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 Final Quest # 13

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Wisp

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:34 am

I think the latest podcast shed some light on what’s causing the color/drawing issues.  Wendy feels pressed for time on each issue.  Sonny just got a lot more work from his main job and, I think I saw on the facebook page, recently got married and had a number of other major life changes outside his work on FQ.  If he wasn’t friends with the Pinis, I think he’d have been replaced by now.  This is a smaller side-job for him, and from a purely professional perspective, it’s probably time for a parting of the ways.  However, he and Wendy and so close, I doubt they’ll ever pull the plug.  

In general, I don’t think the art is bad, but the shortcuts just constantly jump out at me.  Like, I think the first page of the preview is good, but why isn’t Ekuar looking directly at Venka?  She’s just been shot, wouldn’t he turn his head all the way towards her?  My guess is that this is a reused head with a new expression drawn on it.  And yes, all the flying poses look like walking poses cut and pasted into the air, but I can’t say I’d be complaining that art if the characters actually were on the ground.  

Now “platinum blonde Sandsparkle” (I agree that’s who it’s supposed to be) is not only the wrong colors—she has to be the most butt ugly, amateur, misaligned elf I’ve seen since I stopped drawing myself.  Also, she clearly didn’t just change up her costume and do her hair differently.  She’s essentially wearing the same outfit as ever, and her hair is approximately the same as usual—it’s just that the drawing is so god awful and the colors so off that it renders her unrecognizable.  

Winnowill has always been great at exploiting weaknesses.  I liked her best in the early days when she mostly went in for psychological violence as opposed to monster-creation.  I don’t know why Rayek went crazy initially, but he has been under a lot of long term pressure like Sifra said.  It’s got to be destabilizing.  

I don’t think FQ is a kid’s comic book at all.  Soul mechanics?  The slow dissolution of a long-term relationship?  Decision making about whether or when to have kids?  We don’t even really see the elves just living an elf lifestyle, which was always the most appealing part of EQ to me.  I can’t think of anything in FQ that would interest kids.
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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:42 am

Yeah- okay. I hope that Sonny gets over whatever artistic funk he's going through. I'm going to try to remind myself that people who are not artists, and/or under the age of twelve, aren't going to probably care about these things. And then I'm to grow up and stop investing so much energy and attention into a comic book series that I picked up at eight. Things run their course, right? I am gonna try adulting for a while and see how that goes.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:47 am

Oops- just saw the previous comment. Well- I'm happy his life is going well! It's too bad they can't hire someone who colors for a living, though-- as there are people like that out there. I get not wanting to upset a friend. I think if he can't do the work though, because of other work, time constraints and major life events-- the best thing he could do as a friend is just pass it on to someone who can manage to put time into the project. Unless he's doing it for minimal pay as a favor... in which case, shame on DarkHorse for not ponying up the necessary funds to make it worth someone's while. But oh well. It's just a few issues in a long series-- and I guess it's just a comic book, after all.  Hope it all works out for everyone.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:02 pm

I can understand Wendy draws the way she does. My own drawings get uglier if I'm pressured, too. And as for Sonny, that's understandable as well. As long as Sunstream doesn't transform into his sea-elf-shape again, I can bear with the rest of the colors. Razz

Elfquest is a kids comic? My mother never let me read it when I was a child. She thought it was too violent and I don't think she liked the part right before the war for the palace, either. Razz

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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:05 pm

In just trying to justify the art lately. I read it when I was eight-- but I also read a lot of things that were age inappropriate. My parents never monitored my reading. It did occur to them.

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kathleen3.0

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:44 pm

My mom started monitoring my reading after I started reading elfquest but it was too late. I monitor my siblings' reading, and I plan on monitoring it very closely.

Honestly, I don't think elfquest is appropriate for young kids, it's far too violent, and the anti-Indigenous peoples stuff in particular is something I want to try to avoid exposing them to until they have the maturity to understand it and deal with it better. I'm hoping they won't be comic book fans, actually, and maybe we can avoid the whole awkward conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:04 pm

Heh, my reading that was the one thing my parents never monitored. But yeah, I feel you Kathleen.

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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:24 pm

Thanks for the heads up, Miscellaneous! Very Happy

Those pages don't have much spoilers indeed  Smile and they show mostly spotölights on the events and changing locations That's fine for a preview but doesn't allow much commenting on a story. I'll try and tell you what I see, like and dislike ...


