Gerliliam Sketch #1


© James Pyles

Someone was asking the other day about what Gerliliam looked like. It was probably a comment about the short story Mr Covingham’s Secret. The person in question said it was hard to imagine a dragon in a suit.

Well I never said he was in a full suit, did I? He’s dressed in a waistcoat and underneath he wears a white shirt and black bow tie. He also sports a pair of spectacles which may or may not be bifocals.

This is just a rough sketch, probably less than thirty minutes worth of work, just enough to give you an idea of the vision I have of him in my head. I draw very rarely anymore. What do you think?

25 thoughts on “Gerliliam Sketch #1

  1. Clever…you can definitely pass on your ideas in more than one form. But somehow, I always think of dragons having wings, but I admit it doesn’t work with a waistcoat. I do particularly like how the teeth are just jagged enough to bother Zooey, and yet seem only a little aggressive.


    • Wings with a waistcoat could present a challenge, but I think a talented tailor might manage to accommodate them. I wouldn’t think that trousers are out of the question, either, despite similar accommodations being required for the tail. But these and any related garments, such as a tailed suit-jacket or an outer coat or cloak, beg the question of the difference of attire required for formal excursions into the public domain as distinct from informal wear about the house.


      • Well, I was thinking of a different outfit for the expedition, but that comes later. Hadn’t thought about trousers and, as I mentioned in a previous comment, the wings are no longer functional given the dragon’s age.


      • Surely you wouldn’t let a mortal human characteristic like age offer such limitations to a magical creature, save as a mere appearance with which humans could identify. In a crisis, creatures of this sort often display incredible vitality and capability that belies any prior appearance of their extreme age relative to humans.


      • Well, I suppose that begs the question of the mortality or life-cycle of magical beings, the answer to which can be anything at all. Does the concept of billions of years have any absolute meaning in a magical or fantastical context? That depends entirely on the imagination of the writer who creates that context and its rules.


      • Somehow, Gerlilium doesn’t sound like a Chinese name, nor does he appear at all Chinese; though I understand your precedent of dragons that are called such but are actually more snakelike, or perhaps lizardlike in the pattern of the Komodo dragon. I have seen other cartoonish dragons whose wings are vestigial, even to the degree that they might be folded flat against the dragon’s back under a shirt and waistcoat. Given the magical nature of the world in which your stories of these characters are set, the wings could easily shrink or grow as needed, or they could be entirely hidden and invisible even if they were present (virtual wings, if you will).


      • I didn’t say he was Chinese, PL. Just that there’s a precedent in nature, or at least dragon lore, for dragons not to have wings. In his case, he did have them and they are still there, just shrunken and adhering to his back, no longer able to loft him into flight. In my stories, he’s beyond the age to seriously go on adventures, but he becomes a guide for the children leading them to another dragon who is. I also have special plans for Gerliliam, but I’m not telling anyone those right now.


  2. I would think that age, magical or otherwise, would not prevent even an old dragon from taking a dangerously potent magic elixir from time to time to take on the aspects of youth when necessary…startling all concerned, and of course at a price for the one taking the elixir!

    And yes, PL is quite right, a truly excellent tailor can work around any appendage…darts, velcro (of the magical kind, where they simply press together and adheres smoothly) even old-fashioned buttons, very large ones, with a resemblance to a dragon’s hoard of jewels glinting in the light…being used for a practical purpose? Whatever you do, with so grand a personage living throughout a dragon’s eternity…don’t limit him except where you must to give him something to be modest about.


    • Alright, maybe I’ll consider wings, but I think trousers for a dragon are over the top (or bottom as the case may be).

      Gerliliam’s role is different than you might imagine (I have to keep some things to myself), but rest assured he won’t be discarded, even after you think he has been.


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