Monday, September 08, 2008

The Handsome Grackle ... or, Spring is sprung and I missed it!


(Following to be read with some strange accent in mind - I have no idea why, just cause...)
Please being 'Hello!' to my good friend, the Handsome Grackle.
(Cease with accent, please.)

He is what is called nadderer - a sea-nicker, a water-dwelling monster - with neither head nor tail, but both at once, being able to walk on either end when he/she/it ventures on land. A very very robust creature, it recovers quickly from hurts, so much so that he has been swallowed more than once by much larger sea-beasts, travelled the length of their alimentary canals before being "poo-ed" (if I may use that word...) out again, relatively unharmed to get about his/her/its business. Oh what fun...

There have been many excellent questions put to me here over the last couple of posts. Unfortunately I do not have time right now to address many of them - but I hope a couple of answers might suffice for the mo...?

Portals was wondering, "I have questions about lahzars' weapons. Is a fulgar's fuse used as a kind of spear, or more like a lightsaber from Star Wars? Do wits have any kind of weapon that they use? Thanks"

A fuse is used more as a quarterstaff than anything else, a way to extend reach (though with a the wire wrapped about a pole of cane or wood I am actually not so sure a magnetic field would occur as has been suggested elsewhere - sorry whoever posted, I thought the wire needed to be coiled about metal to achieve this - but please correct me if I am wrong, physics at high school was my weakness).

Wits would generally see it as being beneath them to resort to weapons, the control and manipulation of frission is everything to them. Saying that a pure wit would probably look down on a bane, and in turn a bane would probably see a purist wit as lacking versatility.

Another question was regarding the status of the Gottlands, which are in fact not a part of the Haacobin Empire but an empire to itself - a hegemony of kingdoms, duchies and the like allied and treatied to the Sigismundian dynasty that currently rules the Gottskylds. They are protected from the Haacobins by the great big threwdish swamp of the Ichormeer, though battles have been fought between the two giants, with little gain for either side. The Haacobins regard the Sigismunds with sullen respect.

I shall get to the problem of lamps as soon as I might, honest - time is really crimping me now...

42 comments:

Pearlius said...

The Handsome Gackle is very handsome indeed!

femina said...

Is anybody else wondering if the Handsome Gackle both eats and poops out of that one slit in its belly?

No? Okay, just me then...

portals said...

Hi Mr. Cornish,
Thanks for answering my question.
The Handsome Gackle is so charismatic!
Does he sort of cartwheel around, or flip tail over tail landing on his hands.

Kate said...

I hadn't been, femina, but now I am.

monday said...

i was, femina...
aww. he is kind of handsome, for a sucker-tail/head-ed toeless flip-flopping thing with a hole in his stomach.

E N Reinmuth said...

I say, 'tis one joyous Grackle indeedly.

portals said...

I wonder how sunburnt the Handsome Grackle gets when he goes on land

Nick said...

Hey DM, something that iv'e been wondering, as you write and illustrate your own books, do you find your drawings bring the story along (like each person/monster has its part of the story it needs to have to extend/explain the drawing kinda thing) or the story brings the characters along (where you design a character to fit a role) or a mix? any way it happens its great because the books are fantastic, i was just interested in how this thing works.


Oh and about the electromagnet fulgars fuse thing- it would act as one, the iron pole most electromagnets use just makes an electromagnet stronger than if its wrapped around anything else, anyway i don't think it would make much of a difference if it was, as only a few metals and metal alloys are magnetic anyway so steel swords and chainmail wouldn't be effected at all so sorry if i made things unneccesarily complicated (maybe it would just be used as a party trick by some fulgars :p)

me said...

Hello indeed.

You do indeed have an imaginitive collection of beasties in your arsenal, and I hope to meet more of such, er..."handsome" creatures in future. Albeit from a safe vantage point.

Are we ever likely to see my favourite as-yet-unseen character, the Duke of Crows? I'll cross my fingers & hope for the best...

D.M. Cornish said...

Hmm, femina, trust you!

One tube for eating, one for pooing, and portals the rugose hide on his back offers excellent protection from those harmful UV rays (bless you for your concern). Oh, and the Grackle cartwheels, flips, jumps, jogs, does the hokey pokey and all as required.

