319 - Human


Kaye Haychold's ambitious plan

319 - Human

Postby Skatche » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:55 pm

http://pasteldefender.com/to%20save%20her%20319.html

Seems the humans of Kaye's splay had their roots in American colonies and social Darwinism.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby marinschild » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:50 pm

Well the Stormfall brought carbon copies of people from many different time periods and locations, so it is possible that the idea of manifest destiny and social darwinism leaked out into another universe. Although, I believe that any sentient life can eventually develop these ideas with enough experience and observation.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Skatche » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm

Well, yes, that's what I meant. Different splays were populated by different Earth cultures in varying proportions. Up until now we haven't got a sense of who were the first arrival in Kaye's splay.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Gideon_Wells » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:30 pm

Specifically, using that term, the 1840s - late 1800s.

Though I am just staring at the smoke effect of Only vanishing.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Wizard CaT » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:00 am

Doesn't look very happy with Pho's opinion of her. I wonder when they will slide into each other and how that'll effect this. Or is that affect this. Well in any case.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Alikat » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:52 am

That Pho, he's such a "Do Me" queen!
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby strange_person » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:10 am

Mind games. I called it.

strange_person wrote:No, up 'till now he's been kicking Kaye's shiny, cerulean ass with mind games. She's a lot more human than she'd like to admit, and Pho, like any military officer, is all but defined by his ability to get human minds - friend and foe alike - going the way he wants them to.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Anna » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:41 am

Couldn't we start a petition to bring back Only?
Sniff, sob ...
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby NMcCoy » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 am

Hm, I wonder if past-Only will hop across in the time-intersection for some after-the-fact-preemptive-counter-revenge? No, that wouldn't work, since he wouldn't have been in the downstream-now to get vaporized here... Then again, I wouldn't put it past him even so - he managed to collect rather a lot of recycler tags, presumably from alter-Kayes, so he's clearly got some kind of meta-splay-uni-magic going for him...
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Quaeras » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:09 am

How do you feel about this strip and the one previous, Jennifer? Very curious.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Skatche » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:36 am

Anna wrote:Couldn't we start a petition to bring back Only?
Sniff, sob ...


Dear Omnipotent Lords of the Multiverse,

Our favourite two-eyed, one-horned, flying white tea-eater has recently been vapourized by a psychotic Jellese were-human. We suspect he was one of yours, actually. Please send a replacement as soon as possible to:

Aeryx Tryslmaistan
D(4) H(ss/fb) S(p) E(1)
C{w/+Lu,Ptp,Pvp,Ta,MP(1,m,t,f)}

Sincerely,
Lymcit Pho


... Is that "1,m,t,f" in the catalogue listing an inside joke, Mrs Reitz?

NMcCoy wrote:Hm, I wonder if past-Only will hop across in the time-intersection for some after-the-fact-preemptive-counter-revenge? No, that wouldn't work, since he wouldn't have been in the downstream-now to get vaporized here... Then again, I wouldn't put it past him even so - he managed to collect rather a lot of recycler tags, presumably from alter-Kayes, so he's clearly got some kind of meta-splay-uni-magic going for him...


Interesting point; I hadn't noticed that. Then again, the recycler system is hyperspatial, as Kaye pointed out.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Anna » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:20 am

Skatche wrote:Please send a replacement as soon as possible to:

Aeryx Tryslmaistan
D(4) H(ss/fb) S(p) E(1)
C{w/+Lu,Ptp,Pvp,Ta,MP(1,m,t,f)}


You forgot the PO box number!
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:53 am

Quaeras wrote:How do you feel about this strip and the one previous, Jennifer? Very curious.



HEY!
Quaeras, your question inspired such a cool essay from me (I learned stuff just writing it!) that I am going to repost it as a 'Latest News' article, just so those that don't read the forum can see it. Thank you, Quaeras!


My feelings about these two strips, the tratonic-level annihilation of Only, are complex, and relate to the rest of the story, what is yet to happen to the majority of our cast.

Over the last four years I have come to love the cast of To Save Her. As I have marginally improved as an artist, as my renderings of them all have apparently improved, they have become increasingly dear to me in numerous ways. It is wonderful to have a cast of very different characters, all with defined personalities that I know intimately. I know who these people are, I know what they want, what they would say in any given situation, what they dislike, what they favor, what shaped their lives, what they are hoping for and what they fear. They have emotional weight for me.

