In life, there are all sorts of moments we may or may not realize are pivotal, but they are most certainly there. In stories, it’s easier to recognize such moments, and clearly this is one of those. Ali Kazaam was struck when he saw her, and immediately, got more concerned for Britomart than poor Ronni. He then jumps to defend Britomart, successfully alienating Ronni for the first time, despite his overall poor performance with her up to this point. On the surface he looks chivalrous to her, but he’s trying to get her to diminish herself, to keep her powers to herself, to restrict her behavior to something acceptable here.
Remember, Ronni was getting beaten up in Atlanta this morning, flew cross country only to get browbeaten and blackmailed into coming to this realm of high magic, completely out of her element. Ali came along, but only after he got to learn more about what’s going on than she did, then he brought her naked self a blanket, not actual clothes.
If you examine Ali’s behavior at all, he doesn’t look good at all. And this is the icing on that cake, as he has zero sympathy nor defense of Ronni, instead choosing to defend the golden knight.
It’s a pattern that’s so easy to see in hindsight, yet as I was writing it, all of it just flowed out naturally. Nice to see the groundwork is all there for Ali’s later choices.
In drawing the scene play out, I wanted to make sure that Ronni’s expressions were giving you all an insight into how this is affecting her. Traditionally, she is not a character that likes to have her anxieties exposed, and at the end, all I could think while I was drawing the expression was how utterly abandoned she had to be feeling.
Not just emotionally abandoned, but LITERALLY, as she’s not even in her own reality and her one touchstone to home is off chasing the golden goddess. As an artist, you often need to get into the character’s heads and feel their feelings, and this wasn’t a difficult emotion to grab and I hope it reads. There’s a lot happening in this scene, but at it’s heart, it’s all about following Ronni’s emotions and reactions.