In Update #21, "Mother May I? Part 2", we learn that while Shem 'Etzem's holy form may easily defeat the Bavel Macrostructure’s minions, it’s no match for Em Qeriah’s lack of seriousness. Will Shem’s hair-trigger temper prevent him from becoming the Evaluator of Names?
While this issue mostly continues the arguments and power struggles among the rising generation of Holy Tongue Society leadership and the old, it also shows how Shem can revert from his powerful, holy שום form back to his still-powerful, but baser עצם form.
Adam comes up for a good reason at the end of this update. Get ready to learn more in the next update!
(By the way, this webcomic will discontinue the numerical "Episode" system where some episodes last for multiple updates. While the next update would technically be Episode 16, this website's formatting plus ones like Webtoon and Tapas make the old system archaic. We'll just stick to numbering according to updates.)
Although it's not fully implemented, we updated the Wordpress theme to Toocheke Premium, which will allow us to use more Patreon and WooCommerce integration. If you've noticed that the site was slower recently, it's because we were trying to implement those features.
I'm hoping to ask around to figure out a way to have the site run reasonably quickly plus have our own online store and bonus webpages for Patreon subscribers only. By the way, please sign up for my Patreon! Even a dollar a month adds up...
Also, keep checking our wiki for updates. I've been adding beta sections to the Milhamah RPG storytelling game, plus there are all sorts of details about the comic there.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope to bring more updates soon!
Get used to seeing these bad guys in “Milhamah” Issue No. 3!
This is a guf (plural: gufim). These soulless husks make up the Bavel Macrostructure’s shock troops and cannon fodder.
Giant corks replace what used to be their heads. They have the power to partially dematerialize. And they often fight with syringes that numb or weaken their opponents into blacking out.
In Hebrew, “guf” means body, but is also used for the grammar terms “first person,” “second person” and “third person.” Likewise, Bavel’s gufim come in three ranks; this one is from the third.
The guf’s shoresh (גוף) is associated with corpses, stopping things, plugs, vests, high boots, and gate valves. Mixing the letters also produces definitions of weakness, numbness, fainting and fading to black.
Last weekend I started designing the first page of “Milhamah” Issue #3 after a couple of weeks of finessing the script. But in the meantime, I’ve also been thinking up characters, items and other new content to populate the “Milhamah” universe. I’ll be drawing them everyday during Inktober, so here is my first:
Meet the Compassionate Vulture, a “caring” carrion eater who consumes the weak and dying just a bit early. But does she do it out of mercy, or hunger?
This will eventually be a generic baddie in the “Milhamah: Fighting Words” series. Its shoresh root is רחם — which encompasses compassion, wombs and vultures.
It’s a simple sketch, but I hope to do more of them in the days and weeks to come. So much of “Milhamah” is in my head, so the faster I can get the ideas down on paper, the more I can share with the rest of you!
First there were Shem the noun, Tiqwah and article and Etgar and adjective. Now meet Qeren-Or “Em” Qeriah, the interjection!
Qeren-Or is the fourth revealed member of the Holy Tongue Society. In the linguistic world of “Milhamah,” she represents two things. One is the interjection part of speech, which makes up exclamations. Due to her nickname, “Em” (or mother), she also represents the em qeriah, Hebrew for the mater lectionis.
Qeren-Or may be an old, but she’s energetic enough to lug around heavy scrolls, a teleprompter staff and a squash purse. The particular scroll on her back is the Miqra, her most prized scroll is the Sefer Milhamah, a Dead Sea scroll that reveals the enemy’s secret military operations and how to beat them.
Em Qeriah spends most of her time in an underground library in Arqah, below Heleq’s Binyan headquarters. While she might clown around with cutting jokes, she’s forgotten more than you’ll ever know. Don’t underestimate her!
More Qeriah design notes
In terms of Hebrew etymology, Qeriah’s name comes from “millat qeriah,” which means interjection. Many of her clothing patterns have subtle exclamation point patterns.
Her shoresh root is (קרא), which generally refers to reading or calling out. In “Milhamah” she is a comical character, who is boisterous and always bragging about her reading, while only sometimes understanding. Her teleprompter cane and squash motifs are also inspired by this root.
