Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 026

*slides in with a page* Oh, come now, I may be cutting it close, but you guys know I’d do my best not to leave you guys without an update, especially on Christmas!

Guys, thank you so much for the gifts of your encouraging words and support over the past year. I don’t really mention it enough, just how grateful I am to those of you who stick by my silly little project, in spite of its grievous errors, my slow replies, and silly things like the fact that I almost never, ever draw character’s feet. I hope that you all are having a lovely holiday season, and that the coming year brings nothing but health, prosperity and joy to you and your kin.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 025

Well, folks, tonight's the last night of the full moon! Enjoy the light in the darkest time of the year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 024

So, what is it that Granny’s drawing here? It’s a veve, which you may remember me discussing a year ago here: :thumb303215039: However, this veve, while not any official one, is extremely derivative of the veve of Legba, who basically acts as the middle man between mankind and the other loa.  It just made sense to me that if someone needed help moving between the material realm and an equivalent of a spirit realm of sorts, that a veve based upon Legba’s would be suiting.

In other news, the car is fixed, but I missed a day of work due to snow, so… gotta get that time back before the bill comes.  However, I splurged and went to see Frozen, which is a delight.  Seriously, go see it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 023

The Good News: It’s the holiday season!  Chanukah is in swing, Christmas is on the way, the winter solstice is fast approaching, and many other holidays and celebrations are on the way.  I hope that things are going well for everyone!

Now the bad news:  The converter shield fell out of my car, and it’s gonna cost a bit to get new parts and stuff.  No worries though; this time of year there are always shifts to pick up, so odds are I’ll be able to snag the four or so that I’ll need before the year’s out to keep the budget balanced.  However, this means that on top of usual holiday stuff, I now have even less free time.  I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to get the pages done, but if not, my apologies in advance; I just didn’t see this expense coming.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 021

Oh god guys life is so busy and stressful but I arted anyway so life is a little better, I think.

Also, it’s almost Thanksgiving.  So, if you’re in America, Happy Thanksgiving!  Canada? Sorry about the belated Thanksgiving.  To the rest of the world… have a great day!  Come visit and have some turkey with us if you like.  Or feel free to laugh at us celebrating the day we finally stopped sucking at living over here because the native population bailed our butts out (Sorry about that, guys…).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 019 and 020

Sorry about last week guys... I was AFK and unplugged.  Buuuuut, I have two pages for yout his week :3

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 018

So… back in the day, displaced French Canadians settled in the southern USA, bringing with them stories of France’s Loup Garou, or werewolf, effectively putting them in the mix with good ol hoodoo, voodoo, and generic swamp conjurers.

Over time, the spelling and pronunciation of the beast’s name began to vary and change, and it can be seen spelled as Loo Garoo, Rougarou, etc. The Cajun breed of lycanthrope has taken hold of the folktales of the south, and, luckily for werewolf lovers like myself, it is likely there to stay. This creature (depending on where you go) is sometimes described as being a little dog or fox-like, but is often described as being a typical werewolf.

Details about it vary… some say that it is a cursed man, forced to be a werewolf for a specific amount of time, (for instance, 101 nights) but that this curse may be lifted if someone recognizes who the werewolf is, and, sometimes, draws his blood. This is similar to other werewolf remedies, however, there is a catch! Neither may speak of it until the remainder of the curse’s time is spent, or the man will once again be cursed. However, not all Rougarou are cursed. Sometimes, Rougarou will sneak into a home through the chimney (Kind of like a big, fuzzy Santa Claus), and bite the house’s sleeping occupants, passing on the lycanthropic condition like a virus.

Though, being such a creature isn’t without its perks. Hatian Loup-Garou are supposedly very gifted at shapeshifting, able to become just about anything they want, while Roogaroo in Louisiana have a rather pleasant social life while in this wolflike form, gathering together in great packs not for hunts, but for dances and parties! As if that weren’t neat enough, these werewolves are able to arrive in style… each werewolf has a giant bat that flies them to wherever they want to be! (Or, maybe the Rougaroo just want us to think they have giant bats because they’re cool ;D)

However, if you’re worried about a Cajun Rougaroo getting you in the night, don’t worry! There are many ways to protect yourself from, or scare away these variations of the loup-garou. As it turns out, this breed is a little on the OCD side, and if you set a sifter, colander, or similar object outside your home, the werewolf will be forced to sit and count every hole before proceeding (this is similar to some vampire myths). In Georgia, spreading sulphur around your yard will repel Rougaroo (not to mention everyone else). This breed also happens to be terrified of a very simple creature: frogs. Since they live in the bayou, I suspect this makes life for them difficult. However, it is said that throwing a frog at a Rougaroo will frighten it into running away. Rougaroos are also very leery of Swamp Witches, you know, conjure folk at the like. But, if you need some hardcore protection against Rougaroo, the best weapon is something that you most likely have on your kitchen table: salt. It is said that if salt touches a Rougaroo, then it will begin to burn the creature, and the werewolf will be forced to cast off its wolf form or skin, returning to human shape.