Cover ... It's well known for weeks. I like that it gives me the impression of movement. That Winnowill's spirit floates over the scene, actually shining through and that she seems to guide - to drive Rayek. I really like their mirror expressions.
I dislike the "reddish" energies. They looks static and plain for me ... and pink (on my screen only?). They should evoke thoughts of power and danger and painful death - instead the color simply hurt my eyes.

Speaking of color - I got used to those greyish-yellow-cold skin tones and the dark colors in general. It has become the generic "mood" of FQ for me. Not my preferred way of coloring but something I can shrug off (as long as it's not plain and simple a miscoloring) because I know I'll never get my beloved Donning coloring back.


Page 1 ... the trio in front and Rayek seem to be taken from two totally different ...comics.
I like the scene in the foreground - there's movement, interaction and emotion. The colors are dim but there is light and shading and a liveliness that draws me in. (Wisp is right about Ekuar ... the head is from FQ#8. The outlines fit too well to be coincidental.) Speaking of downsides - is this greenish stuff around Venka supposed to be vegetation? It has neither the shape nor texture of leaves or grass.

Rayek hangs over the scene like a lost paper dressup doll. Okay, I can imagine that he made a wrong turn when he heard his daughter cry out and sort of lost balance. Or ... he shields his companions? Nevertheless the pose looks weird ... like drawn in a different style. Doesn't help that the colors don't go well with the rest of the panel. Yes, I figure that it is supposed to be a contrast but it looks disharmonic in my eyes. Dosn't help that Rayek's coloring (including the energy shield) is completely plain. No shading, no highlights ... it's how my try of (digital) coloring would turn out.
I see more action in the greyish-yellow trio than in "bursting with active red" Rayek.


Page 2 ... ... same problem with Rayek. He is flat. Two-dimentional in the worst way. And his energy shield looks so dead and static ... it kills my imagination. The trio is fairly okay - light and shadow and fusing hues. And the "flight wind" supports the imagination of movement.
It's like ... like the coloring was done by two different artists - and put together by a third. Puzzled.

In the second panel he got a minimum of shading at least ... but the part I like is Winnowill. Organic. Alive. Demonic.

Has no one besides me wondered how this "rescue flight" functions? It does not. Windkin might hold Ekuar tight enough - but never Venka. It is simply impossible with this hand position. And illogical ...
Venka and Ekuar should change positions, each lay an arm around Windkin's neck ... and if he holds them in a really close grip it might work.
*sigh* Let's mind-repair it ... all Gliders have levitation power and Windkin magically carries and balances his "luggage". Yup ... that's better. ^^
Ekuar's worries for Rayek ring a bell ... I want to like this scene. I do.


Page 3 ... jump cut. The Coral Palace is supposed to be colorful and shiny and mirror the crystal palace - reddish pink still does not work so well for me. Okay, that's my very personal problem with a color scheme ... but why does the first panel look like I've made a collage of original Wendy art from various other scenes? In an awful hurry and without taking care of individual size and perspective? O.O

I like the head shot of Skimback. The portrait is appealing, elfy and close to the old, familiar proportions. Even the color is fine for me - golden-brown skin and brown hair, tho more highlighted than usual. And I like that the "sending image" is pale and monochrome - only essential information is sent.
In a way I like Reef's protectve mode and new energy. Makes me fear for him, tho ... and I still hope he will switch back to his slender elfin shape and softness somewhen.

The character confusion puzzles me ... I have absolutely no problem to identify each of the Wavedancers.
First panel: Spine, Snakeskin, Redcrest, Kroosh. The girl is Sandsparkle in her generic colors - tanned, golden blonde and green.
Last panel: Krill with Reef, Salt in the background and the girl in the left corner is Moonmirror. Again in generic colors - pale, platinum blonde and blue. Poor Moonmirror got a Bratz doll problem - giant head, eyes bigger than the boobs and tiny hands... O.O (admittedly I've exaggerated with the eyes)


page 4 ... I like the first panel ... tho I miss a hint of background sky. The pose and expressions give me the feeling of interaction - they really share worries, the time and the panel. I also like the following action scene, especially because Winnowill seems to take lead. But WHY can I not get a transparent spirit? Ghostly shining through and without clearly defined outlines ... this was so charming and pleasantly eerie. Is it a way to POINT OUT that the spirits are alive and aktive? I'll better see it this way ...
Brown water looks like mud ... under which condition does water look brown like this? Is it supposed to be bloody?

