Did you know that if you pledge to my Patreon you get to see early and in-progress comic pages, extra reader questions, and sneak peeks at upcoming projects? It’s true! All for $2 a month! WOW.
Did you know that if you pledge to my Patreon you get to see early and in-progress comic pages, extra reader questions, and sneak peeks at upcoming projects? It’s true! All for $2 a month! WOW.
I’m surprised that he doesn’t trip over his own feathers. If I hand feather that were four feet in length, I probably trip over them.
Those feathers are only pointing straight down, when his hands are pointing straight down.
Look at the feathers and Anthony’s right hand in frames 1,2,3, and 5 of this page.
Now look at Anthony in Exchanges, Heartaches, page 27, last panel. Hands pointing down and back, and so those feathers are pointing in that same direction.
So, wait, how come she is plucking his other arm as well? I thought he only cut the ones on that side?
Because both have to be done at the same time for balance
Nevermind I re-read the thing, that’s weird. Why would plucking the other wing help with balance? Regular birds have no problem with it…
Keeping the flight feathers on both wing arms growing at identical times.
That’s what I meant by balance.
I suspect Anthony will ask, when he’s done arguing semantics.
He’s not going to be flying on this set of feathers anyway, so they might as well make the best of it and finish what he started.
With that wing? But it doesn’t look like he touched the other one at all.
That’s what I thought too. O_o
Maybe they need to balance it out. Or, after a few weeks of abuse from improper wing care, the feathers on his other wing are probably damaged too, even if they weren’t cut.
If you’ve ever handled a feather you should know that they can actually get messed up pretty easily.
Both have to be done at the same time for balance.
I’d say that he hasn’t been taking care of the feathers he still has. Feathers need frequent grooming and attention.
He needs to learn how to care for his feathers.
I suspect he’ll be being taught that, once Adelle has dealt with Anthony’s right wing arm.
I get the feeling that its going to be like in harry potter where it all will magically grow back overnight.
I doubt it. There’s an awful lot of development art of Tony with clipped wings floating around the web. It looks like this has been an intended part of his character arc for a long time. While it’s possible that that has changed, I don’t think it’s likely.
I’ve seen some of those–my theory (sorta confirmed above) has been, he’d rather play guitar than fly. Not sure I’d make that choice…I’d love to be able to fly!
I’m with you. Hands up anybody else who thinks flying would be a lot cooler than playing a guitar!
I’m going to rain on the parade because as an artist I can understand tony here. don’t get me wrong flying would be a fun experience but for tony making music is part of his soul and so it can take him places wing could never take him.
I’m an artist too
I’d adapt to the wings. While I can understand his pain, in my case well, sketches wouldn’t be too bad (My hand trembles so I press down harder to compensate. Leaves erase lines, but that shit ain’t being brushed away by feathers), they would actually HELP with my woodcuts as they’d be brushing away all the wood chips, and they would open up a whole new avenue for art for me
I think my main issue would be using my laptop. THAT would be a unique hell to figure out…
Remember his wrists don’t rotate anymore, which would be a massive hinderince as an artist. You’d be drawing from the shoulder, so you could maybe paint on canvas, but drawing anything with any degree of success would be right out :/ I don’t know if I’d trade drawing for flying, either.
Actually, drawing from the shoulder is the recommended way for artists to draw. We were taught to practice drawing from the shoulder in college…though I still tend to favor my wrist, habit is hard to break.
I dunno. I don’t play guitar, but I do love to draw, and I don’t think I’d ever willingly trade drawing for flying. Lose something I know I love, that’s also my main emotional outlet, in exchange for something I’ve never experienced? Honestly… no thanks. I’d give up other stuff, but not something that important. Not if I had any say in the matter.
Let me do a little speculation to put this in perspective. For Tony, playing the guitar is a skill that he has been building for years. He enjoys it and takes pride in it. He may have even been harboring a few dreams of making a living off of it one day. It’s something that society as a whole tends to find value in and that even the Avalon society he’s found himself in prizes.
That skill has now become much harder for him in return for shutting him off from the human society he was born into and complicating the most basic of tasks but offering the chance that he might be able to fly in the confined area of the Liverpool Avalon or smuggle himself to a different, maybe, possibly, slightly less confined area, a process you may recall Abbie describing as “a giant bleedin’ production.”
I don’t blame Tony for preferring to be a musician rather than a bird in a cage.
From the expressions when he talks about it it may very well be a stress reliever, we all have something that brings us comfort and a way to express our feelings, tony’s might be guitar, or maybe me just longs for the normalcy and familiarity of it?
Tony could’ve gotten a curse from the Nokk medallion, if his is anything like Jims curse then in that situation it wouldn’t bee unlikely for the feathers to grow back rapidly
I don’t think he’s cursed but it’s unlikely to be anything like Jim’s. Jim’s in familial and Colin has something like it, as well as the young Finn girls (Timantha & Timanda?) in the States. Not much connection.To say all curses work like that just ’cause they’re curses is a bit of a leap.
Oh noooo. I hope they grow back eventually! I hate it when characters make a mistake that they end up regretting for the rest of their lives. There’s only so miserable I can see a character be :(
I believe that most birds molt once a year and replace their feathers. The flight feathers usually only fall out one or two at a time so as not to hinder a bird’s ability to fly.
Tony, tony, tony. You must learn of the superposition of arm and wing
Poor Tony. Not being able to do the one thing you love the most is really hard. I can really only imagine, but really, that must be pretty bad
I don’t have to imagine it, Weirdo.
I’ve been through that mill, it’s not fun at all.
Been there, done that.
No, not fun at all.
I was wondering if anyone has an idea of what Tony is? My guess is he’s a Tengu – a Japanese bird-man/spirit trickster thing. I’m pretty sure they shapeshift, and I thinks they’re all male.
Also, I don’t think he’ll need to choose between flying and playing guitar. Unless I’m wrong (and please correct me if so, Kory), It looks like he still has at least some flexibility to his wrists and elbows, he just hasn’t gotten used to the new, extra bits recently attached.
TLDR: Sorry for the long post. To recap… I think Tony’s a Tengu, and I don’t think he’ll have to chose between flying and playing guitar after he gets used to the wings.
Tengu was considered and dismissed by Madame U pretty early on.
See panel 4 of this page: http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/heartaches-6-sorcery-smells/
The problem is that Tony’s wrists and elbows only flex in one direction right now, which extends the entire wing. To play guitar, you need to rotate both your elbow and wrist quite a bit. There’s just no way Tony could manage it with his arms as wings, so unless he finds a way to shift back to human, he’s not going to be playing any guitar.
Tengu was dismissed by Madame U, and most portrayals of them look rather different, with a crow head, birdish feet and hands, and separate wings on the back. Really, the one thing Tony looks like is a harpy, and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see why that is when most harpies are female. :/
I think you’re mistaken about his wrist flexibility.
There are three motions associated with the wrist. The first is flapping, like a bye-bye (or Japanese summoning) gesture. That may actually be limited now, but we don’t really know. The second is a sideways flex; we’ve seen his hand go more than 90 degrees past what mine can do, in that direction. The third is rotation, which actually occurs between the elbow and wrist, as the two bones of the forearm twist around each other as far as they can without bending or breaking. I doubt he’s any less able to do that.
His problem is that the “four feet of feathers” attached to his arms and hands exaggerate the effects of all these motions. Two or three weeks is not long enough for him to adapt to that change, especially since he doesn’t want to adapt.
Even on the day of his turning, back in Exchanges, Tony himself commented that his feet had more dexterity than his hands. When he finally accepts his situation enough to try training them, he’ll probably be surprised by what they can do.
Frigatebird feet aren’t the talons of a raptor (such as an owl or eagle), but they aren’t far from it. They are only scantly webbed, so frigatebirds are piss-poor swimmers, but those separate claws are free to grasp things. Frigatebirds fish by swooping down and snatching fish from just below the water surface. They’re also notorious for stealing food from other birds, which earns them their alternate name of pirates.
My point is that, if he tries, he may be able to play the guitar with his feet. He may even be able to play while flying (acoustical, of course).
Lol “long post”.
Blanche’s mum makes me wonder what she’s had to deal with to be so cool and patient despite a freaking out Tony. Also, there’s other Avians, I bet he hasn’t even asked Abigail or other Avalon residents about options to play with his new form.
His main problem is that he keeps trying to do things like a human, he would have less trouble if he started thinking less about how a human would do it and more what a bird would do things. Last I checked Anthony had the kind of bird feet that are designed for gripping.
He doesn’t want to think like a bird though, he might be stubborn but it’s understandable. His outside might have changed but he’s the same kid. And he’s a kid who just wants everything to be how it was before, when he was happy and he wasn’t a harpy and his best mate wasn’t a freaky giant glowing albino deer. Remember how happy he was before?
Poor Tony, everyone says he should think to change and he just wants things back the way they were, life is tough sugar pie. Learn to survive until you can be your old self again.
You got that right. He’s not going to be doing any adapting while he’s still so deeply entrenched in denial.
Flying is not a priority to him. ..until he gets to fly, I’d imagine. It hadn’t entered his thought process in that real way, and now it’s.. well, not too late, but he’s not going to for a while.
I like how the ‘sigh’ panel works here. It’s the bridge between hurt/angry/riled, now that he’s got a certain amount of that out of his system and can get into a calmer bit of sulking.
“It’s also a wing”. Points to Blanche’s Mom. She didn’t just say “Now it’s a wing”; she’s pointing out it’s got to be both now, and that he’s going to have to really get used to his new self. Matter-of-fact about it all, but with just enough sympathy.
Thanks Kory. I just had a dream where I was in the same position as Tony here, but back when his wings were just growing
Poor Blanche, to him flying is just something some people can do, and to Tony it’s a completely alien and, up until recently, and impossible concept.
Personally I’d love a pair of griffin wings to fly with, but that’s me and at least I’d have a medallion. There’s got to be some way to get that blank amulet.
Except the medallion won’t work for him. it was already stated that it was for a nokk by madame U, which is a fish, not a bird. Mr. Tim explained that it was probably his true form that had been hidden under a different spell, that the magic on the medallion broke. http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/heartaches-26-the-best-artist/
of course Mr.Tim also said he could be wrong. but the medallion won’t help Tony in the slightest, otherwise Blanche no doubt would have bought it for him. plus harpies, which everyone keeps saying tony is, are monsters, which don’t have medallions.
Considering some of the other recent revelations on the magical kerfluffle that can result from non-medallion beings who’ve been transmogrified into humans, I simply must hazard a guess. I do believe that Tony’s condition is indeed inherited. I believe he had one magical parent who was given human form through wizardry. I know the variety of harpy the bartender mentioned is all female, but here’s the thing: we know that with sorcery involved, unusual crossbreeds can result. Look at Ike. He was human until his adolescence. Then POOF, pink fur and poisonous tail and hooves. Harpies don’t have medallions, so they would need to be transformed by a wizard. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of a harpy having shapeshifting abilities, so I doubt Anthony will be able to take human form like Ike. Sorry, Tony. I think you might be stuck that way :(
TL, DR: Tony’s mom is harpy. And I don’t mean that as an insult.
Am I the only one that finds what tony did a totaly expectable way of cope with this situation?
everyone seems to want him to fly so he can love it and just expect what he is but even if he like it, and that’s a big IF, tony doesn’t have to like more then everything else he loves doing. we already have one character that expect her changes and I find tony far more interesting because he doesn’t.
I’m so tired of everyone just telling tony how much happier he’ll be if he just expects it and stop fighting.
it’s like telling a woman who hates her overly large breasts that she should just expect it and not get a reduction so she doesn’t have to live with chronic back pain.this is stupid if he has no interest in flying so there’s no point in taking care of them or even having feathers. it’s not like it’s life threatening to live without them nor is it going to decrease his quality of life.
I get that what he’s going through is reasonable and that it’s not unjustified, but in the long term holding onto those conceptions will likely be more difficult than helpful.
It’s not the same as breast reduction surgery because one, he hurt himself physically in to process of removing them and two, he can learn to live with them painlessly. With the proper mindset, they’re more of an inconvenience than anything and that can always be overcome. Plenty of people have to face and deal with difficult & unpalatable situations and pretending they don’t exist isn’t helping. He has, currently, no way of change so there’s little he can do either way. Why not choose the healthier plan then, for now and the future?
Living without the feathers may not effect quality of life but living while rejecting, lamenting, and resenting will.
what you’ve missed is tony isn’t pertending it doesn’t exist he is actively trying overcome a problem by removing the obstacles in the way of his goal. (removing feathers so he has an easier time doing everything) no tony’s exactly that woman with the large breast or if you want he’s the transgender person who feels they were born into the wrong sex.you’re right in it was stupid for him to act without full knowledge of whether it was safe or not but the idea was a smart one.
so like you’ve said Tony’s found himself in an “difficult & unpalatable situation” and instead of laying down and expecting it tony has chosen to stand up and fight for what he wants.
which ALWAYS a far healthier choice because even if its hard and painful he’s still being true to himself and at the end of the day that’s all that truely matters.
ACCEPTING, NOT “expecting”…WOW, that was annoying!
You may be forgetting that he’s going to get new feathers next year, just as capable of supporting flight is these ones would have been. He has that year to spend calming down and considering the situation rationally. If he has that “proper mindset” you mentioned by then, great, he can learn to fly and manage wingarms then. If he decides that flying still isn’t worth the costs, perhaps after trying it a few times, then he can get the feathers removed again.
Just how many feathers is she plucking out? O_o
I thought he only cut like two or three.
Actually we never saw how how he positioned the scissors for cutting his feathers. And I’m pretty sure Blanche’s mom is being thorough, seeing how ignorant of avian biology Anthony seems to be.
I’m thinking he might be a male siren. He’s got an affinity for music, his dad was a sailor… His mother has a distinctively greek look about her. And there is what appears to be a greek flag on some kind of mantel with candles in the comic where we see his mother. I’m additional sirens in mythology were bird women, not mermaids… Tho being a male kinda throws a wrench in my theory. Sirens, like harpies are also all female.
Poor Tony Blanche and his mommy have always known this life, they aren’t very good at sympathizing with your situation as much as Tim can, but at least Tim can mostly hide his horns
We haven’t seen Tim hiding his horns; he only disguised them as part of a strange hat. To hide them, he would need something like a giant afro wig. (Is that image worth a sketch?)
I imagine he could learn to play with his feet. They look enough like hands. Even have built-in picks.
While they look capable of grasping, I doubt they have that level of dexterity.
Love your comic. Are you still on twitter? I haven’t seen you post in a while. Keep up the good work.
I know Tony just wants things to go back to normal but I am surprised that no one has even tried to teach him how to use and care for his new body. Aren’t there any Aellean harpies in the Avalon that could give Tony some help or advice?! I would think a male harpy of any stripe would make him an instant celebrity and/or curiosity.
Thats what I’ve been thinking.
His unique existence as a male winged unknown could make him quite popular with the harpy ladies.
Noting that he does not have the mouth full of razor sharp teeth that Aby showed before makes the “male harpy” identification unlikely, so he becomes an interesting puzzle and enigma…
Most ladies I know in real life like that sort of mystery… :)
We don’t know that nobody has tried to teach him. Any such efforts are likely to be futile while he’s so deeply entrenched in denial. He’s not interested in taking care of his new body; he wants his old body back.
In his current frame of mind, it probably wouldn’t help much to have anyone attracted by the new body that he dislikes so intensely.
It would be interesting to learn more about the diverse demographics of the Avalon. Is Abby the only harpy in the L.A.?
Now to wash the blood out of his coverts.
I’m rooting for his mom to have some answers when she’s finally in the picture. For his sake, I’m hoping he’s something with a medallion so he can go back to some quantity of normalicy, and go back to playing the guitar!
The fact that he “changed” so slowly suggests that he is a “monster” by definition and will never have a medallion. His only hope is some kind of magical spell to put him back in his human shape.
From my understanding anyway. ;)
Anthony looks so cool :D I would like to feed him a small cracker
It’s fine, Tony. I don’t think you can rotate your wrist right to hold a guitar neck, but you can go for a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_steel_guitar! You already have the basics or chords and what have you down – you can make this happen!
Extra link-y a band with an awesome lap guitarist – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C3b1fmMmKM
I looked up frigatebirds, and I find it ironic that someone so uninterested in flying should have avian features modeled after one.
While they do okay climbing around in the trees or rocks they nest in every couple years, they don’t walk or swim worth a damn. Instead, they spend most of their time in the air. In fact, they often spend uninterrupted days or weeks flying.
That aspect may actually add to his frustration level, when he finally accepts his situation and learns to fly. The caged-bird nature of life in the Avalon will feel terribly confining. I can picture him sneaking in and out during the night. (How well lit is the Liverpool waterfront, and the exterior of the “warehouse”?)
Well once you’re up in the air, too low for planes and too high for buildings, it’s not like you have to worry about much when it’s dark. And yeah, it would be awful to be confined with wings when you want to fly. Maybe the winged peoples in the Avalon get Tim to put a illusion spell on them so people just see a bird or nothing or whatever.
My question about waterfront lighting wasn’t a concern about seeing; it was about being seen. Short of illusion magic or the invisibility I suggested a couple pages ago, the best option for the Avalon’s flyers is probably to simply fly in and out through the false roof in the dark of night (assuming they have even halfway decent night vision). Someone with dark feathers like Tony can sneak about in the dark sky more easily than someone like Adelle or David or Elise or Royce or any of the Finns. The “roof” is apparently unlit, in contrast to the ground around the base of the “warehouse” walls.
One potential problem is the fact that the false roof is opaque from the outside. An incoming flyer would have no way of knowing when there’s someone in his flight path. Other than trusting Alec to make sure they don’t *quite* collide in midair, they would have to establish lanes or at least zones. (“Go out at this end, come back in at that end” sort of thing.)
Could Tony be a Boread, a “son” of Boreas?
just be glad you don’t have a beak tony…
Why do i feel that tony is really starting to reach his breaking point, the new one not the one he left in the dust once he turned into the bird man
Flying around in the dark, too low or aircraft and too high for buildings, does leave one serious and deadly problem. Power lines, both the local lines for house power, and the large high tension lines between the power plants and the distribution centers.
Even in the dark, power lines are still too low to worry about flying into because humans can still see you at that level. There’s too much light pollution in large cities such as Liverpool.
I’m surprised so many responses to this seem to assume that Tony’s going to be happy when he just accepts his new shape. If anything, I’m expecting he’ll skip the feathers and go straight for a vein next time.