Also, indecently, I hear that Roogaroo have a taste for nutria… so, if you ever want to attract one, may I suggest trapping a few of the little critters and keeping them about.

Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside – Brad Steiger

Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America – Scott Francis

Hidden Animals: A Field Guide to Batsquatch, Chupacabra, and other Elusive Creatures – Michael Newton

A Field guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and other Subversive Spirits – Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack

Cryptozoology A-Z: the encyclopedia of loch monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature --Loren Coleman Jerome Clark

The Werewolf in Lore and Legend --Montague Summers

Werewolves --Dr. Bob Curran

The Beast Within --Adam Douglas

Werewolves: The Occult Truth -- Konstantinos

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Werewolves --Nathan Brown

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters --Rosemary Guiley

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 017

I’ve had a pretty fantastic week. Got to try some new things, and some old things… lucked into another trip to the Rennfaire, went back to Wolf Creek Habitat, saw good friends… and even got a comic done, go figure!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 016

I had to be up at 5: 30 this morning.  That was yucky.  I’d intended on uploading the moment I got home but kind of passed out for several hours.  Oops.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 015

I’m sorry about the lack of folklore this chapter. I’d intended on rambling about the various myths about the Flying Dutchman and the biblical leviathan, but just… couldn’t find the time. Hopefully I’ll find the time later.

Not related to the comic but… I was almost in a car accident today. Someone wasn’t looking pulled out in front of me in a 55 zone (heading onto a bridge, no less) and I had to stand on the breaks to stop on time. It scared the bajeezus out of me. …Life is short, guys. You know that thing you’ve been dying to do, but haven’t found the time or courage? Go do it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 013

Well guys, it’s finally that most magnificent time, when the days are just barely warm enough and the evenings are crisp; it’s the time of year when apple juice tastes its best, and pumpkins stand watch on doorsteps. It’s the season when summer breathes its last dying gasps into the festivities of the harvest.

Autumn is here.

This is probably the time of year when it is hardest for me to work on the comic. Unlike the hectic rush of Christmas, when working on the comic is more of a relief, but time is short, in Autumn, all I want to do is romp about in the woods, eat caramel apples, and soak in the scent of the dry cornfields. In spite of old injuries and long days at work, I feel rejuvenated in the twilight between summer and winter.

I hope you guys have all sorts of wonderful fall activities planned. I sure know that I do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 012

Urf! I actually had this done late last night, but kinda got tired and ended up falling asleep.

But in other news… autumn is just around the bend. I’m so excited that it hurts; some of the leaves are even starting to turn, and pumpkin and apple everything is showing up…

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 011

There’s probably big errors on this, but life’s been hectic so I’m gonna just post this and run. 

Life is terrible and wonderful at the same time, and I think I’m losing my mind a little, and I’m not eloquent enough to articulate my thoughts right now, nor do I have the time to do so even if I could since I have to be up for work in five and a half hours, because I’m taking extra shifts. 

Yay run-on-sentences.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 010

This still counts as Wednesday.  It still counts.  I just got busy; that’s all.  I haven’t slept yet, so it’s still Wednesday.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 009

Well, thank god it wasn’t zombie pirates.

So, some things have been kind of disappointing for me lately.  I think I may have mentioned it earlier, but I recently had to make a hard decision and cut a lot of material that was due in a couple of chapters.  I’d been holding onto it with tooth and claw, but, well… it slowed down the story, and didn’t add much; it was a relic of previous edits.  However, I hope that after Eldritch is finished, maybe I can revisit those plotlines, as well as several other stories that I want to tell in the Eldritch world.  There are so many stories I want to tell, but I struggle just getting one of these crammed out every week.  Also, as it turns out, I’m not gonna get to see a friend of mine, who I’d hoped to see in a couple of weeks.  Bummer.

On the bright side, I look forward to next week’s page, and autumn’s only a month away.  Harvest has been good for my garden this year, and wildcrafting’s gone well.  So, while some things have been disappointing, things overall are pretty okay.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 008

Okay, scraped this together.  Been up since five thirty this morning… so I’m kinda loopy.  I’m also anxious as hell with no good reason why.  Guess I’d better sublimate all that stress and try to get working on next week’s update before I finally crash.
But hey, at least Todd’s doing Big Bad Wolf stuff, yeah?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 007

Please forgive Todd in the second panel.  I swear, that wasn’t in the bloody script, but it happened anyway.

Sorry to be brief, but I just got home from a crack-of-dawn shift at work (they’re trying to kill me), and in a couple of hours I have to head right back out and drive to another freaking state and back, just so I can be at work at dawn again tomorrow. 

In other news, the persied meteor shower was neat, so, uh, there’s some good stuff!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 006

Well, honestly, she just isn’t really well suited for anything else.  I’m not gonna make her a prodigy navigator or something.

