yee to the haw
Holding out for that 2% chance everything is fine!I'm just gonna say that there is a 98% chance that this won't end well.
You and me both! :'DI'm gonna cry and throw up if something happens to these kids in this mine.
Thank you so much! If only these kids would stop getting into danger :')Really cool update!! I'm so Concerned for these kids
It's fiiiiiiine don't worry~~NOOO I hope nothing bad happens... I Am Terrified
Thank goodness no first death ;w; I'm sure it'll be a fun cave adventure!Oh crap! Stephan was super close to dying there!
but now I’m scared of what’s gonna happen in the cave
Thank you! Team Rocket's pretty much the only villain team I can see having a reach beyond the region they first appeared in, since they're a pretty standard criminal organization.oh wow its good to learn more about leon. who knew team rocket got as far as galar
JHDASDJSADJKSADSDAK TAILS!!!! TAILS YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME I AM GOING TO WITHER AWAY UNDER ALL OF THESE LOVELY COMMENTS!!!!Ohhhh boy it's been a hot minute since I commented on here eh? I hope you don't mind but I'mma comment on each of these updates as I catch up because you're comic deserves all the thoughts and lord knows I'm incapable of not talking akjfhdkjsahfdjsk.
So with that said-
So the wishing stars are actually used up because of the gym challenge hmmm? Not sure if that was stated before now but it's a really cool worldbuilding detail! I love the way shieldbert is focused on the long game with the way the gym challenge can help them reach their goal compared to swordbert's more shortsighted focus on the raw numbers. Really interested to see exactly what their goal is and how having Rose and Leon in their pocket is so important to it!
Love love love this gym battle! Love seeing the way the language barrier makes Raph's and Tumble's issues even worse. And I love the note that Tumble, while def worried about the bleeding, thought "we can't win at this rate" above everything else. Which, it's fair- wining the gyms is his goal here- but it really shows that he isn't seeing any kind of worst case scenario. He's not really worrying about what that bleeding could mean for Ralph's health- as most kids wouldn't. It's just a nice little reminder to us where Tumble's priorities are even though he's overall a great kid. (And damn if it isn't a smart narrative move to have Raph snap at Tumble, immediately putting Tumble back into a sympathetic position to the audience, cause damn this poor kid has mountains of pressure on him in this moment and is just trying his best.)
Also wanna say you did a great job showing Raph's bulkiness in this fight. I feel like most of the others couldn't just keep taking those ice shards like that- but despite everything Raph was able to take the hits and win the fight with a one hit KO! It just really shows how much more he can take with this evolution. Wonderfully done. And he absolutely earns that hug in the end~
And then Shamrock's big moment aaaaaaa hell yeah! It was so cool to see him take that max darkness and take out that huge ass dreadnaw with one shot! And the shots of the battle he lost in the past interspersed throughout made it feel all the more amazing when he won this time! All while Tumble can barely focus with that ominous voice once again interfering. Love the way Tumble literally glows and gains pink in the eyes while trying to ward off the voice and focus on the battle. The victory of the battle is def what shines- but this issue feels more and more concerning with each time it comes up. You struck a great balance!
And how can I talk about this page without talking about Nessaaaaaa! Aaaaaa I love love love what you did with her here. We have the fans noting she's the strongest and we can see why- her and Drizzel were on track to wipe Raph out. But the look on her face while it's happening- the way she's so miserable with how this battle is going speaks volumes. Even if she wants to win, it's clear she doesn't want to win like this. So she basically pauses the battle to force Tumble to get his shit together- and the way she utilizes her power as a gym leader doesn't feel the least bit unfair. Raph is on a slow, painful route to losing while already bleeding b/c of the evolution- calling his defeat early is 100% a mercy at that point. But the fact that she does this, even with a harsh tone, shows that she cares about her opponents pokemon in a way others might now. And even that talk at the end pushes this further. She's only talking to Tumble cause she cares- she has no reason to otherwise. Though from the way she talks it feels like she's either not used to giving feedback like this, or not used to giving it to kids. The way she brings up his good points (sharp and resourceful) and flaws (reckless and unprepared) is nuanced in a way that it might be hard for a kid like Tumble to get right away. Instead Tumble seems to hear "you're a good trainer and a bad trainer" which leaves him confused and frustrated. This is compounded with the fact that Nessa's criticisms don't come with concrete advice on how to fix the issue- which is fine for older participants who should have skills/knowledge as to what they can do- but only makes it even more frustrating for Tumble who is left grasping at straws as to what the next steps should be. Not his fault and not Nessa's fault- but it leads him to disregarding everything she said and I'm 100% certain that it will directly lead to his first loss on the team and I am so, so scared for him.
