This arc has been a rocky ride; I hope this scene makes up for it. It means a lot to me, and is an important moment for the story as well.
That wraps up Chapter 13: Waiting for Dad… . The next chapter will begin after a 2-week break. I’ll see you on Feb 1st! You can expect to see some things from me at tumblr and Twitter, though, in the meantime.
Very powerful. Nicely done.
Just read through your comic, this is really beautiful! Both the story and the artwork! I'm looking forward to seeing more and watching the story unfold.
Makes me happy to hear (read?) that! I hope the story and the characters will grow on you as the comic goes on.
Long time reader and sorry I don't always comment, but this page is beautiful...
No need to apologize. I'm glad you commented here; now I'll know there's one more person reading the story of my babies, even when you don't say anything. :)
Wow. Ethan is taking it pretty hard.
Congrats on thirteen chapters. ^_^
Yeah... He may not care about the dead guy, but he sees himself in the guy's son. :(
And thanks! Here's to many more!
Very powerful, indeed. The last panel is Gold, even though it is so sad. In terms of artwork (the lighting with the reflections on the water is... indescribable :D) and getting the message told. Kudos!
(This is what Ethan would have been like if his dad would have been found dead and brought back. And seeing this, I just changed my mind about it: It IS better to know than hanging on to a hope you secretly know to be false and the realization of such falseness over time and the fading of this hope might be sadder and perhaps more damaging to a soul (psyche?) overall than being able to mourn... Well, probably.)
I personally knew a case of a child doing exactly that, holding onto a hope that they knew was never going to happen... It was heartbreaking. :(
Also, after staring the page up & down for some time: I absolutely love how Lushaka acts, from the panel where we see his face on to the end of the page. Now and here, Lushaka may be exactly the adult that Ethan needs, and Lushaka is not overdoing it, leaving the possibility for them to interact as adults (and friends) afterwards. (This is something I could not have even thought about, much less having an idea about how to depict it. Wow!)
I am probably completely wrong, since I often am when it comes to speculating about the emotions and future events of characters -- and I also want @Keiiii to know that I completely respect the fact that this is her story, to be told in her way.
However, my guess would be that the relationship between Lushaka and Ethan is going to be less one-sided than you might suppose. In addition to sympathy, I am reading a subtle form of respect in Lushaka's final stance. Many cultures with strong warrior traditions, such as we may infer the Rencho have, also make revealing one's passions and emotions taboo. Warriors are taught to be calm, controlled and aloof, revealing nothing of their emotions in their face and posture. For someone from that tradition, the fact that Ethan is demonstrably brave and willing to fight, but also unafraid to put his emotions on display can send a powerful message. It provides a window to their character rarely found, and if the character revealed is worthy of respect, then it can have a powerful drawing effect to someone more accustomed to dealing with more ... morally ambiguous situations.
In summary, I think Lushaka will be among the very first to realize that it is not just that he has things to teach Ethan, but that they both have things they can learn from each other. But, I may be completely wrong as well. ^_^
As for Gilrandir's hypothesis... you're not "completely wrong." Far from it! But the parts that are right and parts that are off are kind of intertwined. You'll have to wait and see what I mean...!
(And thank you for posting such a thoughtful hypothesis. It's almost unbelievable that this story, especially at this early stage, could elicit so much thought from people!!)
A writer friend of mine likened her own character development process to natural gardening. There's a lot of thinking, planning and crafting going on at the beginning, when you're making decisions as to what to plant and where. Maybe you want small flowers along the footpath, a larger tree in the center, smaller trees near the entrance, etc. But once you've done that and planted the plants, the rest of the process is largely organic. You no longer create the character; you learn about the character as you would about a real person. There may still be some deliberate crafting at later stages, but that takes on a supporting role rather than central.
I don't know if my own process is the same, but there are definitely similarities. For characters whom I've been seeing a lot in the comic so far, I don't consciously try to mold their behavior in certain ways for certain effects. It's more intuitive. Even when I am unsure and need to figure something out, it's more like figuring something about another person (or even myself) than crafting character behavior/traits.
Oh, Ethan. Not only does this show hit much it hits home, but I think it also shows his empathy. He's probably wondering how he can possibly break the news to the kid, personally knowing how much it's going to hurt him.
Indeed. And there's also his inner kid, the part of him that never healed from the past.