November 2013 Reader Questions!

As is tradition when I finish a Skin Deep story, I’m taking a month off to get ready for the NEXT comic! Gosh! I know! But fear not, dear readers, as I will be doing READER QUESTIONS during November! You remember Reader Questions, right? Well if not, click here! Ask your questions (here, preferably) and maybe I’ll answer them in the form of an amusing doodle. Plot-specific questions aren’t super likely to get answered, so if you want to know “what is up with Michelle” or “what did Anthony turn into” I won’t answer those!!

Ask Away!


One serious, one silly! What makes the ideal Avalon? Also, of the main Orientations cast.. What would their starter Pokemon be?

Did Myra really become larger as Mike grew increasingly frightened, or was that just a way of becoming still scarier? If someone was frightened of… uh, clowns, would she clown up?

If you check the Q&A from a couple years ago, there’s an pic of a full-form bugbear, on all fours, next to a “normal” human for scale. The bugbear stands about five feet tall at the hip, and seven or eight at the shoulder.

My guess is that Myra’s size increases as she slides along the scale from human to full form, which she has obviously practiced. (After all, it’s a great way to scare the — wits — out of somebody.)

can a Medallion be disguised?

If you watch the details in Exchanges, you see Blanche wearing his as part of an ornate necklace, and Royce wears his as a watch-fob. I’m sure there are a lot of other options, but most of the mythical folk seem to just tuck them inside their clothes when they’re in human or mid-form.

Are there any gryphons that have their mammal “half” as something other than feline in Skin Deep? Is that possible?

in a sense yes, hippogryphs are gryphons with a horse body instead of a lion, you find them in some fantasy stories, and legends. As to whether or not there are variations with canine or some other kind animal I’m not sure on.

Well yeah, I know about hippogryphs and perytons.

But would harpies be considered gryphons since humans are technically mammals?

Pygmy Gryphons can be an combination of bird and mammal :3 The example I’ve seen myself was a Hummingbird/Mouse combination, but I don’t know if they are all necessarily small.

So will we be heading back to Michelle and the gang? Or will we be catching up with Anthony and Blanche? Or will it be some characters we haven’t met in detail yet?

If there are western dragons, like Bloodcarver, does this mean there are eastern dragons too?

I guess a more generalized question would be, are there creatures and monsters in the Far East, like China and Japan and other parts of Asia? What would they be like?

This is a complicated one…

Are there recessive bloodlines? If monsters keep marrying different monster types, could someone end up taking after a grandmother instead of one of the parents?

The only mixed-parentage person I can think of was Blanche.

Actually the Finns are a mixed family, if you count subspecies. Jim’s mum is a Common Gryphon, as is one of his brothers, while the rest are Maned Gryphons.

Though of course this doesn’t answer your question.

As I understand it, what your asking is most likely to happen when single-sex species and humans get involved. For example, if a satyr whose mother was a faun has a daughter with a human women, that daughter might be born an unturned faun.

Question for Anthony- With all the Ghostbusters paraphernalia, I was wondering if you’ve ever heard of the show Supernatural. If you have, what do you think of it?

As a sorta response, I would have to ask when that show premiered. Remember, the Exchanges story is set in the summer of ’04.

Besides nixies and nokks, what other mostly-aquatic folk are there?

Or: Are there any beings such as elementals, consisting mostly of fire or water or the like? How about golems? On another note, are there unicorns?

Or: Any beings specific to here in Canada?

Any Mediterranean beasties (besides the various sphinxes) going to be showing up at any point? I lived in Morocco and my family/friends there were terrified of Aisha Kandisha…(look it up! It’s like a harpy, sorta).

A lot of the species that have been featured are included in Greco-Roman lore. I’d think that qualifies them as “Mediterranean beasties”. But, you’re apparently thinking of other cultures around that pond.

A repeat of some earlier questions for Gabe: Your wings are very beautiful. How heavy are they? Are they uncomfortable, or are you just so used to them that you don’t give them a second thought anymore? Do they have any protective qualities/abilities?

A few questions for/about the Dogpatch crew:

Henry and Ricky claim not to have known angels were real before they saw Gabe. How do they know he isn’t something else they’ve never heard of? It must be hard to keep track of every species that exists when for all we know they’ve never been to other avalons.

If Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers somehow made a comeback, would Ivory age backwards and become healthy again, or would a there just be more spirit animal versions around while he personally continued to suffer?

Ricky’s a Nokk, right? Does the group have a plan for what they’re going to do in a couple decades when he starts, uh… actually that’s mean, asking someone about their plans around inevitable early onset dementia. Forget I said anything.

Something a bit more general: It’s implied that most humans who find out about magical creatures etc. and take it well turn out not to be human after all. But the ones who *didn’t* take it well probably didn’t get as far as trying out medallions; how many of them would turn and just don’t know it? I’ve got a theory in which pure humans may actually be pretty rare in this universe, but because there are only a finite number of medallions and hardly anyone would have a chance to try them all, most of them will never find out for sure.
If I’m right, maybe Sam from Exchanges shouldn’t be too worried about not changing with a *gryphon* medallion… (Feel free to edit this out if it risks spoilers.)

