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The Golden Troupe

By CharReed
Way back into 2013, on a forum I can't remember or find again, there was a "draw yourself as a fantasy character" challenge and I came up with this. I merged all of my favourite things together into one image: belly dance, falconry, golden eagles, horses, saluki dogs and cheetahs. Just your average run of the mill mundane interests, really.

Over time, I kept coming back to this image and I still really like it, even though 2013 was more than "just a couple years ago" now, apparently. This year, I finally decided to do something about it and a whole comic idea sprouted up with all these guys interacting together in their own way. The saluki's name is Qui after a real life saluki I knew in Norway back when I lived there and the cheetah's name is Rioxia. The mare, Aspa, hates the eagle named Morgh and and the feeling is mutual. Qui thinks ill of Rioxia and Rioxia is kind of a big goober who just wants to play with everyone, especially the eagle- but guess who doesn't feel the same way back? ;D There's me in the middle, somehow keeping them all in line, haha... I drew me because it was a prompt for a self portrait, but I'm keeping the look as a part of a bigger overall plot that I won't spoil here.

The premise is based on this feeling I've had my whole life where I have had a strangely strong connection to ancient Persian culture. From Arabian horses when I was in 3rd grade, salukis in 6th, cheetahs in 11th, belly dance and falconry in my 20's... Even little things that I gravitate toward like the Phoenix myth and paisley all can find roots in ancient Persian culture. It's been interesting seeing how all of these seemingly varied interests tie back to a common root. 

If you're interested in more and want to see behind the scenes updates, you can check out my Patreon:

I've been uploading concept images there the most and will be releasing comic updates WAAAAY before any other place on the internet :D For only $1/mo, you get all the comic updates and behind-the-scenes WIP's!

If you do decide to support this project, thank you SO much! I appreciate every like, comment and patron I receive. <3 you guys!!!

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© 2017 - 2021 CharReed
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Mini-Wolfsbane's avatar
I was going to say an interest in ancient persian culture sounds random (not bad!! just random) , but I've always appreciated certain aspects of Native American culture myself (not all of it, just some.) Also,
I love how we as artists can draw and insert ourselves into basically any situation, time or place our imaginations can dream up. Such is the beauty of the mind. I mean, no guarantee it'll always turn out good, but it's a beautiful thing to have that ability.

Nearly everyone in this picture looks like how I feel on a bad day (Or most days?). My family calls me grumpy. Awesome job!
CharReed's avatar
It is totally random! And the weirdest part is that I wasn't even aware it was happening until my 20's. I saw a photo of an Arabian horse in 3rd grade- that's my favourite type of horse. Saw a saluki in a dog breed book in 6th grade, that's my favourite type of dog. Saw belly dancing in my early 20's, love it. The hookah, paisley, heck... even my love of dates (the fruit) all tie back into Persian culture and it's hilarious and weird to me! I'm starting to form a theory of reincarnation at this point because if genetics had anything to do with it, I "should" love all things Irish. ...And I do like it, but not on basically an instinctual level like I enjoy the Persian things :) It's been pretty fun researching it, especially so far back into the 1st Persian Empire, before Christianity and Islam. So much we don't know about that era and I'm piecing it all together :D

And yay, I definitely wanted to portray the chaos that is living with a bunch of animals who don't super care for one another haha :D Glad that came across!
smash222's avatar
your welcome and hey do you do requests?
CharReed's avatar
On my Patreon, I have a tier where I do custom sketches! You can check it out: :)
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