I had enough time this week to scrape out something a bit better looking that last week’s update.  I’ve been blessed with more hours at work, but that means less time for other things… but I may have something coming up later that I wanna do, so I need to save what I can.

Also, we passed the 200 page mark for the comic a while ago.  How weird is that? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eldritch: Joourneys 005

So… life’s super busy.  Thus, I have no time for fix the derp face in the second panel. 

As for Captain Athens/Vanderdecken… There was a period of time when I was working on the Eldritch universe, and came up with a group of pirates with the intention of doing a webcomic about them.  I never managed to get around to it, but they never stopped being a part of the Eldritch world.  So, when I was working on the comic you all are reading, when I needed a way to smuggle Faith back to America, I knew just who to call on.  They may also show up at a… later date.  But that’s a story for another time.

Also… hey guys?  The Pirates of the Caribbean is not an accurate representation of the folklore surrounding The Flying Dutchman (and neither is this comic, for that matter.)  Just a friendly reminder.  :3

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 004

Hey guys, in my head, this music would play during this scene:

Oh god guys.  I’ve been so busy.  And sore.  Had loots of hours at work, which is awesome, but I also had to do some hard physical work too.  However, my weekend, while also busy, was awesome, so rather than complain, I’ll show you my Saturday evening condensed into a minute in a half:  and inform you that I had the great pleasure of getting to visit with Rekay and Shade, who are both wonderful magnificent people.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eldritch: Journeys 003

Man, I’m tired.  Been a long week.  But, here we are.  Also, yay for a background character’s moment to shine.  If I had a billion bucks and could do art and comics all of the time, I’d like to do a side comic about Ty and his adventures.  But those are tales for another time.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eldritch Journeys 002

Hey look guys, it’s a splash page!  … Get it? A splash page? Because there’s the ocean and… oh, gah, forget it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eldritch Journeys Cover

So… I’ve been doing this comic for years, and only now, at the sixth chapter, does Faith actually appear on the cover as a freaking werewolf as opposed to someone with fangs or just a normal ol human.  Huh.

Also, at about ten-thirty last night, I thought to myself “Gosh.  I bet this would look better if this was more of a sunset/sunrise lighting scheme than the one I have now.  Maybe I should change it.”  Why yes.  Sometimes, I am kind of stupid.

I like this version better.  But that was one of my more poorly timed moments XD  However, now that there are two versions of the cover, I now have Eldritch’s first Variant Cover.  Maybe I’ll save it for when I get sick and can’t comic… or maybe I’ll just post it for giggles.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 052

Well… there we have it.  That’s the end of the chapter.

Christmas specials tell us over and over that The Holiday Season isn’t about what you receive, or the tree, or the food, or the decorations; it’s about the spirit of giving.  But, religious significance aside, perhaps it’s not even that.  Maybe it’s about being with the ones you love, despite the hardships of the year. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 051


So… I have had the good fortune of not having faced much trauma in my life, and most of those bad moments were fairly quick, like car accidents.  However, for me, in the instances where things have gone badly, I find that I tend to react to it in stages… the first of which being getting out of danger, the second of which making sure I stayed out of danger, and the last part being the emotional overflow once it was all over.  It was upon that which I based Faith’s reactions here… she escaped, and upon being found, made sure that her friends had a way out for her, and now that she knows she’s safe, the stress of the whole ordeal is weighing on her.

However, while that’s all fine and dandy, for me, the really key thing here and in an earlier page is that she’s crying.  This may seem perfectly normal, however, some would argue this.  Montegue Summers explains in his book, currently published under the title <I> The Werewolf in Lore and Legend</I> that the <I>Malleus Maleficarum</I> at one point says that witches (which I would like to point out were also werewolves sometimes) were not able to shed tears.  Similarly, according to Joannes Arculanus, a werewolf’s eyes are unusually hot and dry, and thus, they too are unable to weep.  This inability is, in a way, a sign of the monster that these people have become… something Faith has had some, well, trouble coping with.  The shedding of tears here are a sign of her humanity, in spite of her lupine form.

…Okay, okay, I’ve rambled long enough, now I gotta get to work on the last page of the chapter.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 050

Only a couple more pages to go!  Thank GOD.

Man, I’m tired, maybe a little melancholy, but it’s been a good week, though.  Garden’s finally taking shape, so there’s far less maintenance to do, plenty of strawberries to eat, lots of clover to make jelly out of, decent hours at work... I think the worst thing to happen this week is that I tore another shirt at work.  Can’t complain much about that.

I hope life is treating you all well!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 049

It’s been a long time, guys.  Missed ya.

Also, I put Maggie’s wing feathers on backwards.  Oops.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eldritch: lineage 048


So, a few people accurately guessed who the witch was, and on the inside I was all “LET ME LOVE YOU.” But in text I had to be all “We’ll have to wait and see~” But now the wolf’s out of the box, so it’s aaaaallllll good.

Not familiar with La Befana? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but frankly, my dears, she’s Santa Clause.