It just hit me, what would happen if Nemean Lion and a Celtic Otter were to get into a fight? They’re both invincible, but the instead of strength and force the otter has dexterity and cunning.

Which Skin Deep characters like watching Disney’s Gargoyles, if any?

Do living gargoyles exist?

The Angel didn’t seem to want to comment on the big guy. But do polytheistic gods exist, like Thor, Hera, and Anubis? Are they really gods, or were their origins from monster people?

Kelekona it might interest you to that gargoyle is derived from the old French word garguile (pronounced gar-ghoul), in fact the first creature to be considered a gargoyle is named Garguile. The word itself roughly translates in English to mean “from the throat” or “to gargle”, since traditional gargoyles are more akin to a runoff system for rain than they are to solid statues. Garguile is a figure French lore, and is described as being a sort of serpent or snake with the power to drink rivers dry in a matter of hours. Now that I’ve said that I think it would be interesting to meet Gaguile’s descendants and learn what she/he was, the lore never really states Gaguile’s gender is, I like to think of Garguile as female and the progenitor of all gargoyles to come.

Eleanor breathes fire occasionally.

But is Eleanor immune to her own fire?
Has she ever managed to scorch her own fur/facial hair by accident?

(I keep seeing a bandersnatch in my mind’s eye with the cartoon poofed/burned head holding a pack of bubble gum or something, looking rather surprised…)


I just noticed a character sheet mentioning that the hair curse is more common than I assumed. I can’t find the explanation, but I thought it cropped up only once in a while.

Are you going to go any more into how the family got the hair curse ?

and is it just one hair curse that expresses differently for different people or are there multiple individual curses? after all, three colors other than green are mentioned in the character sheet

How common are curses among folks with medallions & monsters and how do these curses get placed, what sort of ‘rules’ do curses follow?

Just some creatures I thought of: Chimeras? Hydras? Any interesting Scandinavian/Norse creatures you’ve thought up (Draugrs, Selkies, Fenris Wolf, Sleipnir, Jormurgandr…?) If any apply, what would they look like?

Also: Direwolves, anyone?

What types of music do the original orientation’s group like? Any sweet dance moves Jim? I think I saw some before…

Any sports unique to Avalon? Does anyone from the orientations crew like sports? Colin ball? Ha ha.

I wonder how characters with metal medallions get through air port security.

Any plans for south eastern characters kory?

I would love to meet the architect for Avalon.

I wonder is Area 51 a second Avalon run by the government?

Any Canadian specific creatures. Oh I got it you should do a spirit beaver! Ha!

Ok I’m done…XD

A) How many unicorns does it take to screw in a lightbulb

B) How does Myra eat chocolate cake while in bugbear form?

C) Can creatures such as Gryphons, Centaurs, Bugbears etc understand the language of their counterparts e.g. birds, horses, bears etc and if so do they have any interesting conversations?

Madame U. She’s one of the Avalon’s oldest residents and yet still ridiculously Romanian. How did she end up in the Avalon running a well-known successful business, especially if she moved there in a time where monsters were not trusted?

Really I just want to see her younger self~

Question for Jim: What is something that irritates you about the American culture? Is living in America as different as you imagined it would be? Is there something specific you weren’t expecting about America that you wound up adoring? Finally, what do you miss most about Liverpool (not counting your family or friends)?

I would like to know more about centaurs plskthx :3

Also more about phoenixes or similiar crittiers, if possible.

Two questions…

Which character’s dialogue is your favorite to write?

Would you be okay if anyone else made an audiobook of skin deep? (Sorry for asking again.)

Is there some sort of system for getting “monsters” or folks without medalions/shapeshifting/illusion powers from one avalon to another?

Just realized there was a dedicated question area! Oopsie!

Is there only one spirit animal per species? If not, does the population of each spirit animal depend on how rare/common the species is?

Question that seems to be at the root of a lot of other questions I’ve seen people ask: How common/easy is communication between Avalons?
For example, the fact that there is currently a surviving sphinx is big news for the non-human world in general and is now common knowledge in Dogpatch and, presumably, at least the portion of the Springfield non-human community that frequents Eustace’s shop. How long would it normally take for word to reach, say, Chicago or New Orleans, which are fairly close as major American cities go, and how much longer would it take to reach bigger, more distant cities, like LA or Manhattan?

I have to ask, seeing as there are medallions that make beasts look like men, it would stand to reason that some where there would be a medallion that allows a none beast to “become” one. I am wondering is there such a thing?

A few questions:

1) Kory, every time you draw yourself in these “Reader Questions” sections, you seem to have a medallion on. Is… is there something you’re not telling us?

