January 10, 2010
Mood shift! Its all fun and games until someone wants a divorce.
I’ve been having a blast reading the archives of Archipelago, a comic by TheSilverTopHat. The art starts out very rough but you should see how its developed! I’m amazed that it’s got nearly 700 pages and has only been around for two years. That is a page a day kind of updating guys, crazy. The story is a lot of fun and I am looking forward to see how it turns out.
I’m back at school now, we have a big week of RE1 labs coming up. And lots of fun after-school setup/ processing/ cleanup. I can’t wait. See you next Sunday :B
I-Is she going to Caris?? o.o No, poor Luca… She can’t do this to him…
His expression in that last panel just breaks my heart. T^T ffff why must my favorite characters always go through hell
It would be worse if your favorite characters always die. ;d
Awwww my mood suddenly went from distaste for him to pity. Poor Luca! D: The expressing on his face in the last panel just makes me want to hug him!!
Really? XD This scene annoys me, he’s pretty pathetic… Stick to your guns Luca!
It is pathetic but pretty accurate I’d say. My ex-bf reacted exactly like this – going from batshit crazy to zomg don’t leave me. It was so annoying. <_<
That’s because more often than not, abuse like his is fueled by fear, and spur-of-the-moment abusers don’t realise the negative consequences the violence can have. Abusers usually still love the people they abuse– but that doesn’t justify it and in no way means that a woman has to stand for it.
Nor… y’know… people who aren’t specifically “a woman”.
Also the term “abuse” objectifies people, as it implies there is a correct way to “use” them.
Just thought I’d throw those two bits out there. ^_^
Aww, so sad! Though I figured something like this would happen after that little display in last couple pages. I really don’t blame Phe for leaving Luca at this point; no wife should ever have to tolerate that kind of abuse and behavior. Plus, Luca needs a reality check. Just because he’s emperor doesn’t mean that everyone’s gonna take his ass-like behavior lying down.
However, having said that, I also feel bad for Luca, and I hope that he will come through for Phe in the end, and make things right with her and the rest of his family. Hopefully it will be the turning over of a new leaf for all of them.
And Rana is most certainly not going to be happy with her dad once she learns of this, meaning more arguments; she will probably choose to go with her mother, if anything. My one question now is, where will Suda stand in all of this?
…This is all assuming that Phe and Luca do get divorced. I could be completely wrong. : )
I somehow doubt that everything’s gonna be all hunky dory. That would make a really boring comic. ;D
Wow. His expression in that last panel really shows how dependent he is on Phe.
Exactly. He doesn’t know what he’s got till it’s gone. Go Phe!
Poor Luca. I love how he corrected himself in the 2nd panel. :3
I keep saying this, because I mean it wholeheartedly. This would make such an awesome movie. It is already as animated as a comic can get, from the movement, to the coloring, to the dialogue. It is astounding how each character has their own voice, completely different from the other characters. Truly you amaze me, thank you for bringing this story into my life~
OMG this is seconded so much! It would be a friggin’ great movie!
geez his sanity really sits on a thin line huh?
For some reason Luca reminds me of Londo from Babylon 5.
You know what – I didn’t see it until you said that! In a way, you’re right!
Oh man, the puppy-dog face in the last panel. It’s a good thing the door is closed or Phe wouldn’t have the heart to leave him. :<
That fourth panel is just –
I think one of the things i’ll always love about the meek is that you actually know EXACTLY where you’re going with it. A lot of comics know how they’re going to start, but not how they’ll end, and that ends up with them getting really messy plotwise after a while.
As for this page: Luca’s expression in the last panel just makes me want to hug him! I can’t honestly say he doesn’t deserve this though ¬_¬
D: I’m thoroughly surprised!
I’ll avoid questioning how this ties in to the rough and say that I’ve never noticed that Luca had a gap in his teeth…
or is that a recently made injury at all?
He’s always had it – look back and you can see it if you look carefully.
I had to laugh at how Luca’s making the sad-puppy face right after going batshit insane a few minutes earlier. GO GO PHE SHOW HIM YOU MEAN BUSINESS.
