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Eighteen years I've been working on this story, and I can still find new, better points to start it. So let's try one more time. The worst thing that can happen is the comic fails to connect with any readers and stall out again.
Speaking of which, dear reader, please do drop a comment or an email or a tweet or something to let me know if what I do here means anything to you. Even better, make me obliged to keep doing it through Patreon.
So what can we say about what's going on here? First of all, any symbolism in panel 8 is entirely accidental. I honestly didn't see any metaphors for puberty until after I'd finished drawing it. It just seemed like the obvious way to frame and angle that shot to give it an impact fitting the discovery of magic powers.
And here I thought I didn't have any instinct for visual storytelling.
The sculpture on the tiny work table (faithfully copied from my high school memory) is supposed to look like it's supposed to look like a fire, and also a little bit like a flower. Leon has a lot of ambition but not yet a lot of vision.
Marble, while expensive and surrounded by a fancy reputation, is a brittle stone that's easy to practice carving with. Which, you'll probably break it and ruin whatever you wanted to make, but you can quickly make noticeable progress, compared to let's say granite that takes literally days to show any marks from a chisel.
(Granite is my and Leon's favorite material.)
Drawing hands interacting with and intersecting with stone is really hard. This page took two and a half days to make. And that's me trying to simplify my style so I don't spend three days on every page.