Panel 1: A girl is asleep in a medieval tower. There is a knock at the door.
Panel 2: The girl rubs her eyes.
Girl: (thinking) So cold...Where...Ah. Yes. Oh.
Voice from offscreen: Little Mistress, Little Mistress. It's time.
Girl: (thinking) Already?
Panel 3: The girl, in a nightshirt, faces a man in armor with a long spear.
Man: I'm afraid so, Little Mistress.
Panel 4: Girl's face, up close. There is a tear in her eye.
Girl: I thought I had more time.
Panel 5: The man's back
Man: Here, I'll give you some privacy. Get dressed.
Panel 6: The girl is undressed,holding her nightshirt up to cover herself. The man is still facing away from her, but because of the composition of the picture, we see his face.
Girl: What's it to be? The noose? The stake?
Man: The axe. I am sorry, Little Mistress. At least you will not suffer long.
Panel 7: The girl pulls on a shift over her head.
Girl: My fifteenth birthday is tomorrow. I had hoped I might live to see it.
Panel 8: The man's face, in profile.
Man: I am loath to tell you, but your husband has gone before you.
Panel 9: The girl brushes her hair.
Girl: Don't be! Had I known he were so much a traitor, I would not have married him.
Panel 10: The girl braids her hair.
Girl: I went to his bed expecting to lose my maidenhood, not my NECK.
Panel 11: The girl stands straight, fully dressed, hair braided.
Girl: There. Done. I can stall no longer.
Panel 12: The man faces the girl.
Man: Everything is in order, then? Said all your goodbyes, Little Mistress?
Panel 13: The girl faces the window, where the sun is breaking over an empty field.
Note on Process:
This comic was drawn freehand with India ink, a paintbrush, and a metal nib dip pen on heavyweight drawing paper.
I have only drawn with a nib pen twice before. A metal nib is stiff, stubborn. It creates a variable line width, which can add to the organic feel of a drawing, but it also blots, spatters, deposits clumps and blotches. It can't be erased. The rules I set for myself were these:
--No reference images.
--No pencil guides.
--Leave everything as it is. If the ink spatters, it stays. Clumps stay. All mistakes stay on the paper.
The nature of this kind of art is both permanent and ephemeral. In a single moment, a perfect line can be marred with a splatter, a smudge, a miscalculation or a twitch of the hand. Each incongruity is a tiny tragedy but also a remembrance of the humanity behind the line.
This post is for therealljidol topic 4, Devastating Beauty.
topic 0, Introduction.
topic 1, Empty Gestures.
topic 2, Uphill, Both Ways, Barefoot.
topic 3, SMILE!
Please feel free to read and comment whether or not you are in the competition.
This isn't part of the entry, officially, but deutscheami reminded me of this so I thought I would add it in for those of you who might be interested. The idea for this comic came from the last line of a set of song lyrics I wrote for a fictional opera (that I wrote for an opera-singing roleplaying character whom some of you might know of). The lyrics are kinda trite (be gentle, I wrote this ten years ago!) but the imagery worked for a comic.
I watched the sun rise
The last day of my life.
A glimpse of the light
bursts from far beyond the night.
The stars fade from the sky.
This sunrise is my goodbye.