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

Sunday Gnomedays 3-28-21

Featuring Tock and Onna (of my comic “Tock the Gnome”) in certain Significant Outfits, in honor of today’s Webtoon episode update!

You can read it here or read the pages individually here 💚

(This update includes pages 118-123, meaning I’m fully caught up to usual page-style posting there, again. I will continue those updates as often as I can, but its become clear to me that I don’t work fast enough to post frequently in an episode format. If you prefer reading the comic in that format, I hope you enjoy what I’ve posted, and ask for your patience! I will still be trying to keep to an every-other-week schedule with usual page-format posting on other sites, as best I can. And of course, a big thank you to ALL my readers. I hope Tock’s story brings you warmth and delight, however slowly!)

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Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Sunday Gnomedays 7-5-20

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Time again ⚙ With a “Tock the Gnome” style Gnomish Boarding House landlady, in honor/attempted embracement of the fact that I started back at my day job recently (hospitality). While my creative energy has indeed been impacted, I am grateful for the opportunities it affords me to help people and make their visit to the area I live (which is magic) more enjoyable, or at least smoother.

From thegildedhour.com :

“From Gamber’s excellent historical study:

[,,,]  if the nineteenth century was the golden age of the bourgeois home, it was also the age of the boarding house. In cities and many towns, people of all classes were at least as likely to live in boarding houses as in homes. What historians call the market revolution, a series of related developments that included the expansion of commercial agriculture, the beginnings of industrialization, the emergence of a working class dependent on wages, the rise of a salaried white-collar middle class, and massive urban growth, could never have been accomplished without boardinghouses and the labor of those who kept them. (Gamber)”

This is also Tock-themed specifically because this week’s Webtoon update will be bonus-art based, due to the fact that I’ve caught up to the current pages there! She will serve as a header image for that explanation (and I dearly hope that my readers there are as patient as those on my other platforms, including this one).

And don’t worry, she’s a kindly landlady who runs a very decent, well-kept Boarding House.

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Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi

Lore Olympus – Persephone

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Happy Fanart Friday🌺 Although everything lately feels very chaotic and scrambled (and stand-still, too), one of the good things is that I finally got to draw this amazing version of one of my favorite Goddesses.

Rachel Smythe’s “Lore Olympus” is an absolutely delicious series, and her Persephone is just so lovely, innocent, fierce and relatable. If you’re unfamiliar, the series is a modern retelling/deconstruction of The Taking of Persephone, with gorgeous art, very real characters, excellent world building and great humor (and slow burn romance building!) too. It’s an adult story, so some very dark themes are addressed, but they are handled with a level of care and responsibility I have rarely seen before.

If you haven’t read it, click here and start right now. Do it do it.

~~~

Patreon ~ Etsy ~ Ko-fi