And also Harper, who has chances to try to help here and just can't quite do it. I worry for her too ;;w;;
Also it's a small thing- but the way Oleana knew where and when to pick up Tumble despite the fact that his match was moved is so cool and off-putting. Like it makes it feel like Tumble is really important for Rose to see- but also gives that feel of him always watching that's is just... -shivers-
Finally I gotta take a minute to gush about your art! I always swoon at how fluid your gym battles feel- you make the action so easy to follow but still manage to use dynamic and interesting shots to keep the tense feeling throughout! The impacts always feel solid and the motions fluid and easy to understand. And the big shots like the iron head hit or dynamax dreadnaw's appearance always feel BIG. All of these points complimented by your great expressions and your character's body language. As always you did an amazing job!
So staring right off with the fact that Tumble is most def being watched (if his match being moved up got mentioned to Rose is anything to go by) and boy is that still unsettling!!! Hate it! No thank you! Also damn Oleana I get that you don't wanna chit chat with some kid but did you have to burn our boy so bad? Like it seemed like a short trip you couldn't indulge him for at least a few minutes??? Ma'am please...
Aaaaa more Rose content! It's so great to see him ever the affable businessman he portrays himself as. The way he opens the convo celebrating Tumble's victory so it sets a good mood that many wouldn't want to challenge, while also putting Tumble at ease is master class socializing. This is made all the worse by the fact that Tumble is grappling with the feelings from the Nessa talk so I'm sure this only further makes Tumble want to ignore what she said even more since now the chairmen himself says Tumble is good- so it must be true! ... Right?
Though really when we get into the meat of the convo, this feels much less like a conversation that Tumble should be a part of, and more an ambush on Prof. Magnolia. The strategic way he brings up the energy crisis in front of Tumble- working him up over it and then posing himself and his company as the saviors working to help Galar really puts Magnolia in a tough spot right from the get go. Even Sonia clearly didn't know the full extent- and the way you illustrate that with Magnolia literally put in-between Sonia and Tumble as they are grappling with this info is just -chef's kiss- so freaking good. And from there it just get worse and worse for Magnolia. Letting Tumble hear exactly what he wants (you're already helping by following your goal!) and offering Sonia her big breakthrough and a place to help literally save the future of Galar while cutting off any of her more reasonable points... The man really knows how to sell it. He even made another exhibition match seem like Tumble's idea! All while managing to (presumably) get everything else he wanted out of this conversation! It's genuinely amazing and goddamn do I hate him for it!!! And left in the aftermath is a frustrated Prof. Magnolia who ends up snapping at Sonia- pushing her away and probably further towards Rose because, hey! At least he supports her! But it's so painful cause it's clear that Magnolia understand the nuances to this that Tumble and Sonia don't. She knows that the devil is dancing in the details no matter how rosy it looks at first glance- but she also seems to believe that Sonia and Tumble can't really understand it. (And while I get that for Tumble, it feels very unfair to Sonia and makes Sonia's frustration so much more understandable) So in the end Magnolia just looks stubborn and impossible to deal with even to 2 ppl who would might side with her otherwise,
On that note, it wouldn't surprise me if Rose has an idea of how close Tumble is to Sonia and Magnolia with how much info he seems to have access to. Which, makes it feel even more like an ambush... hmm...
I love to hate your Rose so much Liv.
Also look at Tumble, trying to follow up on those strange voices and not getting anywhere. On one hand I'm proud of him for trying- on another- please god tell an adult (not rose) about what's going on I beg of you Tumble.
Aaaaaa team bonding!!! I always love seeing this crew interacting! It's so good to see Stephan growing thanks to the help of the rest of the team. It so sweet that even Raph is participating now. I love the way Shamrock explains what teams are, and in turn seeing Raph slowly open up to the idea of wanting to be on one. It's hard to admit to wanting something like that for him, but bit by bit he's getting there and it warms my heart to see it. (And will probably break my heart later on but that's neither here nor there.)
