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

2023 Reader Questions: Ask Them Here!

2023 Reader Questions: Ask Them Here! published on 130 Comments on 2023 Reader Questions: Ask Them Here!

Hello everyone! Welcome to the 2023 Reader Questions! If you have a question you’d like me to answer while we’re on hiatus, ask them here! If you’re a Patron, you should ask your questions over here on Patreon, as I will look at them first before reading any questions here.

I might not answer every question! I go with ones that I think will be fun to answer with a sketch and won’t spoil anything in the comic, so if you ask something complicated or for any big spoilers, I will not be answering those! I also won’t answer questions that I simply do not have an answer for. I will try to answer as many as I can! Thanks! And see you every weekday starting Monday, July 17th, for a new reader question!


How is Vera planning to blend in? … Is she planning to blend in at ALL? :P

She said she was going to make a ruckus. I can imagine her wearing a sandwich board that reads YOUR PICTURE WITH A DEMON FROM HELL £ 10 and hexing any camera anyone tries to use without paying. She would give interviews and freely admit that her plan is to become a celebrity.

Races that never got medallions are discriminated against, but how does mythic society treat individuals who somehow permanently lost/destroyed their own medallions? If say a griffin misplaced their medallion, would they be treated the same as a “monster” or would they be offered any extra help in life?

Given that medallions are in limited supply (while I’d expect the mythical underground to have grown in parallel to the human population they’re hiding amongst), what about those who could never afford themselves one in the first place … ?

You’ve established that the sphynx power wellspring is shared among all existing sphynxes, and since Michelle is the only surviving one currently she has access to it all. Is it endlessly refreshing from somewhere? Is it growing or staying constant? And, how much power are we talking about? Levelling a city kaiju-style big, or the Chicxulub asteroid (killed all the dinosaurs) extinction event big?

Does capsaicin affect Gryphons or other avian mythicals?

I always assumed Jim was inspired somewhat by former The Teardrop Explodes frontman-turned-standing-stones-guru Julian Cope, due to 1) Liverpool 2) posh 3) little bit of a prat at times 4) very tall 5) flowing locks 6) long and documented history of questionable fashion choices. Could we have confirmation on this, or is it all just a big coincidence and Jim is more of an Echo and the Bunnymen fan?

The LA – the outer warehouse shell, to be precise – has a roof that lets material objects pass; Birds in particular, but I suppose that the rain’s welcome to the agriculture within, too.

Are the LAers worried about someone lighting a fire that sends smoke up through it? Or how about a kid letting a balloon escape?

Is there someone adding illusory snow atop the illusory roof when appropriate? :-)

How do tattoos and body mods work in the world of skin deep? I know we’ve seen characters with piercings and ink, but the application of them would be interesting to explore, especially how it translates from full form to mid form to human form!

How to people keep the smaller non-sentient mythics from getting loose and found-out in the world at large? Vermin in particular sound like they’re be an absolute nightmare. Do you have special trappers to keep thing like Rat-Kings, Pidgeon/Mouse Griffs, or Woppletingers underwraps?

Some of the dialog on page 9 of Illuminations ch3 suggested (to me, at least) that nixies were another “monster” species that Jocasta was adding to her customer list. Madame U established back in Exchanges that nixies and nokks have distinct medallions (although they’re female and male of the same species) and that nokks become mindless sapient-eaters in their old age. Was Jocasta breaking the rules good and hard again?

the lack of “Werewolves” in Skin Deep, and adamant refusal to include them, is amusing to me because “Person who turns into a Wolf” has existed and been believed in since ancient Greece across multiple cultures that have had interactions with wolves or sighted wolves, yet the only “People who turn into something-like-a-wolf” are, to my knowledge, Totems and Chechen Wolves.
While I understand the desire to avoid “popular” mythical species, there is more history to them than Modern Pop-culture would ever care to display, and from that history more interesting interpretations could be drawn.
Overly Sarcastic Productions made a video on YouTube that, at this point, I feel like I’m just parroting

Suppose that medallions start to get made again in the modern age, would it be possible to have some metal, polymer, or non-toxic composite material be embedded with medallion magic and then implanted under the skin or attached to the bone so the user doesn’t have to worry about it becoming lost or easily damaged? Or would it not work like that?

Adjacent to the conversation about werewolves:

Are there any mythical creatures that are or were capable of transforming regular humans through ‘infectious’ means, in a way similar to a werewolf bite? Or would any such cases be similar to what happened to Anthony, with a spell breaking through incidental contact with a highly magical creature?

