Moral lessons always go better with Ice Cream.
Story Notes: Void is the girl from the last several pages, of course. As she says in panel 2, she and Heart are sisters. They also have a third sibling who does not often put in an appearance. No, they do not combine their powers and form Captain Planet.
I’m sure it seems like there’s a trend in Shadsly of using nouns instead of “normal” names (Shadow, Heart, Void, Escutcheon, Eucharist), but it’s mostly just a coincidence that so many have shown up all at once. Escutcheon and Eucharist are both code names of sorts. Shadow’s name is a bit unusual for her culture(s), though not freakishly so. Heart and Void are just odd characters, no matter how you slice it.
We’ll soon be meeting more characters (beyond Tyron and Uri) whose names are a bit more … well, not normal, so much as less noun-based. At least what we have now is better than “Mr. Guy”
Art Notes: I am really pleased with panel 4 of this page, given the difficulty with making Void look neither shadowy nor ghost-like. It’s no more accurate as a representation of what is there (Void’s face isn’t invisible, any more than it’s made of blank skin), but at least this way it looks better.
I am also pretty happy with the page as a whole. It’s probably the first page where nearly all of the panels turned out really nicely, and it felt like the style was getting reasonably consistent. Panel 6 gave me some fits (hands again), and panel 7 was very taxing on my laptop due to the sheer quantity of kirby dots (I’ve got entire pages that have less bezier nodes in inkscape than that one background has) and I lost a much nicer drawing of heart due to a software malfunction as a result, but other than that the page went very smoothly.
Both Heart and Void’s character designs were inspired by some girls I saw (separately) at a convention a few years ago. Insofar as Void goes, the girl she is based on was either getting sick or just getting better, so had this thready, weak, and halting sort of voice. That’s how I imagine Void talks all the time.
Before coming out to meet Heart (between this page and the previous one), Void put her hair into a ponytail, just in case you were confused.
I enjoyed doing this story in black and white. As some of you may have deduced, I did it in large part in order to make the red on page 18 more jarring (and perhaps a bit of a relief from the oppressive greyscale); it was originally planned for this page, but I saw the opportunity to do it earlier, and that meant I got to focus a little more on Heart and Void here. At any rate, I seem to work much faster this way (though still not “fast” by any stretch of the imagination), but I actually do love color, and we’ll return to that next time.
This page concludes the first arc of Chapter 2. Next we check back in and see what Shadow is up to.
Void: Good .. evening ... Sister.
Heart: Finished with your game, Void?
Void: Yes. My dolls are ... broken ... though.
Are you ... angry ... with me ... Heart?
Heart: No, Void. I only wish you wouldn't treat them so CRUELLY.
Void: It was ... just.
Heart: But you won't fix the first one by breaking the second.
Heart: Ah, well.
Heart: C'mon SHORT STUFF. Ice Cream. MY treat.
Heart: Maybe after, I'll show you how to MEND a broken doll.
Void: Thank you ... Heart.