Only is a Unicorn Jelly, and as such there is a mass of baggage associated with that term for me, as well as a number of 'rules', or at least archetypes that define, for me, what a 'Unicorn Jelly' means and represents. The baggage includes the whole of the original Unicorn Jelly, which was a powerful experience and time for me, and the original Uni was a lovable character who was adored. He represents a kind or sort of magic for me, even though basically he is a living symbol, a cypher, a wee blobby paladin without much emotional depth or complexity; then again, being such, he is also a vessel into which the reader can place their own ideas. Sometimes that can work out to make such a character mean more; we become sure that he is this or that thing that matters to us personally. Unicorn Jellies are cute, and there is an air of nobility about them, as well as a bit of the 'poor little puppy' so killing one off is sacrilege.

But, being a sort of unicorn, there is some cultural stuff going on, and having researched it all far too much, I am driven to make use of it. It isn't just that I am finicky about the tails of unicorns being long and lion-like rather than horse-like, or other such little visual characteristics that I fuss over; I also am compelled by the mythologies surrounding such creatures that define their behavior and temperament.

A unicorn can be gentle, but only to the innocent, it can be ruthless and fierce, a terrifying monster to those it opposes. Unicorns are immortal, yet they can be killed, they certainly can be tricked. In most unicorn myths they end up thus, betrayed and finally killed; old European culture made them into symbols for the mythology of Christ... unicorns die on the metaphoric cross of a virgin's lap, speared by a king and his hunters playing the part of a collective Gaius Longinus. The unicorn is a miracle, discovered it is endangered, finally it must die at the hand of Man. A Unicorn Jelly, therefore, has a kind of Fate in a story in which it is used, and the suggestion is that it is killed, perhaps with a hint of treachery.

This puts a bit of a burden on this character; a unicorn jelly may help to create a happy ending, or to protect others, or to act as a catalyst for change, but the Unicorn Jelly itself cannot have a happy ending; its reward is transcendental, its reward is in 'heaven', or at least beyond our knowing, if it even has one. It must also seem otherworldly, not quite of any place, out of place, we may never truly know it. But the bottom line is that it doesn't last; it is a terminal character that will leave the stage before the story is over because it must. It is a sacrificial character by tradition.

In the original Unicorn Jelly, Uni vanishes, and nobody notices at the time because they are so busy; later an innocent child demands an answer for this and the suggestion is horrific but never fully defined. Uni becomes a metaphor for the loss of magic in our lives through being distracted by worldly events and needs, as well as having the wonder beaten and educated out of us; Uni is Tinkerbell and nobody claps in time. The loss of Uni also invokes sacrifice, arguably Christ-like, to permit the salvation of the entirety of Tryslmaistan, the universe, thus keeping with the European mythology of unicorns.

In To Save Her, Only is far darker, more disturbing; he is always trying to kill Kaye, our heroine, our protagonist, and only now can we see why; she is fucking insane and monumentally dangerous - she is out to destroy everyone, everywhere, including herself. Where Uni was the noble, Unicorn-as-Christ, Only is the earlier, pre-Christian Unicorn-As-Magical-Beast, sweet to the pure-hearted (even if that pure heart is dark!), but violent and dangerous to anything with even the mildest taint of selfish duplicity, or a conflicted nature - the raw, Pagan unicorn is all about purity, in whatever guise, its evil is not Christian evil, rather its evil is impurity. Only does not attack Texto/Virtue; he may be a sociopatic creature, but he is utterly guileless about it, he knows what he is, and he is utterly OK with that, he pure, unconflicted, whatever path he takes he takes with a full heart, be it for slaughter, or for heroism. But Kaye is impure, conflicted, she is unsure what she is, what she wants, she is a battlefield of opposing drives, to the Pagan unicorn, she is abomination.

But the pre-Christian unicorn also dies, in the end (which is why the Christians found it so easy to make use of the creature I think), the more ancient unicorn dies of its own fierceness. It may fight to the end and die in battle, it may impale its horn in a tree, or a boulder, and die trapped there, a prisoner of its own final attack. It may rage such that it murders all around it and suicides in despair knowing that it went too far; but however it happens, in the end it must perish somehow. Only is this; Kaye has killed him in mid-charge, his last attack against her, he has been warned, his fierceness does not care, and is the end of him.

That said, he has made a difference, and what he has accomplished will become only increasingly clear; his destruction has just this moment guaranteed the possibility of survival for the rest of the cast, if they would but accept his gift, as we shall see very shortly (this Friday, in fact!). Of course, our quick-witted Pho must take advantage of the loss of Only, which he is, ever the master tactician, always looking for an angle. I love that about Lymcit Pho; he never lets any opportunity pass, he is always thinking, always working out a path to victory whatever tragedy happens, whatever he has to work with. Pho is my Ideal of the ultimate intellectual warrior; he fights with his mind, every event, every thing is a tool to him, his army is the world itself and every moment within it.