I’m not even kidding guys. Here in America, we get this fun, jolly diabetic guy, but in Italy. They get a freaking broom-riding witch. How cool is that? It’s cool as ----, that’s how cool it is. The weird part is, with all of the varying Christmas traditions, I find myself with this strange holiday headcanon going on.

Aaaaanyway, I first heard of La Befana in late 2003, at Disney World of all places. My sister was on internship there, and we all went down to visit. As it turns out, during the holidays Epcot has holiday storytellers who discuss the holiday traditions of cultures around the world, as told by the various ‘Santas.’ It was very cool… but a little repetitive. Jolly guy with a beard… Serious guy in a beard... Jolly bearded gnome... Oh hey, the three wise men, that’s cool… Another bearded guy. And then I got to Italy, and we were greeted bu this freakin’ awesome lady who called herself La Befana. The details of the story of La Befana vary, however, in general, the story generally says that she was an old woman, or a witch, depending on whom was speaking, and that, after meeting the three magi, she was inspired to begin expressing great charity to good children not on Christmas Eve, but on Epiphany Eve (the 5th of January). Some say that after she opened her home to the Magi as they traveled through, they offered to let her join them, but she had to decline, but later changed her mind and is still searching for Baby Jesus, some say that she was so moved by their quest that she decided to bring that joy to the children of Italy, whatever story you hear, it’s still awesome.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 047

I’m still sick, but I am much better after a lot of time in bed.  Got some artwork done, and the garden’s finally starting to shape up.  But I still have a lot to do (Including getting to my messages, goodness!) so I’ll cut this short and have a longer comment next week! Be well!

Eldritch: Lineage 046

Sorry I forgot to post here last week... I've been sick and I was in a medicine-induced haze.  But I have a double-update for you this week!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 045

So… now that this chapter is finally starting it’s slow wrap up, I’m gonna have a nice sit-down and briefly talk to you guys about the Hounds of God/’Benandanti’ werewolves. I didn’t want to bend your ears too terribly earlier, since, well, your ears were being bent enough by Mr. Oppressive. Since this is just an artist’s comment, not a term paper, this of course won’t include every scrap of information available, that’s for you to research. But I figure it’ll let you folks know a bit about where I’m coming from and why I made some of the decisions I did regarding this comic. 

As I mentioned earlier, when I first heard of a particular group of good werewolves, it was from a not-well-cited source… in a metaphysical book.  (The Magic of Shapeshifting, by Rosalyn Greene, if you must know.  Please don’t judge me.) I rolled my eyes and figured it was just something the author had made up, and, since I was an ignorant, idiotic little creature who had done some research and thus assumed I knew everything. I disregarded it at the time.  However, then, to my surprise, I came across the same thing a few years later.

If I recall correctly, the first place where I rediscovered these good lycanthropes was in a (at the time) brand-new book called <I>Werewolves</I> By Nigel Suckling.  In this book there is a little section on “The Benandanti Wolves” that described good werewolves that battled for the wellbeing of the crops and fought with iron bars.  I knew that I wanted to do something with this, but not what exactly… Unfortunately, the book opens with a quote from publisher Sir Willam Collins reading “A book without a mistake in it has had too much money spent on it.”  While this probably was a comment on any possible grammatical errors, it put a certain grain of doubt in my mind regarding the merit of the book as a primary source. However, it was a start, and that was all I needed to begin looking for more.

It wasn’t long before I found information in a copy of <I>Witches, Werewolves and Fairies</I> by Claude Lecouteux.  It was a goldmine of information for me, though it surprised me.  In this book, there were no “Benandanti Wolves” But rather, it described two different, yet remarkably similar events.  Two groups, one in Italy and one in Livonia ( a historic Baltic area that I am admittedly rather unfamiliar with and need to research further, but seems to include a chunk of modern-day Lithuania. . Because of this, while most of my sources place Theiss and his kind Livonia, some say Lithuania.)  The Italian crowd, the Benandanti, were a group of spiritual warriors, who could, among other things, leave their bodies in the form of small animals and fought for the crops (this is a rather oversimplified description).  Meanwhile, I found a detailed record of the trial of Livonain werewolf Theiss, who also spoke of German and Russian werewolves who engaged in activates similar to him and his comrades… That is, he and his kind traveled to hell to fight with the devil for the crops.  So, I thought, I was dealing with two entirely separate, but curiously similar things.

Around the same time, I first saw a book that had actually come out a year prior to Suckling’s work… Rosemary Guiely’s <I>Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters.</I>  It contained very similar information to his work, including the use of Iron bars as weapons, but rather than calling these werewolves “Benandanti wolves,” they were called The Hounds of God (though it was explained that they shared characteristics with the Benandanti.)

