MTGinktober meetcutes Day 25, "Ship," starring Precinct Captain and its corresponding token! That sounds kinda racist or something but it isn't! Magic vocab!
I knew when getting this prompt I wanted to do the narrative definition of ship--or "shipping," to be more accurate--but definitely not do any of the conventional MTG shipping of like the main five or whatever. I thought about doing a sequel for Tibor and Lumia, but we already established they were getting a divorce and they were already officially together anyway, so that's kind of against the spirit of shipping. Shipping, I feel, has to be speculative, not official. So at some point it struck me that there's this connection between Precinct Captain and his token, so that felt like a great relationship to explore.
Granted, it would probably be highly frowned upon for a captain to be involved with even a peer, let alone a subordinate (which I presume is the case here, since he's specifically a statted-out captain, and the vibe is he's summoning a less capable vanilla creature, which means it's presumably not as accomplished, so we reasonably deduce it's a lower-ranked soldier). But, since this is shipping, it's all about speculation, so we're just going to pretend they are of equal rank.
With that, my story is that they meet at the Ravnica 254th Precinct Corps orientation party. Dressed up in his formal cadet uniform, he's nervous since he doesn't know anybody, but she's outgoing and takes the initiative to strike up a fast friendship, after which they snap that photo. Yes, they have photos...just go with it.
Next, off at training at camp, she gets caught in a sudden downpour unprepared. He had packed an umbrella for that training session just in case because of that morning's weather intel, so she has to implore him (not really, he'd do anything for her) to share shelter under his umbrella. This photo is her apologizing profusely for inconveniencing him and thanking him for the help. He sheepishly brushes off all credit to the umbrella, with a gentle advisory to heed the weather intel next time. She gives him a hug and inadvertently gets him all wet, too, but he doesn't really mind.
On Rec Day, a recreational festival marking the half-way point of camp, they naturally hang out and find their way to the festival's photobooth, where they take the obligatory series of buddy pics.
Lastly is a photo of them at the Corps graduation ceremony, where they are in their full uniforms at long last!
Under the photos is at top is a to-do list, including notes to buy milk and eggs, but the other document, at bottom, is a letter that says:
[Just] wanted to let you know that they transferred me to Kamig[awa. I] don't know how long I'll hav[e to] be stationed out there, but may[be] it would be best if we kind[a] went our own ways. It wouldn['t make] sense living in the past[, right?]A keen eye will see some splotches above the letter where tears recently were, but have since evaporated into nothing but the impression of a permanent mark.
Fun Facts: After completing one of my sketchbooks, I was scrambling for a new (old) volume to clear of useless old drawings so I could finish the Inktober run on "nice" paper. I found this old, completed sketchbook, counted out how many remaining illustrations I needed to make, and erased out that many pages. Then when inking this piece, I noticed the G-Pen would randomly bleed, even aside from the edges, where I expected it to, based on old memories from when I first dove into this sketchbook. So after finishing the first panel in the upper left, I completed everything else in Sakura Microns, which I usually reserve for straight lines and touch-ups. This made for a nostalgic trip to my Herald days, where I only had microns to work with and my lines felt so much chunkier. Anyway, since I couldn't use the G-Pen in this book safely, I decided to abandon it, so this is the only MTGinktober '17 drawing in that sketchbook, and I erased all those other pages for nothing! Granted they were my six weakest pages, but still, such needless destruction. I will have to go back and refill them with lower-stakes drawings.
More trivia, I included snaps of an alternate thumbnail take I was considering, since I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the nostalgia-trip treatment in time. This would have starred likely Wee Dragonauts, since I was eager to give them their own proper illustration. I say "likely" because I wasn't 100% convinced it'd be ok to repeat a card in the same year...I was thinking maybe this would be a good spot for Vendilion Clique, another bucket-lister. This composition was focused on a third character slyly inquiring into the situation between a bashful couple of close friends in full denial mode. It woulda been a cute/charming piece. I have this image of two Dragonaut partners who are kinda like Jessie and James from Team Rocket, where they're super comfortable with each other and there's all kinds of questions and speculation flying about. Or I guess Ash and Misty, only less antagonistic.
In the thumbnail, you can also see I had some notes for possible sources to study for the photobooth poses, including "Colbert," meaning Stephen Colbert, specifically the excellent trove of expressions from his acting exercise with Emily Blunt, which I've referenced before in this very year's "Furious," in fact. The thumbnail also shows a panel I scrapped where she gives him a kiss, which felt too on the nose--again, the idea of shipping (at its best) is when you can make reasonable arguments for and against the plausibility of it happening. Even in the final, "Love" is scratched out, so if you can read it you can hinge an argument on that, but at the same time, it could have been a slip up or even just a more platonic love, since they've been training together and have been tight for so long.
Easter Eggs: The middle pose in the photoroll is of course that famous Calvin and Hobbes cover, and the pose below that is the fusion dance from Dragon Ball Z. The 254 is a reference to the great Maro254.