Oh, god, now I feel sorry for him D: Phe is most defiantly doing the right thing by leaving an abusive husband like this, but still … aww, poor Luca.
You probably meant “definitely”, but for once “defiantly” does actually work.
To some degree I take back my “grammar ftw” type comment earlier. I like how his improving grammar shows that he’s becoming calmer. But then he starts screwing up again after Phe says she’s leaving.
He doesn’t wear his bloodbelt unless he’s in public?
Also, after I read about the bloodbelts I totally looked back and saw that Suda and Rana both have white ones…. Wonder if that will change someday?
He always wears it (its under the jacket, you can see the end dangling in the 2nd and 3rd panels). Suda teeechnically has his, but Luca doesn’t accept it (its a long story).
snap! suddenly he turned SO small! :D
Excellent – this *is* what crazy people do! Not realize how crazy they’re being, and all.
omg, poor luca!
I understand that a past that contains torture could make one rather insane… I get Phe’s reaction, but I still feel bad for Luca. It’s a good they aren’t real people!
Awww, haha Luca. He’s so cute in his mood-swingyness
B-but how will he put on his uniform properly now? D:
Awww, Luca! I don’t want you to get a divorce, but you need to tone down the batshit crazy! Women can’t handle it as well as you think!
Well, she probably can handle it, but just could not be bothered anymore to put up with it.
damn he deserved that but damn it he looks like he needs a hug in the last panel D:
While I feel sorry for Luca and I would very much like to believe he’d never really HURT Phe, I’m still relieved to see she has a good head on her shoulders and knows when enough is enough.
He’s definitely a grade-A douchebag, but at the same time it’s a bit sad to see how lost he looks all of a sudden. Too bad he’s so hard-headed to learn from his mistakes…
I’m pretty sympathetic to both here. Luca is obviously still heavily traumatized, and Phe is justifiably upset at being screamed at in the face/shoved around. If I put myself in either character’s shoes, I’d have to say I would do something similar.
That’s some phenominal storytelling, to make a man who verbally abused his wife still sympathetic, and yet still cheer for Phe when she tells him to GTFO. Wonderful work.
Though I wonder, are there any therapists in this country? D:
If not, I feel like there is a niche that can be filled XD
I’d pity the poor guy who’d have to treat Luca. XD
As I understand it, this is typical in an abusive relationship: when the violent episode (physical or otherwise) is done with, the abuser is usually very repentant, apologetic, to the point of role-reversal. This often has the effect of the abused feeling sorry, even apologetic in their turn, towards the one who was beating the sh*t out of them moments ago! That reciprocation and dependency from both keeps the cycle going over and over.
I’m glad to see that Phe is past that point. If she can break the cycle, then maybe Luca can too.
Yeah, they do fight all the time! I have a feeling they do this several times a year, haha.
Hah. I totally got yelled at by my mom this morning because the first thing I did when I woke up was run to the computer and check this site for an update, even though I was very very late already. And it was completely worth it!
Luca is adorable in a violent, insane sort of way.
XD I’m sorry! But also happy, haha. Glad you liked it! I’ll try to get it up earlier next week so you can actually see it on Sunday and not Monday morning (and stay out of trouble with your mom)
Lover Luca in the third panel, and then in the last panel he’s like OH SHI-
Luca, from D:< to ]: to <:C in 1-2 minutes! Your expressions rock soo hard!
Next scene: 8B
This is just a random comment. I noticed you increased the font for “you” and “I”. I really heard the emphasis from Phe when I first read the page. And I only noticed you adjusted the font after I looked at the page again. Just in case you were wondering or anything. : )
Basically, the dialogue flowed naturally and I wasn’t distracted by the font change.
I’m glad it wasn’t distracting. I hate playing with font sizes, it always looks so cheap to me, but I don’t have bold with this font and I wanted to stress those words.
Does this typeface have italics? That could work better, if you want to go with emphasis. Having two different type sizes doesn’t really work as well as italics in this situation because there isn’t enough big type to make a clear contrast with the smaller point size. (And it messes up your leading…)
Sorry if that sounds picky, I’m a third year graphic design student. We notice these things.