Now, enter author Carlo Ginzburg and his work <I>The Night Battles</I> (otherwise known as “I Benandanti.”) It discussed at length the various exploits of the Benandanti, and their work against the witches and Melandanti, as well as their various methods of battle and their weapons, including fennel stalks (which, I may note, showed up in the seventh page of the first chapter of this comic.  I plan stuff way ahead.)  This is a book that I had thought at the time was going to be strictly about the Italian Benandanti, when, to my surprise, good Ol Theiss of Livonia/Lithuania made a little appearance there as well, and he called himself one of the “Hounds of God.”  The author, of course, did not call Theiss a Benandanti, since that was an Italian phenomenon, however, the connections between the two and shamanic practices were drawn.  In addition, it was there that I learned that in some cases, the Benandanti (as well as witches) were said to ride various animals, including dogs, into battle.  The canine connection there, combined with Theiss’s Hounds of God statement, well… it got my brain working a tad…

Then there is Adam Douglas’ <i>The Beast Within</i> which also makes note of Ginzburg’s work.  In it is a theory that the Benandanti were not merely a local phenomenon, but were perhaps the westernmost protrusion of eastern influences.  So, I thought, if such an event, unlikely as it may seem… It is possible that the Benandanti themselves came from the lycanthropic traditions of the Germans and Russians mentioned by Theiss, linking them back together as a continuation, spread, and evolution of one set of folk beliefs, that divided into various localized practices while retaining its basic ideas and principles.

But, well, surely those mentioned above were the only similarities, correct? Well… maybe not.  In Ginzburg’s work, it mentioned that some Benandanti were called to their spiritual duties by an angel.  Montague Summers’ work, currently published as <I>The Werewolf in Lore and Legend</I> describes an event in Livonia in which a crippled boy summons folks around Christmastime, at which point, those who follow him are then turned into wolves for an extended amount of time.  Curiously enough, Theiss said that some of his lycanthropic exploits took place on the eve of Saint Lucy… the 13th of December.  The dates don’t match exactly, sure… but they’re close enough to catch my attention, and close enough to note the similarity, especially given the summons by a being that would generally be considered as good or at the very least harmless in appearance.  Furthermore, Summer’s work describes the werewolves being flogged with a whips knotted with iron… which is a curious reversal of what is written in Ginzburg’s work, which describes the Hounds of God perusing the devil and attacking him with whips of iron.  While there is no definitive proof that the Livonian werewolves in Summer’s book are the same as those in Ginzburg’s… there are some links here.  In addition, given Summer’s position as a reverend, it could be possible that the concept of good werewolves made him uncomfortable, so he tweaked the story to suit his own beliefs, turning good werewolves into bad ones, or, the option that I prefer, that he simply misunderstood.

As time passed, imagine my surprise when I then stumbled across a book from my childhood <I>A Lycanthropy Reader</I> which was edited by Charolette Otten, and Theiss, referred to as the “Good Werewolf of Lithuania” was mentioned briefly in the notes.  In addition, previously, while researching the Greek God Apollo, Theiss had once again shown up.  In <I>Apollo, the Wolf-God</I> Daniel E. Gershenson spent some time musing over the werewolf confraternities like that which Theiss belonged to, and its connection with agriculture.  He made note of his loyalty to his particular group of werewolves, which I had been finding kind of cultish.  This got me to thinking about what sort of social structure such a group might have today, especially if, as implied above, they were connected along a wide space, including Italy, and the wolf-linked city of Rome, where the heart of the Catholic Church is. 

I’m sure that by now you can see where some of the various aspects of this comic came from, and I continued research well into the start of Eldritch.  I find that as time progresses, the connection between the Benandanti and werewolves is being drawn even more, with ‘Benandanti’ being used as a descriptive term indicating a particular, shall we say, formula of belief rather than the actual Benandanti of the Firuli region of Italy.  The, well, not-terribly accurate 2009 book <I>The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Werewolves</I> By Nathan Brown flat-out calls Theiss a Benandanti werewolf, and a less-than perfect resource, yet one I still enjoy greatly, <I>The Werewolf Handbook</I> from 2010 has a small section on what it calls “Benandanti Werewolves.” The 2011 book <I>Werewolves</I> By Zachary Graves also has a section on The Hounds of God, referring to Theiss as “a werewolf of the Benandanti kind” and later referenced a group of “Benandanti werewolves” in 1610. 

There could be plenty of good arguments made on either side about the validity of such a term as “Benandanti Werewolf” in a scholarly context (As opposed to a fictional context as seen in this comic.)  However, given this trend, it seems that Benandanti Werewolf is a term that will continue to stick around in nonfiction werewolf works, inaccurate as it may or may not be.  One only needs to look at the odd myths that imply that a werewolf becomes a vampire when it dies, or the numerous meanings or the variations of the French term loup garou to see that this kind of confusion is not unheard of in werewolf lore, and likely will continue into the future.

