Saturday, 11 September 2010

Gawain Project: The Sword of Kings 1-4

"Jetzt, wo der gute Utepandragûn seinen Frieden hat... Er ist tapfer herumgeirrt, aber ich glaube kaum, daß er mich finden wollte. Das beruhte zwar auf Gegenseitigkeit, und doch, etwas weniger einig hätten wir uns diesmal schon sein dürfen."

- Adolf Muschg, Der rote Ritter (1993)

Gawain Project banner

The comic is not dead. Whereas some future episodes are already getting a very definite shape, there is still a lot of sorting-out to do on others. One small step has been taken: a short bridge episode is ready. After three rewritings (you won't believe that when you see the result), I am glad that I can finally show you the eleven-page draft of The Sword of Kings. It is short, but not insignificant in the larger scheme of things.

You know the drill: constructive criticism is most welcome. I am very grateful for it and will certainly take it into account for the final version.

A few words about the current draft:
As per usual, I am posting layouts that I have been drawn on the train. They are by no means finished. The SoK drafts have been drawn with a ballpoint pen in a tiny notebook - less than half the size of the notebooks I used for TDH. That wasn't planned. I had been drafting in my usual notebooks, but I got stuck twice on the same plot element that I could not iron out. In the end, I simply didn't take my comic notebooks and pens with me anymore. But whaddayaknow, one day during a train ride I suddenly figured out how to go about it. The only notebook I had on me was tiny, but I could not possibly wait until I got home to write everything down.

The greatest drawback of the small notebook is that my handwriting is necessarily tiny, and therefore mostly illegible. So to make the layouts readable, I had to letter them digitally. The result looks very odd: you get sketchy drawings combined with neat computer lettering. I'm aware of how incongruent that looks, but I didn't have much of a choice :).

Now, on to the comic!

What went before
In The Darkest Hour, you could read how Uther Pendragon, High King of Britain, fell in love with another man's wife. He makes war on Gorlois of Cornwall and, with the help of the sorcerer Merlin, introduces himself into the castle where Lady Ygraine resides with her two daughters, Morgause and Morgana. Gorlois dies in battle and Ygraine cannot escape marrying Uther, whom she loathes. She bears the High King a son, but the child is given to Merlin as payment for his past services. Morgause and Morgana are given in marriage to King Lot and King Uriens, whose support Uther needs in his military efforts against the raiding Saxons. Then, finally, Ygraine finds someone who will help her take revenge: the mysterious sorcerer Klingsor. And so one night Uther wakes up to find his Queen gone...
(Need to re-read? You can do so here.)

This is how the story continues.

SoK 01


SoK 03

SoK 04


the comics expert said...

Yeah, that close-up of the eyes doesn't work in that sequence.
Especially with the caption just below it.
Maybe make the eyes more of an inset?
Or put them elsewhere?

the comics expert said...

Oh, not to be all critical: the rest looks your usual confident self.

Cecilia said...

Unlike all the other commentators I've read, I find no difficulties at all in the panel with the giant's eyes - instead, I think it gives an impression of majesty. What it reminds me, more exacly, is a scene from an opera, even if that it sung and this is drawn.

I hoped you would post all the pages together, though >.<

ampersand said...

@Cecilia: LOL! Yes, I guess it would have been better if I had posted them all together, because there are no cliffhangers to be seen... But I like having a few posts. It's going to get worse on - there I'll be posting one page at a time...

You know what: I'll post a poll on LJ to ask whether I should dump the rest of the story in one go (instead of two). How about that?

@Nout: I agree that the caption looks a bit unfortunate there. It's probably possible to keep the eyes *and* make the page flow better. Looking into it :).

Cecilia said...

What I don't know is if you have already drawn all the pages or if you are still working on them. If they're finished, I would say to post them all together.