JuneFae 2018 three, Sunday Gnomedays 6-3-18

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Both together!

Had a burst of thought about Rapunzel (my fav-o-rite Faerie-tale lady) and the abuse she suffered, and what healing from that may look like. So here is a “Tock the Gnome” backstory Rapunzel and her “prince” (….actually a mushroom farmer. And her Mother Gothel is a troll, btw).

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Rejected “Once Upon a Time” Anthology ideas

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:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

This isn’t exactly art-related, but I follow a rather popular blog about fairy tales called SurLaLune, which has been running a Rapunzel week in honor of Disney’s “Tangled.” The author called for reader responses to Rapunzel, sharing either love or hate, and posted those responses in the blog. Mine was among them 🙂 And in case you’d rather not click the link, here it is:

“Rapunzel” has long been my favorite fairy tale, specifically because I relate to it more than others for a number of reasons. Here are three:

1 – She’s not a princess. She’s an ordinary girl who happens to get caught up in something, well, very odd, and becomes a princess after her trials are over. So unlike Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, for example, she earns her status rather than being born into it. Because she acquires her princesshood, and there are some good qualities in the “fairy tale princess” archetype – like kindness, grace, optimism, etc. – she makes those qualities seem a bit more attainable by anyone.

2 – She’d be messed up. Being locked alone in a tower, completely sheltered for her whole life, would create really interesting psychological problems. Horrible ones, yes, but interesting. So not only is she a normal girl, but she’d be very messed up as a result of her upbringing and her escape. This also makes her a more real character to me.

3 – She chooses to escape through love. No, she doesn’t chop off her own hair and climb down of her own volition. But in choosing to get involved with the first man she meets she sets her fate into motion, since she knows how her Mother would react if she found them out. This seems very different from stories like Sleeping Beauty, for example, where everything is done to the heroine, not done by. So even though Rapunzel’s actions are sort of passive-aggressive, I’m still comparatively impressed by her.

Also, I’m a sucker for “love conquers all” situations. Her belief in love frees her and dooms her at first, as she is cast from the tower and has to wander the wilderness alone. But she keeps believing in it, especially as she cares for her children – a living symbol of that love – and in the end love saves her as she finds her prince and heals him.

Also, if you are at all interested, I suggest you check “Tangled” out. Despite the usual Disney aspects, it was a refreshing take on my favorite fairy tale.