Haha, don’t worry, I notice these things too… no, it doesn’t :C And I’m too lazy (at the moment) to go back and redo the entire comic in a typeface that does have italics or bold. If this becomes an issue then I may change fonts starting in chapter 3, but that means I’ll have to shop around for something I am willing to commit to and I’m sure that will take me forever :B
It’s a shame I seem to only comment when a page grabs me.
Really loving the layout and character moment on this page. Visually, loving the flow of it. Simple and effective. Great great expression on Luca in panel 4 (I looooove panel 4).
You say in one of the first comments something about not liking Luca’s attitude: I think it works well, as we see a side of him that only comes out with his family.
He’d never be like that in public, that’s for sure, ha ha!
Great work as always.
Thank you ;3; Well, I don’t like his attitude personally, but in terms of character its only fitting! Either way it is fun to write for someone that is different than I am :)
How you know you’ve seriously f’d up: When you skip straight to the “I’m leaving” portion of the fight.
This is such an emotive page. His expression in the panel where she says I’m leaving is so wonderful.
Hmm… So, the situation here is as follows: Luca’s people have been through an extended Holocaust. Caris’ father was ‘Hitler’ and Caris herself is, say, Hermann Goring (or at least Eva Braun).
Luca has lived through years of Hell, millions have died in death camps, millions have been tortured (including Luca himself). Luca survived, but lost half a leg, his fingers are broken and he lost several teeth. He’s one of the lucky ones. He led his people in a revolt, they fought back they’ve won from Hitler.
So, Hitler is dead, and Goring sent Diana and Unity Mitford to tell Luca that since it was all Hitlers fault, and because he is now dead, Luca should forget all his grievances, and then Phe, Luca’s wife, tells Luca that he should invite the Mitfords to dinner and play nice with the sweet Nazis because if he does not do so, then HE is the problem.
And Luca gets a bit batshit over that.
So why is everyone on this comment list talking about Luca being an abusive asshole? Yeah, he went too far and needs a reality check, but this is not about Luca being a sadistic wife-beater, this is about a holocaust survivor being told that being angry at the nazis is stoopid and childish. One is allowed to get batshit over that. And Phe is allowed to run away from the batshit, but please get a bit of perspective people! Holocaust. Millions dead. People tortured. Heavy stuff.
Ah, I see. Trouble is, you as the author know the backstory, but I as reader only see an emperor with half a leg and mangled digits (from torture) who claims that millions of his people have died through slavery and torture. That spells ‘deathcamp’ to me.
An insane religious leader and a thirty-year war against an oppressor will do the trick quite nicely, of course :-)
Still, Luca might be a ‘barbarian’ in Carrissi eyes and the Queen might consider him annoying with his demands for reparations, but isn’t that which throws fuel on Luca’s fire. It’s one thing to be enslaved and tortured, but to have your woes dismissed as annoying must be maddening. Quite literally.
This is a little late, but let me explain why I mentioned abuse myself. I don’t think anyone said that Luca is a sadistic wife-beater, and honestly not a lot of abusers are. But you can be abusive in a less extreme way, even if you only do it once or under severe circumstances. Like you said, he went too far and went from being angry into hurting and scaring someone. Abuse -is- ‘going too far’, and despite the fact that Luca has a very good reason to be angry, that doesn’t negate the fact that he hurt Phe. And abuse -is- hurting someone.
You are right – Luca does have a right to be very angry, and in the greater scheme of what happened between the two countries this might not seem like much. But he does need to be called out on it, because it wasn’t okay.
Awwww! No! Poor Luca! :[
That’s odd. Luca has a gap in his teeth for the last few pages, but he did NOT have a gap in his teeth for the entirety of the comic. (for example, during the entire council meeting, which ended on page 11) Did he lose that tooth in his scuffle with Phe?
No, he was wearing his dentures! They’re uncomfortable (and removable).
And formspring for fictional characters = super fantastical. :)
Bring on the mood shift!
