Fanart Friday and comic review – Suitor Armor

Fanart Friday time with comic recommendation – perfect for both Pride month and JuneFae, again!! One of my favorites on Webtoon – “Suitor Armor,” by purpah.

Short take:

A delightful, surprisingly intense, gorgeous Faerie tale about love, identity, and power.

Long take (or, a proper review):

I’ve been reading this amazing faerie story for a while now, but didn’t get *really* into it until recently. For some reason, of late, faerie stories that deal with what we humans have done to them are resonating with me REAL hard, and SA falls into that category strongly and gracefully.

(I will try to make this as spoiler-less as possible.)

(Also, trigger warning for discussion of trauma at the end.)

(Also also, the above fanart is NOT a spoiler, I just needed to draw some AU married fluff for self care.)

The story starts with Lucia – our heroine, a fairy hidden among humans after being “rescued” by one in particular as a child, who then chose to raise her as a human (specifically as lady in waiting to his daughter, Kirsi, who is to be queen one day via arranged marriage to the Prince of the realm) and protect her that way. Our view of things is her view of things. Very narrow, hyper-focused on keeping her secret and preparing her lady and friend for the royal role she will marry into. But everything changes, right away, as Lucia and Kirsi head out from their home into the human capital – to the palace – and Lucia starts learning more about what’s happening in the world and what’s happening to the people of her birth.

As you might expect, a certain war between the fay and the humans is not at all what it seems. And reality has humongous repercussions for Lucia.

All this changes her – as does meeting a certain enchanted suit of armor (see what they did there? Eh? Eeeehhhhh?) – Modeus – and forming a connection with him, despite both their circumstances, despite people dehumanizing both him and herself.

I am a sucker for “secretly powerful person falls in love with perceivedly-“non-human,” “built” being who is supposed to be an automaton but is not” stories (hey there fellow Scarlet Vision fans!) so obviously I was here for this from the start. However, I want to throw an extra shoutout to the author here, for the way they’re handling the situation.

Romances like this always, ALWAYS, read as queer to me. Hands down. (….not to mention the fact that I headcanon Lucia as ace, or at least demi, because of one thing she says that I won’t spoil.) The way people react to their attachment and individual personhood – not acknowledging her armored interest as a PERSON, not using his chosen pronouns, treating her as mentally ill, almost, for being so close to him? Yeah. Feels SUPER familiar. This queerness is further highlighted/complimented by their mural close friendship with another queer couple in the story (who I won’t spoil either, you should get to read that reveal as lovely as it was written, but I promise it’s coming and it’s *so good* even if it’s not glaringly obvious from the first episode. Look for subtlety. Look for details).

The romance of Kirsi and her prince, now King Reinard, is also handled with grace and thought. Arranged marriages can be handled very awkwardly, in my reading experience, but both characters in this situation come to it with openness, acceptance and a willingness to build from that space, genuinely, together, and it is so beautiful to see unfold.

As a Faerie fan (to put it lightly), I am also super impressed with the choices made about the fair folk in this world. One choice in particular feels very Froudian to me, and thus very True. – but again, no spoilers. Please just trust ME that it is GOOD work.

The only note of warning I would throw in – which is, again, a good thing in the end – is that there is something that can happen to certain characters, a violent trauma, that reads very clearly to me as rape allegory. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but if so, it is very well constructed. I’m glad it’s in there, since it opens up a dialogue about trauma and personhood and power. We *are* eased into it, but it signals a shift in the tale (and in Lucia’s perception of the world) from relatively safe and understandable, to something real and dangerous, and we do eventually see the act happening to one of the side characters.

That’s as spoilery as I’m gonna get. But yes. It shook me a lot harder than I thought it would – which is GOOD writing, and it’s handled tastefully, as much as the intensity of it bears mentioning. They do also start discussing actual sexual assault, or at least the history of it, in some of the chapters of season 2 so far – and again, the mindfulness is there in the tone of the story. But there isn’t any kind of a trigger warning ahead of the violence until much later than its originally mentioned, and no trigger warning before the rape discussions, either, and that’s really the only thing I wish was different.

Just read responsibly and take care of yourselves, survivors and allies 💗

That said, I recommend this series from the bottom of my heart, and I hope you check it out!

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Faebruary 2022 the twenty-seventh AND twenty-eighth (challenge complete!) ❤

Catchup for day 27!! Prompts from PadawanDesign (jumping backward on their list a bit) and PhoenixFeathersArt – “Mech” and “Stars.”

So, some softness for Onna after the angst I drew her in yesterday, and something a bit AU for her and her dear Tock (both of “Tock the Gnome” ) – or at least we’ll see if this happens.

I know how it would fit. I know what certain new jewelry means. I know who would give them wings like this, and for what occasion…. 💕

Day 28!! From HitorikArt’s “Key” (from day 27) and PhoenixFeathersArt’s “Moon” (to pair with the Star theme above, since the prompts were presented together!).

