Happy Monday all!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
We’re hanging in here. Things are still a bit rough. But there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.
Hope you enjoy this week’s pages. Should be fun.
I’m the first to comment YIPPEE HORA
Still love the story line and the characters. It’s like my breakfast early in the morning to see a new page. Keep up the good work.
Dear, dear Arthur. Why can’t he see that some would simply rather take their things pre-built than work for such things themselves?
It’s a shame that Arthur’s weakness and downfall is what we generally consider a positive character trait…
Yeah, well… being innocent as doves needs to be balanced with the wisdom of serpents. :p
Come to think of it, when operational that’s where Nick’s supposed to come in, isn’t it? A dragon’s sort of like a snaky sort of speaker…
Besides, they don’t want the ideal they can make for themselves. THey want the real thing, which will make it a perversion of the ideal.
Alea Iacta Est.
O_o I’m guessing that’s latin, but i have no clue what it says…
I’m pretty sure that it means “giving milk is risky,” but I’m not sure. Though that translation does seem to apply to the page.
It is a shame that you people do not know what it means, being one of the most famous phrases in human history.
I will assume that you are being sarcastic, because otherwise it is a real shame.
Actually, the famous version is Alea iacta est, IIRC, and means “The die is thrown” or (according to Colleen McCullough), “Let the dice fly!”
I have no idea what it means either.
For anyone interested in learning about this.
I’d never heard it. But a cool quote nonetheless.
It’s also the origin of the phrase about “crossing your Rubicon”–both mean taking an irrevocable step, going into an unknown future with everything on the line. When Julius Caesar crossed from his provinces into Italy with his armies, either he would be executed as a traitor and rebel, or win the day and become ruler and could make laws to justify his action.
Similar situations with Nicodemus against Arthur, or Arthur’s plan to bring adults from Earth into Dreamland. Either one is at the point of no return.
NOOOOOOO! Nics not gonna like this!
there he goes again… XD
what makes him think they’ll stop being greedy when seeing dreamland? why does it never come to him that it could make them even more greedy?
that’s why idealistic revolutions haven’t worked in the (our) past. people are too greedy and self-centered to live in an idealistic world… it’s probably due to our animal-past that we are like that and though we should have gained more intelligence over time, it’s apparently not enough to override those instincts. sometimes I wonder if gaining a conscious mind was not a step back in evolution for us. at least the animals never get that destructive…
Hmmmm… If it’s a step backward, then why blame our faults on animal instinct… Can’t have it both ways…
I was just meaning to say that the intellect that SHOULD raise us above those instincts (it works for some people, after all), is all too often abandoned in favor of them.
so, since there is probably no way to eradicate the “bad” instincts (wouldn’t want to get rid of something like the survival instinct XD) and have only the intellect, in a lot of cases it might just be better to have only the instincts and not the intellect. THEN they wouldn’t be able to think beyond their immediate needs, survival and procreation anymore and therefore be unable to harm so many with their greed anymore…
They want the real Camelot. Not a model.
“Your enemies desire Camelot for themselves.”
“But why? It is a silly place!”
Gee…It seems that Arthur is REALLY dumb!
He can’t see nothing beyond his “vision”.
I think he have to stop smoking stuff and cease to see “visions” for his own sake…
Is he really all that different than true to life visionaries? Most are brilliant but are simply blinded by there desire to believe in the good of others and that if given the opportunity they will choose something better when it is placed before them.
Wow…Arthur is really out of touch with the lifestyle of the majority of people in his time period and the fact that Castle probably took decades of peasant labour and a fortune to build. No wonder they’re all attacking him. I think he’s invested too much in dreamland and divorced from the lives of the hand-to-mouth peasant farmers who no doubt provide his food and wealth.
As far as I’m concerned, Nicodemus and Arthur are both idiots. Nicodemus refuses to share the wealth of dreamland with others because of a selfish desire to keep things the same and prejudice against humans, while Arthur chooses to chase a far off dream solution while ignoring the everyday problems of reality and the dissatisfaction of his subjects.
So perhaps the moral is, as always, that the average human is okay, but flawed, but you can rely on those in power to mess things up by chasing their own agendas over the needs of those they govern.
I haven’t seen anything yet to suggest that Arthur’s peasantry is being mistreated or exploited (though the historical truths of the time period suggest they probably were ridiculously poor and beat down, Camelot was supposed to be an ideal…and that very well could include how peasants were treated). His enemies seem well armed and armored, which suggests that they are much better off than your average peasant Joe. I’d wager that the peasant class isn’t the root of Arthur’s problem.
That said, Arthur’s optimistic idealism was always his failing point…in just about every version of the legend that I’ve seen at least.