“(after all, passage of familial responsibility is quite common for Pasori)”
Well it’s not only specified towards the individual, it’s for politics and countries. Just because there’s a different ruler doesn’t mean they can go away scotch free. Just speaking from a historical perspective, he’s in the right [well, maybe not a right, but he’s following the pattern].
But I understand Phe for wanting to do the best for both countries, but goshferdangit reparations are needed! Don’t leave him Phe noooooo ;_;
Btw, I love the fourth panel. Omg, beautiful lighting. <3
Thank you for the link! You have no idea how excited I am that you like my comic! I’ve been following The Meek since they were sketchy pages in your journal, and your opinion as a comic artist means so much to me.
As to today’s comic, I really like the moody lighting. It always amazes me how well you show different environments through light (jungle, jungle at night, brightly lit room, dim room lit by a single lamp).
Ahhh, such was to be expected. I am not surprised the majority of the people who comment here support Phe. I don’t care either way.
He is a stern leader, father, and husband but so fragile. Though the last panel is no doubt funny, his feelings are best expressed in the middle panel. I like that it shows he is confused, and unaware that his actions have caused continual grief to his wife (and children). At the same time, while his treatment of Phe is held as over the top and extreme, a great deal of us do not have his full backstory (yet), thus sympathies for Luca run short. The thing is, I don’t need to pity characters or have them be selfless altruists to enjoy their stories. Your portrayal of a very troubled man is enjoyable to watch unfold in comic form.
If I may make one more note, I find the panel with Phe in it a bit wierd. In situations such as these, I’m used to seeing the dialogue only unfold on one side of the door, in this case Luca’s. This would have made the audience feel shut out like he does. But you chose to also show Phe’s side. Not just that, but how you chose to show it was refreshing. Now again, normally, a shot like this would have her walking across the room, changing her clothes or gathering her belongings, but here, she stands at the door. Wether this means she’s trying to stand up to Luca or speak to him directly so that he can hear her, it feels like she’s more than just dangling the fishhook (like so many shows today seem to like to doing). It says to me that she still cares; and that he still cares. What ultimately seperates that is the door.
Gah, overanalyzed again. Love the comic, cant wait for the next page!
I haven’t commented thus far (I’m somewhat internet shy), but I’ve been reading the Meek from it’s ‘official’ beginning, and I would just like to say that I really admire your work. Not only is your style both beautiful and lush (the rich colors! the organic lines!), but it’s effective with regards to storytelling–not to mention that your characters are loveable and believable within, like, one panel of meeting them, and the world itself is intriguing. I also love seeing the difference between your initial draft and the final version (watching the comic evolve is fascinating!) <3 I look forward to every update – take all the time you need, whatev – and keep it real. PEACE OUT.
PS – Aw, Luca, you asked for it XD
NOOOO PHE!! DX DON’T YOU DARE!
T^T I’m crying here…my heart can’t take much T^T
This is really getting dramatic. I love how the lights are falling down.
GO PHE! GO!
I must say, as a linguist I love you attention to detail. Self-correction? Beautifully understated way to remind us that this isn’t his first language, and that it’s not a Jekyll/Hyde-esque switch when he gets angry. I would SO LOVE to see the languages you’ve created in their own right, and to analyze them. *drools*
*imagine Yochva hunkered down, poking the fluffy languages* Come here, little language! I don’t want to hurt you! I just want to analyze you! *poke poke*
I’m a little concerned about everyone’s comments… he’s clearly being abusive. Even his daughter could realize that. We don’t know if he’s PHYSICALLY abusive, but he is most certainly EMOTIONALLY abusive, and trust me, that isn’t much better. So whatever people are saying, he was being a complete tool and he is getting what he deserves. I would feel bad if this was the first time that something crazy like this has happened, but they mentioned earlier that they fight all the time. So clearly, this isn’t the first offense and he has GOT to get a handle on himself.
you’re going to be so famous one day XD
i was hoping the vote incentive would be that last panel, hehe
I’ve never commented on these comics before(due to my mostly minimal exposure to internet),sorry for that,but,I gotta say this……I can sooo imagine Luca’s voice at that last panel right now! “…” “What?” XD
poor Luca? I love the luca character but come on, he was just like straight up physically abusing his wife. If she wouldn’t have left I would’ve been pissed at her. Go Phe!
