Hereville book two work-in-progress: Mirka and the bullies

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18 Responses to Hereville book two work-in-progress: Mirka and the bullies

  1. 1
    Simple Truth says:

    What is that hanging from their shirts? (Poor Mirka! I hope she gets the better of them!)

  2. 2
    Ampersand says:

    It’s a four-cornered garment that they’re wearing under their shirts; there’s a tassel, called a tzitzis, hanging from each corner, which is what’s showing.

  3. 3
    Eva says:

    Their payos are interesting looking…not all curly but kind of groomed and contained. I like this drawing. It makes me curious why these shmendriks are messing with Mirka.

  4. 4
    Decnavda says:

    Okay, an issue I’ve had with portrayals of Buffy & Spiderman in high school: Does a person who has defeated an *actual* troll really have much to fear from a couple of school bullies? Admittedly Mirka, at least in book 1, did not have superpowers, so it is not entirely analogous, but still.

  5. 5
    Erl says:

    I like it! I really like how you’re able to work with a community and identity that has been ground for such negative, stereotyped portrayals, and portray negative or malicious characters without drawing on or legitimating those stereotypes. That’s hard, complex, important work, and I’m glad you’re doing it :)

  6. 6
    Robert says:

    She defeated the troll with wit and by partial virtue of its own adherence to its moral code, which required it to admit defeat and not resist rather than simply falling back on superior strength and eating her.

    The bullies, presumably either lacking that sense of honor or not having been maneuvered into accepting such terms, are under no such restriction and accordingly, in at least the narrow and brutely physical sense, can whip Mirka’s ass.

    Although one expects that Barry will find a way for Mirka to prevail in the end, hopefully without falling into the tiresome cliche of the Whedonesque undermuscled-and-near-massless-wisp-somehow-has-incredible-melee-combat-power trope. Yay Mirka!

  7. 7
    Simple Truth says:

    Thank you Amp! I appreciate the background info. :)

  8. 8
    nobody.really says:

    Damn, I guess there ain’t gonna be a Book III, because it’s obvious that Mirka’s a goner. Nobody who knows TV could miss this obvious conclusion.

    Now, I appreciate Amp’s care to avoid contributing to stereotypic view of people with tattoos, and I find it admirable to advance the notion that you don’t need to wait to get your first tattoo before you start roughing people up. Nevertheless, I suspect no one could miss the obvious cliché about badasses in glasses. That ol’ trope has really gone to Amp’s head.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:


    My logic with the arm-grab is that he’s already breaking the modesty rules by touching Mirka, and he knows that’s wrong; I think he’d want to hold her while minimizing their contact as much as possible.

    But it’s really not an important point to the plot. :-)

    Robert, I agree with most of your comment (#6), although you didn’t remember the sequence exactly right — it’s his adherence to an internal code that makes him want Mirka to admit that she’s lost prior to eating her. It’s his desire to avoid being unwound into yarn that makes him say that Mirka won. :-)

    Regarding the Whedon trope, you’ll have to tell me if I abused it after you read the book (which comes out in November). I sort of did use it, but almost certainly not in the way you’re imagining.

  10. 10
    Dianne says:

    @6: The troll was lawful evil, the bullies chaotic evil?

  11. 11
    nm says:

    Can she use her sword against them? Please? Or, failing that, can she threaten to pull her skirt up higher to freak them out and make them run away?

  12. 12
    Robert says:

    Yeah, it’s been a while since I reread the first book, my (well, Stephanie’s) copy is somewhere around here but I can’t lay a hand on it. Better save it, someday it’ll pay for my retirement.

    I don’t mind the trope per se, it’s just when it gets beyond suspension of disbelief and into “oh come the fuck on” that it gets irritating. Yes, your martial-arts-trained waif certainly could beat a less-skilled but larger combatant…it’s when 90 pounds of muscle bodychecks 220 pounds of muscle through a wall that I start feeling the Spirit of Physics complaining.

    I am sure you didn’t abuse it too badly, and if you did I’ll just bring Stephanie over and have her throw you through a wall.

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:


    I actually don’t mind if the character is supposed to be a superhero or a metahuman of some kind — it’s no more unlikely for Buffy to throw around 220 pound men than it is for Superman to throw around tanks. And Superman throwing around tanks would make just as much sense if he was a tiny 90 pounder instead of a big muscle guy (i.e., if he were Supergirl).

    If the character is just supposed to be combat trained but otherwise a normal human, yeah, it can become ridiculous. OTOH, I still love Jackie Chan movies.

  14. 14
    Ampersand says:

    Or, failing that, can she threaten to pull her skirt up higher to freak them out and make them run away?

    Oh, gosh, no — she’d never do that! Mirka takes the modesty laws more seriously than the bullies do.

    Honestly, the bullies are a tiny, tiny part of this book. The main antagonist is someone else altogether.

  15. 15
    Robert says:

    Joe Biden?

    I quite agree, I have no objection to Buffy or Supergirl because their phenotype does not reflect their innate power. Buffy can throw Spike into the trees because Buffy has Magic Mojo From The Jerkwad Council Of Elders, or what have you. River Tam is just a highly-trained ninja (because when you take a girl to do telepathy experiments on that are so vile and traumatic that you have to lock her in a medical security bay, of COURSE you will quickly give her a master course in being a lethal killing machine; it’s just COMMON SENSE) so it would be irritating in that context. (Actually I don’t remember her doing any superheroic feats of strength, so maybe I’m being unfair about labeling the trope Whedonesque. But then again, he didn’t let Nathan Fillion buy Firefly, so fuck him.)

  16. 16
    nm says:

    Amp, I’m not saying Mirka would do it. Obviously, she’s old enough to take modesty seriously. I’m saying that she could threaten to do it. And those boys bullying her are old enough to take modesty seriously, and (I think) not old enough to call her bluff. so what could they do? They’d have to run away.

  17. 17
    Stephen Frug says:

    I feel like doing the whole Bart & Lisa Simpson in the car thing:

    “Is it done yet?”
    “Is it done yet?”
    “Is it done yet?”
    “Is it done yet?”
    “Is it done yet?”

    (’cause I’m excited to read it, of course, not because I’m trying to be obnoxious…)

  18. 18
    Ampersand says:

    NM, I can’t even imagine Mirka making the threat, at this point in her life!

    Stephan, thanks! Always nice to hear. But, er, well, November.