Sorry I haven't answered these in a while. Hopefully this covers what has been asked since last time...even though some of the people who asked probably aren't here any longer...
After browsing your comic I couldn't help but notice a gap between comic number 31 and 33.
Is this just an indexing error or was a comic there before?
It’s an error going back to when I was updating the comics by manually editing html. For some reason, I counted page 31 as two pages...it unintentionally remained that way even when I transitioned over to using Jay’s Tomekeeper. By the time I realized it was still there, renumbering all of the pages would have been a bigger pain in the ass than it was worth and would have broken a lot of links in the news section and in other social media spots.
I was wondering, Tracy, how deliberately you choose the flower motifs in your artwork. I am utterly in love with floriography, the flower language of the Victorian/Edwardian eras, and mused whether the symbolism of various flowers influenced your choices, or whether you decided based on looks. I mean, daisies are usually a symbol of innocence and purity, so they only fit as a motif for a bunch of gun-slinging gin-runners in a totally ironic way. On the other hand, marigolds are associated almost entirely with various negative emotions, such as pain, jealousy, and grief. So, uh, that definitely seems to fit.
Looking through your gallery, it seems certain that you do put some thought into it (Serafine's been depicted with roses on three occasions, Mitzi always gets purple floweres, Ivy has cheerfully yellow or pink ones, Zib the hinted-at opium smoker gets poppies...), I'm just hoping for a little elaboration on your choices. Thanks very much!
It’s deliberate, but it’s sort of a combination of conventions in flower symbolism from various cultures and my own mental associations stemming from...I don’t know exactly where. I’ll try to explain a little bit, but please forgive the ensuing incoherence and poor sentence structure.
Ivy’s flowers are always in spring colors - spring for the virtues and pitfalls of youth or burgeoning adulthood; the perennial nature of the culture of youth, metamorphosing continually but remaining the definition of a given place in time (particularly in the 20th Century); unperturbed cheer, being trendy, fresh, in-step and wholly there at that precise moment, however naive. The obvious opiate properties of poppies, the implication of self-medication, sleep, escape, chasing relief and the flower’s association with sober remembrance of past violences, being the color of love but also of blood - the unwanted blood money - led me to connect them to Zib. Clematis of one variant or another often appear with Mitzi because it’s a vine with purple blooms - purple being a color I associate with vanity, the pretentious notion of royalty, cheap disguise, but it can also be a color with curious depth, seemingly able to retain its character even when delving near to black, where other colors are lost and indistinct. The plant is a little unscrupulous about grasping whatever’s in reach to climb upward from the dirt, blankets and overshadows its supports but (if you’ve ever had to yank them off trellises or other plants) clings to them mightily.
There’s more, but that’s more than enough expository dreck for now, I think.
At what age did Rocky get 'the old unceremonious boot'?
What age was Freckle when his dad died?
Did Rocky become homeless after being booted, or was there still a place for him to stay for a while before he travelled across country? How did this affect his schooling?
By the time he left, the end of his institutional education was a foregone conclusion. If ever there was a personality not designed to sit quietly, listen, obey and do things in an orderly fashion for seven hours a day, it would be Rocky’s. No one intended to just abandon him to the elements, though. He went to stay with an uncle at first, where he was supposed to work as a farmhand. That didn’t pan out - which is to say it went spectacularly awry - and what followed was a serial of short-lived careers here and there, wherever someone knew someone who could give him a job to do. Eventually he ran short on charitable intentions, legitimate work, places to go, and for a time, was aimlessly adrift.
Did he come back at some point and squander a second chance, or was talk of second chances only hypothetical?
He didn’t come back then leave a second time, but he came back earlier than he was really supposed to (before Freckle graduated). He had a good excuse, and Nina might have even felt sorry for him and cut him a little slack...at the time. You can assume the squandering she’s referring to, though, is her general opinion of how things have been going between then and the story’s opening.
How's the secret passage work?
It’s basically just a door disguised as a pantry wall. There’s a hidden, narrow release on the side that pops the latch and allows it to swing open.
(A lot of wackier things were done to keep liquor hidden away - doing research early on, I recall reading about at least one restaurant that had an entire rotating wall with a full bar built into one side and, of course, something more innocent and unassuming on the opposite.)
Hi Tracy! How many (estimated) more comics are there in volume two? And will see Lackadaisy (the bar) appear in volume two(this may of been asked before)? Finally an art question, some color has shown in the comics (such as red). Is this to make the object stand out or is a pleasantville transition happening?
There’s another chapter. Art and thumbnails for it are still in flux, though, and I’m debating including a smidgen of epilogue material (related to the speakeasy itself), so I hesitate to comment on how many pages it’ll amount to or how many pages I’ll chop it into just yet. If I try to answer, I’ll just be wrong.
It won’t be going Land of Oz full color. Color is used to draw attention to certain things that are contextually important or for added visual interest, as it’s often monotonous and boring to work in and look at nothing but sepiatone for long durations. I’ve been trying to work out ways to make it look less like tedious poop-colored garbage without dropping a sudden style change on the whole thing.
1) Where did Rocky get a nightgown from?
He’s in a girl’s dormitory. Does it require more explaining than that?
2) Ivy blabbed about Lackadaisy other than her boyfriends?
