Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Fir Darrig

Before Mouse Guard, I did a 4 page story for a publication my college Art History Professor was putting together called 'VOICES'. This was 2003/04. I was given 4 pages to do whatever I wanted to do. I decided to do a prologue to a folklore series I had an idea for based on the folklore character Fir Darrig. As a traditionally mischievous character, I wanted to force him to be the helper character that I could insert into a retelling of any folklore tale I wanted to adapt.

To the left you can see a mock cover for the first story I wrote for him (in which he steals a cloak of darkness, a sword of light, and a purse of plenty from three giants to help a young peasant marry above his station)

Below you can read the Prologue as well as a follow-up 8 pager of a common folktale where I used lots of Photo reference of Julia and my Sisters-in-Law for the three sisters.


Harp of Sorrow:

As I said at the top, the Snow, Crow and Blood story was the original one I wanted to adapt, where Fir Darrig acquires three magical items of giants that all help with the three tasks of the wicket princess whom the peasant boy wants to marry. In those tasks Fir Darrig, steals from her, throws a feast, and goes into hell and slices off the lips of the devil!

In the notes of that story, I also wrote that I wanted to do a tale with Black Annis, a blue faved witch who steals and eats children as well as a sidequest for Fir Darrig to obtain Iron Boots (which I think was both a homage to Mike Mignola's Helloy story 'Iron Shoes' as well as a way for Fir Darrig to walk along the bottom of a lake or the sea.)

I once pitched this as a comic after Mouse Guard's success, but there was worry about my time management and pausing Mouse Guard for an unknown. We also wondered about doing it as an anthology with different artists taking on each folktale I adapted for Fir Darrig--but again worry about the work involved (herding cats) with anthologies, not to mention the similarity to the Jim Henson's Storyteller comic Archaia was putting out.

Perhaps someday, I'll find a way I'm happy with to bring these tales and new ones as well to an audience.

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