world-building and graphic novel in-progress

Posts tagged “Bumble

In the beginning…

 

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(I believe I promised a story about how this all started, as part of Seven Years of Tock, so here we go!)

Once upon a time, a young aimless illustrator submitted various drawings to an indie magazine called “Crossed Genres.” They had an open-submission policy that paid artists when their submissions were for publication, so it seemed like a good deal.

Unfortunately this was many years ago, so a certain….. skill level was lacking, and the illustrator did not get accepted. Still, she tried, and the people who ran the magazine were very nice and encouraging to her.

A while later, this magazine saw fit to hold a competition – seeking webcomics! If accepted, the chosen comics would be published online for their members, one page a week for 52 weeks, and then published in print in one big compendium. Even though I hadn’t gotten any of my illustrations accepted, one particular member of their team reached out to me (whoops, dropping the vagueness) and encouraged me to submit a comic.

I honestly don’t remember WHY I chose to submit – I was actually at a rough patch in my life, so perhaps I thought that creating a comic would fill a certain hole in my spirit. But that’s a different story.

Anyway, I did choose to give it a shot, but then the question was – about what?

My wife is very good at asking questions to get at the root of what I want to express with character and story, so when I came home that afternoon with that decision – the questions began, and Tock was born.

I decided I wanted to tell a story about a Gnome (surprise) who fell in love with an Orc (surprise) while going on an semi-inversion of the Prince Quest – off to rescue fair maiden in a tower, and all. Setting: steampunk, because yay ❤ So that meant airship, and thus a crew, including a pilot friend of her’s and a magic user of some kind, since the Orc would fill the warrior ‘slot.’

I came up with the vague description of the plot, with a couple of character designs and example images as instructed for submission.

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However, without realizing it, I had censored myself – as you can see, Tock and Onna look a bit different from how they truly are. Due to my own worries about how the characters would be perceived (by the people in charge of picking the winning submissions, particularly), I thinned Tock out – so much for my size-positive mission. And in my excitement I didn’t think about why a “warrior class” person and a “mage class” person would look the way they do – so Onna’s fantasy armor looks very generic, and I didn’t have much of a reason for why Eunan wears robes like that.

I did not get chosen :/ Retrospectively, I can see why – not only did I hold myself back in character design, but the kind folks who were interested in me enough to encourage me could see that AND that I didn’t push the story as far as I could have. Again, they were super nice about it though, even so far as to say that to me so I could learn from it.

That rejection did hurt, but you know what happened? I did it anyway.

Tock got redesigned – slight tweaks, but still noticeably more well-rounded (both metaphorically AND physically, as you can see!). Onna got the biggest overhaul of all – I actually went and thought about what kind of armor she would have, as an Orc in her kind of culture (nomadic, almost scavengery at that point. The Viking details came later). Bumble didn’t change at all, and Eunan’s robes slowly evolved into a more Celtic design – so still very magey, but with a reason.

"Tock the Gnome," page 48

The story itself also got expanded. Certain details – like an early idea of Onna getting magically shrunk down to Tock’s size to better accommodate their romance (I know, yikes, right?), and a secondary plot about the current Gnomish princess, eventually got scrapped – I looked farther out than the scope of Tock’s quest to see what else is really going on with the world, and why her quest might have importance BEYOND her own, selfish motivations. The plot of the quest itself was adjusted to incorporate a greater vision – new characters were added, certain old characters of mine were pulled in to give the world history, and voila! A much more solid story slowly began to take shape.

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I created this website in March, 2010 to announce the project, with a plan to launch the comic on August 30th that year – which I did, and though progress has always been pretty slow – here we are still ❤

"Princess?" ink and colored pencil on paper

Page by page and bonus content by bonus content, things have still been evolving and growing. The importance of some side characters increased, and another new crew member was added to address the treatment of a certain beleaguered best friend, rounding it out from 4 to 5 (which flows better, in my opinion. I always felt like something was missing at 4. And also thanks to my lovely wife, who is very much inspiring Actia’s creation and actions).

More and more the cultures of the world have been developed, the perfect match of Vikings and Orcs eventually smacked me upside the head, Gnome culture and religion grew to encompass a fuller pre-quest life for Tock and Bumble  – and also to point out problems with how the Gnomes view life, in addition to the wars and conflict that have already been mentioned world-wide.

(Psssst, there’s trouble with how ALL the races are acting, but any more details would be spoilers!)

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My own spirituality has been informing the comic more and more, too, so how very Faerie the world is has drastically shifted – I didn’t plan on actually addressing how  faerie-natured all the creatures of Tock’s world are, originally, but now that has become a huge part of the story and an informing factor of any of the foreshadowing we’ve seen so far.

I guess all I can say in closing is that I’m very grateful for how far the story has come, that I didn’t just give up on it – and even more importantly, that you all have stuck with it for so long!

Thank you so much for continuing to read the new pages as they come, and for your comments and likes and feedback on the bonus content I post. And especially to those of you who support it on Patreon – every cent gets us closer to more frequent updates! (And for those of you unfamiliar, there’s even more bonus work and world-building info up there, so please consider taking a look!)

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Gratitude from the bottom of my heart once again, dear readers! And happy Seven Years of Tock!

~

All content © Rachel Terwilliger.

 

 

 

 


Gnomevember day 22

From yesterday.
Prompt – Quest. So Tock and Bumble again 😀

(I will have to do a master post of all the Tock-related ones once the month is done…)

Full prompt list linked in the About tab above.


