The art for this has been mostly done for like a week, I’ve just been struggling with the text. I think I’ve found it now. So here we are, passing the Car Marsh on our way downtown to fix the router.
‘Lo, child! I hope your weekend is going as well as mine. Made some progress on the Shadowplay rewrite, but you can’t see that yet; I’m still adding even more murder. More murder than your body has room for! I think. Presumably your body has room for, at most, one murder.
On the subject of bodies with room for more than one concurrent murder, Sects has a new page. Will be introducing two more of our cultists, a pansexual fish-boy and a very Texan zombie, on the next page after this one. I think that’s going to involve pastels, so we’ll be back in color. I’m really enjoying working with the Pigma Microns for the black-and-white pages, though – I’m not good enough yet with the pastels to get the kind of gritty precision that I’d like, so when the scenes get complicated or text-heavy I’m switching to the pens.
This page I ended up drawing, scanning in, tweaking it in Photoshop, then printing it out to draw more on the shopped version, which worked way better than I expected. I’m thinking that might be an effective way to combine the pastels and the pens without having to draw directly on pastel with the Microns, which I feel like would destroy the tips. I’ve ruined cheaper pens trying to do that, and I’m disinclined to risk it with these, but if I do punch-up in Photoshop and then come back in to draw over the result, it might produce something both pretty and readable! Imagine!
Apart from the page, I also did a (very) rough blueprint of their house, for my own reference. The layout will probably change a little as I actually start drawing the rooms and figure out the flow of action through the space, and once it’s settled I’ll make a cleaner, sexier blueprint that will be of use to anyone other than me. For now, feel free to bask in the horror that is my handwriting.
Happy Tuesday! I can do things, I swear. Actually there have been a lot of thing-doings, just mostly things I’m cuddling close to my generous bosom; some work on Shadowplay that I’m very excited about but can’t show you yet, and about half of a rant about names that I’ll probably have finished later this week. But today I spent some more time with my new fancy-ass pens (not to be confused with fancy ass-pens) and I have two new pages of Sects I’m pretty happy with. The dialogue may make more sense if you read the rest.
Don’t look at this one for sense so much as sound, if you will. I was kind of enjoying the iambic pentameter in combination with Emancipator, and so I tried to let the words arise from the sound I wanted to produce rather than from a coherent image or narrative, if that makes sense? I think that’s an interesting dimension to poetry that narrative lacks – and I guess it’s good I found one thing to like about poetry by sonnet 97, eh? – poetry has a musical quality that allows language to be used free of definition, language as instrument rather than medium. I may also be very fucking high. It’s been a good day. I hope yours is too, my children.
Daughter, pluck the warm seas from the earth, swing
each around your shoulders like a cape and
take your turn to walk across the grey sand,
and when you leave, you must take everything.
This bread we brought has supped the blood of ten
bakers’ thumbs – these fruits were grown from heartbreak.
These seeds require the fire to germinate
these daughters grown without the sperm of men.
We’re rising from the oceans two-by-two
We’re bringing all the shackles you cast off
We’ve got a list of grievances with you
Our daughters steal your dreams on wings of moths
As you approach I muster one last truth
and tie you down as they vanish aloft.
Another little something in the universe of Sects. I haven’t gotten too deep into the metaphysics of this setting, and probably won’t for a while, but the basic operating principle is that the eldritch invaders that have taken over the world respond to belief. A sufficient amount of emotional investment, commitment, faith directed at anything will, in effect, turn it into a tiny god. And I do mean anything. The cult of rejects at the heart of our story worships a taxidermied cat, and gives regular sacrifices to the router when the internet fails.
In a world where the strength and purity of your conviction determines the power you can manifest, children are powerful all out of scale with their size. Children’s belief is pure, thoughtless, as sharp and unstoppable as a diamond knife. I’ve seen it in this world as well as the one I’m drawing – if you ever did any playground magic as a kid, you’ve seen it too. It works when you believe completely that it will. The Ouija board may be a joke to adults, but when you were twelve, I’ll bet it told you things nobody there knew. If you’re the kind of kid who was jaded enough to actually say “Bloody Mary” into a dark mirror, just to prove how cool and unaffected you were, revel in your joyless little life, because you suck. Mary doesn’t give a shit about your cynicism; she only shows up if you believe in her.
When all that matters is what you believe
children and madmen will hold all the crowns,
summoning goddesses out of the ground –
their congregations don’t have time to grieve.
Try to remember the words they taught you,
like “light as a feather, stiff as a board,”
rituals on bathroom mirrors, chalkboards.
Watch out Bloody Mary doesn’t spot you!
One of the first to answer our call,
Mary was glad to get out of the glass.
Plenty of vengeance saved up from her past,
plenty of straight pins to stick in this doll.
In the end, we barely had to ask –
she didn’t need convincing to kill them all.