Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Ballads of War 2x01-2x05

There we go again! I'm having some busy days, but I'll try to get back to routine with the comic.

First thing is that I have no cover for Volume 2 :/ I prefer doing covers when the whole thing is done, so I can find a better and accurate composition with the actual content instead of my previous expectations of what I'm about to draw.
But I had an introductory text, just in the same fashion of the one for Vol. 1, some kind of metanarrative to get the reader in context.

So, with no more mumblings, I leave you with that text and the first pages of Vol. 2. There we go!

Treating the Wars of the Hammer as an unitary, single event would be of course a mistake. The wars took place in enormously distant places, and very different characters had their role in them, giving shape to a series of events in which one cannot see an unifying thread in many occasions. It is for sure the presence of Beronis what gives coherence to the overall scheme [...] Though Historicus Allan Baalzenbergis includes the naval battle over Lausor between the Imperial Fleet and the Tau Navy as the first of the encounters that conform the Wars of the Hammer, and he does so with relevant arguments, it would look more prudent (and there is more consensus on it) to consider that the triggering events of all that happened later were unleashed on Itabirion [...].

Itabirion was colonised and terraformed most surely before the coming of the Imperium, as it appears in a chronicle of the Great Crusade as a crossing point of the Divine Emperor, though there is no reference to any relevant event [...]. The Adeptus Mechanicus took real political control over Itabirion in the very early stages, and always kept extense areas of the planet under strict quarantine, claiming tectonic activity and high levels of radiation, which was consistent with that world's geologic structure, though, as it was discovered later on, it was no more than an excuse to keep a certain area free of undesired presence. Undoubtly, the accident that resulted in the explosion of the ziggurat-factory of Sicar, the planetary capital, in 569.m39, also destroyed the archives that recorded the actual reason for the quarantine. The Mechanicus teams sent centuries later, certifying that there was no tectonic activity nor radiation, begun a true new colonisation of the planet all over the unexplored areas [...]. It was the discovery of the place in question what unchained all the events. It is under the light of posterior events how one can understand the confusing convergence of such unalike forces struggling on an uncharted location and which, in the end, conformed the first incident that turned into some totally unexpected results from the beginning...

From 'A Study of the So Called Wars of the Hammer'
Historicus Naevius Maro.
Imperial Library. 982.M41

As you can see, the introductory text serves as a link between both Volumes. It provides a plausible explanation to the question of how the hell is it possible for a damn mausoleum to exist on the surface of an Imperial planet since the times of the Great Crusade without nobody knowing.

Regarding the pages themselves, I guess the main focus is on the Biel-Tan Craftworld. It is bulkier than I pretended, less elegant than it should have been, I'm afraid. If you paid attention, it's the same Craftworld we saw in the flashback when the Harlequin told Vix about the race of the Eldar. By that time I didn't know of the Jes Goodwin illustration, or else I would have taken that path:

Anyway, what's done is done. The double splash in pages 2-3 serves the same purpose that the hive city in Vol. 1, a striking image to make you feel small (You know, the universe is a big place and, whatever happens, you will not be missed and all that stuff). Scale is a thing in Warhammer 40,000, I guess. We begin with a flashback of the memories of the High Farseer Ellinderelion. My intention for each volume in the series was to always begin them with an oniric element. The first one was a nightmare, this was a flashback. Next one would have been a divination (using the Imperial Tarot, a long time lore reference but totally underrepresented item; I was even on the process of designing the whole deck). I also had a performance of the Eldar myths by the Harlequin troupe, maybe the story of the Dark Angels told in a flashback as a new member enters the Inner Circle, a Blood Angel succumbing to the Red Thirst... all of them with some touches of my own, in the way you have already seen before.

I digress. The relevant thing about this flashback is the casting of Eldar Seer Stones, something I had always wanted to represent in a comic since I first read that story from the 2nd Ed Rulebook (I guess it may had been published somewhere earlier, but that's the first time I saw it and got me totally hooked). I used some of the same stones that appear there and I made up some others. It all serves the purpose of focusing our attention on the story since the beginning and giving us some perspective from the Eldar side, as they have a main role in all the things to happen. Ellinderelion will be the lead first person narrator in this chapter, just as Brent was in Vol. 1.

Not much else for today, let's just see how this unfolds. I got up to 30 pages of Vol. 2, plus page #31, which is just the pencils. I'll be scanning and preparing them all until I run out of them. I hope you enjoy them!


  1. Well, that´s something you don´t use to see the rune-reading of the Eldars. Could be easy just to write about it and leave the reader to make in their minds the complex dancing of the runes, but to make must have it very clear

    1. Haha, right,this was something I really wanted to do since the text I told, it was a picture I had in mind and really wanted it to be 'seen'

  2. Me encanta lo de leer las runas como dice Gonfrask!
    un gran trabajo!

    1. ¡Gracias! Era algo que me apetecía mucho hacer, nos saca de la visión exclusivamente imperial a la que estamos acostumbrados y da algo de profundidad a los Eldar. ¡Y tenía pensadas más cosas de este tipo!

  3. I love your take on the craftworld, it's less organic and looks more sophisticated.
    I always thought the older Eldar ships looked a bit like Tyranid organisms.
    No cover though! Blasphemy.
    But nevertheless, these first pages have blown me away. They look they were made by a professional comic book author.

    1. Wow, thank you! What a compliment!I like the organic lines for the Eldar, but indeed not to the point that their stuff can be mistaken for any random uncontrolled growth of mushroom. Softness in the design suits them, but there has to be something to remind us that they are travelling through the space. Ahh, the thin line between tech and nature...

  4. Nice work. I love your drawing of the Eldar ships in particular 😉

    1. Thank you very much! I enjoyed pretty much with that. I used some BFG ships to tie in it all, but I would have loved to draw some more of my invention. Who knows, I guess it's never too late :P