I’m kind of thinking we might see Angora again soon.
OH SNAP INDEED.
down goes the door. Amirite amirite?
Poor Phe. Good for her though to leave! Luca’s gotta get his act together. And although I know the Phe panel will stay as is I think it would have been keen to show a close-up of Phe on the other side of the door in that panel…mostly ’cause I love cheesiness so so much. THE DOOR THAT STANDS BETWEEN THEIR LOVE </3
Luca will miss Phe like the deserts miss their rain ;A; And he'll miss Pheeeeee
Haha, there will be plenty of closeups in the next page. PLENTY >8C
I am trying to figure out why your comments always end up in my spam box, awaiting my saving clicks. Are you secretly hiding the word “dicks” in there somewhere?
awe man. your spam box must have it out for me! I am dickstotally not hiding the dicksword “dicks ” in my comments
sorry I couldn’t resist
maybe it’s all my emoticon faces?
Yay EXTREME closeups!
How do I go to the formspring page you posted a tic back. It’s not in the writeup at the bottom and I think you edited it out. Can I haz plz?
No can has, I was spending too much time on it and making a mess out of information XD For now I’m going to revert to letting the comic speak for itself.
This is probably wise! It was like, totally awesome to see so much random info, but on the other hand I was thinking, “WHOA, how much time is Der-shing spending on all of this!?” and worrying that it could potentially eat your life as we, your fans, pester for knowledge like the cut and color of Luca’s underwear(!).
Haha, well it is fun to do! And flattering that people care so much. Thats the vanity trap that I fell into for a few days, but I’m better now…
Ahh, I was wondering how all those questions were being replied to. Are you sure we can’t tempt you back to the dark side with more fangirlish mewlings and moral dilemmas for you to answer with Luca’s unwavering mindset? >:3
Luca’s a bro.
Perhaps he should recall the time-honored rule, “bros before hos”
Damn that snappage. DAMN IT. >:[
I feel so bad for him, though. I mean, come on! He just got a little .. overexcited. ; _;
that page totally threw me into my emotional state ;A;
Good for Phe!
And man…the expression on Lucas face is very well done. He looks absolutely stricken, I can’t help feeling a little sorry for him. Hopefully it’s a bit of a wake-up call?
Am I the only one thinking that Luca could kill someone with those shoulder pads? Just sayin. Means and motive.
I absolutely love this comic, but I didn’t know just how much I loved it until I read this page. Your characters are so vibrant and deep, and this page made me feel so sad. I could picture Luca’s voice so clearly and the change of mood was great and. Yeah. I love this comic a lot!! x)
wondering why I read the comments on this one. must be a glutton for punishment.
anyway, I love how people simplify their own individual definitions of an abusive relationship…. yay media over exposure.
Y’know, I was thinking the exact same thing. It’s never that simple.
Luca’s expression in the fourth panel is almost enough to make me pity him. ALMOST.
(… Naaah, Ima still say YOU GO GIRL to Phe.)
I love the whole situation with Phe and Luca, I do I promise. HOWEVER, I miss hearing about Angora and her story. Its really interesting learning about her.
Also, I love how they don’t even think about where the kids are at this point. “its 9 oclock. Do you know where your kids are?”
I’m lame. It amused me. I’m done now.
wow, Luca sure changes quickly, from anger to fear, lol… Maybe he needs anger management sessions.
I like Luca´s despaired look at the last pannel. Honestly, I can´t blame Phe. At first, I thought she was being too cold to him, but now it´s clear she has been through so much.
Oh man, Phe ain’t taking no more shit…
Luca’s a jerk but his missing teeth make me feel sorry for him :( toothless luca needs a hug! but phe kicks ass!
Since I have seen Luca with his missing teeth I have wondered that we don’t see some oddities in his pronunciation, especially his ‘T’s. Imagine how much more pathetic he would seem in that last panel, if he were unable to pronounce his concerned “What?” with the desperate clarity he has.
