This week, Quinlan learns that even the best scout in Sunsgrove can’t hide for very long when you’ve got an inquisitive enough friend hunting you down. We’ll learn the voice’s identity next week, as well as why anybody would venture this far into the Western Deep to find Quinlan (and why Quinlan would even be there in the first place).

The original version of this page, as you can see from the old thumbnail, started off with a much different layout reminiscent of the last page of the prologue. The theme here was more one of repose, with Quinlan’s peaceful little getaway getting interrupted and him merely sighing in disappointment. This gave way to the updated version where Rachel decided to retool the page entirely to focus more on the possibly humorous moment-to-moment of Quinlan realizing he can’t stay hidden any longer, as opposed to him being sad about being discovered. The result was a generally more interesting sequence of events:

One of the nicest things about the re-laying out of all these chapter 1 pages from the older version is that they emphasize the characters’ expressions a lot more. One thing I always love to see throughout the development process are Rachel’s doodles and sketches of all the characters – usually expression and pose studies – that really bring them to life beyond the page.

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In the new pages, I believe we’ve done a much better job of emphasizing the characters and their expressions, and I think the comic works much better with a focus on that.

This week’s fanart is actually a commission from the amazingly talented Jerome Jacinto, whose incredible digital paintings of scenes from the Redwall series caught my attention and necessitated a take on a trio of characters from Beyond the Western Deep: Quinlan, Dakkan (who is introduced later in this chapter), and Hardin, all engaged in a desperate battle against a horde of treewalkers!

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Jerome did an incredible job with this piece – really just stunning stuff – and with any luck we’ll see more art of characters from Beyond the Western Deep sometime in the future! That is assuming of course that he doesn’t get snapped up to work on movies or video games sometime between now and then!