I don't want Only to die, I didn't want Uni to die. But they had to, because that is their purpose; to enter our lives, show us something wondrous, act as a catalyst for change, and then sacrifice themselves for the greater good, for everyone. Mythology works, it is powerful, it is a tool, and like Pho, I will use it.

All of this so, I still wrestle with myself when it comes time to kill off any character. Truth be told, my heart wants every story to end with happy-ever-after for everyone, Christmas In Heaven, everybody lives; everybody forms a big group family and lives in love for eternity in paradise.

Problem is, that makes for a sucky, sucky, SUCKY story. What is nice is not dramatic, blatant wish fulfillment is amateurish at best and utterly deplorable at minimum. I might as well just stick 'Magickal Aeala' in the story, a blatant Mary-Sue, and have her save the day and become the best pal of every cast member. YUK!!! I am vomiting in my mouth a little at the thought.

To Save Her is a Noir story. If I am going to do Noir, then dark things have to happen. Treachery, subterfuge, violence, loss, and death must occur. People must not be what they seem, and what they turn out to be cannot be nice. Ultimately, people gotta die. Nothing is more Noir, dark, than that. So, with a pure heart, I have to kill off my characters. At least many, perhaps most, perhaps...even all of them. You can't know until the very end who, if anyone, will survive this treacherous, insane Kay-Wai.

Kay-Wai, my favorite character. Loving, gentle, always helpful, forever decent, true, utterly Good. Self-sacrificing to a fault. But such grand goodness comes at a price; Kay-Wai was forged by sorrow, always out of place, always rejected, always the freak, Kay-Wai is noble because she has chosen a positive path instead of a negative one as a reaction to her pain. Where a lesser soul would become bitter and seek vengeance, Kay-Wai defiantly, heroically stands up to the misery of her life and proclaims 'I won't be like those that hurt me, I will be love, I will be kindness, I will embody what should be, rather that what is'. Kay-Wai intrepidly replaces depression and bitterness with hope and devotion. I love that. I admire that. That is my Ideal.

You want a Mary-Sue? It's Kay-Wai. That's me, my Ideal me, the me I want to be, the me I can only try to become, even if I am not strong enough to succeed, or noble enough to succeed. Kay-Wai is the light that leads me, to turn potential sorrow and bitterness into joy and love, to not give in to the cruelty of the world, but instead to embody kindness. Perhaps nobody can be such, but I think it noble to at least try.

So it has been fun for me to explore that Ideal turned sour, to look at one possible symbolic Dark Side, the one Kay that couldn't handle this Ideal and went insane from trying to live up to it. A Kay gone horribly, horribly wrong, a negative-image Kay-Wai. I'm insulting my own sickly-sweet Mary-Sue, I am reaming it, and myself, right up the cosmic wazoo. That's good to do, now and then, I think. It's a kind of spiritual tonic. Ya gotta knock yourself on your own ass, sometimes. For your own good.

So Kaye Haychold is twisted by pain into a monster, and Only is the foolishly fierce, raging Pagan unicorn doomed by his own stupid determination, and Texto -my true dark side, the nasty 'kitten' that I know to be my own recognized evil self (I think it important to identify the nature of your own evils. Self knowledge.)- has been inverted to become a paladin, and neutral, intellectual Pho is changed not one bit. Pho is duality-agnostic. Everything that can be is flipped on its head, inverted, reversed, the opposite. Storytelling fun!

But it's disturbing. I'm raking my own muck here. I love these characters. They are golden to me. And to be true to the art, I have to murder them. I have to kill them off. I have to have awful things happen to them, things a miraculous healing bed can't fix. That's going to be a bit of irony right there; they have a device that can make anyone immortal, repair any damage, regrow arms, legs, internal organs, maybe even freaking resurrect the dead, and this has been shown repeatedly, and it is going to end up useless. That's a trick, isn't it? Without breaking the healer unit, how do you kill everyone off? A little challenge I have set myself. Hee!

Yes, there is also a little of that 'Charles Dickens' unholy glee, too. Supposedly, Dickens used to chortle out loud to himself as he wrote his tales of woe and misery, utterly delighting in how he would cruely make his readers squirm and fuss over the latest indignity that a beloved character might face. I have a little of that in me, of course. That's Texto in there, making aesthetic destruction, pretty murder. You go, kitten. Play with your dinner through the safe medium of storytelling. Let it all out. Release all of that pent-up rage and sorrow and bitterness and anger. Make good art, so that my stories don't suck the special suck of being overly treacle.