I’d like to end this by noting that in an odd twist of irony, sitting next to me as I write is a 2010 book titled simply <I>Werewolves</i> by Konstantanos.  It was published by Llewellyn, a company known for its metaphysical publishings.  And yes.  It also briefly mentions Theiss, and the Benandanti.  I suppose it’s just a little jab at my younger self, reminding my current self not to be closed minded, or to utterly disregard interesting information and fail to research further just because I think it’s wrong, or because the source isn’t perfect.  It just means that I need to remember that I will never, ever know everything, and more work will always have to be done to discover what the facts are, if there are any to be had… because, you never know what wonderful ideas you may get from doing a little hard work and research.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 044

Holy crap, almost there…

Well folks… life’s been busy.  Lots of hours at work, lots of weeding and digging in the garden (because fresh food is good!) and a lot of stuff going on.  I’ve been booked for two conventions, the first is a steampunk con where my ‘werewolf lunchbox’ as it was recently called by one of the folks at Marcon, will be on display in their curiosities exhibit, and then the next week I’m scheduled to teach several costuming related panels at another con.  On top of that, I have some work for a client that will be starting very soon, and another (mostly finished) project in the wings that I’ve posted some stuff about in my scraps.

The point I’m making here is… I’m getting a tad overwhelmed.  I promise that I will try my best to get Eldritch done on top of all of this; but I may miss an update or two in the coming few weeks.  I’m trying to get ahead of the curve so I’ll have pages to post when everything piles on top of me, though, if I do miss an update, I promise I will have something Eldritch-related to show you all; I have a couple of little doodles and things for such occasions.

As always guys, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 043

So, you may or may not know this, but what Artur is singing is the prayer of Saint Francis, and it happens to be my favorite prayer.  You’re welcome to look it up, but the short version is “God, help me be a good person,” which, frankly, I can always use a little help with. However, my liking of the prayer itself isn’t why it’s included here.

Saint Francis is known for his relationship with animals, and his ability to preach to birds, who would listen to him.  However, he did good work with other creatures as well, including the wolf.  Gubbio, Italy used to be terrorized by a marauding wolf, and those who left the safety of the city walls often fell prey to its murderous appetites.  However, as it so happens, Saint Francis was living in the city at the time.  He bravely went out alone and made a deal with the wolf.  If the wolf were to abandon its terrifying raids on the village, the people of the town would feed it, and it would be permitted to walk the city streets.  The wolf agreed, and it and the villagers lived in peace till the end of the wolf’s days.

The Story of Saint Francis and the wolf is fairly well known, however, a few, such as Leonard R.N. Ashley in his writings within The Complete Book of Werewolves seem to think that the wolf of Gubbio was in fact a werewolf, and that the saint returned it to human form.  Others still, as is mentioned in Louis Untermeyer’s The Donkey God suggest that the term ‘wolf’ was a metaphor, referring to an outlaw or marauder. 

Whether it was man, beast, or maybe even a little of both, we may never truly know, but I just couldn’t leave out a reference to the tale when writing this chapter.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 042

If there’s anything particularly folkloric on this page, I seem to have forgotten or didn’t make note of it in the script.  However, at least there’s hope for a second escape attempt.

In other news, I’m sore.  Work has been rough, and the next two days are gonna be a real pain.  But at least the weather’s taking a nice turn.  It’s a shame that soon we’ll be out of the sweet spot of spring and sweating like sinners in church.  Also, my drawing hand has been bothering me, well, rather, the wrist. I guess I pulled it at work or something.

Anyway… I’m tired as heck, so I’m gonna head to bed.  I’ll see you all next week!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 041

So, about the different ‘uniforms…’ both are actually based upon descriptions of the attire worn by the agrarian benandanti in Carlo Ginzburg’s “The Night Battles.”  As I’m sure you’ve figured out, the Hounds of God wear the black and gold, while the Agrarian Benandanti wear red and white.  Fun little tidbit there.

Also, in case you missed me flailing earlier, I did well at Marcon.  Took home Best in Show among other awards.  It was a good time, and life is most excellent.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 040

I know.  This isn’t the best page and it’s totally my fault.  One, I wasted a bunch of time outside making a snow werewolf yesterday, and two, the Marcon Masquerade competition is this coming weekend, and I’ve been fine-tuning the skit audio and tweaking my competition costume, which has been in the works for years because I simply could not afford to put out a good, master-class quality costume within one or two years.  The skit is less than a minute long, and I’m still not properly prepared.  I have a lot of rehearsing to do.  I have some things to tweak.  And even though it’s not until Saturday night, I’m already all nerves.  So… yeah.  That cut into this week’s comic time, and is gonna cut into next week’s as well.  Gonna try to make the best of it though.

I’ll see you all next week!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 039

Oh yeah, that’s right, this is a Christmas story!  Did you know that in Livonia, it’s said that werewolves used to come out in droves and run around the countryside?

Well, regardless of Christmas wolves, here we are again.  Good lord the weeks come and go fast.  Not the best page ever.  Oh well… gotta keep moving.  However, I’m gonna take a moment to discuss a… I dunno.  A gripe? A tip? I’m not sure, so just skip it if you like.

Still here? 

Huh, I figured you’d move on.


