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errantskies
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Joined: 05 Dec 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think one reason itís tricky to figure out is that Aja may not have considered the biology aspect so in-depth. I have almost never noticed inconsistencies or inaccuracies in True Magic, but the temperature of Martyís body strongly felt like one to me. Thereís simply no way he was dead long enough to have gone cold regardless of which exact page he died on ó since it was at most about ten pages ó unless knocking off Spike somehow sucked all the heat out of his body. Admittedly I have begun to change my mind about this because of your speculation, though; heat is a form of energy that can be conducted, so if all the heat got pulled into Spike... ... ...but I really donít know where to take that idea. Or rather I just donít really have the spoons for it at the moment, I guess.

Have you tried getting your friends to read TM too? I wish my friends would read it, not only because it is just so good, but because I so desperately want to help Aja with her financial troubles. What she needs most is a bigger readerbase to reach more people that might want to donate, but I just donít have very many friends. SIGH. (Sorry for this derailment of the thread topic, but it has been on my mind and I thought you might be able to relate. Donít you just... want to give Aja all the money so she can just focus on giving us more wonderful comics?)

All right, let me end this post by injecting some levity. Tell me, what are your theories vis-a-vis everyone in this comic having such fabulous hair? A booming hair care product industry? Is the local cuisine coincidentally high in hair-beautifying nutrients? Was Lucideus also the god of flowing tresses? Razz
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Dart
Citizen


Joined: 02 Dec 2019
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

errantskies wrote:
Aja may not have considered the biology aspect so in-depth

Probably. No one can design a complete, flawless in-depth world. You'd need to be an expert in too many things.
Buuut that doesn't stop me from latching onto things I do know about. >__>

errantskies wrote:
I have almost never noticed inconsistencies or inaccuracies in True Magic

That's one of the things I enjoyed. There was a number of points that made me think "OK, that's just too much of a stretch" - and then it turned out there was a good reason for it. Like Jim being ridiculously oblivious about Henson's "customers", then it turning out that he was just playing along, and had his own reasons.
So now, when I encounter something that doesn't seem to make sense, I go wondering if there's an actual explanation.

errantskies wrote:
Thereís simply no way he was dead long enough to have gone cold ... heat is a form of energy that can be conducted, so if all the heat got pulled into Spike...

There's an idea. Heat seems to be right up Lucideus-magic alley. Seems possible that it could be absorbed, either by Spike or by the body's post-death functioning. (When disconnected from Spike, the body is still half-active for a second or so - might be running on residual energy, including body heat?)

BTW, have you noticed that the energy colour scale shows up multiple times throughout the comic? (Red "low-battery", vs orange "functioning properly", vs green "more than enough energy"?):
- puppets' eyes (orange when powered; red when disconnected (or when Spike is "malfunctioning") )
- the malfunctioning lamppost - think it went from red to orange when the guards gave it a boost?
- the glow of the crystals in the cave - fading from orange to red; going from red to orange to green with the "SKREEE"

...huh. I bet those crystals must be connected to something, somewhere. When Joe broke one off, its battery died.
...Also bet that, if energy were increased further, after green we'd get purple, then blue. (See eyes on #383, as well as the Sand Beetle colours.)

errantskies wrote:
Have you tried getting your friends to read TM too?
...bigger readerbase to reach more people...
...donít have very many friends...
...thought you might be able to relate...
...want to give Aja all the money so she can just focus on giving us more wonderful comics?

Definitely feel ya, on all counts.
I did share TM with my friends. One of them read it so far. (Now he and I "bzzt" at each other as a reference.)
I don't have a lot of friends either, though. Got a handful of people I'm very close with; and everyone else is nearly strangers. ...I'm not very good at half-measures. *shrug*

errantskies wrote:

what are your theories vis-a-vis everyone in this comic having such fabulous hair? A booming hair care product industry? Is the local cuisine coincidentally high in hair-beautifying nutrients? Was Lucideus also the god of flowing tresses? Razz

All reasonable theories! We need to perform an experimental test. Let's start by transporting someone into the TM universe, and see whether their hair becomes fabulous immediately, after a delay, or not at all.
You any good at opening inter-dimensional portals?
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Dart
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Joined: 02 Dec 2019
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...changed the final image for "secrets to career success".
The one I first used is more visually appealing, but doesn't come from the scene I want to refer to, and that's been bothering me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MdALzFRVHTmywbbEeyR3T7Ge0hny6m7P/view?usp=sharing
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Dart
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Joined: 02 Dec 2019
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: Lucideus Reply with quote

"L-energy", hah. Noticed it has a name in-universe, "vivos".
Not sure if that's the name of the energy (should be capitalized??), or a unit of measurement ("vivos" being plural in that case?).

