Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eldritch: Lineage 019

*Heaves a sigh* Man, what a week, guys. It was really polarized… like, when things were good, they were GOOD, but the opposite was true too.  However, in between fun times and serious annoyances, I did manage to get the comic done! (Also, for those of you waiting on comment replies, I’m trying, I swear!)

And oh hey, look.  All of that crap Seamus was talking about regarding genetics and stuff turned out to be of some importance… who’d have guessed?

But there’s more here than just that.  Faith here has just learned stuff about her family history that she didn’t know, but would have been good to know.  It’s important to talk to your family, to learn where you came from and what your family has done.  Take it from me.  I didn’t, and neither did my folks for the most part.  I no longer have any grandparents… I can’t ask them now.  I’ll never know many of the war stories of my grandfather on one side.  Likewise, on the other side of my family, I’ll never know where the massive burn on my other grandpa’s back came from.  Was it from when he was a hobo? Or a carny?  What were my grandmothers’ favorite recipes?  What were their grandmothers like?  I’ll probably never know.  So… don’t be dumb like me.  Ask while you have the opportunity.

Er… that got kind of heavy, so, um… oh! Yes.  Folklore. So, about Saint Natalis...  Yeah, he was a real guy, and he cursed several folks to lycanthropy (not so sure that last part is real though ;3). This is what resulted in the “Werewolves of Ossory.” In this tale, the werewolves weren’t the ravening beasts you expect to hear about, but were quite pleasant, and able to retain human speech. In the story, one werewolf seeks out the assistance of a holy man in order to have the last rights performed for his dying wife, also a werewolf. The story caused quite a stir, since the story blurred the lines of man and beast, and performing last rights for a beast would have been frowned upon. But of course, such tales of werewolves are to be expected from such a place as Ireland, which was so well known for its wolf population that at one time it was also called Wolf Land.

I could go on, but, well, I have to get ready for festivities!  Thanks for reading, and have a happy and safe Halloween, Samhain, etcetera!

More reading:
Survivals in Belief Among the Celts -- George Henderson
Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts -- Bob Curran
The werewolf book: the encyclopedia of shape-shifting beings -- Brad Steiger
The Book of Werewolves -- Sabine Baring-Gould
The beast within -- Adam Douglas
Werewolves: The Occult Truth -- Konstantinos

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eldritch: Lineage 018

IF I can get it done on time, next week’s update will be on Halloween; how cool is that? (Okay, not that cool, but I’m a dweeb like that.)  However, things are really freaking busy, since I have a coupled of parties/get-togethers and a wedding to go to all in the next week, on top of work.  So, I’m gonna have to cut things short and ramble another day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First off… I know.  I fail at scripting.  This is a very dialogue-driven chapter.  If the walls of text offend you, I recommend you go to your local comic shop and give them some cash in return for a copy of Korgi.  It’s awesome and stuff.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the trippy thing: A lot of the crap in this chapter is based upon folklore and research. 

The Hounds of God (and yes, Faith has heard that term before), were, according to one man’s testimony,  real bands of Livonian, German, and Russian werewolves that roamed in companies of both men and women in numbers of twenty or thirty back in the day. They practiced traditions that were remarkably similar to the witchlike benandanti of Italy; these werewolves would travel to ‘hell’ to bring back the crops that the witches or sorcerers had stolen for the devil.  However, ‘Hell” was located at the end of a lake though the Germans an Russians had their own ‘hells’ to deal with).  Hell was said to have its own time, and in Hell, the trees are green instead of barren in Christmas time. However, there was mention of the doors or gateway to hell, and it was indicted that at some times, they were open… Also, it was explained that hell “is not on earth” but underneath it (one source refers to the place as the hell-hole cave, which I will admit is tantalizingly hollow-earth-esque, though I avoided that theory just because it’s slightly less plausible.)  This seems to be a very strange kind of place indeed, what with its location, gateway, and unique seasons.

Now, to me it’s pretty clear that The Hounds of God stripped down and sometimes used wolf pelts to become wolves, however, after forming the basics of how I wanted things to work, I was surprised to find a book by Konstantinos that expressed the opinion that The Hounds of God left their bodies astraly, same as how many of the benandanti sent out a fetch and left their bodies that way.  When thinking in terms of astral projection and all of that, it is easy to bring into consideration the different planes of existence, which leads us to alternate dimensions.

This is amusing, because it makes for a lovely lead-up to the theory expressed in Linda Godfrey’s books.  This theory, as expressed by a remote viewer, is that the werewolves seen in modern day America are travelers through time and space, and come from an alternate dimension.  (I swear to whatever deity you like, I’m not making this up.)  By looking at “Hell” as an alternate dimension rather than a physical feature on or within earth, it makes life a LOT easier, and ties into things that I’ll discuss at a later date.

