Queen Viarraluca (Viarra to her friends and Queen Vi to her soldiers) is the title character of my novel-in-progress, First Empress. The novel is a fantasy based on my studies of Ancient Greek History, with an assumed Ancient Mediterranean setting, Hellenic culture, and Iron-Age technology level. I’ve done write-ups for Adelruna’s work in the past; I commissioned this painting of Queen Viarra for my personal use.
On top of being a strong ruler, Queen Viarra is known as a fierce warlord. Though trained to ride horses and shoot a bow, Vi prefers to fight on the phalanx beside the hoplites in combat. Tall and athletic, the queen has trained as a heavy infantrywoman since her early teens and wears various types of hoplite armor both in battle and in public. I let Adelruna choose which kind of armor she wanted to draw, and I kind of wish I could high-five her in person over how awesome it looks.
Though I’m finally getting around to offering her a writeup, Kaden, the pistol markswoman from the lovely webcomic Amya Chronicles, was one of the characters who first inspired my blog here at Sartorially Smart Heroines. I picked Kaden for this week’s writeup to coincide with and promote Savvy, Andrew, and Rebecca’s Kickstarter for the print version of Volume One of the Amya series. As an independent, fan-supported webcomic, ventures like this Kickstarter are crucial for keeping the comic going, and I hope all of you will consider supporting them by offering a donation or just by helping get the word out.
Amya tells the story of Faye, a mute spell-touched who lives a sheltered life as the youngest daughter to a great lord. She is burdened with dark dreams of an apocalypse, and it isn’t long until her tranquil life changes when a fateful encounter with a young man sends her on a spiraling journey of self-discovery.
As Faye and her unlikely companions pursue an adventure that is greater than any of them could have anticipated, she discovers how heavy the burden she carries truly is. She is to be the pinnacle of the world’s survival or destruction, and must decide if she wishes to sacrifice her own humanity for the world — or the world for her humanity.
Please consider supporting the campaign by either spreading the word or donating. It would mean so much to us! Amya is our dream as well as our passion. We need your help to take it further!
All my thanks,
Please support this, even if just by reblogging, folks! Amya is a beautiful and elegant comic in terms of both writing and artwork.
Hi folks! So I was visiting a friend in Denver when this post went up on the Heroine’s Blog, so I’m only just now getting the chance to share it. Thanks for your patience!
I deeply appreciate that Leo made his highland heroine every bit as well-protected and non-sexualized as the highland bruiser there with her. Like her companion, our lass has an air of strength and confidence. She comes across as a genuinely competent character, made tough and smart by hard work and the high mountain winters.
Hi folks! So, Saturday July 12 marks the First Anniversary of Sartorially Smart Heroines. Hard to believe in some ways that it’s been a year now. I wanted, first and foremost, to thank all of you amazing and awesome readers for sticking with me and for the writers and artists who’ve let me borrow their work for the blog. The encouragement and positive feedback I’ve gotten from many of you has been amazing and overwhelming. You guys are bloody awesome; let no one tell you otherwise.
Secondly, I wanted to announce that in order to reach out to more readers, I’m starting Blog Spot and Facebook pages for SSH. The Facebook page will feature announcements for updates each week, as well as discussion topics, links to interesting and pertinent articles I find, and images that I don’t have time to put up on the main blog. With the Blog Spot, I intend to re-post my previous SSH articles from on a MWF schedule, until both blogs are caught up. From there I’ll post to both blogs simultaneously. I hope to have both of these up within the next couple of weeks.
Thanks once again, folks, for an amazing first year. Take care and stay awesome!
I’ve occasionally theorized that Link is actually a girl in disguise. I mean, we have a trim, laconic, fairly androgynous-looking character with a mid-range voice and a genderless outfit. Couple that with the ambiguous relationship and unresolved romantic tension with Princess Zelda… I dunno, I think Nintendo has room to pull a plot-twisting gender-reveal like they did with Samus. I know of one person whose daughter plays the Legend of Zelda games extensively and insists that Link is a girl. And as a friend once put it: “[S]eeing as how it’s already been established that there have been many Links throughout Hyrule’s history and there will always be room to write in more, maybe a female Link makes a lot of sense. As you noted, he’s always been a bit androgynous and if there are, theoretically, an infinite number of Links, at least some of them would have to be women, right? Perhaps no one is ever cross-dressing when they play Link because there is no set gender he or she has to be. Perhaps Link is whatever Hyrule, and the fans, need him or her to be.”
I decided to go with something fun and whimsical for Sartorially Smart Heroines‘ 50th writeup. The characters above are the lovely Victoria Prismall and Otto, her loyal octopus, stars of Brian’s amazing book, Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod. Throughout the book readers are treated to page after page of delightful illustrations featuring Otto and Victoria at home, at the vet, in public, or outdoors, typically demonstrating octopus care tips or enjoying leisure activities—all with a touch of Brian’s signature steampunk fun. One of my favorite aspects of the book has long been Victoria’s impeccable Victorian-Era fashion sense in her elegant dresses and awesome hats. (What can I say? I’ve long been a sucker for pretty girls in smart hats.)
This painting honestly kind of baffles me. On the one hand, we have a strong, competent-looking warrior woman with an unidealized face and body. She looks powerful and confident but good-natured at the same time. Someone you’d want to be pals with and definitely not someone to cross.
But at the same time her outfit is grossly impractical for any form of combat. The hardened-leather harness covers nothing vital and her boots are horribly impractical for footwork during sword-play. Any marginally competent opponent will simply aim for her uncovered heart or unprotected bowels to end her story for good. And any manner of uneven terrain risks throwing her off balance in those boots, allowing her opponent opportunities to take advantage of her lack of protection. I don’t care how skilled or powerful she’s supposed to be—unless this outfit is strictly ceremonial, it gives the assumption that our warrior either has a death wish or is so inhumanly stupid as to not recognize the massive disadvantages she is placing upon herself.