaty that will end the war over… an interpretive dance piece… describing the ancient customs of… innovative new train design! A times this “constantly inspired one” might be allowed days, or weeks, to learn a set of skills, before a new inspiration came, rendering it all useless. Then, he’d bounce off to a new set of skills… just like Tama. Tama has received the greatest gift Zanaza’Zha’el can give, and it kinda stinks.

Well put! I love it.

In fact, under this reading (Tama represents Lightning Snake), you could even see Tama as LSnek’s attempt to win control back from Vision, as if Vision/LSnek were two fragmented personalities of the same god. While LSnek wasn’t happy with things before he became Vision, he might be even less happy with their current state – or just ready to move on to the next thing, whatever. Responsibility is not in LSnek’s wheelhouse, and Vision has accumulated an excess of it.

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