Look forward to Qeren-Or’s debut in “Milhamah” Issue No. 3 and in webcomic updates to come!
This action-packed issue continues the fight against the Bavel Macrostructure and its henchman Deli. If all goes well, the comic series’s evolution will get congoers excited and build a bigger local following. If you’re from the Michigan area or a nearby state, I hope to see you there!
In the meantime, expect a short lull in the usual webcomic generation. “Milhamah” Issue #3 will be more carefully planned than the serial comics I’ve made so far. I’m currently designing and illustrating several new characters that will appear over the next several months, including Em Qeriah and Beli Ya’al. New locations and settings are also on the agenda.
Over the next month or two, I also plan to turn Shem, Tiqwah, Etgar and more into animated sprites. The goal is to make some simple video games that people can play online and eventually in apps. Hopefully something will be ready by the start of 2020.
Expect some changes to the website too. I plan to turn the glossary into a wiki, add a discussion forum, update the comics section and overall give the site more polish.
Armed with priestly robes, garlic grass and the dalet, a newly transformed Shem ‘Etzem sees growth in Episode 14: “The Grass is Greener.”
Shem’s new priestly form is related to the word HaShem, a Hebrew title for God. His holy transformation is more commonly recognized among the Holy Tongue Society’s members, though the reasons why haven’t been revealed yet.
Unlike Shem’s exoskeleton form, which uses the עצם root, his holy form uses the שום root. The latter root has garlic superpowers and evaluation powers that increase accuracy.
Shem quickly shatters Deli (once again) by filling him with garlic grass. Deli flees into his Bavel gate portal, and Etgar follows just before the portal closes. While the party has split up once more, Tiqwah now plans to visit the mysterious Em Qeriah. Soon we’ll find out who she is!
As the writer, it feels good to finally close this yearlong “Milhamah” arc. This also finishes print Issue #2, which will be printed shortly.
I’m now feeling more confident in my writing abilities and plan to plot out Issue #3 more carefully. New characters, memorable locations and worldbuilding will be top priorities and show how the Bavel Macrostructure oppresses the populace.
Also, I will overhaul the website in the next couple of months. I plan to add a forum where people can discuss “Milhamah” as well as languages, comics, games and other entertainment. The goal is to build a fun fan community outside the usual social media sites, though new Instagram, Facebook or Twitter followers are still welcome!
Thanks to a dynamic duo of duress and a Dalet, Shem ‘Etzem undergoes an underwater transformation in Episode 13 (Part 3). Green shoots of hope erupt from the grotto, absorbing the water below. Is the Holy Tongue Society finally equipped to harvest a victory?
This episode is an important one. It marks the first time Shem is seen in the holy form he is supposed to have. Up until now, Shem’s appearance has been based on the “‘Etzem” part of his name, which largely deals with bones and tangible objects.
His new form is based on the “Shem” portion, which mean “name.” Associated words include, nothing “there” and nothing. The title HaShem is associated with God, which is why Shem is wearing an outfit inspired by the ancient Israelites’ high priest. Name tags are fastened to his belt, and location markers are atop his crown.
In “Milhamah,” Shem ‘Etzem’s holy form lumped in with the Shin-Waw-Mem (שום) root. This root is tied to words such as garlic, evaluation, estimate and warts. The Sin version of Shin also includes words involving placement. Shem’s balance scales, magnifying glass, epaulets, and garlic fringes convey some of those traits.
So to summarize, Shem’s faith brought the Dalet to him, and through his transformation he is able to grow garlic plants from the earth. The plants drained the grotto’s water, and now the villainous Deli faces a more powerful hero.
I’m looking forward to explaining more, but this arc will soon wrap up Issue #2. More worldbuilding and lore will appear over the next few months in Issue #3. Don’t miss it!
Milhamah: Fighting Words
Feeling silenced by the world? Join the Holy Tongue Society’s linguistic warriors as they use ancient alphabet powers to fight speech stranglers, truth manglers and a rebuilt Tower of Babel. And get immersed in a story that prizes freedom, candor and fighting back against overwhelming odds.
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