It’s Uncle Roald! Just to stem any questions about him, you may remember Jim referencing his uncle Antoine waaaaaaaay back in Exchanges, and this is the same guy! His name is Antoine-Roald Burton-Fitzgerald and yes that is a lot of hyphens.
Roald likes to tinker and experiment, which is probably why he has a giant satellite dish, several antennas, and some radio satellites on his roof.
Did you know that Roald and Rupert and all jubjub birds in Skin Deep were designed by my good friend Sfé Monster? Did you know Sfé wrote the new Minecraft graphic novel that JUST came out? Gosh if you like Minecraft and cute stories about found families you should read it!
My, my. I find this Antoine-Roald “My-phone-wants-to-autocorrect-your-name-as-Ronald” Burton-Fitzgerald to be quite charming.
Everything about this page is amazing
(I wonder if Lorne absorbed any of that infobabble)
Woohoo, Ogopogo reference. Practically local here. :D
Oh Roald. You’re such a Dahl.
Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week, my car’s been impounded.
That name is just references glued together isn’t it?
Yeah… They’re kids. With any luck you just killed Lorne’s interest in magic. He is hardly even talking to them. Just checking once that he isn’t talking to thin air… Probably again…
The jubjub bird, the Ska-est of all cryptids.
Antoine is 10x more fabulous than I thought he would be.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being kitten videos, Jimothy’s expressions in the last two panels scores a cute factor of 11.
Jub-jub bird as geeky biker. Brilliant!
I love how mobile his horns are.
What did you not him to be outgrabe?
Okay, I like him already and immediately want a spinoff mini comic. Or have him ‘handle’ Q&A bits. I love his style!
I love him! Oh my I may have a new favorite character in the strip.
Also I now have even more questions about the jubjubs. ovo
I hope this isn’t rude! There’s a tiny typo in the second panel in which it says “diversificatoin.”
Thank you so much for continuing to make this comic! It’s wonderful and I love the art style. :)
(Also, “transmoRGification” in the third.)
Immediately knew that was a Sfé Monster character without being told. Roald just conforms to a certain… aesthetic.
Great, now the part of Uncle Roald will forever more be voiced by Scott Manley inside my head.
Yeah, me too, the Hullo made me read everything again and in his voice.
Nice jacket. I wonder who did the tailoring to make the wings fit.
Can’t wait to see what Rupert is like as a kid. Was he always so glum?
I’ve read the Minecraft graphic novel, and it’s really cute! I forgot Sfe Monster wrote it!
(I work in a comic store, and we have it on our shelves. We also have Skin Deep volumes on our shelves, via Emerald Comics Distro! )
An Ogopogo reference! That’s practically local around here. :>
So thrilled to see jubjubs! It’s been so long!
Oh man, if I ever met this guy in a bar I’d SO buy him a drink. **charmed** I like his theories, especially the one about certain species springing from human magical mishaps– humans do seem to transform really easily, don’t they? It’s in *all* the myths, and they don’t change back to baseline all that well either. Question: Are those horns, tendrils, feathers or feelers? They’re awfully mobile for horns.
“They’re called[!] horns tho.”
So, according to Roald, “life, uh, finds a way?” Meet the rockstar of Magic Theory, everyone lmao
“It’s likely[!] that jubjub birds like myself were simply common gryphons before we started living [in Wonderland]!”
… *uncle* Roald to Jim *by marriage*, then, I take it? :-3
Actually I think he was said to be Mary’s brother in a reader question.
Hmmmmmmmmmm, OK, thanks … seems I forgot the rule of “usually no crossbreeds (even if you *try*)”:
and the option of “act in human form to circumvent biological incompatibilities” for a moment.
Actually, it’s no crossbreeds as in a child isn’t usually born a mix of two species. Similar species (like satyrs and fauns, white stags and perytons, common gryphons and opinci) can breed naturally with no medallion, and the resulting children will either be one species or the other.
You might want to note that Isaac, the one giving the recap in the page I linked to, *IS* a buggane/manticore crossbreed, and illustrating the point of them being rare, but nonetheless existent. ;-)
(… and me not calling him Ike is illustrating why one shouldn’t just have a quick look at the highly official characters page when not readily remembering what a character’s *commonly* called, I guess. Sorry, Ike, I promise to do better from here on out.)
My interpretation is that it seems like the “refined” magic of the medallions ensures that crossbreeds normally don’t happen. “Wild” magic…such as the magic of Wonderland, where casting so many spells has caused the magic to interact in unpredictable ways… has no such guarantees, which is how Roald ended up as a Jubjub bird, whereas his sister Mary is a common gryphon.
Ike may have been a combination of two different types of magic interacting in an unpredictable way. His mother is fae, while his father was shapeshifted into human form by either sorcery or witchcraft. So maybe it was the combination of sorcery (on his father’s side) and natural fae magic (on his mother’s side) that resulted in Ike? I dunno, I’m just making an educated guess.