I have two questions.
What would happen if someone tried to sincerely flirt with Madam U. Assuming there is an daring fellow out there that is attracted to her.
And how ticklish is a Frumious Bandersnatch kiss. That mustache seems useful for unexpected tickle attacks.

if ike hates being a manticore/hybrid so much, why does he spend most of his time in midform instead of full human? (i think it’s very good, just curious)

Is it possible that the Jersey Devil is just a as yet unknown or possibly as yet unknown mystic being? Or, now that I’m thinking about it, they could be hybrid of some type that dabbled around with various magics in trying to create a new form but, conflicting magic produced a backlash result?

Also, would Eleanore like to roll around in soft grass and wildflowers before settling down for a picnic?

Are there trolls or ogres?
I know that stories of Paul Bunyan started in lumber camps in the 19th century and where collected and embellished and printed by an advertising company in the 1920s or 30s.
But were the original stories based on an actual giant or magically enhanced human or mythical creature?

Oh! Also, are there yuki-onna or tengu in the Skin Deep universe? Thanks for making this comic, by the way – it’s so much fun!

1) We know that when a mythic has a medallion and has a child with a human, the child inherits a form of the medallion’s cloaking magic and will appear human until they get a medallion of their own. Does this “cloning” of the medallion spell put strain on the original/parent medallion? Can its magic wear out if it is used too much in this way?

2) Have there been any other spontaneous turnings (such as what happened to Tony and Michelle) from contact with a previously unknown medallion–such as in an antique, pawn shop, or flea market? And if/when this happens, are there representatives from the mythic community whose job is to find and help them?

3) We know the Elders of the Avalon(s) take an active role in preserving the secrecy of the mythical community, but do they have networks to assist with that? Do the different avalons work together or stay in communication to help in this endeavor? Or is every avalon an island and only worries about its own local issues

4) Do totems only represent wild animals, or can domestic animals have them too? If there is a lot of variation within the species, such as with domestic dogs or cats, is there a similar level of variation within the totems representing them?

5) Are there many, or any, strictly human-looking mythicals? They look and behave like a normal human, but they’re actually a descendent of a mythic hero (such as Beowulf) or a mythic god (such as Zeus or Ra), and may or may not have magical powers related to their powerful ancestor.

6) Do mythic gods still exist in the modern era, and if so, what are they doing with themselves these days?

Are folks in Avalons/mystical communities more likely to be religious (of any variety)? I am just curious whether things like magic make folks more likely to believe in general religious things or whether most folks in the communities just look at magic the way that some random human in a city looks at technology.

Really sad question, but the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is set to be officially declared extinct in the wild later this year. Are we going to see the results of this if/when we go back to that village with the other totems?

Ol’ Ivory’s existence is contingent on the ivory-billed woodpecker still existing. Who cares if humans say it’s extinct? If Ol’ Ivory is still standing, then the species yet remains.

More pertinent to the comic, Skin Deep takes place in 2005, so that won’t be happening in the timeline.

If a nonhuman is using a pendant to wear a human disguise, can they eat anything a human can? For example, could a fu dog eat chocolate, despite being a dog? If not, does this apply to children born in human form and kept human only by the inherited enchantment?

If any one here has ever watched the anime “Spy X Family” (set in the fictional nation of Ostalis, which bears a purely coincidental resemblance to East Germany), you may have noticed the stuffy toy that Anya, the child of the “family”, has had since she was first found in a dodgy orphanage. It’s a manticore (the winged version). Just what every child needs!

1. I would love to see a Painted Bunting totem.

2. It seems like totems who’s animals are going extinct become older/sick. Do totems who’s animals are being saved from extinction (i.e. California Condor) become younger and healthier?

For Bloodcarver,

When things calm down a fair bit for you and should Michelle be able to craft you a totem, and I’ve little reason to doubt that she would be able to given more historical memories dawning upon her. Please, take time to just sit in the sun, have a candy bar but not too many, we don’t know if you have a peanut allergy. It just wouldn’t do at all for you to get sick that way.

After that, would you want to fly on a plane? Ride on a train? Or a car? Something where you are not the main mode of power to get it to move? I have a feeling that something would be quite fun for you seeing that you may be the very first dragon to get airborne without needing to use your own wings or flung from something larger.

When you say totem, I assume you mean medallion. Totem has a very different meaning in SD, and a talisman is something else again.

We’ve seen ‘Carver riding in a small boat moving very slowly across a swampy river. Riding in a faster, powered vehicle may be “quite fun” for him, or it may be traumatically disorienting (a likely response to riding in an airliner).

I just flashed on an image of a group of mythicals going skydiving without (using) parachutes…

I’m not sure if you’re taking comments from here atm, but I was curious in general– so common gryphons seem to grow their ear tufties later in life? Is there an awkward puberty stage for them? Will Tobias have tufties?

(Now this is in its proper place!)

When I was recently re-reading “Illuminations”, it occurred to me that more medallions might occasionally be found in the hoards of dragons who had attacked the sphinx medallion smithies. It might even be a credible explanation for Madame U to be offering “New Antique” [similar to New In Box] medallions for sale.

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