(Also calling him Shamrock at the end so quietly aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa)
The caaaave! So quick note- love the idea that Nessa dynamaxes for some challengers and gigantamaxes for others. First I love the idea that she can just decide which one to do on the fly, and also I love the implication that she didn't go as hard on Tumble as she could have. Tumble was really doing bad leading up to dreadnaw, so the idea that Nessa might have chosen the easier form for Tumble to deal with is so understandable but also so, so bad for Tumble if he finds out. All the pride for that moment- for Shamrock's victory- will turn so sour and negative so fast if that's the case. I really hope there's some other explanation, but for now I will be low-key stressin' about that line coming back to haunt us. (Also good baby boy for giving those revives someone else who theoretically needs them more but also aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Tumble please plan for the worst at least a little bit)
On another note, I love that Tumble falls back into old habits but quickly reigns them in with the help of his team. It's just so natural he'd be excited to battle in this new place with other trainers and new pokemon! But he really is trying to do better and sticks to it until he really can't anymore. Like really, despite Martin's absolutely correct stance that they shouldn't battle- Tumble is stuck in a really hard spot both morally and realistically. Like. I really do not think Bede was letting him through without a fight by the looks of it if only cause Bede is a condescending asshole who wants to make Tumble upset on the best of days. And while it's easy to say that this problem doesn't concern you- these are challengers just like Tumble is. It feels like it concerns him b/c it concerns ppl just like him. Separating those sorts of feelings can be hard for adults let along a good kid like Tumble who just wants to do the right thing. It's just. We know he's making a mistake, but it's such a damn good reason to make the mistake we can't even fault him for it.
And as a small aside- I understand Martin's thinking- but gosh does benching yourself never, ever go well in these situations. It only puts others in more danger- and if anyone gets hurt because of this I don't see Martian forgiving himself any time soon...
I love the entire lead up to the battle. I adore the way Tumble really does try to reach a solution peacefully with Bede instead of jumping right to battle. Even if he didn't understand the words, it seems he really is trying to listen to what Martin was getting at. I'm sure some of it is the genuine fear of facing Bede w/o Martin's help- but he still really did try to do things the peaceful way until (1) Bede made it clear he would not cooperate without a fight, and (2) that one of his pokemon volunteered to battle. It's a small touch but it really shows how much this boy is trying to do right by his team.
And it's not like he's wrong to trust in Stephan since the first battle ends up in their favor! A bit rough but they still win the first round in the end! Maybe they can do this! Maybe they'll be okay!
... Liv they better be okay Liv I swear-
Once again I adore your art on this update! Even though there's less action in this page there's a lot to love. I freaking love how often you kept Oleana's face unseen- either cutting it off or showing her from behind. It gives her such a mysterious and imposing presence that fits her so well- and makes it really surprising when she pops up to move Rose along to his next appointment. Your use of shading and expressions really help make the Magnolia and Sonia fight intense despite it not lasting long. And your unique designs for pokemon are always a treat to see! Another amazing job!
Okay so starting out with something I forgot to mention on the last page- I find it really interesting how the kids know each other by their numbers over their names. Tumble is just 816, and even Bede is "pink dude" at best. Just another way that these participants are completely dehumanized during their challenge- which makes the fact that the champion and gym leaders actually go by there names seem even more enticing. No more being contestant 816, you would finally be Gym Leader Tumble. Just. Really neat detail and so, so messed up. You really nail the quiet horrors of the Galar gym setup so well.
Also interesting thing I forgot to note last update- I find it interesting that Hop was downright panicked about Tumble facing Bede- and how it's continued on this page as relief that Tumble didn't lose the first battle. Not that Hop's concern is unwarranted with how Tumble and Bede's last fight went- as well as how hard Nessa was for Tumble. It's just interesting to me because I would assume that Hop would by default believe in his friend's ability and motivations here- and it's really cool to see it's not that simple!
Speaking of Tumble winning tho- Awwww yeeeee to that second victory!!! Learning Ancient power in such a clutch moment was so freaking cool. I love the way Tumble is willing to trust in his pokemon's instincts and let them lead. It naturally plays into one of his shortcomings (not always knowing when to have them stop if they want to keep going a la Raph is Nessa's gym) but it also leads to incredible moments like this one! Also Petunia shouting at a mon for losing the same way Bede does is so freaking funny. Like Asshole Trainer, Like Asshole Pokemon i guess lmao. And the way that victory immediately makes Tumble so smug is so scary. The way he just was not able to see how badly Stephan's condition was after those two fights really had me scared when that psybeam hit- but conversely it shows so much growth and maturity that he instantly forfeited after that. He didn't even ask Harper again- just accepted that none of his other pokemon should be in this battle. You can see how hard of a choice this was for him but it's so good of him to make it and shows how he's growing.