Third panel - I finally get a shaded Rayek and a shining through spirit quality ... and for once I like the colors. Cold and hot - contrasting harmony. And Rayek's eyes glow like his death bringing energies. The couple beams with activity.

Awww... Snakeskin turned grey with all this stress around ... chief's fate! ^^

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Startear

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:05 pm

I'm telling you guys, the Wavedancers are like coral. Stress has a HUGE impact on them.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:17 am

From the National Abodean Ocean Service: "Warmer water temperatures can result in coral Wavedancer bleaching. When water is too warm, corals Wavedancers will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral Wavedancers to turn completely white."

Snakeskin seems to have a particularly advanced case, poor fish. lol!
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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:51 am

lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:20 pm

@Startear wrote:
I'm telling you guys, the Wavedancers are like coral. Stress has a HUGE impact on them.

Coral, you say? Now there's a gem we haven't added to our boodle chest. Gives me ideas...

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:21 am

@Startear wrote:
I'm telling you guys, the Wavedancers are like coral. Stress has a HUGE impact on them.

Wonder what impact stress had on Coral... maybe getting super stressed just runs in the family.



@Embala wrote:
jump cut. The Coral Palace is supposed to be colorful and shiny and mirror the crystal palace - reddish pink still does not work so well for me.

One thing is what colours it's supposed to be, another is what colours the corals actually have. I'm pretty sure Snakespin's powers don't actually allow him to change colours of the corals.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:14 am

I was not exactly talking about Snakeskin's choices and abilities here ... ^^

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:52 am

He was the one who made the coral-Palace. The only other time it showed up it was also pink, so it's not like they - Wendy and Sonny - got it right then, but this time went "We'll just make it pink! It's easier."
It's never been said that it's 'supposed' to have any other colours.
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Wisp

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:22 pm

@wingthing wrote:
From the National Abodean Ocean Service: "Warmer water temperatures can result in coral Wavedancer bleaching. When water is too warm, corals Wavedancers will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral Wavedancers to turn completely white."

Snakeskin seems to have a particularly advanced case, poor fish.

rofl

Headcanon accepted.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:47 pm

*chuckles* Your ability to actually live with the elves inside the story is enviable, Redhead. I wish I could get some of it back for myself.

I've not even thought of Snakeskin as the creator of the Palace. I've simply commented on my personal view of the colorist's - Sonny Strait's - choice of colors.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:28 pm

But that still doesn't mean it's supposed to have another colour. After all; if the coral palace was meant to be a replica of the actual palace, it's also supposed to not be so full of holes.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:41 am

It's out there. Aaaaand, it's actually a rather good issue by the first glimpse of it Smile The part about Rayek and the humans is rather meh, but I liked the part about Cutter. Even the art seems to be mostly unused Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:25 pm

Not available to me yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:48 pm

I got it too, I just sped up my iPad to speed up the time and purchased it. I echo Miss Gillespie's sentiments (although I don't understand what you mean by 'unused). I actually really like the Cutter stuff and the art style for it. It made me nostalgic for earlier EQ stuff. Plus it was just interesting.
The ending was weird. I need to reread it again several times to see how I really feel. I actually wish the entire issue was like the Cutter sequence because it was the most interesting story-wise as well as the most striking for me because of the starkness of the artwork.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:43 pm

Looking forward to it! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:45 pm

My iPad died so I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow, like some kind of peasant.
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Wisp

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:37 pm

I enjoyed the art in this more than the previous issue. As Miss Gillespie and Zadzi said, the Cutter pages are great! I love the sketchy, raw style, the monochrome. It really reflects Cutter's state of mind and showcases Wendy's drawing (maybe it's no coincidence that the best pages in the issue, IMO, had the least for Sonny to color!) I think it's sweet that Filcher followed Cutter. I hope they both survive their encounter with the strange wolfpack. It's unfortunate that Filcher is colored such a pale dun color--he looks like a white wolf on my monitor, and I'm surprised Cutter didn't completely flip out when he sprang out of the undergrowth.