Now that we’re on the concept of alternate dimensions… regarding Ley Lines as a way into other dimensions, well, that has folkloric basis as well.  I spoke at length about leylines before, back in the second chapter, but I feel the need to revisit them now (and likely will again).  I find it interesting that there are similar, though certainly not identical concepts around the world, ranging from leylines to ghost paths to songlines to fairy paths to corpse roads… lines of paranormal significance appear in many places.  For instance, Songlines have a certain connection to The Dreamtime, which is sort of a magical, primordial era that exists as dimension alongside our own.  Likewise, Corpse roads and such are associated with carrying the dead to cemeteries, and the whole process of death is riddled with stories of moving onto other planes of existence, like heaven, hell, purgatory, or, sometimes, even returning from those planes to haunt this world. Likewise, with fairy paths, depending on what you read (because fairy folklore varies so much) fairies would leave our realm and enter their own, someplace between the living world and the realm of the dead.  They had their own paths, which were said to connect fairy places together, and the fae were also at times associated with the spirits of the dead, connecting them back to the corpse paths.  Then you could get into things like Shamanic paths, or even a wee bit of offeng shui, and there’s a whole mess of these paranormal paths. By classifying these paths in Eldritch’s universe as all being variants of one another under the P.C. umbrella term “ley lines” it allows me to pick and choose the bits I like and mix them a bit. 

So, I basically took all of these elements, plus a few more, wadded them into a ball and made Eldritch.  I hope that by providing bits of the research involved, that you’ll better understand where I’m coming from, you know?  Hopefully it’ll be interesting to someone.

Also, string theory and membrane theory and Rosen bridges and such.  Also, I know, Bridge to Neverland did the Rosen bridge stuff first.  Maybe I’ll bother you all with science later, because Seamus isn’t here XD

Please read:
Timpson’s Leylines – John Timpson
Spirit Roads --Paul Devereux
The Beast Within --Adam Douglas
The Night Battles --Carlo Ginzburg
Werewolves --Neigel Suckling
Apollo the Wolf-God --Daniel Gershenson
Witches Werewolves and Fairies --Claude Lecouteux
Hunting the American Werewolf --Linda Godfrey
The Werewolf Handbook -- Dr. Robert Curran
Real Wolfmen --Linda Godfrey
Werewolves: The Occult Truth – Konstantinos

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eldritch: Lineage 016

So… yeah, the ash tree and mistletoe stuff? That’s actually based upon folklore.  Both ash and mistletoe were used to repel werewolves, and both were used to cure werewolves as well.  Ash trees in particular were used as wards against all sorts of evil. One story in particular mentions a man who climbed an ash tree to escape werewolves, and ash twigs were used to in ritual cures for lycanthropy.  Even the juice of mountain ash berries were used in a fumigation that also cured lycanthropy.  Likewise, while mistletoe repelled werewolves, the juice from the berries was one ingredient in curing werewolves.

You know the drill; head to your library and read these:
Werewolves: The Occult Truth -- Konstantinos
Werewolves (Around the world) --Elliot O’Donnell
Meet The Werewolf --Georgess McHargue, Stephen Gamell

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Eldritch: Lineage 015

Okay, so, this isn’t likely what you’re used to.  Aaaand it’s ugly.  It’d be cooler if I had the time to really render this well, but, well… it’s not supposed to be pretty.  I’ll post the preproduction art for it later.

When I was first jotting down ideas for this sequence, I just had to apply an old concept that fit the situation… you see, if you’ve been around me a looooong time, odds are you may remember this piece: http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&q=rageful+grahll#/d543m6  This was done freaking eight years ago.  Now, in the past eight years, I’ve had time to rethink that concept, and exaggerate it.  Basically, I’m using this form of uncontrolled, angered change as an excuse to have movie monster werewolves, as opposed to my usual anthropomorphics. 

The primary draws of inspiration for this came from An American Werewolf in London (The naked face), Dog Soldiers (the naked body with fluffy legwarmers XD), and Underworld (the sparse body hair seen on William), with a hint of Ginger Snaps for flavor ;3.   However, I picked Faith’s traits for several reasons… for one, the paws and face are likely to get the most messy in a battle.  You don’t want fur soaked in coagulated blood making your fingers stick together, or getting in your eyes (not to mention getting ikky if the blood starts to rot, as unlikely as that would be).  So, like a vulture, these parts of her body are bare.  However, she retains fur that’s just as thick or even thicker than normal around her neck, her ankles, and forearms to protect the very vulnerable veins there, working like a lion’s mane. Likewise, the fur on her back protects her should she be clawed at from behind, where she can’t defend herself with her claws as well.  The bareness elsewhere… well, frankly, I did it because I liked it, and it mirrors the bad-guys here, but I could say it’s also because fur is insulating, and losing some helps keep her from overheating in a battle situation.

And while that’s all I have to say about Faith’s design here, I’m not done yet.  I’d like to also take a moment to discuss Fauvism. Some of you may not know much about it, and that’s okay, neither do I; I imagine Faith knows more of it than I do.  However, Fauvism was a brief art movement that is probably best known for its bright colors, and while it was impressionistic, it often retained a sense of realism.  However, it’s the brushwork that really is the icing on the cake.  Truth be told, I’m not normally a stickler for paint texture and such.  But with fauvism, the brushwork is oftentimes energetic, sometimes downright rough… like the artist used the brush to claw paint onto the canvas.  Funny thing about that… Fauvism is, after all, the style of “Les Fauves,” which means, “the wild beasts.”  Truth is, for a long time, I’ve had a soft spot for Fauvism (though not as much as I do for Art Noveau, particularly the work of Mucha), and when looked at in the context of the derivation of the movement’s name… it seems ever so slightly lycanthropic XD