Actually I had to find that out for myself before I decided to keep his teeth that way. From the three adults I met that were missing their front teeth, there wasn’t a noticeable lisp or anything, so hopefully (if this were real) that would be the case with Luca as well…
oooh, now I’m curious as to how you did your research!
*imagines a want ad for men missing their front teeth -OR- a perilous backwoods journey through the Appalachian Mountains set to eerie banjo music*
Hmm… dueling banjos…
Haha, well, like I mentioned I’ve been working on this comic for a few years. It was only a matter of time before I met someone that answered one of my burning questions (same goes for info about amputees and some other character-relevant qualities).
OH MAN DERSHING. :c -You make things difficult-. I mean, I -know- Phe is So Totally In The Right here, especially after what Luca did only a little bit before, but those last two panels just make me feel sad for him. YOU TWIST EMOTIONS, YOU EMOTION TWISTER.
Hm… While I agree that Luca was being physically abusive in the last page, I don’t think it was as brutish or purposeful as some are making it out to be. He wasn’t intentionally harming Phe. He became emotional and enraged at the bitter memories of his youth and the trauma of war. He was only trying to convey his pain to Phe, who he felt didn’t understand. He engaged her at close range, face to face, and pressed onto her while in his fitful state, desperately trying to get his wife to understand where he was coming from. Understandably, Phe misinterpreted and was alarmed by his demeanor and poor choice of words.
In other words, Luca was wrong for hurting Phe, but she also wounded him emotionally by not seeming to care about his point of view or his psychological scars. Its a terrible, depressing situation and there’s no real bad guy. Luca is sort of a jerk, but he’s far from being abusive. He is rather unstable, however, so Phe’s decision to distance herself isn’t a bad one…
Er, are you people seriously calling what he did abuse? He grabbed her shirt and yelled at her, he didn’t put her in a coma! I think that perhaps you need to step out of your cloistered little rooms and into the real, brutal world that the rest of us are forced to live in each day. Or, at least be aware of the fact that it exists, and perhaps a bit more sympathetic to the maladies of those of us who do.
Yeah, Luca is not being very “nice”, but let’s not forget, he’s not exactly “sane”, either. You don’t go through what it is being inferred he has experienced and still retain your full faculties. And I’d imagine Phe knew that when she got with him, or if she didn’t, she’s an idiot. When a man is raised in violence, and lives in violence, well, he’s been conditioned to respond in that fashion to any threat, real or imagined.
Well, she was standing earlier and then they wound up on the floor? I’m guessing he knocked her down. I don’t think you need to necessarily knock someone into a coma for it to be considered abusive.
“He grabbed her shirt and yelled at her, he didn’t put her in a coma! ”
Er, late comment. But… really? I mean, really? Read your comment again. Read it one more time for good measure. Do you see a problem with what you said? You are implying that unless he “put her in a coma,” then it’s not really abuse. Stop and consider what that means.
Based on the paneling, I can see that he grabbed her roughly, and she somehow ended up on the floor. (Maybe he pushed her down?) She also exclaimed, “you’re hurting me” at one point, and he didn’t relent.
I agree with the other comments that his hurting her was certainly *unintentional*, spurred on by his explosive temper. That’s what makes him a bit more sympathetic, in my eyes. But it doesn’t *excuse* that sort of behavior.
Wow. Harsh Phe. Poor Luca, it’s not his fau- oh. wait.
I love when comics’ art gets better as they go along. It gives people who can’t draw (like me. See DevArt link above…) hope. The first webcomic I ever started reading, DMFA (www.missmab.com), started out kinda rough, but looks amazing now. It’s still one of my favorites.
Holy Moly the incentive is adorable! Luca and Phe = <3
Lovely page, too. You don't realize what special things you have until you are close on losing them! (things being… relationsships and stuff in this case. Why is it so hard to get proverbs right in english. )XD
Love the "animation" in these panels. Awesome!
Panel 4: it’s amazing. That’s all. Great writing. Ok, now that’s really all.
poor poor luca!
love his expression btw ^^ so…liveley!
He went Full Ahab.
You never go Full Ahab.