So here’s the thing… regardless of the kind of art you do, be it writing, flatwork, sculpture, music or culinary, people are going to tell you what to do with your personal work because it doesn’t suit their individual tastes.  Now, thankfully, most of this will be in polite suggestions.  When suggestions are asked for, this is all well and good, but I’m not talking about those sorts of things.  I’m talking about the people who act like they’re better than the artist they’re talking to.  Those who seem to think that artists of whatever kind have the unique opportunity to heed their singular ‘expert’ advice, and that if they don’t, the artist in question is either stubborn, stupid, ungrateful, or a million other things.

I cannot tell you how often people have tried to tell me what I “Should” do with my comic over the years I’ve been working on it. That doesn’t mean that the advice of others is wrong; the comic has lots and lots of problems.  I’ll gladly admit, good points have been made, though, since I’m doing this to please myself, I can tell you with the utmost confidence that it’s pretty good for its target audience. (This of course, would be different if this involved commissioned work, where the job is to please the client.  In those cases, yeah, you have to heed their advice whether or not you agree with it.) That being said, there have even been some instances where I’ve explained part of what’s going on in my comic, only for someone to turn around and tell me my own idea again as if they’d come up with it themselves, either because of simple ignorance on their part, or because they outright didn’t read what I wrote.  It makes that whole “Hey, I got it, what if she’s on OUR side?” scene in The Lion King all the more funny. 

Regardless, here’s the thing:
<B>You, as an artist, don’t have to do what others tell you when it comes to your personal work.</B>

Be open to good advice.  But don’t limit yourself to the demands of others. 

It’ll be hard.  When someone goes out of their way just to tell you that they dislike your work, and that “It’d be better if you had…” or “If it were me I would have…” it’s oftentimes like a punch to the gut.  It makes you feel like you’ve wasted hours of your life, and that you’re worthless.  Even if you have thick skin, somewhere, it still hurts.

However, when you’ve decided to do the scary thing and share your work with the whole world and then someone gripes about the hard work you’ve done, just remember that they’re not the ones making the art.  YOU ARE.

You, personally, are contributing to enjoyment in the world, even if people sometimes forget to mention to you that they enjoyed looking at, reading, tasting, or listening to your work.   Just because one person, or a few people don’t like your personal artistic ideas, that doesn’t mean that they’re bad ideas.  They might benefit from a little polishing, but they’re still GOOD ideas and they’re still YOUR ideas.  Don’t EVER let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Keep doing what you do.

Make mistakes. 

Celebrate your successes.

 Learn, grow, and create.

Be an artist.

Be your own artist.

And make the best damn art you want to make, regardless of everyone else.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 038

So… I don’t know if any of you have done any study on the Codex Gigas… but if you haven’t, let me tell you, it is SUPER cool.  I mean, for one, check out the size of it: and two, check out the famed Devil image from the book:  That is SCARY stuff, and veers away from the usual demonization of previously existing gods.  It is its own, unique Satan, and its appearance, as well as its monstrous size just screamed ‘Bible-for-a-dragon” to me.  God, even the cover is beautiful:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 037

… Well, crap.

Well, Faith, it was a good try.  Don’t be too mad at them.  They were just doing their jobs.

In other news… I was bummed. When I first started the sketch for this, I had a nosebleed and it dripped on the paper.  Thankfully, not much work had been done and I could just start over.  Ugh, art always has difficulties, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 036

Nothing too folkloric going on here… but it’s not too bad either.  I… don’t really have much to say.  So, um… here, have a video: 

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely full moon, and I’ll see you next week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 035

Life has been crazy busy.  Like woah.  So, here’s something random:

Tips for Webcomicers:  Take field trips.

There are two kinds of field trips… those where you plan to visit someplace as a means to research for your comic, and those where you head out in search of inspiration.  Both are equally useful.

 For instance, I sometimes take field trips out to the zoo so I can watch the animals, sketch, and take photos  I also took a trip out to The Moonville Tunnel in Ohio so I could get a feel for what it was like to be in a big, underground tunnel like what Faith’s in now.

Meanwhile, sometimes good inspiration can come from unexpected places… like how these pumpkins served as a pleasant inspiration for how I wanted Halloween to “Feel” in Mapleveiw and  sometimes, inspiration comes when you least expect it, like when I was traveling this boardwalk in Florida, which you’ll probably see referenced later on .

The point is… get out of the house.  Go places, do things.  Heck, do it even if you aren’t a webcomicer, or storyteller, or what-have-you.  Maybe you can find inspiration for other things instead!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eldritch Lineage 034

Oh my god, something finally happened. I spent pretty much this whole page listening to this: which I’ve become addicted to. Other than that… been busy working on projects. However, there’s something less pleasant I’d like to discuss, so, if you’d rather not hear me whine, just quit reading here, mmkay?