The Rayek/Winnowill situation seemed to resolve very quickly. It's a little interesting that Winnowill was wrongfooted by gratitude, although I wish it came as a surprise to the reader as well as to her. Since Windkin already expressed this sentiment in the last issue, it seemed a little repetitive. All it would take is to cut the panels from the last issue, and have Windkin to send his thanks to her in #13, with maybe a little text box saying, "In sending, there is only truth. Winnowill has inspired many emotions on her victims but never--gratitude." As it is, Windkin's words aren't very artfully put. I think all elves do "blame her for her wrath." He just happens to have some positive feelings towards her as well.

I can get behind Reef's hulk form, except for his lips. They look like a fishy fu manchu. I like the panel where he transforms back into his elf-self to hug Korafay. I also like the image of Korafay on the rocks (although the brown color chosen for the rocks put me in mind of the no-hump poo on the previous page...) It looks like Sunstream's been drinking the condescension Kool-Aid Timmain has been serving up in the palace. First they want all the elves to respond the the damn call, but now his own daughter hasn't experienced enough pain to be allowed to join him. What the $#@&? Do they want elves to come to the palace or not?

As for the human-related plot....sigh. So it took them ten years to build this fleet, they sailed all the way out to the the Wavedancer's grotto, they sidetracked for a little ultraviolence, then...time to sail away! What the heck?!? Sure, they lost one ship, but they've still got the rest of the fleet. They already know the location of two elf tribes. Why not follow through and actually attack one of them? They haven't been able to conquer the "unscalable peaks" in ten years? Totally understandable, humans are notoriously awful climbers [snark]. Built a massive, expensive fleet to fulfill their dying dictator's wish? Let's just give up on that plan and randomly pick a new one. It's nonsensical to the point of absurdity. They didn't manage to kill a single elf in the course of this entire seafaring boondoggle. These humans are dumb. Too dumb to pose any credible threat to anyone (except perhaps the doctor who couldn't keep his trap shut about his elf-friends. Sheesh.)

Something that has been bothering me art-wise in FQ...the panels are sometimes very cluttered with a lot of extraneous characters. The problem is most obvious in the crowd scenes, which never look very good to me, but in this issue there are many panels where peripheral characters appear in the background. They just don't need to be there, and they're not doing anything funny or interesting. Even if Wendy is just cut-and-pasting them in, that's still extra work for her--work I don't think she needs to be doing. For example, on pg 18, in the panel where Ahdri offers to lead Cutter's "heart circle" to the proper tunnel, there's no reason for stick-figure Leetah or stock-art Treestump/Clearbrook to be included in the background. Personally, I think the panel would be better if it were a more dynamic composition with just Ahdri. With the time she saved, Wendy could have done an original drawing of her. Otherwise, I do appreciate some classic troll humor in with Picky et al. in the caves. Of course Trinket wants a pony!

Side note, it's odd that Ember is staying in the Father Tree Holt. It's not the first time the "original" Wolfriders have been without Cutter. Normally, either Treestump or Strongbow fill in as temporary chief. Now, Strongbow probably isn't in the right headspace, but is it really so pressing for Treestump and Clearbrook to get back to the troll caves? And let's think about who Ember's leading: Pike, Yun, Strongbow (who probably won't even leave his den for the next month,) Newstar, and....that's it I think. Do these 4 elves really need her around? Ember should have gone with the search party or gone back to her own tribe.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest # 13   Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:55 pm

One more thing that I liked--Strongbow's call-back to his first encounter with Timmain after the war with the trolls. When she returned his sending, her mind was so powerful, she came very close to his soulname without even trying. I can still remember his reaction vividly. In a way, his experience was a micro version of what Cutter's going through (in a loose sense, of course.) Strongbow experienced Timmain's inadvertent mental "invasion" as a threat to his innermost self. That threat has actually come to fruition for Cutter. He immediately cut her off to protect himself, and so has Cutter. Strongbow wanted to die because he felt his "smaller truth" could not survive his encounter with the high one, but in choosing to go on, he clung to "the way" all the more fiercely. Cutter is relying on his wolf-blood. Even Strongbow's conflict with Moonshade echoes Cutter's tension with Leetah and Skywise--the imperatives of mortal and immortal elves coming into conflict.

There's just a nice and interesting parallelism going on, and I'm curious to see where it's going. I don't think it's accidental. I wonder if Strongbow would have been the best elf to go after Cutter; I'd say that at this point, he's the only one who genuinely understands what he's going through. Maybe it's no coincidence that the two current wolfriders we see together in the palace in futurequest are the chief (Cutter) and the archer (Strongbow).
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