Yanno, Kate, maybe it’s just me but doncha think that a story in which Merlin, who can do magic, travels across the Atlantic Ocean to learn how to do dream quests with native Americans might deviate just a LITTLE from either contemporary Arthurian legend or the real-life history of England? It seems a bit senseless to go on and on about the state of the serfs under feudalism and the labor it takes to build a castle and what not when Scott here is telling a story about a magical dream realm where a talking sword remembers King Arthur. Suspension of disbelief is a must.
I haven’t seen any evidence of Merlin casting any magic. Nor any evidence that the peasantry are not being oppressed. Not to mention, this is apparently the PAST of the ‘real world’ setting in this comic. In the PRESENT of the real world of this comic, there is no magic, and it is generally established that it is our own world.
If magic existed in the real world, it would surely make the whole argument of people wanting dreamland kind of silly. People surely want dreamland because it is a carefree place without the worries of physical hardships seen in the real world. If they were already getting a carefree life thanks to magic, why would they bother, it’d be just like any other land you could potentially conquer, but full of monsters and wizards (so not many people’s first choice to pick a fight with)
It would also raise all kinds of questions about why in the present people don’t cast magic, and why they have developed technology to our level if in the past people were living modern lifestyles with plenty of free time and relatively little poverty or hunger thanks to magic filling in the role technology does today.
So there are two possibilities:
a. Merlin and/or some other magicians are using magic to allow Camelot to have all the food and resources it needs so that all who live there are equal and happy. The upshot of this is that people are after Camelot either because everybody there has everything they need, in which case it’s not the building or the idea they’re after, but magic. The conclusion one can draw from this is that Merlin is not very nice, keeping all the magic to Camelot rather than teaching others how to use it to improve their lives, and that Arthur is lying saying his land is ‘an ideal’ rather than telling the truth.
b. The past of the ‘real world’ of the comic had magic, used widely to make the lives of peasants all over medieval England (or at least whatever Arthur ruled of it) much happier. Nobody in the present remembers this, it was in no way recorded or suggested by archaeology and people went on to develop technology to do what magic was doing anyway. In this scenario, as stated earlier, Arthur is a bit odd for being obsessed with Dreamland where there is magic that means everybody has what they want and can live in peace, because apparently his own kingdom already has this, which can only lead to conjecture as to why there’s so much dissatisfaction that people will attack the King in small roving bands insufficiently equipped to take on armoured knights because they’re that angry.
c. There is not magic, or at least, no more than simple spells for divining etc and Merlin is mostly just a wise man with an interest in alchemy. This would mean that Camelot was built and is tended by the hard labour of hundreds, maybe thousands of peasants while Arthur dreams his days away. Arthur’s idea that they ‘want Camelot’ due to simple greed shows that he’s completely out of touch with them and is really not a very nice or effective king.
So, yeah, under any scenario I can think of, Arthur is not a nice guy or an effective King. I know it’s sort of a kids comic, but I expect there to be logic in a story, even one with magic and aimed at children.
A well reasoned argument, indeed!
However, you are making some unfounded assumptions. The first, and most glaring (to me) is the assumption that magic is easy. If magic were easy, everybody would be using it, as is indeed the case in Dreamland. However, it is possible that in the “real world”, magic is extremely difficult to master, requiring a lifetime of study by a unique mind such as that of Merlin; thus magic could be a powerful but limited force, capable of amazing feats but no barrier to the developments of technology for more widespread advances to convenience, social equality, etc.
Your second, and perhaps more subtle but no less important false assumption, is that some measure of equality and an improvement in the quality of life could not be achieved in Camelot without the use of magic. I don’t believe this to be accurate. Granted, it’s extremely unlikely that peasants in Camelot had the same rights as knights or kings; Camelot is not a democracy in any version of the Arthurian legend. The Round Table was only a small step in that direction, representing a step toward equality between Arthur and his knights; no peasants sat at this table (except perhaps to clean it between uses). That said, wise policies on Arthur’s part, such as minimal taxation as required to maintain adequate defense and infrastructure, and rule of law rather than royal or noble whim, would go a long way to making a peasant’s lot in Camelot a good deal more comfortable than anywhere else in the area. The application of such policies might be aided on occasion by Merlin’s magic, but would in no way be dependent on the widespread availability of magic.
So it’s entirely reasonable (logical, even!) that Arthur, for all his naivete and idealism, could very well have been an effective an popular ruler. Sure, the castle of Camelot was built by peasant labor. But perhaps they were well fed and protected during this labor, as they may not have been in neighboring kingdoms. Nowadays a leader who creates jobs on that kind of massive scale is considered a hero …
Finally, returning to the original point in your first few sentences, you say that “I haven’t seen any evidence of Merlin casting any magic. Nor any evidence that the peasantry are not being oppressed.” You want logic in the story; here’s a logical truism: Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.
(Congratulations, you’ve dragged me further into this philosophical debate than anyone else has!)
Why are Arthur’s teeth blue?
