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Pwyll Prince of Dyfed

Why?

Amongst the Celtic world when we think of myths and folklore we often think of the Irish stories like Cu Kulan Cornish creatures like Goblins or Giants maybe even Scottish selkies. However rarely does the Welsh tradition come into focus especially in modern pop cultures account of the ancient Celts.

This problem is even more evident with the younger generation who cannot understand or access books like The Mabinogion which codify the main Welsh folklore story's, And this problem is even greater amplified if you wish to discover these stories in welsh say as a learner or relatively unpracticed speaker.

This then is my reasoning for creating this comic, As a way for a younger audience or one who is just uninterested in longer form books to engage with these myths and the culture and history they derive from. Where better to start than the first story or branch of the Mabinogion, Pwyll Prince of Dyfed.

What?

This story Follows Pwyll, Prince of the kingdom of Dyfed in modern day Pembrokeshire West Wales in a time really before time. He is young and brash yet honorable and strong. One day in one of his Chief courts Arbeth it comes into his head and his heart to go on a hunt.  From here without spoiling to much Pwyll meets a powerful stranger, Making a deal with him that would change his life and very character. Taking him to palaces he had never dreamed of and meeting the most beautiful woman in the World.

The Beginnings

Like with any project and especially with comics you really need to understand your story and characters inside and out, However unlike a nofel where all information will be derived from the text in a comic its just as if not more important to pin down how your characters and world will look. To this end my first and maybe most important job was to create concepts on how my main character Pwyll would even look. Questioned like how did the Celts dress, what were important symbols and how did they live all fueled the designs I created.

Just as important as Pwyll Was the world he inhabited, A Wales far older that today a place with sparling untouched forests were wolves, boars and deer's roamed freely. Not to mention creatures from other worlds Fairy's and monsters magic and trickery, This is a myth after all not the real world.

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However I still want to ground this story somewhat, I want this to be a recognizably Celtic world looking as it should at least for the world in which Pwyll lives.

The Comic

Now that we have created the look and feel of our world and the characters in our story we can finally begin the comic.

The comic itself is a wholly uniuqe  method of telling a story, as well as telling your story with images you also have to include text and seamlessly blend them together. Neither lives independently in the comic.

Secondly the layout and order you decide to place your images can change the story entirely, the panels there size, shape, order and existence dictate everything from the flow of time to the size and scope of objects and places.

In these two pages I seek to introduce the reader to a specific place, how it feels and the people who inhabit it. I also tease a conflict and the main character so the viewer is more inclined to flip the page.

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Design And Colour

One of, if not the most recognizable aspects of the Celtic world is the knotwork. famous for its intricate interwoven designs appearing on hundreds of standing stones, artifacts and manuscripts like the Book of Kells in Ireland. It would seem almost unfathomable to create, set and interpret a world based in Celtic myth without this key design aspect.

This journey to create and incorporate Celtic knotwork into the piece began with the fantastic book "Knotwork" The secret Method of the Scribes by Aidan Meehan. A Fantastic and personally recommended book that goes into the practical methods of creating these designs.

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Only my journey into Celtic knotwork has only just begun i will definitely be moving forward and using these designs in Pwyll to ground and adorn the setting.

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