Page Number: 131

On The Hook

August 18th, 2005

PAGE FOOTNOTES:  Perhaps my favorite effect in the whole of my original Kamishibai from which this comic derives was the simple animation of Heliotrope raising her head after being brought to life for the second time. I just had to paint this more ably to see what it would look like. Now, the animation provided here is really lacking in frame...the original used about a dozen frames of animation and was very smooth, this uses only four frames and a cheat frame to stretch out the hanging scene.  Plus I added a final 'Papa!' frame. So the smoothness of the original animation is traded for full-on painting.

When I think about my two main characters of the two stories, Heliotrope Security Aoi of Pastel and Chou Yaru Kazemahou of Tryslmaistan, I am struck by how very different they are, and yet, at some level, also strangely alike. They are different in that where Chou was reserved and analytical, and often uncaring, even to the point of utter inhumanity, Heliotrope is all emotion and wonder and hope. Heliotrope is operating from a position of utterly intrepid faith in, basically, love. Chou operates from the position of an almost psychopathic drive for survival, with no faith in love at all, only cold calculation of behavior. Yet both are alike in that they are primally innocent, and they are singular in their universes, freak aberrations of the natural order.

Both characters are as alienated as can be; Chou plays out her dire and sometimes cruel chess game of maximization against harsh odds, while Heliotrope opens her abundant heart to the world, and all within it, and embraces all. Both have special gifts as a compensation: Chou is inhumanly intelligent, while Heliotrope is inhumanly powerful. Brain versus brawn, mind versus heart.

Chou saved her universe, and her portion of the human race, to some extent even against their own wishes, with callous machination.

I wonder what Heliotrope will accomplish in her universe, by using heart and open, direct force.

Who will have ended things better, in the end?  

By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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