Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ballads of War 1x36 & 1x37

A lot of fuss for everyone


It was Heraclitus who said (cannot remember the quote exactly) something like war changes everything constantly, war turns the king into slave and the slave into a free man. Well, Heraclitus apparently was quite obsessed with change in nature and the nature of change (A Tzeentch philosopher, maybe? Hmmm), but this is exactly what happened here. The freshly arrived Blood Angels thought they were in control of the situation after defeating the Ork raiders, but suddenly... Bam! They got caught by the Eldars of Biel-Tan. Besides, they let their prisoners escape and the marines into the tomb seem to be experiencing... technical issues. So they just went from victor to owned in a blink. Heraclitus 1, Blood Angels 0. Ahem.

A significant thing in the second page is that we can see interaction between two Eldar, the Great Harlequin and a Guardian from Biel-Tan. Just let me assure you that what they speak is Quenya, take my word. It's not translated as it does not offer any relevant information the reader needs to know at the moment, but of course there was no reason why two Eldar should communicate in Gothic (i.e., English for our purposes) between them. They acknowledge each other, but what they say remains unintelligible for the rest of the group, so it's the same for the readers.

The Eldar language has never been quite developed into WH40K fluff, apart from some words here and there. I felt I needed to take a step further, if I was to properly depict Eldar. What was my train of thought here? The most blatant, shamelessly appropiation. The very term 'Eldar' was simply taken by GW back in the day, as it means 'the people of the stars', an early term used by Prof. Tolkien to refer to the Elves. It's more complicated than that, but now it's not the moment nor the place to speak about Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri :P

Let's just remember that GW infringed Tolkien's IP by stealing the term 'Eldar'. So I simply went the way all back. Reverse engineering. I am using (part of) Tolkien's cultural background on Elves to refer to WH40K so-called Eldar. I'm by no means using it all and I'm not being comprehensive; I'm just somehow completing the work GW started and using external references to fill in this universe (but with some logic and coherence). So, first of all, if you were alert, I have already made a couple of statements in earlier pages. For example, the singular for Eldar is Elda. Right, the -r is just the plural form. No one will ever convince me of using Eldar as singular to refer to just one Space Elf. Elda. It is law.

I also used the term 'Eldarissa' to vastly refer to the tongue of the Eldar (opposed to Noldorissa, the langauge of the Noldor). I won't delve much into that, I simply used the word as it was coherent with the use of the term Eldar here. Though I had the heavy temptation of assimilating the different Eldar Craftworlds (and Dark Eldar) to the different branches of the Tolkien Elves, it would have been too much. Even for me. However, I planned to depict the different Craftworlds in quite distinctive ways (+20% personality), mixing the GW lore with Tolkien stuff. The idea was showing them as really different households, but keeping them intertwined, coming from a common origin (being the long-term mission of the Harlequins to bring them all back together).

Anyway, why am I using Quenya instead of Sindarin? Ahh, that will have to wait a little, as we'll see more examples of pointy ears speaking to each other. Cliffhanger! :D

Hehe, our group entering that big ship also qualifies as cliffhanger. Be ready to meet the realm of the Eldar...

While you wait, you can try to spot the stuff I said in the previous pages HERE.


  1. Perfect art. Once again great episode of the story!

  2. Never knew, or bothered to contemplate, that Eldar had been robbed from Tolkein by GW. I don't think it's a big deal though, Orc was lifted from there too. The fantasy genre would be a lesser place without those venerable bad guys around to fight with.

    I wish you'd produce these faster Suber, I'm a very impatient man when i come's to reading comic books in dribs & drabs. Lovely stuff mate :)

    1. Haha, I totally understand, that's why I'm trying to keep up the two pages per week rate. But beware! That means we'll get to the abrupt discontinuation of the project sooner! :P :(

  3. The more I read your comic, the more creeped out I get by the Great Harlequin's mask.

    By the way, hats off to you for the Quenya. It's a great touch!

    1. Haha, the mask was meant to be unsettling, glad you think so! Think about it, you have to build a character bearing a clown mask and still looking like he's the serious deal. Hmmm... I wasn't aware, I made the Heath Ledger's Joker like five years before his movie! :D

      PS: Thanks, glad you like the Quenya. We'll get some more of that in the few next pages!

  4. You have put a lot of thought on these subjects. Filling in gaps in the lore with your own devices and even enhancing the entire Eldar race to a more sophisticated level.
    Funny enough, the more of the Tolkien Elves you put in there, the more they seems to grow away from them and get some cultural character as a race.

    An interesting part seems to be coming up and I look forward to the next pages.

    1. But I think that was precisely the point, to enrich what WH40K gives you (which is a lot) with external references, and I couldn't think of a better influence than Tolkien, hehe. I'll elaborate a little more in future posts, glad to know you find this interesting :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! A little bit insanity all over, but that's part of the fun!