Happy Seventh Anniversary to Heroes of Thantopolis! The anniversary art from last year was the last installment of the comic that went up in 2020. If you've been reading since then, you'll know I suddenly developed chronic headaches that prevented me from using my computer outside of work. I'm happy to announce that the hiatus is nearly over! HoT will be returning in the first week of June with Chapter 12! Finally, we can start the end!
For this anniversary, I wanted to draw the characters in floral portraits with their "titles." No, this isn't a Homestuck reference (though Trickster being a Prince is fitting...) It's actually a reference to the book Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones, which I read around the time I began drawing the comic. In that book, there were five titled characters - the King, the Prisoner, the Boy, the Slave, and the Girl-Child. With our main cast, the King is split into the Queen and the Prince, but the other titles are distributed to the appropriate characters (with Girl changed to Spider).
Some of these titles do come up in canon. In his introduction, Trickster refers to himself as The Prince of Arcades. Helene only ever calls Xisea the Spider Child. And when the third story arc is printed, the subtitle will be The Boy. Furthermore, Helene, Cyrus, Trickster and Xisea's playlists' names all contain their titles.
Finally, we have the flowers! Again, some of these are canonical - Cyrus is associated with the cypress tree, Helene's playlist has her with a black rose, and Xisea's white heal-all flowers are both on her playlist cover and also a reference to this classic poem. I gave larkspur to Trickster, bluebells to Sag and mullein to Redburn.
For everyone who stuck with the comic during the unexpected hiatus... thank you so, so much! I missed you, I missed HoT and I'm very happy to be back!!