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Illumination Page 16: Not the Best

Illumination Page 16: Not the Best published on 47 Comments on Illumination Page 16: Not the Best

I got a few links for y’all!!


ATOMIC ROBO is doing a reprint Kickstarter! I was asked to draw a postcard for them showcasing one of the comics, the TRIAL OF ATOMIC ROBO! Because it has dinosaurs in it. Go check out the kickstarter, it has three days left!

Also: the NEW WORLD Kickstarter is still going strong! The more money it makes, the more money I’LL make in artist bonuses! We’ve hit a few stretch goals, so if you haven’t pledged yet, now’s a great time! Go check it out!


I get the feeling that Colin’s gonna have similar issues to Jim when he was first introduced to the concept of clothing.

Hey, at least Colin has you to run to, Jim. That much ought to help the kid fair better.

Only whilst Jim is still in the UK.
I don’t expect him to stay in the UK after he completes college. I expect him to marry Merial and live in the USA.

Marry Merial? I don’t recall anything that would show that it’s that serious between them yet.

I know that’s how things are within the strip as at mid 2005, Katie.
I’m thinking in terms of 5 to 10 years ahead of when the strip is currently set.

I’m curious. Why do you see their relationship going in that direction? Jim has always said that he was only going to be in the US for a year, and Merial likely plans to finish her degree where she started, so the two of them are probably going to be spending most of the next three years with the Atlantic between them. Personally, I’ve always seen them as friends who simply find each other to be the most convenient person to be intimate with. I’m sure they’ll stay in touch, but marriage seems unlikely to me. What pointing you in the direction of a serious romance?

You’re looking at the next three or so years, within the comic’s timeline.
I was looking further ahead than that.

The reason why I see that as long term, is from how Jim so easily became Merial’s boyfriend, replacing Greg.
It seemed very obvious in the Nixie Spit story.

I’m surprised that both Tobias and Paul are being so silent on the matter.

Paul: *DISAPPROVAL* (thinks) Mum’s there. She’ll deal with it. That’s her job. She’ll know what to do. (JIM!) Yes, it’s her gig, shouldn’t interfere. She’ll sort him out. Jim turned out alright. Ish. ……

Tobias: (thinks) Well that’s… Heeey, maybe if I start scene eleven by relocating my base to the upper part of the map…


I guess long green hair was not the best for a growing boy’s self esteem… Middle school with long green hair? God, must’ve been hell.

From what he told Michelle, Jim didn’t have LONG green hair until his sixteenth birthday, which would be during high school.

Aw, no alt text? Ah well…

Colin, your glorious mop hair is perfect just the way it is. PLEASE don’t cut it. It probably won’t start doing that until you hit that certain age, y’know, like Jim’s did

Who thinks Colin will dare, and do so at the first opportunity? Perhaps Mary should give him a trim, just so she’ll know the situation. If it doesn’t regenerate:

Mary: No… no, it’s not regrowing at all.

Colin: Aw! :-(

Mary: So… maybe we can dye it, or at least bleach the colour out.

Colin: Noooo!

Or if it does regenerate:

Finn Snr’s shaver: *bzzzzzzzzzzzz*

Colin: Aaaand – Mohican! Yeah!

Mary: The edges are a little crooked – here, let me. But see, it’s regrowing already.

Colin: Oh… meh! But I can do it again!

Mary: It’s worse than that. Can you feel all those itchy little short cut hairs all over you? Well, they’ll itch and itch unless you brush them off. If you were wearing clothes, they’d embed themselves in the material and itch. And if you’re not careful they can embed themselves in your skin and that’s really nasty. They can even embed themselves in feet, and hurt every time you take a step, and they’re really hard to find and dig out. And worst of all, as you’re the only one with blue hair, if I do find any blue hair clippings left about the place, or blocking the plugholes, I’ll know who to blame, and I’ll be able to stop it happening again by taking back your medallion.

Colin: D-: *eyes hands*

Mary: So, *hands him a brush* you can brush yourself off with this, and then *holds out dustpan* you can sweep up your hair and put it in the bin… and I’ll sit here and make sure you do a proper job.

Colin: Aw! This is no fun!

Mary: *quietly smug*


I get how that could be hard. I had teachers in college who would refuse to let students with dyed hair into their classroom. Imagine Colin (or Jim) trying to convince them that it was natural. Not that… Colin’s going to college anytime soon, but… yeah.

That reminds of someone I knew who had a form of heterochromia that affected their hair. Would constantly get shit from their teachers and classmates for looking like they had dyed parts of their hair.

i would be kind of curious as to know when that was approximately, because i currently have my hair dyed green, and see lots of unnatural hair colours across all ages (or as young as 7 or 8 anyway) – at least in Calgary – dyed hair is becoming much more common so as time goes by it should get easier.

He’s a happy cub now, however, I’m going to miss his fluffy form.