I reckon nick that it is both, that the writing helps the drawing and drawing helps the writing. Sometimes I see the character well writing them, then it is a challenge to draw them accurately. Other times I struggle to know a character until I have drawn them. Let us just say that while I write book 3 I have pictures of Ross and co up to help me "see" it all.

Would it be fair to say that because the core of a fuse is not metal that the magnetism would only be very slight anyway?

Ben Bryddia said...

Rather reminds me of a sea star with it’s six appendages. The flat appearance also reminds me of what are called “mermaids’ purses’”. It also seems like the sort of critter who might feed on mollusks and acquire some manner of barnacle it just can’t scratch off. Could it use it’s large maw to suction onto the side of a ram? The really interesting thing is it doesn’t seem to be built like a swimmer, having no fins or webbing. You also say it heals very quickly, making it hard to kill, though I imagine a fulgar could exploit the highly conductive vinegar waters to deliver a shock.
I’m truly happy you’re showing us this now and I imagine Zakk will be quite pleased as well.
On your illustrations:
I’ve always thought it was disadvantage that authors like Tolkien didn’t illustrate their own books because, if they had a definite vision for their worlds, then they couldn’t truly convey those images in words. One always has to wonder, when reading books or watching adaptations, if the author would have chosen this look, that design, or that actor to represent their cherished character. I, for one, wouldn’t have gotten my impressions of Half-continent (certainly of the rams, Freckle, calendars, and Winstermill) that I have if only the text existed. (Not trying to knock your descriptive writing or anything of that sort.) Do you think you convey the characters as you wish, is what’s on the paper identical to what’s in your head or, if not, how close?
-Ben.

Anna said...

Perhaps a stupid question... but where does the eyes sit on The Grackle? i guess he walks on his 4 legs (?) sometimes so it would be difficult to have eyes on the "front side". And if he walks up-right it would be difficult to have eyes on the back-side.

and if the doesn´t have eyes at all...well that would be comical to see!

portals said...

A previous post was about monster music, so seeing as the Handsome Grackle does the Hokey Pokey (lol), what sort of music does the Grackle make?

Is that armpit hair I see?

portals said...

Does the handsome grackle have any obese relatives?

E N Reinmuth said...

portals-

Imagine the size of the razor 0_o

femina said...

Hey, I wasn't the only one who had the thought about the grackle's bodily functions! (Although I WAS the one to cross the line and put it out there...)

To rehash an old subject briefly, I think one advantage to having a forum would be that we could reply directly to particular comments, rather than replying to them 10 comments down and having it make less sense.

Having said that, forums generally have to be moderated pretty severely to keep them nice and friendly... and safe. And I'm guessing DMC isn't going to have time for that.

portals said...

e n reinmuth
Yeah, lol, but imagine him trying to use it.

Armoruedyoda said...

Hi Portals! It's me! Just here to remind you to hurry up reading Foundling for the second time in a month. The withdrawal symptons from not being able to read it for five days are starting!!! On the subject of the Grackle that thing between his legs makes me want to throw up.. Also a forum would be nice and DMC could get the more responsible members of his fanbase i.e. not me. to moderate the forums.

portals said...

go away

portals said...

how dare you talk about the grackle that way richard!

portals said...

Attention everyone,
do not listen to anything armoruedyoda says and please do not respond to anything he says. i dont want to spoil foundling for him because he lost it. This site has spoilers so i dont think he should go on it.

sorry richard but otherwise the plot will be spoilt.
thank you for your patience.

Armoruedyoda said...

Okay Portals this is the last post until I complete Laplighter. Calling another user on the internet by their real name on the internet apparently it is dangerous so when referring to me when I come back call me armoruedyoda people make up these silly names for a reason!!!

Pearlius said...

Do Gackles travel around in swarms? Or are they independent? How big are they in comparison to a normal human?

*is immensely fascinated*

Aulis said...

If you were to draw a man next to your Handsome Grackle (I'm Aulis, by the way,) how large would it be? I understand that he - it's a nicker...but I do sort of want it to be very very very large. Anyone agree with me?

monday said...

he definitely has the physique of a large creature, tho i would say maybe five times man-height at most.
o! does he breath through one of his obvious orifices, or does he have gills? and how does his respiratory system work? this is important because if it is really simple, like an ant's or something, he couldn't be very large at all
I would love to see him in motion.

portals said...

Is the Handsome Grackle able to regognise manikins like the land nickers and bogles. Also, can it speak?

