Thanks for reading.
Sometime in year two a reader observed, probably on the message board, that
it was a little creepy that Merlin should be Nimue's guardian in the
contemporary arc when he was going to be her lover after she grew up. My
response was something to the effect of, "The fix for that is already in."
What I couldn't say without spoiler was that any Merlin who was Nimue's
guardian would be dead before any Merlin who was Nimue's lover became so. At
least in-panel. Contemporary Merlin has been dead for two and a half years.
Fairy tale Merlin admits to Arthur today that he's been seeing Nimue for "a
month"; in my spreadsheet Nimue's fourteenth birthday was October 1, making
her of legal age in that milieu; and exactly how far things've gone in that
time is left as an exercise for the reader's comfort zone. Note that Nimue
turned of age in the space arc too. Space Merlin hasn't met Nimue properly
yet (though, their being time-travelers, he has occasionally bumped into her
from the future.)
And it may not be apparent how great lengths I went to not to spoil Merlin's death. Arthur's foster father Ector pretty much vanishes from the legends after Arthur is crowned (at least according to wordsearches I've done on the online Le Morte d'Arthur in this site's links). In the baseline and space arcs I was able to accomodate this by merely not writing him into jokes any more. But in the contemporary arc Arthur was fifteen like in the others, while the age of majority is later; so Ector was still Arthur's legal guardian. I considered writing him out by killing him off. But I wanted the impact of Merlin's death, as the first of a major character, to be undiluted by any previous deaths of supporting characters (as opposed to such secondary or tertiary characters as Balin and Galehaut). So contemporary Ector was reactivated into the army and shipped out to Iraq, and for all we'll ever know he's still there.
'Course it's still a little tricky surprising an audience with a death that the character himself, an infallible prophet, keeps harping on. All you can do is keep him at it and hope it becomes white noise no one pays attention to any more. Contemporary Merlin's death just before the AKOTAS sabbatical, at least according to those readers who commented, did have the effect I was working for.
|Webcomics I read mornings: Kevin & Kell, For Better Or For Worse, Tux & Bunny, Sluggy Freelance, Irregular Comic||Webcomics I read M-W-F mornings: General Protection Fault, Nukees, Newshounds, Girl Genius, Ctrl+Alt+Del||Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa mornings: El Goonish Shive, AppleGeeks, Achewood, Striptease, Punch an' Pie, Digger|
|Webcomics I read middays: Calvin & Hobbes, Least I Could Do, User Friendly, LuAnn, Pearls Before Swine, American Elf, Devil's Panties, Narbonic, Schlock Mercenary|
|Webcomics I read weekday evenings: Questionable Content, Starslip Crisis, Count Your Sheep, Dinosaur Comics, Girls With Slingshots, Shortpacked, Wapsi Square, Help Desk, The Adventures of Brigadier General John Start, Real Life, PvP||Webcomics I read M-W-F evenings: Fans, Two Lumps, Dandy & Company, Goats, Order of the Stick, College Roommates from Hell!!!, Penny Arcade||Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa evenings: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Get Out of My Head, Darths & Droids, Megatokyo|
|Webcomics I read bedtimes: B.C., Something Positive, Station V3, Sinfest, Little Dee, Skin Horse, Sheldon, Peanuts|
|Webcomics I read Sundays: Breakfast of the Gods, Something Happens, Three Panel Soul, No Room for Magic, Li'l Mell, Zortic, The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, xkcd||Webcomics I hope will start updating again: Boxjam's Doodle, The Angriest Rice Cooker In The World, My Name is Might Have Been, Butternut Squash, Sketchies, 13 Seconds, Anywhere But Here, Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break, Kismetropolis, The Magnificent Adventures of Hieronymus Bosch, esquire, The Green Avenger, I Draw Comics, Reasoned Cognition, Perry Bible Fellowship, The Whovian Observer, Gossamer Commons||See also The Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge, Talk About Comics, The Living Comic, Online Comics Day, The Belfry Comics Index, The Webcomic List, Mister Bloo, Nth Degree, 100% Originality Theatre, Brian Roney's Webcomic Reviews, Girls Read Comics (And They're Pissed), Fleen, Mr. Myth, Comixtalk and Websnark.|
Arthuriana sources I use or recommend:
Arthuriana - the Journal of Arthurian Studies; the website of the quarterly journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society.
The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester.
Camelot In Four Colors: A Survey of the Arthurian Legend in Comics
Mystical-WWW - The Arthurian A2Z knowledge Bank which has encyclopedically-arranged entries on the characters of the Arthurian legends.
Early British Kingdoms - Arthurian Bios.
Le Morte Darthur: Sir Thomas Malory's Book of King Arthur and of his Noble Knights of the Round Table, Volume 1 and Volume 2.