The creepy woman on page 19 is the Aztec goddess Cihuacoatl. She was a motherhood and fertility goddess, particularly associated with midwives. In one legend, she abandons her son Mixcoatl at a crossroads, and it’s heavily implied he’s been sacrificed (He’s replaced with a sacrificial knife, usually). Hence, she’s also often associated with crossroads and is the source of the modern day latino myth of “La Llorona,” who is also a ghostly woman said to have killed her children for the love of a man only to be cursed with wandering and searching for them at crossroads. The reason she carries a spear and shield is because the Aztecs believed that death in childbirth was equal to death in battle; that motherhood and childbirth was a hallowed form of warfare and they saw her as a warrior. This is shared by some other ancient cultures, for example the Norse thought something similar about childbirth. Clearly, death in childbirth was a real fear of ancient people.
What I find so interesting about the Aztecs is their total obsession with death. Nearly all of their pantheon is in some way connected to death, even the deities that have to do with life and motherhood have an inbuilt dimension of death. Cihuacoatl is sometimes depicted as a young woman, but more often she’s a skull-faced old woman, more terrifying specter than nurturing mother.
Hey everyone. I want to talk a little about the recent experimenting I’ve been doing with the update schedule. The plan was to switch to gag style strips for a while, which would be theoretically easy to complete quickly, so that I could in turn post large whole-chapter updates to the main story-based comic. Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize this didn’t really work as planned, but it did teach me something about gag-a-day style comics: They’re not as easy as they look. I went with a very simple, flat-color approach to save time, and I discovered that despite that, the art isn’t what takes up time with a three panel comic. It’s the writing and executing of the joke in that tight of a space that takes forever. Arguably more time than the narrative comics. So they took up as much of my time as the story did and did not allow me to really get a leg up. It was a nice idea, but I’m going to admit now, that it didn’t really work.
So with that information, I’m going to go back to posting narrative comics at normal intervals throughout the week, a page at a time. Mainly for my sanity. Sorry if you really liked the big drop (I may do those occasionally, as I really did like that) but only when I have a whole side story or something pre-loaded. Hope you guys aren’t too annoyed.
For the next few updates, I’ll be running the “Obligatory Retcon” story. This was originally done for the printed edition, and then released as a PDF to Patreon and Kickstarter backers. Since it’s been over a year at this point though, I’m releasing it to everyone! Enjoy!