But even with all that- man is Stephan's reaction heartbreaking to see. We know it's the right call- and we know Tumble doesn't think Stephan is weak- but to see how desperate he was to prove himself and the way he only calmed down when Harper begged him is rough. I am so afraid of what sort of trouble that sort of mindset could get him into.
On a more wholesome note- I ADORE the way that Tumble came out as a sort of victor to all the other kids. They were still disappointed sure- but many of them were still understanding and encouraging to him in the aftermath. Idk it was just nice to see how many stuck by him even though he had to forfeit. And I love the fact that Tumble still tells Bede off- cause he's right. One day, Bede will mess with someone isn't going to take that shit anymore and has the power to back up those feelings- hell, it could very well be Tumble or any of the other competitors. And with the way Bede was taken aback by Tumble's victories, it's clear he knows its true. Bede won this battle, but it absolutely is not a true victory for him.
Which is why I'm all the more terrified about what this stupid challenge is all about. :')
Bede def wants to humiliate Tumble somehow- wants to bring him back down a peg. But abandoned mining tunnels can be absolute death traps no matter why you're going down them. I love the note that Bede could be lying- but there's enough truth in there to convince Tumble and Hop to go. Though gotta give credit to Bede for somehow hitting a bullseye on just what to say to Hop for him to both back down and agree to go along with Tumble. God, turning "Gym Leader Tumble" from a fun acknowledgment of his dream to an insult is the worst.
I love your Bede so much.
Once again stellar art on display here! Love the look of that final rock throw- and the launch/impact of the ancient power was so satisfying. The way you showed Stephan getting more and more beatup really helped the tension and nearly had me screaming when I saw how injured he was after that psybeam hit. And of course the expressions were great all the way through- especially when Tumble told Bede off- but they especially helped showcase the nerves everyone has going into this tunnel. Another fantastic update Liv!
3300+ words later and I'm all caught up until... tomorrow apparently! My god Liv HOW DO YOU DO THIS WITH UPDATES HOW BIG WAS THIS ONE MEANT TO BE- Anyway! Sorry for all of... this. But also not sorry cause I'm probably going to do it again with your next update!!! :D
I wish I had something more intelligent to reply with other than just flattered gushing but aaa! AAAAAA!! Seeing my work analyzed and dissected is a huge honour, and it means a lot to me ;w; your comments always fuel me whenever I get nervous over my own writing!! It was an absolute treat getting to hear your thoughts on these pages since you always hit the nail right on the head and pick up on every detail, please don't apologize!! Thank you so so much for the support <33.
GONNA BE HONEST? I completely didn't know Gothita could learn those moves either til I did research for this page!What could be better than gothbaby!Gothita? Gothbird!Gothita.
TIL that Gothita can learn Rock Tomb and Rock Slide!
My baby! *holds*
The power of friendship overcomes language barriers! (stephan bby i trust you with my life)
That Ancient Power Ganondorf-bottle-Uno-reverse looked like it hurt. I don't blame Daisy for going down.
That is not the face of a boy who recognizes that the baby needs to rest! MAYDAY, MAYDAY!
Although Bede's naming theme is sending me. Fear Petunia!!!
I WILL NEVER MAKE FUN OF YOUR NAMING THEME AGAIN BEDE JUST SPARE MY SON
No, Stephan, honey, you are strong! Bede, you will pay for the crime you've committed: m a k i n g t h e b a b i e s c r y.
Oh, but the background trainers being supportive of Tumble reduces the fine.
*notes fear body language*
Young!Raihan has two Trapinch???
Oh no, Bede pushing Tumble's Good Boi Button. While what Hop is saying is logical, it isn't satisfying, so... *straps in*
oh no he got a two for one
GAH IT IS TUMBLE WHO DEALS THE FINISHING BLOW
Bede has committed the worse sin, making Stephan cry. I saw we send him to jail for such crimes!
Ooooo someone noticed Raihan's two Trapinch! ;)
Lotta manipulation going around here, some intentional, some not. Thank you for the comment! <33