Seventeen had a great punch line, it felt like a great gag-comic. I kept most of the layout the same because it was a simple page meant to deliver just a little comic-sized lozenge. It still gets me. The biggest improvement is, aside from consistency of paneling, how I was able to capture the emotions I wanted to the first time, I just didn't have the skills do it it. Especially that second frame. Baeve looks like she's feeling more than one thing. Something that was harder to do than I thought.
The second half though, this is what really shines when you compare it to the original. The Wol here is an actual monster. Rather than looking like a bunch of owls in a bear costume, this looks like a scary monster. [Fun fact about the Wol; I named it that because I wasn't sure if the name owl bear was 'fair use' or whathaveyou. I picked 'Wol' because that's how Christopher Robbin spells "Owl" in A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh.]
The original layout from eighteen had to be scrapped. There was ambition there, and I was intentionally trying to draw the reader's eye over to the Wol while they were reading the downward panels. I wanted that simultaneous read. While the layout did give us that sort of slower, emotional reveal, it didn't do the Wol any justice. Even if I was able to capture the ferocity of the creature, the layout just doesn't make it feel grand or threatening. This is the very first time we're hitting on that major theme of Fomora - "everything is dangerous." Sure, this is a small encounter compared to what our heroes will face, but I still want the reader to think Baeve may've gotten in over her head.
The colors here are looking great. I have a friend that, among other things, I play Warhammer 40,000 with. When it comes to painting the miniatures he has a "three color policy." Where he limits himself to three major colors on any given miniature. He feels adding more can make it look crowded or over done. I've been applying that to my pages (though three colors is a bit restrictive - I'm trying for five) to give the whole image a more cohesive look. I think that comes through on this page. Even with the contrast of day in the top half and evening in the bottom, the transition feels natural. Color is such an important storytelling mechanism for me and I'm glad I've been able to learn so much about it over the last few months.
I'm very close to wrapping this whole project up, and I want to thank you, Patrons, for helping me do it. This is the first step on a much larger path. Like the Wol, though, that first piece is so important. Thank you.