Itty bitty thumbnail sketch and partial pencils… not to relative scale. Itty bitty thumbnails are quite itty bitty.
This will be mostly about SPQR Blues, but I can say that your itty-bitty drawings above look so UN-cramped, I’d never guess they were drawn tiny.
A comment you made over at livejournal on 2-13-07 bears on one of my questions:
“Mus’s sister calls him by name here. He also has a “first” name. And a family, “son of” designation. Who knows, he might get adopted by a friend with a solid Italian background and in need of an heir, and pick up an Roman tribe name. But I prefer “Mus,” myself. For one thing, it fits in the speech bubbles better.”
I’m guessing the Roman naming system was something along the lines of ‘middle’ name – family surname – ‘first’ name. Say for Felix, Marcus Antonius Felix – I get that Felix is his personal name, Antonius is his family name, but Domitian started calling him Marcus at one point.
If I forget to tell you this now I’ll never recall it again, but there is a ‘Visit from Venus’ tag missing from her first appearance in SPQR Blues I (Doot #1) http://spqrblues.com/IV/?p=1481 The groupie-doves, ocean and flowers that accompany her are so lovely! Also in the same page, when Felix is reaching into the cabinet, I see his army discharge, the coin, the dice, the box he was given after his father’s death, a statue of Hercules (or a Lar?), but what is that beside the statue? Also, I really wish he wasn’t wearing those modest undies.
This is but the start of hundreds of things I’m curious about. Just can’t get them to line up like proper soldier/accountants.
Thanks for being my interrogatee. And of course, for this great story.
Thanks for the catch on the “visit from Venus tag”! I’ve added it. Also, I have some teeny tiny pens and pencils for making those itty bitty thumbnails
Some Romans had just the two names—a personal name (praenomen, such as Marcus or Gaius) and family name (nomen, such as Julius or Claudius). The traditional three-part name also had a cognomen to designate a particular branch of an important family, but you could also have a nickname—earned, descriptive, mocking, indicative of national heritage, or just a way to distinguish one particular Marcus from the other five hundred guys on the street. Then there was a whole lot of complication in one’s official name if one were adopted or a freedman.
So, Felix is called “Felix” by most people who are on a friendly basis with him. His older brother was named Marcus and his father was named Marcus, because his family is just that imaginative.
Calling someone by their praenomen could be seen as a sign of having a closer friendship or more intimate relationship. Domitian, at least, means it that way. Except when he’s using names to take a dig at Felix’s ancestry. In general, you’re better off if Domitian doesn’t know your name at all.
I just went back and read your livejournal comment where you say that little statue is Hercules, not a Lar.
Yes, that one’s a Hercules, in his lion-skin cloak. For Felix he’s protector, object of worship–patron of a descendant of Antonii and of a soldier. When I first drew the contents of the bedroom altar, I had meant for the second object to be a statuette of his mother. But, I have to say, I could have drawn those things a little more clearly
And…sometimes Felix just can’t be bothered to wear the undies….
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