Featuring my friend Glombie’s OCs, Frelwic the Gnome and his boyfriend, Ælfric the knight. We’d talked about them a while back, and I was so excited to finally get to draw them both! ….I do not know what their story is yet, though, so I hope this doesn’t contradict anything – but even that, making it AU in that case, is in and of itself very Faerie, yes? That space of liminality. Possibilities. So I feel like both of today’s entries are a perfect note to end on.

…..and not just because of the schmoop. Though the schmoop helps.

(And everybody check out Glombie’s work, it is super charming! Go go!)

Aaaaaand that makes a complete challenge!! I went into this intending to be super casual about it, and of course failed at that, and still have so many things bouncing around my brainspace that I’d hoped to draw for this but didn’t make it in. Still, I chose to participate because I hoped it would jumpstart my creativity and get me set to work on commissions again (since this winter has been a challenging buttwaffle) and it has done that! Thanks again to everyone who puts out prompt lists and keeps the event going, and especially to Hitorik, who invited me in the first place.

Here’s to whatever is next! I’m gonna go take a nap.

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Faebruary catchup! Days 26, 23, 24, 25 (with Tock WBW and Sunday Gnomedays!)

Thanks to the insanity of this past week, here we are finally with 4 more Faerie pieces 💗

Firstly,

Day 26 (though having been started earlier) – off-prompt with this one, in light of what’s happening in this human realm right now.

I stand with Ukraine.

Click here for information on how you can help, even if you’re far away.

Day 23, from HitorikArt‘s “Branch” and the spirit of PhoenixFeathersArt“s “Forest.”

Leading into this week’s “Tock the Gnome” World Building Wednesday post – in which we take a quick look at the plantlife of Tock’s realm, and the intention behind the style of the forest of the Lowlands!

Full post here 🌳💕

Day 24, from PadawanDesign‘s prompt “Wind!”

I don’t often feature the vague, sprite-like fae that manifest occasionally in Tock’s story (and backstory! Also, as drawn above!), on their own. So, with this busy week I’ve had, here they are!

This was just… so nice to do. Calm. Simple. Hopeful.

Day 25, from HitorikArtPadawanDesign and PhoenixFeathersArt – “Game”, “Spirit” and “Seelie court/Unseelie court.”

This makes extra sense if you’re familiar with some of the worldbuilding around Tock’s realm. A juxtaposition of the Gnomish goddess Carwen, and her foil/sometimes partner, the Gnomish goddess Anosmia. There are forces at play, in the world 🤫

Also, I’ve mentioned somewhere recently, but I don’t remember exactly where (what’s with today, today?) that though the more traditional courts of Faerie don’t exist in Tock’s realm at this time, beings who could considered Seelie or Unseelie could pop up in any culture, physically manifested or otherwise. That absolutely applies to these two, too. At least from a certain perspective.

Obviously I’m still a bit behind, but this is a start. Please enjoy, and in the meantime – if you haven’t checked out “Tock the Gnome” yet, there’s lots more faerie art and story to tide you over until then!

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Faebruary 2022 the eighteenth

Day 18!! Today’s prompts from HitorikArt – “Crown,” which pairs very nicely with yesterday’s prompts and post!

Here are the three (current) Gnomish crowns – as mentioned, even though all the wealthy/noble Gnomes of “Tock the Gnome” have and wear pointed caps regularly, and all Gnomes have at least a simple one for special occasions, only the royal family wears caps with actual crowns on them.

From left to right – the sovereign’s (currently worn by Queen Adamine), the heir apparent’s (currently worn by Princess Bartelbia), and the princess/prince/etc. consort’s (previously worn by Adamine’s husband, who has passed away).

If there were two sovereigns of equal rank, a second crown as fancy as the current sovereign’s crown would be made, but that hasn’t been the case in several generations. Prior to Queen Arella’s reign, there were two entirely different crowns than the ones above – worn by two sovereigns at once, always, but little is remembered as to what they looked like or why that was. Hmmmm….

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Faebruary 2022 the eleventh

Day 11!! Today’s prompts from HitorikArt, PadawanDesign, and PhoenixFeathersArt – “Bird,” “Mineral” and “Animal companion.”

First things first, minerals meaning earth, of course, so a Dwarf and earthy magic!!

(Which of course has got me thinking about where certain gems, minerals, and resources come from in “Tock the Gnome,” which shall be addressed in world building soon. Thanks, prompts!)

(And also yes, that is a canary. I am very grateful that the retrieval of gems in Faerie realms likely does not require the sacrifice of any being’s life! And again, more on that in future world building.)

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Faebruary 2022 the eighth

Day 8!! Today’s prompts from HitorikArt and PadawanDesign, “Castle” and “Virus.”

The Elves of “Tock the Gnome” have at various points in time believed that the loss of magic in the realm, any loss of it, may be due to something like a virus.

Something catchable.

And would take the safety of others in such cases VERY seriously, considering how much their daily life relies on it.

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi