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Currently On Hiatus: Please Enjoy A New Reader Question Every Weekday!

The Bugbear Talisman 12: The Greatest Day

The Bugbear Talisman 12: The Greatest Day published on 114 Comments on The Bugbear Talisman 12: The Greatest Day

And that’s the last page of the Bugbear Talisman! I had a ton of fun making it, I hope you had a lot of fun reading it!

Skin Deep is going on a hiatus for October! I will be using this time to finish up what I need for the Orientations and Exchanges books (ISBNs, stickers, bookplates, proofreading, finalizing cover designs, buying packing supplies, etc).

So in the meantime, I will be answering Reader Questions! I’ll take this week to collect questions, and then starting next week I will answer one a day until the comic comes back!

How do  you ask questions? You can leave a reply here, or down in the blog, or ask me on tumblr, if you follow me there, etc!


What sort of critters hail from the countries around India?

Jim isn’t the first Finn to live with the Green Curse. Did his family know that the whole “freakishly tall with permanently long hair” thing was going to happen when he turned sixteen?

Probably not, seeing as his father and uncle did not get the curse, nor did his cousins (as far as we know). Perhaps it skips generations and we don’t know much about Jim’s grandparents

Well, it seems pretty apparent even from an early age whether or not a member of the family will have a curse or not. The much younger Tim twins have white and red hair before they turned 16, and Colin, who isn’t even old enough to have a medallion yet, has a blue tail tuft.

Reader Question: I remember Michelle saying that she could read Merial’s magazine from on top of a cliff. Just how far is she able to see?

Reader Question: So, Michelle’s story happens several months after Exchanges right? So what is Anthony up to? Is he living in the Avalon permanently now or has he gotten a medallion?

I have a feeling that that’s going to be in the next chapter. to add on to that, I think this just might be the chapter in which the two parties finally meet.
Plus, I thought it was agreed that this was a spell of transformation, not a medallion?

I think there will be a few more a few more story arcs in America, if not specifically Missouri, before the Orientations gang heads for Liverpool. At least I’m expecting there to be a visit to Jim’s cousin Phin in New Mexico. Just my guess.

Reader Question:
So what happens when the rest of the magical world finds out about Michelle? her being the last surviving sphinx and all.

For some reason I imagine some “high society” busybody in the magical world taking it upon themselves to arrange the perfect marriage for Michelle.

I can already hear Michelle’s reaction: “WHAT THE CRAP!?”

Michelle being the last of her kind and all. She would need someone perfect to help her save her species…

I don’t really think being stuck with some perfect person over saving her species would be much of a problem (considering how her father worked out fine with Janice Jocasta) rather than someone trying to arrange a marriage for Avalonesque-political-based reasons.

Otherwise, I think the rest of the question would be answered naturally throughout the story of Skin Deep. Seems like asking that question would be like asking for spoilers. That’s what I think at least. xD;

If my memory serves me correctly, the way cross-species breeding works (except for very rare cases like Ike) is that the children will be fully one species or the other, not a mix of the two. So, for a completely random example, if a sphinx and a satyr were to have kids, they’d be either little sphinxes or little satyrs. Thus to ensure the continuation of the sphinxes Michelle just needs to keep having kids til one is born a sphinx.

I guess I’ll have to be the one to do it…

Ay-up! And just in case anyone hasn’t seen that spoof YouTube trailer of The Wicker Man (2006) recut as a comedy, which features that very line, here’s a *link*.

Reader Questions:

Jim, if you could have any superpower, what would you have?

The Finns are one of the oldest gryphon families in England, does that count for all of Europe too or are there other old gryphon dynasties floating around?

Do sphynx have extended lifespans like gryphons or do they only live as long as a human? What is the longest living race/species?

Do any members of the magical world work incognito within the governments of the world so as to prevent the humans from finding out about the Avalons, magic, and the “monsters” that live beside them?

Two questions:
1. Do Nemian Lions have any other vunerabilities besides other Nemian Lions?
2. Are there any creatures who don’t require medalions to appear human?

Fantastic story, I love the sting at the end (pun intended).

What’s Rhonda’s backstory? Why did she come to LA? Is she just visiting or settling down?

Also, I’d love to see an impression of Jim’s first flying lesson (somehow I think Jim being hurled off a cliff by James would look rather funny).

I told her to check out the mead carefully, didn’t I?. Dean didn’t say anything about the extent to which Lily was rattled, so presumably he has seen her like this before, probably after previous pranking attempts. Wonder how long it will take them to clear the swarm from the Drunken Satyr?

Anyway, a fun tale. I can’t wait to see what’s next! >:=)>

Do medallions shut down nonhuman senses like enhanced sense of smell or sight, or electroreception/magnetoreception/polarized light detection? (For that matter – as bird-like critters, are sphinxes or gryphons or ouzelum birds able to sense magnetic fields or polarized light?)

On a similar note, are Nemeans unable to taste “sweet”, like normal cats?

(Also, bird eyes are seriously strange and cool.)

Haha! I laughed for so long seeing this. I’m glad I decided to check SD on my lunch break. Brilliant ending to a great story.

My question would have to be: Are there any political/societal relations between the different factions of creatures? For instance, are the creatures of England on fairly good terms with American creatures? I guess I’m just curious of the creatures views of each other reflect human views of each other in terms of countries/culture.

Can we see Bloodcarver in his human form?

I am pretty sure western dragons don’t have medallions.

Medallions can be broken, as Satyr Greg knows. Some species have been deemed monsters and denied medallions, as Harpy Abbie explained. There are various looks to them. So who created medallions? If they exist and can be destroyed, that means they aren’t intemporal things that just always were there. They can have an end, they must have a beginning.

And if it’s something along the lines of “you don’t get one ‘cuz we ain’t got nothin’ for the likes of ya”; it’s not a magical origin of the “one medallion just materializes along with a mythical creature”. They’re old artifacts that can be passed down generations; sure. But that’s not enough anyway. Take a large family with plenty of children, how do they get enough medallions for everybody? The absolute amount of mythical critters must increase just as much as the human population did.

So creating medallions must be possible to at least some of the denizens of that world, even if not all. What prevents Tim from learning how to make one for his sweetheart? Why does he say there’s no ‘such thing as a “new” medallion’ despite some being newer than others?

Some of this has been answered and I think what hasn’t will be plot relevant later. Basically, yes, someone made the medallions and made judgement calls about what species were to dangerous to have them. Who did it and how has been lost to history for centuries.

When a family gets scarce of medallions, they most likely make a point for their children to be born human, though this could vary. There may be many Unturned bloodlines due to this. Whoever made the medallions made a lot of them, and enough creatures are happy to stay Unturned, or simply unaware that they are such, that the supply isn’t too strained.

Any magic practitioner, whether sorcerer or being high in natural magic, who has attempted to work out how medallions work have found the magic in the medallions to be of such strength and complexity that trying to figure out how to repair one, let alone replicate the spell or make a new one from scratch for a monster, is a task on par with decoding Linear B. Perhaps not impossible, but the work of several lifetimes unless some sort to key is found. At present, medallions range from “old” to “really old” like any other antique or ancient artifact.

umm how about…what would the child of a phoenix atavian and a bombay feline be?
its just something me and my fiance were wondering, he’s the atavian while I am but a simple house cat.

Interbreeding normally results in the child being one or the other, so you’d either have a phoenix or feline kid

cool so I guess we’ll be having two kids and hope for one of each…we were joking about a sphinx look-a-like….and then we were joking about how their color would be green, since my color affinity is baby blue, and his a yellow-orange…lol we’re weird. thank you for the quick response :)

How did Alec get the bees in the mead? His magic or someone elses?

He’s a bugbear. Making bugs appear where he wants them is one of the (magical) skills of his species.

I sometimes leap from an an unfounded assumption to a foregone conclusion, but I have some speculations.

First, an “idle” thought: the medallions were all made a long time ago, possibly before the Great War. Any comment?

Once a mythical person has established a link with his or her medallion, they apparently don’t have to remain in constant contact with it. It’s just the simplest way to keep track of it. I’m guessing there’s a range limit for the medallion to be effective, or it would be pointless for the elders to revoke one. But, if that range is less than fifteen or twenty feet, somebody like Jim could have trouble getting through airport security. What is the range?

I see that nokks and nixies, identified as being two genders of one species, have different medallions. Do the different subspecies of gryphon require different medallions, also?

Lastly, might the “long extinct” dragons have been one of the species capable of transformation, or illusionary concealment, without medallions?

Reader Question:

Im not sure if the previous version i left showed up that i wrote, as i do not see it on the webpage, so ill write it again. Do certain magic creatures have longer life spans than normal humans? If so, please tell some of these species. Also, how long are some of the longer living magical creatures?

Reader Question to Alec:

How many bears could Bear Grylls grill if Bear Grylls could grill bears?

The Bugbear Song

I do not know what is worse,
This song or this verse,
But I think it’s agreed,
That I will soon need a hearse.

To bear a bug might seem to be nuts,
But to bug a bear requires lots of guts.

Pranking away until the dawn of day,
Never stopping to let my prey pray.
Misbehaving just to attack,
For all the deeds that were done to my back.


Setting up my traps for the perfect crime,
Soon I’m gonna have one hell of a time.

Watching and waiting till my target’s in view,
Never going to stop till the fun is through.

Chorus x2

I’m working on finding a good handheld voice recorder, preferably cheap in price. When I do I plan on emailing to Kory a recording of the tune that goes with the song.

@Rennis: Yes, it would have been a well-placed comedic tool.
Reader Question: Are there going to be more fox species of Avalonians? I’m a fox nut, so I’m hoping for at least a Kitsune or two, but most cultures have a fox in their mythology. Can’t wait to see more!

This isn’t really a “reader question” so much as a “please I want, give me” type question…

Could you possibly provide the last panel of this comic as a wallpaper? Preferably sans “The End”, but still with the “AHHH! BEES!!!”

I would totally pay $15 for that last panel as a print, too. Just in case you ever decide to make money off your art.

Heck, I’d pay $5 for a high-res version of AHHH! BEES!!!, mostly just for wallpaper. Also because I love it so much. Seriously, giggles. EVERY TIME.


dA Brought me here and this precious comic hooked me instantly (being myself a Mythical creatures lover plus Sphinxes and other feline like being my favorites) so I’ll throw a question..

Readers Question: I’ve seen that Michelle’s Father was an Egyptian Sphinx… Why does Michelle look more like a Greek Sphinx? All the female sphinxes are supposed to look like the greek ones and males would look like egyptian ones?

:3 thankies~

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