From: Jennifer Nolan <jen@LL.MIT.EDU>
Subject: SPOILERS for Shards #2
Okay, time for some original thoughts.
The art! Wow! Brandon McKinney strikes again (Jeez, did I get his name right?)! The panel where Treestump turns to Clearbrook and says, "I'm glad Redlance isn't here. This would kill him." -- I could have confused it with Wendy's any day. Cutter looked darned good (urf, forget which panel, but I have yet to see a profile of our chief that I don't like), as well as Rayek, Mender, etc. Whoo! Congrats, Brandon-- you're getting more familiar with the characters every issue (and I, for one, love it)!
The trolls! Go Drub! Go Flam! Talk about adding some excitement... No doubt they'll find the booty they're looking for, if they're going to the Djun's towers. Seems to me that humans and trolls have similar taste in treasure.
The preservers! Poor Tittersweet! Awww... See above -- the scene where Tittersweet gets his wings healed is great. BTW, I forget who was confused over the fact that preservers are resilient creatures... They are, but their wings aren't (remember Petalwing couldn't fly well at the end of Book 4 -- Rayek had to place him in the lock).
All in all, a big AYOOOOAH!
From: Kelly Rhodes <spitfire@BLKBOX.COM>
I've been so impressed with Aroree lately that I just had to tell someone. Lucky you.
I always liked Aroree a lot--and was often mocked ("She's such a wimp! She needs a good slap!"). I'm really thrilled to see how she's been in the forefront these days. After so many years of apathy, stagnation, sadness and repression... she is positively sparkling!
Finally, we get to see the spirit behind those 'sad' eyes. Here's the Aroree who rode the wind on Littletrill, who hunted and fought, wielding her talon-whip so well... the Aroree who flirted so archly right along with Skywise, the master of innuendo... who fled giggling like a mischievous child after Pike got Egg drunk... the Aroree who was one of the Chosen Eight.
So, she decided to use some Clairol. She was worth it! Really, I rationalize her yellow hair and generally more robust appearance by thinking 'The fresh air and the Wolfriders have really done Aroree a world of good... she looks great. Put some color in those pallid Glider checks of hers.'
After all, she's finally quit depending on Skywise for strength--and she's well aware of it. She's shown hunting and scouting, speaking in council, saving various elves from danger, and flying right into the thick of the action. And we even get a little of her inner life, her own thoughts--I'd like to see more. Obviously, the SHARDS team genuinely like Aroree. I'd love to see her Recognized... or, perhaps some Worldpool stories about her early life in Blue Mountain-- maybe the tale of her becoming one of the Eight?
Speaking of which, I'd love more Worldpool stories about Gliders in general. It always seemed to me that the Gliders were given short shrift (understandable, as they lived in Winnowill's shadow). It saddens me to think of all the peripheral characters in Blue Mountain, the elves in the background--gone. The NEW BLOOD tale about Egg was welcome, but I feel there are more stories to tell about those tall languid elves in their baroque, decedent home...
Feeling Gliderish tonight...
SHARDS #3 was really good. The art was strong and cleanly drawn. The story is developing and unfolding very well. As the plot becomes more complex, satisfaction is being given i.e., half of the scroll of colors retrieved (but for how long?), Ekuar's heart attack survived, etc. I like the addition of Flam and Drub. I think that they will contribute a 'different' outlook and agenda for the story. I also look forward to Tyleet's rescuer (what was her name? *tap head*) joining the group. I assume that is who the "unexpected friend" will be. If not her, then maybe her mother. (I'll bet what's-his-name the guard was not happy when he woke up and found his prize and daughter missing... and mom, too, if she knew what was good for her.) An interesting teaming... elves. trolls, and human(s) vs.. humans, elf, and troll/elf. Hmmmmm... all sorts of possibilities. As far as the letters at the back of the issues speculating on the demise of Cutter and others, I notice that you and Wendy are still responsible for the story and will take it where you will. I do trust you to keep it within the philosophy that you have built even if that involves the loss of Cutter and/or others.
Subj: Shards #3
Just finished reading SHARDS #3 at a breakneck pace. THIS STUFF IS GREAT!! The excitement of getting this issue reminded me of the breathtaking feeling I had with the original quest. Quick action, beautiful art, and enough plot to make reaching the end a frustration since it's weeks until the next issue.