 Thanks. So… what do I want to discuss? Well, while almost all of you are wonderful, sweet, amazing people, and I love you to tiny werewolfy bits… Not everyone quite understands what goes on in making this kind of thing. As you all know, I do a lot of research, a lot of scripting, and spend a lot of time sitting and drawing this freaking thing. It has taken Hundreds Of Hours Of My Life. I could spend that time watching programs everyone else likes. Or getting fit. Or doing better, more detailed work. I could spend that time hanging out with my friends. And I would be a heck of a lot richer if instead of doing this comic, I had picked up more hours of work. But no. I instead decided to do all of this work and provide a comic that, while I do hope to turn a profit from it when it’s finished, people can read it for free.

So… you can imagine my frustration when people gripe at me about it because it doesn’t suit their tastes. But that happens… and constructive criticism is something that everyone needs from time to time; I’ve learned a lot from it, though I may not have been properly appreciative of it at the time… put simply, some griping is okay, even though it might damage my ego. But sometimes, I get the best of all: People who bitch about watermarks. This week, I had someone I’d never seen before contact me on DA asking me to ‘fix’ the watermarks on my blog.

So, let me make something clear to folks… if an artist watermarks their work,It is not a flaw. There is nothing to fix. The work is being presented as the artist wishes it to be presented at that time. Yes, they’re annoying, but water marks are basically like the opening credits of a movie. You may not like them, but they help ensure that people are properly credited.

But here’s the real kicker… when I told this guy that I did it as a safety precaution for myself and my work, their response was to say that they wanted me to email the unwatermarked pages to them, to trust them (a total and complete stranger, mind you) not to redistribute or sell my unwatermarked work, and that they “just need those two pictures.” Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure. I’m totally gonna treat some random person differently from my other readers. Suuuure, I’m gonna trust a complete stranger with my work.

Guys, this is the kind of stuff your favorite artists (of any sort, writers, photographers, comicers, illustrators, sculptors, and many more alike) deal with behind the scenes. Heck, sometimes they have to deal with it out in the open too. We get a lot of folks who are inconsiderate, or self-centered, entitled jerks, or all three, who for some reason, think that we owe them something merely because they graced us with their presence, even though we provide entertainment that everyone gets to see FOR FREE. Folks don’t have to pay admission. They don’t have to buy a ticket. And in my opinion, these kinds of people, who complain and gripe about such things at these artists in spite of this, make said artists uncomfortable, are one of the reasons why we can’t have nice things.

So... yeah.  Just a PSA, I guess.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 033

So, on the one end, I had a lot of fun with this one… simply because I got to play with a look that isn’t present in the rest of the comic… dream sequence and all.  The bad news is that since I sat here with my light under my face and looking into a mirror as I drew… Faith ended up looking a little too much like me.  Which resulted in her looking like my sister.  That’s weird.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

At one point, this dream sequence occurred much earlier in the story. However, the other chapters had other things going on, and I felt that it would be best to leave the dream sequences until they actually had some sort of purpose.

It’s kind of ironic… it’s another dream sequence, but this week, I seem to be having a really crappy time sleeping. I dunno. I keep lying in bed thinking I need to go do something elsewhere but I have no idea what that is. And when I do sleep, I rem rebound really hard, so, I’ve had really vivid dreams, though I can’t quite recall a lot of them. I’m just restless, I guess. On the bright side, however, I got to have a really awesome conversation the other night and that was awesome. There’s always a silver lining!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eldritch: Lineage 031

So, you may have noticed a butterfly and a blue blob, er, bird in the background in one panel.  According to Carlo Ginzburg’s The Night Battles and Claude Lecouteux’s Witches, Werewolves and Fairies, (Agrarian) Benandanti could send out their spirits in the form of small animals.

Busy week here.  That’s my fault though, really, since I decided to spend my Saturday off at an anime convention.  Good things happened.  Bad things happened.  I learned some lessons.  If any photos of me crop up, I might link them next week.

It’s supposed to snow a little tomorrow.  I’m kind of happy about that.  If it’s gonna be cold, I want it to be pretty.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

May what happened to me happen to you.

This seems innocent enough. However, in folklore, this is supposedly how one became a benandanti werewolf/ Hound of God. According to the trial of Theiss, to transfer lycanthropy, one werewolf would drink to someone else’s health, blowing three times over the jug and handing it to the initiate. If the soon-to-be werewolf took the jug, he would become a werewolf. This is why you always keep a close eye on your drinks guys. You never know who might be trying to infect you with lycanthropy.

Now, randomly… at one point, this interaction was going to be a lot longer, and the discussion was going to involve Faith’s Father, including his drinking habits. However, I eventually decided against it. There was a portion of time when Faith’s family played a bigger role throughout Eldritch, however, I eventually decided that it would be better to have them absent, save for mention here and there. This is in part because for many, that is part of the college experience, your first time away from your folks… but also as a part of the classical hero’s journey, though I’d hesitate to call Faith a hero.

Some books you may have interest in:
Witches Werewolves and Fairies --Claude Lecouteux
Apollo the Wolf-God --Daniel Gershenson
The Night Battles --Carlo Ginzburg
The Werewolf Handbook -- Dr. Robert Curran