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Traders and traitors….

Language note! You might have noticed that the speech bubbles of Onna and the other Orcs look like this:

// Words! //

That’s to indicate that they are, indeed, speaking in Orcish, so Tock and Bumble don’t know what they’re saying. Hopefully the first panel clears that up too.

All content © Rachel Terwilliger. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Page Production Resumes!

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Page production has resumed. Thanks to everyone for your patience while I took a break ❤


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All content © Rachel Terwilliger. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


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All content © Rachel Terwilliger. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Happy Holidays! (2015)

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May your season be filled with love and light, no matter what you celebrate or how things may seem. Blessed be ~<3


Tiny Tock Tales – The Light Princess

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I haven’t had much time to work on pages lately, due to catching up on other projects (commissions and gift art, that is), but I did this quick in-between. Drawing everybody tiny is one of my favorite things to do in the pages. So I think I might make a point of doing more of these, the crew as characters from other Fairy Tales.

So first off is The Light Princess, specifically taking from the musical version by Tori Amos (who I crazy adore) and Samuel Adamson. Onna as Digby, the Solemn Prince – Tock as Althea, the Light Princess – Bumble as Piper, Althea’s companion.

Some shameless self indulgence, yes, but very fun. And I highly highly highly recommend checking “The Light Princess” out.

Thanks for sticking with Tock and Bumble and Onna so far 🙂


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"Tock the Gnome," page 65

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And Onna’s still there. Whoops.

Happy Orctober, everyone! ❤

All content © Rachel Terwilliger. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


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“Crazy” being a reference to what other Gnomes seem to think of her, of course.

All content © Rachel Terwilliger. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


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All content © Rachel Terwilliger. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Page 63 preview

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Finished the pencil work for the next page today! Here’s a piece of one of the panels 🙂


Page 63 layout

So my art time lately has been taken up by other things, and as such, page 63 is coming along quite slowly.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of the layout for the page. Wonder what they’re saying, hmmmmm…

Page 63 layout, "Tock the Gnome"

Thanks for reading ❤


Sketch – Meeting Xenos

Sketch, "Meeting Xenos," Tock the Gnome

This is not canon. No. No no no.

But I’ve been recently inspired by the work of MistyTang, and her character Xenos was so brilliantly terrible that my brain couldn’t NOT wonder what would happen if he visited Tock’s world.

(I meant for it to look like Onna’s holding Tock protectively, but I think it looks more like Xenos noticed that she was the only one open to him, and floated her up to him or something, so Onna’s now trying to hold her back. And Bumble shouldn’t be that tall, but that’s the only way he was getting in. Yay sketch flexibility.)

Read more about Xenos here 😀

Xenos © MistyTang, other characters and art © Rachel Terwilliger.


This Tree’s Taken

"This Tree's Taken," Tock the Gnome Happy Holidays 2014

One last post for 2014. Happy Holidays everyone, no matter what you celebrate 🙂

See you with new pages and sketchwork in 2015!


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Page 53, "Tock the Gnome"

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Getting much closer to actually being able to mention the Orc Lady’s name, thank goodness.

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


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"Tock the Gnome: The Rescue Quest," page 52

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Another page done 🙂

Also, trivia time – I started this comic because, back in 2010, I wanted to submit a shorter webcomic to Crossed Genres for the membership section of their website. If I’d gotten in, I would have had to limit the story to 52 pages (one per week for a year). So if that had been the case, this page – the 52nd – would have been the last one.

While it would have been nice to have a finished comic by now, and I do struggle with getting pages done, I’m still glad where I’m at now and how much further I’m able to go with the story as it has developed.

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


“Crashing the Ball,” illustration

"Crashing the Ball," ink and colored pencil, Tock the Gnome

Finished up this sketch 🙂 Also neglected to mention in the sketch description that, apparently, Bumble counts down from high numbers when he’s stressed. As usual, Tock doesn’t notice.

And again, I hope to write something to go with this, so you might see it updated in the future.

Oh, and a Blessed Beltane/May Day, everyone ❤

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Sketch – Crashing the Ball

Pencil sketch, "Crashing the Ball, Tock the Gnome

There’s a good handful of things I’ve got laid out from Tock’s past, in terms of her previous chaos-making, and this is one of them. I plan on finishing the illustration up and writing about it…..but for now let me just say that at one point, she and her friend Eleanore (first seen here) got all fancied up and crashed a noble party – dragging Bumble along as their footman, of course.

Haven’t figured out the details, yet, but its a lot of fun 🙂

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Sketch – Trust

This is not exactly canon, but I feel like something like this is inevitable.

"Trust," sketchwork, "Tock the Gnome"

Oh, Tock and Bumble.

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from Tock and her crew!

 

Just a quick wish for a happy holiday season, to you and yours, whatever you celebrate 🙂

Thanks for reading. Hoping to end the year with Page 51, and fingers crossed for a more productive 2014.

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


Sketch – The Sprizzenfritz Family

Bumble's blood relations

 

A sketch I started a while ago, and just finished up, of Bumble’s immediate family (minus Tock). Lots of menfolk involved in Sprizzenfritz Airships, looks like….

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


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Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back!

Updates will be back to Mondays weekly, with pages every other week for sure (meaning there will be sketches and bonus information on non-page weeks). Thanks to everyone for your patience during the hiatus. I hope you’ll think it was worth the wait 🙂

All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.


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All content © Rachel Marsh. Do not use, alter or redistribute without permission.