A few comments: Love Drub & Flam. They make their dad seem refined by comparison. The panel with the pigs rump was hysterical.
It was a rough issue for Rayek; he loses his mentor and possibly his daughter in the space of a night. Ya still gotta love the cocky bastard, though. He better start thinking ahead a little better, though. He made a lot of wrong calls.
Also great to see the Djun and Lady "Venovel's" "relationship," where neither dares turn their back on the other. When will we meet his master builder, who must be Two Edge? And why hasn't Mom figured out who it must be by now?
You say in the letter column that SHARDS is plotted through issue 18!? Yowza! Can't wait! But this particular arc surely can't go 18 issues, can it?! Please, guys, my heart can't take it!
Panting for the next issue,
Simone Farber (SimFar)
P.S. Also enjoyed the recent issue of HIDDEN YEARS. But I have to ask again, why are Leetah and Ember so--pink--all of a sudden? I know race isn't an issue in the World of Two Moons because elves don't think that way, but we're in the "real" world, and as a person of color one of my favorite things about EQ was that there were diverse elves. And over in SHARDS, Rayek, Venka and Zhantee are as brown as ever. I hope I'm not overreacting, but even if they had been out of the sun for weeks, Leetah and Ember would still be browner than everyone else. It just seems to me it's kind of a large continuity point, if nothing else.
See the beginning to the letters page in HIDDEN YEARS #18 for this editor/publisher's take on your question. - RP
I have a question, if you don't mind? Why is Picknose's beard getting gray? Trolls live on and on forever like the elves, don't they?
And I also wanted to pat the person on the back who decided to draw Aroree with her hair down like that. Wow, she looks great that way. And speaking of Aroree... why is she wearing the same damn outfit that she was wearing in Blue Mountain? If she's with the Wolfriders now, I think she should dress like they do. Leetah caught on real quick. She dresses in Wolfrider leathers - why not Aroree?
<<street address removed from archive>>
It's true that the trolls are as immortal as pure-blooded elves, but that doesn't stop some of the effects of increasing age. Besides, Picky thinks It gives him a certain sophistication, a je ne sais quoi flair. - RP
Goodbye, peaceful green forest. Hello, technology. Yippee, jump for joy...
Seriously, though - the elves weren't as broken up as I thought they'd be. They probably expected it. Poor Rayek understands what it's like to lose a home...
Three cheers for the frequent glimpses of Clearbrook. I get a sense of foreboding, though. We saw a lot of One-Eye before he was mercilessly cut down - don't do it! You'll crush me, hurt me, lose a reader - I'll even bum my issues if you do it. So don't kill her, comprende?
Poor, poor Ekuar. If you're dead, all I can say is, we'll miss you. If you're alive, may I say, "Whew, that was a close one!" We'll see.
I hope the SHARDS storyline doesn't last too long - I can't stand the suspense! Just get it and go, guys!
It strikes me that the World of Two Moons is becoming a rapidly sinking ship. And Winnie wants to be captain as usual, eh? Good idea. Here's the plan. Sneak in and get the Palace. Grab all the elves, and use your lifeboat to leave the S.S. Abode. Winnie wants to be captain? Fine - she can go down with the ship. Sound good to anyone else?
<<street address removed from archive>>
Something's got to be left floating. What would Jink or The Rebels do if there weren't?! - RP
Hope you're feeling better. Me and Osek are actually alive. We're fine! We're at the beach. Osek can't sign because he's fishing and he caught one! He is also buying a lot of tacky pencils and foam shark hats. He bought me a nice beach umbrella, though. I have been building sand castles and won a sand castle contest. We are thinking about getting a house here. Maybe you can visit.
There's one in every crowd... - RP
From: email@example.com (Yngvar Følling)
Subject: Shard Copy
I have to admit that I expected Ekuar to die. In a recent interview with Wendy, she said...
Actually, Yngvar wrote a much longer letter, but I owed him an "ø" from the last letter I printed. Next time, fellah! To everyone thanks greatly for writing, keep those cards, letters and electrons coming, and I'll see you all in 30! - RP