Okay, ton of stuff to talk about today!
First up, we managed to run through the last of our queued pages last week and Johnny is tied up with a Marvel contract this week. So the full color page should be available some time Friday. Check later in the day. Until then you guys get a rare treat of seeing what one of the pages look like before Johnny gets ahold of it.
Next major thing! There is now a Top Web Comics vote button on the page to the top there. I’d like to get your guys support on voting for the comic whenever you come to visit. The reason this is such a major thing is that it will help build traffic for the comic and get Ethos introduced to more people. Which happens to be one of my major goals at the moment.
So, as a thank you for voting and helping with this, I have a very special incentive available by voting. After voting you will be given access to an exclusive comic that not available anywhere else currently. It is a short story that tells how Nemesio and Quinn first meet about seven years before the beginning of Ethos. It’s drawn by a good friend of mine, Melissa Uran and was actually done all the way back in 2004 back when Ethos was first launched.
This is an Eleven page short story. So for the next Eleven weeks we will have two pages every week. The normal one here on the page and then one following the Top Web Comics Link. Enjoy! :)
And now for some commentary on today’s page.
What does innocence sound like as it shatters? What does it mean when there’s that horrible moment of enlightenment when we realize that everything will not always be okay in the world? That the bad men can win?
I think as a writer I’m fascinated with this idea of the loss of innocence. That it is moment of enlightenment and understanding that many of us wish we had never found, even if it was to mean ever living in ignorance. Yet, it is the cost of existing in the world. That to be part of the world means that we have to be able to be hurt by it. That to be able to love, we must also allow ourselves to be open to be hurt too.
When I’m with those I love, I know without any hesitation, it is all worth it. But in the dark of night, when the world is silent, doubt makes us all wish we could be back to that time when we were innocent.
Perhaps that part of the reason why our children are so important to us. Because when we hold them, for so many years, we can see the world through their innocent eyes. And why we fear for them so. Because we know that as much as we want to prevent it - as much as we want to put it off for as long we can – the day is going to come when our children lose their innocence just like did.
And like Aiyana, we are powerless to prevent it.
Not all of you may remember, but this actually the second such page like this (dealing with the loss of innocence) so far in the series. The first came with the actual first page of the comic with Aminta recounting some events of her childhood.
To quote Aminta: “I was afraid of the change that I knew was coming. I was afraid that once things were broken, they could never be fixed or put back to how they were.”
One of those over arcing themes of the series is this idea of fear and what it drives us to. Fear of losing people. Fear of having someone be close to us. Fear of pain.
Aminta’s situation was a bit more extreme, sudden, and violent, but it raises a good point I think too. The question is now, for everyone there, nothing is ever going to be the same. For Jadar and his two childhood friends, they are going to be forever changed by this. Every smile, will care the shadow of this day. And what has been take away, can never be returned.
Switching over to the technical side, I made a very conscious choice to not really show the actual violence. We aren’t watching Nilum get his face smashed in. Instead, we only have the faces of the people watching it.
This is done for a very simple reason. I could be most amazing writer in the world (I’m not) and Sarah could be the most amazing artist in the world (she’s not), but even with all our skill, we still wouldn’t be able to create a scene as horrific as one that all of you made in your own mind as you read and visualized this page.
Oh, we can build the tools for you, which is what we did, but ultimately its each of you that painted the picture in your mind. And it is more real than it could be by us showing each blow. This is a technique that I love, but can’t be over used really. Actually, it will be used once more in this story. Because like all writing techniques they have to be carefully used so they don’t become cliché or allowing all of you to become desensitized to it.