A while ago I posted a poll on my deviantART site, asking if anyone was interested in seeing the ideas I scrapped for the “Once Upon a Time” comic anthology I was hoping to submit to. A fair amount of people voted yes, so here they are.
Idea the first:
One my my favorite lesser-known fairy tales is “The Black Bull of Norroway” (summary here). Its one of several “wife goes on a quest to find her missing, magically trapped husband” stories, like “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” among others. Several very weird things happen in it, but for some reason I am very drawn to it anyway.
My take on it was going to be something more abstract and spiritual – the Black Bull was going to be a god figure, not an actual person, and the heroine’s journey was going to be one of spiritual devotion as she became a Priestess of his religion. I had trouble reconciling some aspects of the story, however, and didn’t get any farther than the very unfinished sketches you see above.
Idea the second:
This one was going to be based on “Mossycoat,” which is a Cinderella variant. I’m not a huge Cinderella fan, but I like Mossycoat because the heroine is less passive and because of the specifics of her journey and her choices (I also like Donkeyskin, another Cinderella variant, for similar reasons).
My take on it was going to be set in the world of my webcomic, “Tock the Gnome,” and feature an Orc heroine and a Dwarven princess instead of a prince. The Orc was going to be raised by a witch (of a race I haven’t shown in the comic yet), who gives her the mossycoat and three shiny dresses to wear over it, as in the original story. Instead of going to serve as a scullery maid as she flees an unsatisfactory suitor, however, she goes to serve as a soldier in a Dwarven city – to learn their styles of battle and become a better warrior, of course. However, things change when she meets and befriends the local princess…
I’m going to leave off there because I still like this idea even though it didn’t work out for the anthology. A version of it is more than likely going to end up in “Tock the Gnome” somewhere. So, I hope that those of you who read the comic keep this in mind and look for it there :)
I also got a little bit farther with this one, with a few actual page layouts: