Fisherman for Dinner19

November 22nd, 2009, 4:05 pm

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raluca-z, November 22nd, 2009, 4:23 pm     Reply

a bit on mythology
pl. zmei /smei - sg. zmeu/smeu -n. mythical beings, no one knows really how they look like. In some stories they are depicted as dragons, having several heads - which the hero slays etc, in other they have the ability to shapeshift into more human-like forms and even have domains/realms they rule over.

The common features are:
+they are definitely NOT humans,
+they are the villains but that is prefectly justified in the stories. Such as them being the guardians of treasures or the hero having to challenge them to get something in return - a favour, an item;
+they often get slayed;
+they are big as in HUGE
+they talk.

So based on so little visual reference I started to imagine how I saw the zmei as a little girl reading those fairytales.

Statu' Mare - translated roughly as Big Guy (he is huge nevertheless) is a zmeu, my version of a zmeu at least

Another thing with zmei is that they are never named. In the stories where there are more they are usually siblings and they go by the "older brother, middle brother, youngest" naming, so I had to improvise here also.

Piticana - translated as Shortie or Small - is a pixie, again, pixie is a relative equivalent of what she is. She is part of the "small people".

They are called "pitici" which translates into english as dwarves which is a horrible translation because they have nothing in common with either the Tolkein dwarves or the Snow White - dwarves. A more appropiate imagery would be that of Tinkerbell from Peter Pan just that she's got no wings and no pointy ears.

One adorable story where "the small people" make an appearance is "Dumbrava Minunata" (The Enchanted Groove) by Mihail Sadoveanu.

Hope this will help you understand a bit more about this two characters.

Kirlily, December 2nd, 2009, 8:18 pm     Reply

This is a wonderful, comic, and story. I love these kind of home-made fairytales.

I never heard of Zmei before, thanks for the info. :D

raluca-z, December 3rd, 2009, 4:01 pm     Reply

Unfortunately Romanian mythology was not as lucky as to get a writer as Tolkein. There are a lot of interesting creatures and characters I plan on making reference to through this series.

Thank you for reading

SunshineMoonlight, December 31st, 2009, 3:31 pm     Reply

The zmeu and the pixie are a very cute couple ^___^

In my country's folklore (Bulgaria) they use the word "zmei" for dragon-like creatures. All the things you wrote about them exist also in Bulgarian culture. :)
But I never heard about the piticana. This is very interesting indeed. I imagine that she would be something like Andersen's Thumbelina.

I enjoy your comic a lot, it's great that you use folklore for your stories. This way some amazing fantasy creatures can get more popular.

raluca-z, January 5th, 2010, 3:46 pm     Reply

Piticana is indeed alike Thumberlina just that she has her own magical power if you like. Magical powers that will play a crucial role later in the story.

Also it's interesting to find out that our neighbours have settled for a dragon-like appearance to zmei whereas over here there's this ambiguity.

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