This is a good interpretation but Roald didn’t “end up” as a jubjub bird, his and Mary’s parents are a jubjub-bird and a common gryphon! That’s magic acting as normal for the world!
Nah, he’s a blood relative. :)
I’ve gotta say, this dude night be my favorite character style wise. He’s so freaking cool and laid back looking!
I wonder if Ronald is related to Rupert? The Jub-jub bird from Handshakes 7?
According to the characters page, Rupert shares Roald’s family name, and is a cousin to the very same Jim who calls Roald uncle, not to mention having originally come from Wonderland. Not yet infallible proof, I guess, but.
I seem to recall a reader question a while back showing Antoine holding a young rupert, as well as one of Rupert wearing his jacket.
Edit – here it is
Looking at Jim’s age in that RQ, I think it would have been about a year or so before the current chapter.
It was Exchanges chapter 1, Handshakes, page 26
Over on Patreon, in discussions about the pencils for this page, I’d only remembered the RQ and not the page from Exchanges. It was Feldhase who remembered the page from Exchanges.
I love this adorable man already?? Bless you both, Ms. Bing and Mx. Monster. :D
I just really adore characters who are, like, magic researchers and stuff.
Roald Dahl is a Norwegian name.
I don’t think I’d fully processed before just now that jubjub birds have two sets of wings. That seems… awkward? I mean, super awesome, but can they actually fly?
Different species (IIRC supposed to be an Ouzelum bird) *and* different wing configuration, but:
(I thought we also had seen a flying Jubjub thereabouts, but apparently not …)
They fly backwards!! That adorable, awkward little buddies.
Having four wings is Sfé Monster’s interpretation. The only description of the Jubjub bird given in Jabberwocky is that one should “beware” it. In The Hunting of the Snark, they describe its voice as being “shrill and high” like a pencil squeaking on a slate and scares those who hear it. Its character traits include that it is “desperate” and “lives in perpetual passion”, it “knows any friend it has met once before” and will not “look at a bribe”.
However, the poems never describe its physical appearance, so it’s left open to interpretation. Except for Skin Deep, every other artistic representation of the jubjub that I’ve seen has only two wings. For example, in Tim Burton’s 2010 movie Alice in Wonderland, it’s a giant black bird (with only two wings) resembling a vulture and a speckled chicken with a red head, a long yellow beak and a blue tongue.
Not that I’m complaining. Sfé Monster’s interpretation is way cooler looking. As for whether or not they can fly: I agree, the position of the wings in midform looks awkward, but we’ve never seen a jubjub in fullform. Maybe in fullform, their wings don’t overlap like they do in midform. Of course, they might be able to fly anyway because TA-DA! Magic! Well, it is Wonderland, after all. 8-)
We have seen a jubjub bird in full form in a readers question, Mark
August 2011 RQ number 14.
Ah, thank you, JeniSkunk. It’s been eight years since that RQ was posted. I’m entitled to forget things every now and again. ;->
The placement of the four wings still looks awkward, but not as awkward as in midform. And it still looks like a cool interpretation of the jubjub. (I think maybe it’s the color scheme that I like so much.)
Roald? Like Roald Dhal? I sense whimsy!
Quick question who’s side of the family has the jobjob bird in it?
Aieee! The dreaded Exposition Beast!
I want to see Antoine and Ravi put in the same room, and then retire to a safe distance to observe the results through a telescope.
This is it. I’m in love. I’m in love with Roald. Hot dang, what a babe. A super smart, science/magic jubjub punk? Oof. Ouch. My heart.
“do not adhere to mundane scientific theories such as evolution and natural selection“?
Nope! Evolution (the greater theory of which natural selection is a significant component) applies to pretty much anything that reproduces itself imperfectly, hence has a range of variations, and some of those variations make the critter more or less likely to reproduce itself. Magic doesn’t change that; all magic does is increase the possible range of variations.
In panel three, it says “transmorgification”. Shouldn’t that be “transmogrification”, or is this a Wonderland accent?
Ah that Roald. He’s a dahl.
…I’ll show myself out, no worries!
Small world about the minecraft graphic novel, another one of my favorite comic artists (besides you of course) does the art for it!
I think his theory is very naive.. even in a world where magical creatures are real and not just part of our anthropocentric imagination, if there is a disproportionate amount of anthro magical creatures, it would more likely be because the huge majority of the non-anthro were genocided.. Humans like to do that..
A few people have pointed out typographical errors. If the proofreader isn’t slightly dyslexic, I think Kory puts them in on purpose, just to see if readers are paying attention. Sort of like slight differences in character drawing, or maybe they’re just moving around.
Uncle Roald uses Wall of Text.
…It’s not especially effective.