Re: Lucideus and the priests.
Re-read the prologue.
Think my earlier version ("a technological break-through allowed priests to drain Lucideus's energy through some kind of conductor") was over-complicating things.
There's the strands of - magical power? - being pulled in different directions (pg 10), suggesting Lucideus (or at least, his power/magic) was simply pulled apart between too many priests calling him. And the spark, which I assume is his essence/"self", was captured (which will probably be relevant later at some point).
(When Lucideus gave priests their powers, he must've included the ability to summon him at will by calling his name. But that seems pretty obvious regardless.)

Also noticed the part about the priests hiding underground while plotting/practicing, and Lucideus being unable to see what they're doing there.
Bet it's the same cave system as the Sand Pit and the ruins.
And if Lucideus himself couldn't see/know what's going on down there, what better place to hide from the descendants of his priests...

--

Re:darkness and light and the sun.
Pretty sure the story of "there was no light until Lucideus showed up" can't be factual. Either that part is just legend; or there was light before he arrived, then it became dark for some reason, then he brought light again. (But don't think that is relevant in and of itself.)

And times of day are clearly significant (the Dawn; the priests summoning Lucideus before sunrise; etc). Wonder if these have literal meaning, figurative, or both.
But insufficient info, moving on.
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Dart
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Joined: 02 Dec 2019
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re-reading on.
Nope, postman is not wearing a student uniform. Another misremembered detail.
Will probably keep finding more of those...
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Dart
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Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re-reading on Reply with quote

The lightning bolt teapot on pg 71... Hilarity
I remember finding it a little odd on first reading, and thinking "well OK, flowers and lightning, why not, I guess?"
Now it makes sense! Of course the nobles like lightning and use it as a decorative symbol! Laughing
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Aja
Pajamazon


Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2014
Location: Thataway

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dart and errantskies wrote:
[awesome commentary and speculation]

This is really making me look forward to some specific future scenes. Cheese! Gotta draw faster to get to the revelations!

Happy Holidays, guys!



Lucideus is totally the god of flowing tresses.
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"The one concession a sane man will never yield the universe is that of considering it seriously."
~ James Branch Cabell
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Dart
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Joined: 02 Dec 2019
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...organic matter can conduct L-energy, and THAT'S how Sand Beetles can manipulate necro-sand!

((Back to using the term "L-energy" for now, since I don't know the details of the correct grammatical use for "vivos".))

Touch a grain of necro-sand, it touches the next, and so on. And I assume the Sand Beetle can control how far to extend that energy, and at what point to prevent it from being conducted further.

Wonder if channeling the energy into surrounding sand is an active process, or if a Sand Beetle sitting on a pile of sand is continuously losing energy, whether or not it wants to.
In either case, organic matter needs to be a poor enough conductor to allow slow, controlled energy flow; so even if energy is continuously lost, it's probably gradual enough not to be too noticeable compared to the Sand Beetle's overall energy, unless it's really running low.
(Huh. Wonder if that's why Sand Beetles have pointy feet - to minimize contact with the ground, and thus the amount of accidental energy loss. Will need to look out for that while re-reading. As well as for other confirming/disconfirming evidence on these ideas.)

Seems like in the case of necro-sando-kinesis, energy ("powering" the sand so it can move and hold shape) and control (deciding how it moves and which shapes it takes) is channeled together - since, when Spike "malfunctions", their "sand body" falls apart.
...no, that doesn't necessarily mean that the "energy" flow stops, it could just be a lapse in "control".

--

Take 2:
...organic matter can conduct L-energy, and THAT'S how Sand Beetles can manipulate necro-sand!
And I bet vivomancy works on a similar principle! It's the skill of channeling L-energy into another living thing! It's still organic matter; it just still has its own life energy in it. Which probably makes vivomancy more complex than necromancy, but who knows.