Of course. She knows better than to share certain details, but what’s the point of having gangster connections if you can’t talk up your awesome gangster connections? (*Certain gangsters may be slightly more pathetic than schoolmates have been lead to believe.)
3 Is just me or does that Marigold thug looks like a veilociraptor?
4) And does Mitzi have a hangover? Because I don't really know if she does due to her smeared make up.
She’s a little hungover. She also just committed forgery and robbed a friend in an act of desperation, broke her treasured necklace, got in a street scuffle with the can-opener-panhandler, and had a falling out with another friend. If she looks a little rough around the edges, that’s probably why.
Is the Marigold employee in "Breakdown" and "Intersection" (someone called him Mr.Sleazy) important enough to have a name, or just an amazingly detailed one-time thug?
Well, he’s labelled ‘Weasel Face’ in my script notes. We haven’t seen the last of him.
First: Mordecai's broken, but he doesn't seem to have lost the capacity to care about people entirely. My sense from what we've been shown is that in an odd way he's a little like Rocky: there are really intense "feels" there about at least some things and some people, but he doesn't know what to do with them, and while Rocky channels them non-stop, Mordecai seems to labor to dodge them and suppress them, get utterly bewildered and shaken by them, or get knocked on his ass by them. Is this at all accurate?
That’s at least partly accurate.
(I feel the more I ramble in reply with specifics here, the more fun I take out of letting the comic depict it and letting readers draw their conclusions. I really love that anyone takes any interest in it at all, though, and I appreciate the sort of feedback it gives me to see how people are interpreting it, so please forgive my non-answers and don’t take them to mean I discourage the questions and postulations.)
Second: Mordecai is broken in some way -- it could be a bullet fragment in the brain-pan, it could be some form of PTSD from the sounds of it. Or both. Or something else.... You've referred to him as "irreparable," but I can't help but wonder if he's got at least some plausible long-term mental and emotional work-arounds that may help him come back to a more complete humanity over time. Sometimes the person he was as a boy seems to still exist, uncertain and struggling, in the "golem" he's become. (wry grin) And I keep thinking of people like Gabrielle Giffords and Malala, each of whom is slowly coming back in spite of damage and trauma.
Much of who he is amounts to workarounds. Whatever the gaps are, they’re permanent by now - not all of the detours around them are successful, some are exploitable, but that’s not to say he isn’t flexible enough to learn some alternate routes.
Third: You've commented on Mordecai grasping at people to serve as replacements for his lost compass. That makes a lot of sense from what we've seen. Asa seems to be failing his audition in this role. Atlas seems to have filled it completely. Mitzi...seems to be someone he's still occasionally defaulting to, perhaps without even realizing it. At least that sees to work in relation to some of what passes between them in the car. Are these fair calls?
Fourth: Ok, I know his team seems to have adored him...even borderline worshiped him. But the more I see of Atlas' choices and actions, the more I find him pretty horrible. More of a monster than any of his team of flotsam and jetsam castaways, if only that he really is an opportunist and a user. More and more I'm coming to think of him as a charismatic, charming, manipulative predator. Is this a fair call?
Sure, your personal assessment is fair, but the ambiguity is rather the point. Whether he was a monster or an upside-down hero of some sort, whether he saved anyone or damned them all is a matter of perspective. The characters are haunted, but they wouldn’t all agree on the nature of the ghost.
Fifth: Right now Mitzi seems to be hell-bent on personal damnation. Any reason to hope she's going to pull herself out of her moral death-spiral?
There are things that could hypothetically change her trajectory...or maybe something unexpected will come of her spiral. I can’t really discuss it without being either annoyingly vague or revealing too much.
Feel free to ignore if this has been already answered but has Rocky suffered any other serious injury before the hearse to the head?
Well, he’s rather injury-prone by virtue of...being Rocky, but he’s really only had one other that I would classify in quite the same ‘scrape with mortality’ category.
Has Rocky killed anyone, since it was implied that he killed someone in a development comic, (before the actual comic series began)?
What do you think? Taking it into his own hands to do direct violence to another individual doesn’t seem like his M.O., despite what he’d like Wick to believe.
And is Asa part Sicilian, since Bobby mention that Marigold was tied to Sicilians?
No. At the outset of Prohibition, Marigold was in a territory feud with a Sicilian gang. Marigold won the dispute because of actions Atlas took. Basically, the Sicilians plus the rural outlaws they were conducting business with comprised a common enemy for Marigold and Lackadaisy.
When I look over them my reactions range from "that probably happened" (stuff in the scrapbook but not explicitly in the comic (yet)), to "that may have happened, but may not have happened" (Wick and the duck) to "probably didn't really happen" (Mordecai and the mice).
I'm not sure how to classify Rocky's willingness to get hammered.
The specifics of the mini-comics aren’t necessarily all that important, whether you want to take them entirely seriously or not. Their point, no matter how goofy, is usually more about what can be extrapolated about the character of the cast member(s) involved.
Rocky’s willingness to ‘get hammered’ is generally reflective of his pattern of behavior...but risking a fountainous nosebleed and a sinus headache to be even momentarily indispensable to a situation? You can take that to have literally happened, just the same. =P
Did Atlas love Mitzi or was she more of a trophy wife for him?
Well...I don’t think the answer to that falls neatly to either side of that sort of dichotomy.