2) Nokks are essentially immortal, but lose their sanity around age 50. What impact has this had on Nixie/Nokk society? Are unturned Nokks ever encouraged to stay unturned to avoid this fate, or would it not make a difference?

3) Are there any non-monsters who reject the use of medallions for any reason? Do individuals belonging to non-monster race face any prejudice if they were to lose their medallions?

Hey, Alec, what’s your opinion on the Silent Hill franchise? They seem like the kind of games you’d enjoy (both to play and use to scare people). Do you have a favorite SH monster?

I have 2 questions:
1. How common is it for people to introduce their human friends to the Avalon like Anthony and Blanche?

2. How do most people react when they turn? Do most people angst about it like Michelle, or do they just roll with it?

So we saw in Orientations that Michelle’s dad was an Egyptian sphinx, but she turned out Grecian? How similar are the two different kind of sphinxes?

well, Kory’s explained that it’s sexual dimorphism, they’re all one species of sphinx. After all, in art the Egyptian sphinx is always male, as the Gecian sphinx is always female, so Kory’s explanation is that they’re the same species and that’s just the natural difference between the males and females. makes me think of anglerfish. XD male anglerfish don’t look anything like the females, totally different in every respect.
I’m not sure if that actually answers the question you ASKED or just how I understood it.

Your definition of monster in skin deep seems to be mythical creature that can’t transform but is still sentient. Are there any creatures that are “just animals”. I assumed that the Barbary Lamb Eustace had on display was ( but then I was surprised when I found out a Jackalope wasn’t.

That’s an interesting question and I’d love to hear the answer.

It seems like every Avalon we’ve seen has a “pet” though I’m not sure about the intelligence levels of the sentries in Dogpatch.

I don’t expect this one to get answered in the reader questions but I was wondering when you plan to get back around to Anthony. I enjoy all your stories, but still… I feel bad for Anthony, the way that story ended before he had any idea what he was…

There’s a storyverse that a lot of you may find enjoyable. It’s at and there are stories by a fair number of people. Some of the “canonical” stories are also at other story sites, along with some “non-canonical” stories. I characterize the stories as fantasy, masquerading as science fiction.

The premise of the storyverse is that a man-made virus was released, by a bunch of terrorists around the world, at Christmas 2008. It had no more apparent effect than a mild case of the flu, and everyone figured it was a dud attack. Actually, it embedded itself in the DNA of every vertibrate on the planet, so it’s inherited by all future generations.

After its release, the lurking virus can be triggered by the right (or wrong) strain of cold/flu-type virus during the patient’s adolescence. When triggered, it unlocks anti-change mechanisms, allowing various types of mutation or recombination. Doctors named it the Massive Ontogenetic Regulation Failure Syndrome, or MORFS. A significant minority of MORFS patients become “hybrids”, with nonhuman DNA spliced into their genes.

I’m writing a few stories there myself, all set in and around the lower Willamette valley, in the early 2030s. Inspired by some of the artwork here, I invented a clothing company, based in the Portland area, named Bingwear (“Fashions for Flyers”). Obviously, it’s a shout-out to you, Kory. In the chapters that have been posted so far, it’s only a passing reference.

Naylor, an Atlanta-based company, makes pants for women who have tails. They fit as if painted on, of course.

I’d like to know about Manufactured Monsters. Are there Golems walking about on unknown missions? Is Talos still ticking? Also, what about physical Undead like Draugr from the Norse, are they in society or wild like the Momo?

I’ve got a question! It burns my mind with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Is there anyone in the L.A. who’s offered Anthony flying lessons? Would he even take them up on the offer if there were?

Can you please? PLEASE tell us who Tim and Abby met? I know this has already been asked, but I really would like to see it!
Also, if you wont, Can we see a Tengu bothering people?

man, i know y’all’r almost done with this but i keep thinking of questions!

a- why does myra bother to wear the eyepatch in midform? is she just used to it from needing it to pass for human?

2- is there a reason so many of the aquatic beasties have external gills or is it just a stylistic choice?

Here’s a question for/about the main cast of Orientations: what are their courses of study (majors/minors/whatever) at the university?

I have two questions, Why isn’t Adelle Noir in the Cast List? and Are Blanche and Anthony going to get together?

To the first question, it mostly has to do with a lack of updating on the part of the author. I’ve read some comics that didn’t even bother to update their cast lists since their initial publishing, others that pleasantly surprised we with what appeared to be monthly or annual updates to the cast list. So I’m just going to say Kory’s busy with other things and hasn’t had time to properly write the updates to the Cast pages.

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the tumbles
Art and Story © Kory Bing 2006-2015
Anthony Gillis, Blanche Noir, Rupert Burton-Fitzgerald, Pheonix, and Royce Carmikal created by Sfé Monster.
Alec Hyde, Ike Sanford, Sam Hain, Rhonda Phelton, Dermot Ainesborough created by Sheana Molloy.