Persona Animus

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Persona Animus is a full-page webcomic written and drawn by John Scharmen since November 2006. It was preceded by a seven-page ashcan preview of the first Persona Animus story in black & white, distributed at the July 2006 Comic-Con International.

Scharmen’s comments on his website indicate that he considers Persona Animus to be a comic book which he is posting one page at a time, rather than an ongoing comic strip.

To quote Scharmen, “Persona Animus takes you into a fantastic world of animals and people who look like animals, where even the most common person may wield magic, and the Gods have been known to walk the earth.” The major characters (so far) are Elise Bowen (mouse) and Moira Glendwyr (doe), two friends living in the Jewel Cities, a monarchical union of city-states in a Medieval-European-like world of funny-animal peoples where magic is common.

Elise is descibed as “a healer, herbalist, and occasional diplomat. She is a people person, at home in the city, and runs a small urban apothecary.” Moira is “a ranger and demon hunter. She serves the nature goddess Mesque, whose face is the Moon; she tends to be solitary, and is at home in the wilderness.” Despite their seeming differences, they are introduced in the first story, “Survival of the Fittest”, riding together on a diplomatic mission to Castle Aquila to try to avoid warfare, barely ahead of a large army from the Jewel Cities that is marching to lay siege to the Castle. It is implied that Lord Aquila (an eagle) is in rebellion against the Jewel Cities, and that he has prepared dark sorcery for his defense. It is stated that all previous diplomats sent to try to reason with him have disappeared into Castle Aquila without a trace.

Scharmen is drawing Persona Animus in what might be called “the Disney style” of detailed anthropomorphized animal characters in fully-painted realistic settings. Moira Glendwyr, the doe, is an impulsive human-sized forest-ranger type with a Scottish accent and a white cowlick from her head-fur that keeps falling over her face. Elise is a demure, soft-spoken mouse-sized gray mouse whose standout feature is her long tail which in some panels, presumably not deliberately, seems connected to her body just under her shoulderblades rather than at the base of her spine.

The first page of Persona Animus went online on November 29, 2006. It has been updated erratically but at an approximate rate of a bit better than one page per month; page 10 was added on May 3, 2007.

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