I’m posting this drawing of my favorite Russians from Baritarian Boy from a few months ago with a Russian-related question. Lawrence has suggested the idea of translating the comic into Russian in the past, and I got further encouragement from Phobs today. So, my Russian or Russian-speaking friends and followers - would you be interested in a translation? With the deadlines I’m currently working under, this probably won’t happen until autumn, when we plan to start updating Baritarian Boy again, but it’s food for thought, yes?
Doodling more nomadic Northern Baritarians - this time a lady. The plaits are my favorite. Princess Isabella, Valliet I’s aunt styled her hair in a similar way centuries later.
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In its nascent history, Baritaria, like most Eastern European countries, was not a unified state but rather a collection of tribes and principalities. This early history defined the cultural divide between the North and the South of the island that persists to this day. The South, with its fertile land and milder climate was the first to be settled. Villages very quickly grew into settlements and towns, and to this days the oldest cities and historical sites in Baritaria are located in the South. Southern towns and villages also grew wealthy with livestock and wine production - wine from South Baritarian vineyards was one of the major cornerstones of their trade.
Meanwhile, the mountainous terrain and the freezing climate, blanketed in snow 3-5 months out of the year, was more suitable to nomadic tribes that depended on very brief periods of settlement in the summer months and hunting and fighting during the rest of the year. Resources were scarce and the wrangling for them bitter, and many Northern tribes took to migrating South during the winter. Landless and accustomed to rough living, they were a formidable force and the peaceful Southerners were not quick to quarrel with such invaders. So they struck a deal with Northerners - in the winter months, they would hire out the Northern warriors to protect their towns and villages from human (Mongol, Turkish or even other Baritarian tribes) and animal threat in exchange for a portion of their livestock and provisions. Though the Southerners did not trust the Northerners completely, it was this exchange that laid the ground for eventual unification.
Gender roles also differed between the North and the South. In the South, women on the whole acted in the more traditional role of mother and care taker in the home. Up North, however, the attitudes were far more Spartan and egalitarian. Women were trained to fight and participate in tribal council, they could even lead tribes if they proved themselves to be good at it. Attitudes like this primed Baritaria to be extremely accepting of female leadership post-unification.
So, with all that in mind, I started imagining what the Northerners might have worn. In the winter months, I imagine they were of course piled even higher with furs and leather, and likely did not bother with metal armor. The chainmail is, however, indicative of this man’s status, as it is hard and expensive to produce - so he’s likely a tribal prince.
By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to say that Baritarian Boy is neither dead nor abandoned! We never made an official announcement, for which I am sorry. But with Lawrence’s surgery and the work he is doing now on his (AMAZING) surgery comic, and my heap of projects (which I am steadily working though!) BB had to go on an extended hiatus. But we have not forgotten about it, as you can see, and are in fact coming up with more and more ideas. We’ll pick it up again after MoCCA, I’m sure.
It’s November, I’m homesick, so here are some despondent exiled Russians - Ella and Alex.
I have been sketching Ella, Alex and Valliet III to get ready for the next chapter in Baritarian Boy. I am so excited about it, just wish I had the time to work on it now! But I have too many other projects that need taking care of first.
Not completely satisfied with Alexander (I have been having problems with top hats lately), but Valliet III is spot on. Aww, narcoleptic king in exile turned gossip columnist!
Apparently, eating the freshest East Coast oysters and drinking hot toddies at a 1920s supper club while celebrating a dear friend’s birthday is not a cure for the common cold. So even though I did all of the above last night, I woke up today still too ill to bother with anything, and ended up drawing in bed all day while watching Downton Abbey (good lord, season two, I can’t), Gosford Park and QI and drinking absolutely criminal amounts of tea.
That’s Ella again at the center, and below her is a fellow who might be Miles Malpractice.