--

(At present, the basic logic / main thoughts feel solid to me.
But I am writing all this in a giddy sleep-deprived haze.
Might have to re-read it later, see if it still makes sense.)
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Dart
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Joined: 02 Dec 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:44 pm    Post subject: Snippets Reply with quote

Re-reading on.
Collected some little snippets and/or additions to previous thoughts.

--

Re: social structure: yup, commoners seem to be talked about / treated as property. Being bought/sold, needing a master, etc.

Wonder what "registration" is about. Some kind of medical (and/or magical) procedure, apparently, but what for?
I assume they wouldn't need anything so complicated if it was a simple matter of "we need to keep track of any commoners who spend time in the city"..?
Could come up with some guesses, but insufficient data to narrow down the hypothesis space; moving on.

--

Wonder what the little braids that the Homeville group wears denote.
I'm guessing it's a Proto-Gentry thing, but could be a Villager thing or a Homeville thing. (Don't think the children in Homeville had braids, but social conventions can be different for children, so that's not strong evidence.)

--

Been reminded that the nightstick is known to be used for zapping commoners on a somewhat-regular basis ("known as peasant prods").
Still, I'm nearly certain that's not its primary intended purpose.

I imagine it's a multi-purpose tool (we've only seen one proper use of it so far); possibly also a weapon, but in a more complex and/or powerful way than just zapping people at close range.

But, by virtue of its design, it also happens to zap commoners (when wielded by a noble). So the guards (at least some of them) have taken to using it as a taser out of convenience.
It's implied that fireballs are easy to learn/use, and lightning is harder (and can also be used to incapacitate someone without doing too much damage, unlike fireballs).
So, using the nightstick to zap commoners into submission may have caught on because it is:
1) less dangerous than a fireball
2) less work than more advanced magic such as lightning
3) rules out the chance of accidentally harming a noble. (Gotta be bad news for a guard to hurt some incognito high-born kid sneaking out in peasant garb).
A quick, easy and comparatively safe intimidation tactic - what's not to like?

...Wonder if, when held by a noble, a nightstick would still zap another noble who is magic'ed out (or just magically weaker).
I imagine it would, but with significantly less force?
Or, if we're going with the "organic matter is a weak conductor of magic" version, maybe the differential would be small enough that the spark would not carry?
...damn, I need to brush up on electromagnetics...

--

Do/can nobles use heat to recharge?
It would sure explain the love for tea (and the Corporal wanting hot tea after powering up the photo-lamppost).
And the guards seem to wear warm padded jackets under their armour, which seems unnecessary for weather alone, based on how everyone else is dressed.
But the guards do (or may need to) stand around all night, which could also explain the warm clothes.

--

Why do I get the feeling we'll see what happens on that CLASS field trip, and get to admire the emperor's current hairstyle?.. (pg.127-128)

--

So the ground level of the city is "Tier 0".
The high-class areas go above (who knows how high); and the Dusk and the caves go below (who knows how deep).
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Dart
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Joined: 02 Dec 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:24 pm    Post subject: Wayne Reply with quote

Switching gears.


There are few characters I don't sympathize with in TM, at least on some level.
Joe was my favourite character in the old TM. In this one, I don't like him as a person, but still feel for him.

Wayne, on the other hand... Now there's a manipulative bastard who puts Joe's double standards and questionable morality to shame.
pg.146 - just sitting there, enjoying himself, watching the show. Knows exactly what he's done, what's going through the minds of everyone there, and what will happen next. Gets a kick out of watching people squirm.
Probably loves feeling powerful and superior.

Worst part is, he's still perfectly able to play the part of a decent and charming fellow. Probably believes he is one, and is justified in everything he's doing. Just listen to the moral high ground he takes with Jim (in the "performance review" scene).
And if he didn't have so much to worry about, I bet he'd also get a kick out of watching Jim's rebellion crumple into despair and guilt. And this is (presumably) his right-hand man we're talking about. Glower

I'd be surprised if Wayne has friends, in the way I'd define the term. Doesn't see the world that way.
There's people above him on the social ladder, those who have power over him and who may (or may not) help him get what he wants, - he treats those with respect. And there's people below him, those who depend on him and/or he has power over, and he can treat them any way he likes, because he knows he can get away with it.
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