What’s interesting about the writing process is that you can so easily get lead off the rosy path with tangential thinking that may (most like, may not) influence, effect or otherwise deepen your story. This is very true for Kind Robert’s Warhammer, but in the negative.
When I was working on the page, I realized I had spent the better part of two hours working out the backstory for a mystic warrior-king, embodied by his warhammer totem, whom magicians may call upon for intercession. None of which (cf. “Robert, triple-crowned”) had really ANYTHING to do with what I was trying to accomplish, BUT, well…there you have it.
I envisioned the Warhammer to be a bit of meta-magic, that is, magic that can influence (in our case, destroy) other spells—granted, I did not spend a tremendous amount of time delineating that in the comic, but, Dear Reader, do you really want panels upon panels of mystic exposition? Moreover, as the great Indiana Jones teaches us, I’m making this stuff up as I go.
When it came to the actual language of the spell, I wanted the cadence to echo the Song of Amergin (which all my Dear Readers will recognize as the spell Prospero taught Cat waaaaay back when in Chapter Three, when she and her compatriots were trapped by Setebos in the library), as well as text to reflect the sort of “intercessory prayer” aspect of the spell.
Flash Fact: There’s a great scene in Lawrence of Arabia (which if you have not seen, Dear Reader, get thee to your Netflix queue) where Lawrence (played by the sapphire-eyed Peter O’Toole) is attempting to enlist the support of the sheik of the Howeitat tribe, Auda abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn), against the Ottomans. At one point in the discussion, Auda leaps to his feet and shouts “I am a river to my people!” For some reason, much like “a diamond in your mind,” that phrase always stuck with me and I was very happy to include it in today’s page.
Why’s it a warhammer? Honestly, I think because of this:
Ladies with battle-axes, what’s better than that? Answer: Ladies who carry around battle axes and who are also in bands (ergo, Adventure Time’s Marceline must be my ideal woman).
Anyway, in closing, let me leave you with this tidbit. During my writing process, I do a fair amount of doodling in the margins. Writing sequential art is all about camera angles and panel geography, so, for me, to really get a feel for the ebb-and-flow of a page, I’ve got to doodle. But I nevereverneverevernever share these doodles with Tony, as I would then be forced to suffer the slings and arrows of his derision and low opinion. But I broke that rule when I was thinking about the warhammer and sent the opposite doodle to Tony. Dear Reader, you can see why he does the pictures and I do the words.
I hope you meet a mysterious stranger this weekend.