Zelkova's Journal

Introducing Mardöll's Weird and Terrible Dad - 5/8/24

This is a journal entry for talking about this comic & the character it introduces, if you somehow arrived here randomly.

I'd been working on this comic regularly for the last three months. I think it was a little too outside of my current art skill level 'cuz I got burnt out from working on it after a while. (I also regret getting froggy with panel margins to contribute to the mood. Made clarity a lot harder.) But it's finished now!! Hey!!!

I referenced a lot of pictures of older/larger greenhouses; these were some of my favorites, if you wanna take a look!

I'm testing out creating individual pages for larger comics while still uploading them onto their related gallery pages as a way of permalinking them to people offsite (so I don't have to hack comics I spent 50+ hours on into pieces trying to fit them in social media dimensions). Side benefit is I get to design fun little backgrounds and stuff to set the mood.

Annnnnnnnnnnnyway onto The Guy. The Man Of The Hour. *points at my big shadow monster guy but then falters 'cuz I don't actually have a name for him yet* I've been placeholdery calling him "The Thorn King," but if I manage to think of a name that's actually thematically relevant I'm going for that instead. In an ideal world where MCU didn't exist I might've made his name a reference to Loki (similar to Mardöll's), since there's some Norse mythology woven into this story & he's That Sorta Guy.

This might actually be the funniest facial expression I've ever drawn.

I've had his concept fleshed out since around September, but his design has sort of been all over the place, so I've had to quietly endure not sharing him with people. I'll be real with you, he's probably one of my favorite characters I've ever made.

His design is vaguely based off of Perchten masks (they often get conflated with Krampus, have fun trying to google search that), but with the design simplified so that I don't hate drawing it lmao. Oskoreia takes place around Yule. This isn't what he usually looks like; it's more like he's treating Christmas like Halloween. (He started doing it to entertain Mardöll when she was younger, but then kept doing it because he knows it annoys the shit out of his best friend.)

His silhouette kind of reminds me of an adult Aster, and I found myself leaning into that after a while with his colors. I think calling him the 'worst possible person Aster could grow up into' isn't terribly far off, but MAN I love him.

I have a couple more shadow/monster people left to design. All of them together have a sort of dynamic that reminds me of the Noah from D.Gray-man. Awful, but in a way that you can't help but still kinda like them. (Can't wait to introduce you to his eldritch wife)

I sort of accidentally reinvented vampires with them all but without the blood-sucking, so they're less sexy (I guess). But if at any point in the future you start to find him sexy you legally have to tell me, it's the rules.

^Unrelated, but the original person who left these comments might actually be the funniest person on the planet.