also by the MotA team
  • Golden Dames Project
  • Red Nebula Studios
  • Lovefeast
Commission Keith W!

A Certain Point of View


Mysteries of the Arcana has two main characters: Chrystalline and Theresa. Only one of them, however, serves as the point of view character. Theresa. She serves as the reader's conduit into the way the universe works. As she learns, the reader learns.

Using an inexperienced character as a way of introducing an entire fictional world is an old and established practice. Luke Skywalker started off as a farm kid with big dreams. He needed Ben to explain what the Force was to him and, by happy coincidence, we got to learn at the same time. Dante starts off knowing nothing about heaven or hell. Each step of the way he learns something about the afterworld and, as a result, we do, too.

It is no coincidence that Harry Potter started off as a kid in a mundane household, either.

Chapter 1 of Mysteries of the Arcana stayed focused on Theresa. While readers weren't looking through her eyes they did stay by her side pretty much every step of the way. Even those moments where we cut away from her direct presence, her thoughts were always focused on whatever was in the relevant panel.

You might be wondering what all this has to do with today's page. I wanted to give some context into how Keith and I set up these panels. In the first two panels, Theresa's focused on the horror of seeing someone's face in the slime she just puked up. Her entire world has collapsed into a bubble that's just her and the offending puddle of goo. To help enforce that idea thematically, we included Chrys's voice but not her physical presence in the first panel and only the part of Chrys that became immediately obvious to Theresa (her hand) in the second. It isn't until the third panel that we see Chrys's face. By that point in time, Theresa's attention has snapped back to the present and what's around her.

I hope this helps you understand our creative process a little more. Keith and I put a lot of thought into each panel. It isn't just about the speech bubbles or the facial expressions. We're trying to tell the story with the whole of the comic page.

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Guest post by "weertangel"

nice commentary, and great page as well! i do wonder whats happening with the slime dough... Theresa clone???

btw, i have a something i would ask u 2, another web comic artist  i'm also reading and mentioned before,(strawberry death cake) has a little breakdown, and i thought,maybe u guys could give him some encouragement, since he's lost his will to write the comic it seems.

i already did my best, and i thought that maybe u guys could help him as artists in the same genre(or whatever u  call it)

anyway, here's the link just in case:

anybody else feel free to go check it out and do your say as well Smile

Submitted May 20, 2010 at 12:18PM


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Guest post by "uhl"
It's alive, alive! Bwahahahaaha!

Submitted May 20, 2010 at 3:06PM


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Guest post by "Katy"
It surprises me that Chrys doesn't seem to see this puddle of green goo that Theresa just choked up (I know I'd freak out if something like that came out of ME!  Yick!), or notice it, anyway ... And now we have the slime seemingly turning itself into the shape of a "personal massager" (Relaxing!  Use on your neck and shoulders! ... yeah, right ...) ... am I the only one a little frightened by this?? 

Submitted May 20, 2010 at 6:16PM


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I think Chrys is less concerned about the goop, and moreso about Theresa, therefore limiting her focus to just one thing, instead of the whole.

Submitted May 20, 2010 at 6:26PM


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Weert - You'll find out more about the goo. Just be patient. As for Strawberry Deathcake, I'll send a note but it looks like burnout to me and sometimes people just need to take a break.

Uhl - Yes. Yes, it is. Smile

Katy - Let's just say Chrys isn't the most observant person ever and Theresa's eager to move away from the slime. We'll find out next page, though, that Chrys *did* pick up a detail of that whole mess and isn't content to just let it go.

Submitted May 21, 2010 at 6:52AM

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