So that's how I feel; driven by mythology, conflicted by my own need for happy endings, determined to tell a dark tale precisely because it is difficult, grieving early for my beloved cast, and also giggling over the cruel necessities of the process.

I guess that must be being a storyteller.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby marinschild » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:33 am

Bravo! Wonderful Essay! W!!
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Alikat » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:55 pm

I just wanna tell ya somethin': if you want Christmas in Heaven, then ALWAYS remember to eat ALL of your SALMON MOUSSE!!!
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Fooly Cooly Dreamer » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:58 pm

Will we at least find out why this Kaye isn't in love with Uni like others were? Just curious, is all.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:14 pm

Fooly Cooly Dreamer wrote:Will we at least find out why this Kaye isn't in love with Uni like others were? Just curious, is all.


Possibly because this 'Uni' has tried to kill her... a lot. Also, this Kay, our Kaye, is far more far-gone in terms of her Stockholm identification with humanity; she is more interested in Mr. Pho than in anything even vaguely Jellese. She is the anti-KayWai, as can be understood from my recent essay here: http://www.pasteldefender.com/2009-jannews.html (look for 'Killing Off Characters, second post from top.)

In short, the answer is already there.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Quaeras » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:40 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:

HEY!
Quaeras, your question inspired such a cool essay from me (I learned stuff just writing it!) that I am going to repost it as a 'Latest News' article, just so those that don't read the forum can see it. Thank you, Quaeras!


...it has been fun for me to explore that Ideal...Storytelling fun!

...I love these characters. They are golden to me.

Yes, there is also a little of that 'Charles Dickens' unholy glee, too.

So that's how I feel; driven by mythology, conflicted by my own need for happy endings, determined to tell a dark tale precisely because it is difficult, grieving early for my beloved cast, and also giggling over the cruel necessities of the process.

I guess that must be being a storyteller.


I'm glad I inspired you in some way. I know the feeling is mutual. Your quote from several months ago (which I don't have in front of me right now) about creating a point in the universe and having a past and future expand from it, pulled me out of a writing doldrums and launched what will eventually be my first book (78 thousand words so far).

I remember reading an article about the writing of Nietzsche in college. In the article, the historian mentioned what a shame it was that nobody ever asked Nietzsche how he felt about Zarathustra, his hallmark character. Apparently, it would have shed a lot of light on more in depth interpretations of his work.

You've given us a lot of emotional moments related to Jellicorns (as my younger sibling put it when he saw my beautiful hardcover you autographed), and when I saw the outcome of this strip and your finality of it (as opposed to the Krlawni grabbing Kay, which ended differently), I was a little shocked.

Personally, I found that the meta-information that comes along with the strips are where the heart of the stories lie. The small descriptions about Trys Physics, short insights on culture, or whatever else. Hearing your thoughts about the demise of Only seemed to me akin to asking Nietzsche about Zarathustra- it would be supremely important to understanding and interpreting the story, and thankfully it was enlightening to you, as well.

I'm really glad you're having fun. You bring some joy to all of us, the return is really important.

Thanks for the insight! I'll go update my signature.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:37 am

Quaeras wrote:Personally, I found that the meta-information that comes along with the strips are where the heart of the stories lie. The small descriptions about Trys Physics, short insights on culture, or whatever else. Hearing your thoughts about the demise of Only seemed to me akin to asking Nietzsche about Zarathustra- it would be supremely important to understanding and interpreting the story, and thankfully it was enlightening to you, as well.


It would be simplistic to say I have these forums to support my ego while I slog through drawing; it is true that they do such a thing, and that is useful. I am filled with self-doubt and having a community of readers keeps me feeling like drawing for hours and hours is time better spent than, say, playing games or ....sulking.

But there has been a much richer, far more robust value to these forums for me, and that is what you all teach me. I learn constantly about my own work, what I am doing and why I am doing it, I learn about my own reasons by you asking to have them explained. It forces me to intellectually comprehend what streams automatically from my digital pen.

It also keeps me on my toes; I am made constantly aware of when I fail, and far more importantly why, which makes me try all the harder!

I also learn other things too, things that change my opinions, things that change even my worldview at times. I am forced to reconsider and retract; the gentle war of ideas here keeps my mind from rusting up. There are some good challenges here, not the impoverished challenges of raving ideologists, but differing yet reasoning -and reasonable- minds. I love that.

I couldn't see the point of forums at first. Now I do. They are invaluable. Just invaluable.
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Re: 319 - Human

Postby Alfador » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:46 pm

Alikat wrote:I just wanna tell ya somethin': if you want Christmas in Heaven, then ALWAYS remember to eat ALL of your SALMON MOUSSE!!!


How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?! XD
Arf! *wagwagwag*
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