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Illumination Page 1

Illumination Page 1 published on 120 Comments on Illumination Page 1

Skin Deep is back! I hope you like this new story, a lot of cool stuff is going to happen!

Thanks again for all your patience the last couple months with my hiatus! I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done, but I got a lot worked on, and had a nice break, and wrote this story! It’s been great, but I’m ready to get back to work with Skin Deep!


Yay, it’s back!

I hope that this one of those things where we see later in the story first and then we see how they got there. I don’t want to miss Michelle meeting the Liverpoolians.

Seconded! :D


…I’m told it’s “Liverpudlians”, but I don’t know whether the former residents who told me this were having me on at the time. They’re Aussies now, so perhaps they were having a joke at the expense of their ancestral home.

the name and term Scouser is also used as well for a Liverpudlian.

I just feel the need to ask. Why is Michelle’s just hanging around in fullform?

There’s gotta be a story behind this.

Default fullform is easiest for someone to transform to.

Midform can be quite variable, and so takes more time and effort to learn how to do properly. Recall that in Orientations, Jim used a winged midform, but in Exchanges, he used a wingless midform. How long did it take him to learn to do each of those transforms?

As for the other part of the why, being in the Cave alone with Jim, she has no need to hide WHAT she is. You remember Ridiculous Creatures? She could have been happily completely rugged up in winter gear in human form, but she was in fullform, grumbling about a cold butt.

I’m more referring to the fact that she’s sphinxy. And the fact that Sphinxes are SUPPOSED to be extinct and everyone remotely magical is certain they are extinct. It’s going to cause an upset when she reveals herself!

Yet here she is in Jim’s home all sphinxy. WHAT IS GOING ON.

I doubt she’d be in the caverns under the Finn house without revealing her nature to the Finns, even if Django (or whoever was on duty at the warehouse door) only saw that she had a medallion.

And, at least part of that cavern system is likely configured to be more easily navigated by quadripeds than bipeds.

Ack I just read the entirety of the second paragraph you wrote! Feeling like a dope rn.

I suppose it does mean Michelle’s revealed herself to Jim’s family, or else she wouldn’t be down there in the super secret family cave.

We don’t know if Jim has told his family anything about Michelle, or what she might have told them.
But with how young and hyperactive Colin is, could he keep it quiet about what Michelle is? Somehow I doubt it. So, I don’t think Jim’s family knows much, if anything about Michelle.

Time for Michelle to start learning more about the mythological world, and hopefully more about Sphinxes and the War.

Sphinxes and the War sounds like a cool name for a metal band.

I hope this storyline will have more history despite Jim’s protests, so glad to see Michelle and Jim again (I’ve had a long love of gryphons and something about a bisexual gryphon seems both inherently right and equally funny)
I already know my metal band name- Sounds of Sodomy!

Some of it will likely be what’s in the Finns family history. Phineas the Red.
Some it might be in old tomes stocked by Vadoma.
But there’s also Ravi’s House Of Eastern Curiosities. We saw the shopfront for the first time, in the first frame of Exchanges chapter 3, though it was closed for the evening. It’s located between the entrance to The Underground on one side, and one of the local butcher shops; Carnivore Meat Market, on the other.

Looking at the Exchanges map, Carnivore isn’t listed, but directly across the street from Ravi’s, there’s Carnifex Butcher’s Shop. I wonder just how savage the competition is between Carnifex and Carnivore.

The word-eaters look up, surprised. Apparently tomorrow has come early. For three months without update they have survived, and now there is little reason to be so surly.

Also, so Anthony has had almost a year to get settled now… Cameo? Side story? MAIN CHARACTER PART!?!?!?!?

I’m just DYING to see Tony meet Michelle. Two folks who shouldn’t exist, eh?

You know, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen people talking about how they want to see Tony and Michelle meet, but I think Tony and Greg about have a more interesting conversation comparing their difficulties with their Turnings. Plus, they they might bond over both being huge dorks.

Greg’s problems stem from his family not accepting what he is.
Anthony doesn’t have that problem.
That said, I can think of a reason for those two and Rhonda to get together. A string instruments jam session. :)

Greg’s problems also stem from his broken medallion. It would be interesting to see the two of them weigh Greg’s need to hide a small but obviously non-human feature while absolutely having to interact with humans on a regular basis on one side and Tony’s need to hide most of his body if he wants to interact with the human world while having the option of going long stretches of time without doing so on the other. Plus, Tony could get perspective on just how long he could have been left waiting for answers and just how isolated he could have been in the meantime.

Whoo, welcome back, Kory! I’ve missed his comic somethin’ FIERCE!
Also, the cave is bigger on the inside? How is it that there isn’t ONE SINGLE Tardis joke here in the comments? Fellow fans, I am disappoint.

I saw the brick, and let it drop.
It isn’t surprising that Jim would know of the TARDIS.
But think for a minute, would Michelle? Was Doctor Who ever broadcast in Springfield, Missouri, during Michelle’s teens?

She could have been introduced to the original series, or saw the movie.

I was introduced to Doctor Who as a child, but those were Tom Baker reruns that my dad taped in the mid-80’s. (Chicago Area.)

Starting it off in media res, eh? I hope I use that term right. And Jim Jim’s here! He’s my favourite. I’m not the only one who calls him that, right?