E N Reinmuth said...

portals-

If he doesn't use his tentacles it might have to be a group activity 0_o

I'd Imagine him to be about a third of the size of a large ship, more than a challenge, but still small enough to defeat using cannons... Or maybe 3 1/4s the size of a ship.... go the last one...

D.M. Cornish said...

Well I could answer these questions now or make you all wait until a certain book comes out.

Which shall it be...?

*evil grin*

E N Reinmuth said...

Oh!

...

I was about to say how cruel that is, but I guess finishing the series might somehow be better :D

portals said...

e n reinmuth

Yeah, they all shave at the annual Grackle Gathering, a gathering involving tentacles, sucking, shaving, and lots of accidents.

I think the Grackle seems like the sort of fellow that sucks onto the bottom of a ship and is like the crews pet. The kind sailors throw him bits of food.

lol :-)

Vahlaeity said...

The Grackle is indeed handsome... of sorts. It reminds me of a nicker slinky with the description of its fluid tumbling, cartwheeling movement.

Larger sea creatures eat Grackles but what do grackles eat?

Having re-read Lamplighter and starting on MBT again... i am once agin deeply curious about the stories of the following characters... Europe (who isn't?) Threnody and her mother as well as Fouracres and Mama Leiger. Will we see more of their personal histories through Rossamund's story? or maybe a tale in the appendix/glossary (forgive tis late and I can't think of how to spell explicarium... )similiar to Arwen and Aragorn in LotR? Any preferences people?

Anna said...

When is the next book expected to be published?

E N Reinmuth said...

Maybe our handsome friend has no teeth and his saliva slowly dissolves the hull, as he gums his way through the bottom of the ship. Just imagine the slurping sound....

Sam Hranac said...

Maaaaaybe he burps out one of his stomach onto his meal and digests while outside his body, like a starfish.

E N Reinmuth said...

That would make sense, especially if the Handsome Grackle is as passive as we've thought him to be. Being eaten and then pooped out of larger sea Nickers suggests he's the .... I don't want to say lesser because I like him too much!

Point is- eating like a starfish means he wouldn't (likely) have any teeth or maw to speak of, so he's just another Groovin' sea creature cruisin' along with the crowd mindin his own buisness until someone fires their cannon at him...

Ten bucks says that did not make any sense!

Ben Bryddia said...

Hey, Reinmuth, I took a gander at your vialimn design and must congratulate you on the apt design. Is it my sleep-deprived imagination or are those owl claws in the decoration motifs? I do, however, feel I must protest the fact the window panes are incorrect. Numps and Rossamund were known to amuse themselves cleaning the small, hexagonal panes of glass used in the vialimns. It seems to me it would be easier to clean, replace, transport, and manufacture small panes rather than large ones.
I don't pretend to be an expert but for some demented reason the fact the panes were hexagonal stuck in my head.
Granted you may have had all this in mind and were intending to add such detail in a later version but I just wanted to make sure.

And as for the idea about the Grackle's saliva, I feel it would then be more caustic than the vinnager seas to not only eat away the potive coating but also corrode the iron plating beneath. 'Tis sertainly possible in the wonderful world of threwd, false gods, and massacars, but I suppose we shall have to wait until the proverbial Third Book to find out.
-Ben.

Coz said...

woohoo!
another monster!
I'm ok with waiting till the next book comes to get the answers to all my questions as long as you keep posting illustrations of monsters, especially sea monsters.

portals said...

What are everyones favourite characters?

MooseGuy said...

Um... is anyone else reading into this monster Freudian-style? Or is it just me?

monday said...

jus you

*coughfreudwasapompousjerkcough*
...but that's just one opinion :)

MooseGuy said...

oooooooooooooooooooh really?

you see I've got this real fascination for Freud, Darwin and Marx. No three men will ever debase the human more than they did. Showed us how bad we really are...

but that's just another opinion

monday said...

weeeell, IMHO, whatever truth freud may have been onto, the way he went about writing about it really rubbed me the wrong way.
s' probably best described in what someone in my family [prbly my father; he tends to write in books] scrawled on the title page of On Dreams: 'Psychology: superior science supported by common observation replacing morality. I'd sooner trust a snake.'
ocourse, i don't know that i've read or studied enough to really merit any argument, but i must say i agree with him