I wonder what his mid-form is going to look like….

Which mid-form? With time and practice, medallion users are able to manage a wide range of mid-forms. Jim has worn one mid-form with flight-capable wings, and another with no wings at all. When he was comforting Michelle in Finneas’ tomb, he added human hands to an otherwise fully-gryphon form (which, incidentally, seems to be the usual extent of mid-form for satyrs).

And, I expect it’ll be a while before Colin is accustomed to his human form enough to manage any sort of mid-form.

I’d guess it wouldn’t regenerate, or would do so far more slowly, than Jim’s, as Jim mentioned that the curse kicked in all at once and he grew taller and longer-haired overnight. So Colin’s probably okay to mess with his hair for a little longer. I wonder if Mary will continue homeschooling (or however the Avalon cubs/foals/chicks/pups/kittens/hatchlings/kids/fawns/children are educated (has anyone asked about this in the tumblr? What about birth certificates for those born to non-monsters who aren’t in human form?)) Colin until after that happens to avoid the awkward ‘how is it possible to hit that much of a growth spurt since yesterday?’ questions? Not to mention the teasing due to his hair color, if they can’t dye or bleach it, which is probably what Jim’s remembering (and I wouldn’t be surprised if their extended family ostracized him as well, there are probably those who believe it really is a curse and is worse than simply unique hair and having the height of a professional basketball player…)

I think the ‘that’ Jim was talking about is either Colin’s hair being blue rather than green, or more likely there being two members of the family in the same generation with the curse, which Jim had previously described as only affecting one in each generation.

I don’t recall if Jim has ever mentioned whether or not his hair gained that insane fast regrowing, as soon as he received his Medallion, or if that started when he turned 16.

He says here ( ) that he “grew… three feet of hair overnight on [his] 16th birthday.” Before that it’s pretty clear that the color was the only thing odd about his hair. Nothing more has been stated in the comic, but the Word of God page on the wiki ( ) has preserved an old Forumspring answer that said the morning of that birthday included “Lots of confused hair pulling and cutting.”

re: birth certificates- you can do unassisted births in the US, and I’d wager most countries, and still get a birth certificate. I’d imagine there are midwives and such within the Avalon, or Avalon-friendly ones- home birth is legal in the UK and most countries. It also just seems smart to have some doctors of some sort around the Avalon, if not a full hospital for larger Avalons, given the number of accidents that could happen that you can’t take to a regular hospital. And since a lot of the problems with birth are due to human evolution being stupid (I have a great idea! Let’s make the heads too big and curve the birth canal!), it might actually be a heckuva lot easier for people to give birth in their full form than it is for humans, making OBGYNs in the Avalon less necessary. (not UNnecessary, things can still go wrong, and I imagine some species like centaurs… I don’t even want to imagine that…)

Ultimately, I think the underlying question there is “Is this like Harry Potter, where the government DOES know about it but helps keep it under wraps- or is this so private that it has to be carefully hidden from the government?”. If it’s the former, then it probably wouldn’t be hard to work within the creature-friendly parts of the government to set up a nice hospital and system for birth certificates/marriage licenses/transferring to a regular school/etc. If it’s the latter, well… things get a little stickier. Actually a lot stickier, given the size of the Liverpool Avalon.

There are also some people who choose to go entirely off the grid and not even get a birth certificate for their kids. I imagine that folks in the Avalons would be more likely to be like that. Especially in the Dogpatch Avalon, that really strikes me as a place for “off the grid” folk. I can’t imagine many of them let their kids go to off-Avalon schools, so they probably have some sort of communal homeschooling group set up if they don’t have official teachers.

The map in the print/PDF edition of Exchanges shows the Sirona Medical Clinic next to Tulgey Park with its hedge maze. According to a Q&A, it’s run by a “grumpy old smart-ass” of a Nemean lion whose name has yet to be revealed.

Going by various clues that have been seeded throughout the comic, there doesn’t seem to be a Ministry of Mythological Creatures, or Office of Cryptid Concealment, or anything of the sort. If they get any help from within governments, it’s by infiltration and . . . other methods.

Mytholos who can pass as human (either with or without a medallion) are able to get training at human colleges. Dr. Smart-Ass is stated to have both medical and veterinary training, and the staffmembers of Dahl Primary School likely have teaching certificates (or the U.K. equivalent).

No other school is shown in the L.A.; it seems likely that medallions are usually given in time for students to attend higher schools outside, with the right documentation (whether bogus or legit). One troublesome aspect of that documentation is a home address that isn’t in a vacant warehouse. Local schools may have hidden mytholos on staff to help Avalon children. (Is Blanche’s dad a guidance counselor?)

Monsters like harpies and lamia and bandersnatches are of necessity off the grid, and have to fall back on home schooling, apprenticeships, and online/correspondence courses.

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