Una Vignette P09 – MOKO Press presents: LeyLines, a Fantasy Adventure Comic by Robin Childs Skip to content

Una Vignette P09

Una Vignette P09 published on 2 Comments on Una Vignette P09

This is probably my favorite page of the set.  Originally there was a lot more dialog on this page, but when Eren sent me this one I didn’t have the heart to cover up all that lovely illustration with word balloons.  I think I made the right call.

I shared the material below a while back with my Creator Corner patrons on Patreon back when work first started on this short story.  Since it’s been months and it’s relevant to this particular page, I’ll share it with everybody here today as well:

Una’s mother is Pwamani and an Ozat fighter.  Ozat is a sport that mixes wrestling and boxing, with differently shaped “rings” (not all are circular).  Each round, the fighters try to either subdue their opponents or force them out of the round’s ring.  Whether this is done by a throw, a clever dodge, or a brutal pummeling is up to the fighter.  Each ring is encircled by another, so the fighters have more and more space to work with as the rounds go on, requiring different tactics.  Each shape also has a religious significance, although this significance is not always observed or emphasized, depending on the kind of Ozat fight it is.

I based the build of Hara, Una’s mother, off of Sara McMann’s physique.  In 2004, Sara became the first American woman to earn a silver medal in Olympic wrestling.  She also won several medals in world championships between 2003 and 2007.  She is now a mixed martial artist.  I wanted someone who had both wresting and fighting experience as a reference.

I’m glad that I looked up a real-world fighter, because one of the things I realized while working on my sketches was that I had forgotten how physically strong women can be.  We’re fed such a photoshopped image of how women look in most media that it becomes the dominant mental reference.  Studying just Sara’s neck muscles, for example, put into stark contrast the tiny, impossibly thin and lengthened necks women’s heads are often attached to in drawings and “photographs.”  It was really refreshing to draw a woman so powerful and muscular, and I want to bring more of that physicality to future drawings and designs.


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Una’s mom is so cool and I love her. Also poor baby Una. 🙁

I also appreciate you mentioning that thing about women’s necks. I’ve been drawing more lately, and one of the things that’s difficult when trying to improve my skill is being, like, “Does this not look right because it’s actually not right, or because I’m used to seeing impossible proportions in movies and magazines?”

It’s definitely a trip for artists. So many of the static images we see are heavily doctored and drawings of women are exaggerated even further. Our society has very specific beauty standards, and values women primarily on how little space they take up in the world. So you get images with the same features, the same exceptionally thin body types, the same pale or artificially lightened skin, the same straight hair, even the same nose shape over and over and over again. So our brains absorb that and go, “this is what a woman looks like,” even though every day we meet women who defy that very specific image. Trying to take that apart, and figuring out how much is what is media bred and fed, and how much of it is true observation, is a long and frustrating process. One I know I’m still working on myself.

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