Yay, this is back!
The only thing I can pick fault with, is that the place cant have existed in the 1400’s as that area where the warehouse is, is reclaimed land. So would have been out in the river at that time.

The cavern system is also heavily reliant upon the use of Magic.
Also this page does not give any clues as to how far below local ground level, the Cave is.

Good point Jenniskunk, there is the possibility that the LA moved and the tunnels leading to the caverns where simply extended.

I also wander if this is a subliminal reference to a well known Liverpudlian band who uswd to play at the Cavern Club.

The comic just says “Merseyside” not “Liverpool” so they may be a little further inland than you are imagining. ;)

I think the reason why folks are thinking the caves are directly under the LA is because of what Michelle says:
“I can’t believe this is all under your house.”

Thats what I assumed, because of that.
BTW Jeni, are you getting the emails to tell you about replies, as I’m not getting them.

Not getting any email notifies, because I specifically do not tick either of the Notify checkboxes.

I can’t help speculating on the possible meaning(s) of the title. The literal meaning of illumination is, obviously, light — or, more specifically, the shedding of light onto something.

One figurative meaning is the clarification of a mystery.

Another refers to the colorful marginal art found on old, or old-fashioned, manuscripts. The way this first page highlights wall carvings, this meaning may be relevant. Is there by any chance a library in the caverns? Or just some neat old murals and frescoes?

At this stage its unknown, but we may get a glimpse in page two.
I’d like to think that there is a library or hall of records down there.

I hope someone thinks to transcribe those Records to a computer database

*GELF foxboy pads in, having heard keyword ‘computer’ * I offer to help with database — and digital files can include images and text, might fit on thumbnail size SD, and filter or convert to new (I’ve still got 8bit R:Base files from 1992). What I need help with is reading Griffin. Hugs to Michelle and Jim.

Something I noticed that seems to be looked over is that Michelle and Jim passed by what appears to be burial site for one of Jim’s ancestors. Does that mean that it is traditional for griffins to keep the skulls of ancestors in plain site. I’m surprised that Michelle isn’t creeped out by the thing. (please forgive any spelling mistakes).

Oh mans, how did we get to England anyway?

Do you mean how did Michelle get to Liverpool, England.
Probably the same way Jim got to the U.S, via an aeroplane.
More like an internal flight to Chicago, and then probably Flight AA55 (at the time iirc) from Chicago to Manchester, England, and a coach, taxi or car journey to Liverpool, which is about 20 – 30 minutes.

Why O’Hare in Chicago, rather than JFK in NYC?

For a start Chicago O’Hare would generally be closer and it has or would have at that time a direct flight from Terminal 3 via American Airlines, direct to Terminal 1 Manchester airport, which is about 30 mins from Liverpool.

However, no doubt I am getting my geography mixed up, as for some reason, I Michelle coming from Missouri (I’m guessing I’m now really, really wrong now, because I didnt look back) And its a similar route that I used to take when I visited my girlfriend in Iowa.

I thought she was Canadian? The school was Anya.

Thought who was Canadian? What school is Anya? I don’t understand this comment hah hah, sorry!

*frowns* I had the impression Michelle might have been Canadian…?

… Will there be no more witty Alt text?

Woo! I’ve been checking for updates at least 3 times a week since they the hiatus started. By the way, did anyone else notice that Michelle has been getting more and more of a muzzle since orientations. at first her face in sphinx form was almost completely human. now look at her.

This comic’s art has gotten more and more beautiful, I’m so proud of you, Kory.

I said this before, but I’ll add some stuff to it. Michelle is gonna find out more about the War, learn more about her Sphinxy powers, and I think the shoe is gonna drop about her being a Sphinx and the entire Avalon is gonna know. She’s gonna meet Tony and (possibly, since she’s so powerful) help him in some way. Maybe tell him if he decides to go back human his kids would suffer the same fate as he. She’s gonna meet Tim and together they learn magic. Merial will meet other nixies/nokks and have a fun time together. Greg is gonna have a hard time with all the satyrs around but will learn they aren’t all bad.

I guess I’m just putting down what I wish would happen. I dunno, maybe I’m wrong, or not

Of course he knows where they’re going!
They’re going down.

Down as in downstairs.

Down as in downtown.

Down as in Down Down

Status Quo – Down Down (Top of the Pops, 1975)

“Ugh! Who’s skull is that?” Michelle exclaims.

“Hrm?….Oh that old thing? That great uncle Euclid. They always said he was useless.

Story goes that after a bit of a row, Aunt Aster threatened to ‘…shove a lamp up your arse, might brighten you up you dimwit!’ He promptly rewrote his will, conferring his earthly remains ‘…to the family. May they whatever use they bloody please for me.’

At Michelle’s horrified expression, Jim chuckled,”I ‘ave no idea who that skull is love. Might not even be real.”

We see three gryphons carved here. In hindsight, I’m wondering if maybe the floofy one on the left had red hair, the one with the long, straight hair in the middle had green, and the curly one on the right had blue hair. The three might just be carved in different styles, the but the left one looks kind of like Phineas, the middle one reminds me of Jim, and the curly hair reminds me of… someone else. I wouldn’t be surprised if those weren’t just being shown as set pieces.

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