Perhaps he’s not really talking to the defeated thug at all … he’s using his Bluetooth …
Because his enemies have blue blood
Ha! Just noticed that all of Arthur’s companions have turned and started walking away in the second to last panel. Makes you wonder if they’ve heard this speech a few times before …
(Don’t forget to VOTE!)
Oh, Arthur is such the idealist isn’t he. Janey’s right in that there will always be those for whom it’s easier just to take what they want rather than try to build it /create it for themselves.
And.. Yay for light at the end of the tunnel!!! Hope whatever it is pans out for you Scott and it’s not actually an oncoming freight train… that would suck. O_o
Because FORCING people to learn ALWAYS works. *Sigh* Arthur’s trying, as he always does in legend. He’s also failing because he can’t see past the end of his nose, as he always can’t. Even when Arthur wasn’t a beloved idealistic figure (The Mabinogion shows him at his worst), he had that problem. I love that Arthur is true to form here, even if that means he looks at life with glasses that are just a little too pink.
“I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves – such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.” Albert Einstein
Some look at the comfort of Camelot and say, “I have to take that!”. Precious few would look at the Honesty, Virtue, and Beauty of Camelot and say, “I have to make that!”
We can’t always live up to high ideals, but the important thing is to live by them.
Beautiful page, Scott.
I think Nick prefers the tyrants of old as opposed to this idealistic, completely naive Arthur. How exactly is Camelot an “ideal” when you can clearly see a giant, beautiful, well-built, defensible castle in the background? I’m having flashbacks of Philosophy class and how I wanted to bash some of those idiots’ heads in.
In the dark ages, “Right” was awarded to those with the “Might”. Arthur’s vision went beyond the image of that great Castle. He wanted to build a kingdom upon a totally new way of thinking. The basis of the whole idea of “chivalry” was to replace the old idea of “Right for Might” with “Might for Right”. When Arthur spoke of “Camelot”, he was not only speaking of the physical kingdom, but also the chivalry for which it stands.
Can I just say how absolutely amazed I am at how insightful and philosophical you all are?
I feel smarter just reading your comments here.
Hereby nominating “One Tin Soldier” to be the theme song of this page.
the perfect song for this story arc.
“What is the difference between a man and a parasite? A man builds. A parasite asks ‘Where is my share?’ A man creates. A parasite says, ‘What will the neighbors think?’ A man invents. A parasite says, ‘Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God… ‘”
A man may take invention as his lawful right while yet believing in a God, as he may believe that by putting creativity in his mind, this God meant him to create. I find myself thinking of a quote from Tolkien. “Though we sow the seed of dragons, ’twas our right… We make still by the right in which we’re made.”
The really interesting thing about this entire flashback is that we go into it knowing that it isn’t Arthur’s real-world enemies that bring him down but a treacherous tyrannical bigot in the dream realm Arthur modeled his idealistic Camelot on in the first place. The irony of that just oozes.
Hm… sorry I don’t comment more often, and sorry the times I do comment happen to be critiques usually. But Arthur’s cloak clasps seem a bit too ‘white’ to me, and don’t have a lot of depth. Perhaps adding a design carved in to the clasp will give them a bit more artistic flair.
I’m really enjoying the story’s progression as of late. It’s awesome to see this historical tie-in and another side to Nicodemus.
“I’ll teach them! I’ll show them all! The Peace of Camelot or DEATH!“
Guys, guys, you’re missing the big picture here. This is obviously an incredibly important and profound moment: for example, only something epic could cause those leaves by Arthur’s head to have frozen in time for over a strip.
Oh, dear. Arthur…have you really reached this age and are still this naive? Why build Utopia when you can steal it from someone else?
That is, of course, the flawed reasoning of the foolish. You can’t take ‘Utopia’. You try to, that which makes it ‘Utopia’ becomes destroyed in the process. It can only be made with one’s own sweat and blood.
“- Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?
No, says the man in Washington; it belongs to the poor.
No, says the man in the Vatican; it belongs to God.
No, says the man in Moscow; it belongs to everyone.
I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something
different. I chose the impossible. -”
Well, I feel that this story has taken a rather unexpected turn. It is in human nature to take things for granted, and to avoid as much work as possible. So…he is being honest, in admitting his greed, although for what reasons, we do not know. We shall certainly find out.
Looks like panels 2 and 4 are exactly the same. I don’t recall that ever happening in this comic before. Before, there was always some amount of movement to show a bit if life in the characters.
You are correct, sir.
I’ve never done that before.
These scenes have been SO render intensive (24 hours a frame) that I just decided in a fit of despair to copy and paste.
Hopefully it’ll be the last time I’ve had to do that.
No worries. I see that the last frame of yesterday’s page was also the same render.
On the plus side, you can always go back and change it easily enough at a later date.
Sounds like it’s time to update the hardware on your Pentium 1 50 MHz machine! May I suggest another 8 MB of RAM?
ah well. nice try arthur
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