Comic 284 - The Ossuary
18th Jan 2018, 12:00 AM in The Magpie Heritage
The Ossuary
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Author Notes:
Microraptor edit delete
This ossuary is largely based upon a real ossuary in the Paris catacombs, of which you can find pictures on the internet. (It's not necessarily meant to be exactly the same one, though.)
User comments:
steveha edit delete reply
My poor high-school French tells me that the sign says "abandon all hope". Google Translate just gives "abandon hope".

Do any real ossuaries have such bleak messages? I should hope they would say "put your faith in God" or some such message.

I did visit the Capuchin Crypt once, with displays made from the bones of Capuchin monks. One display has a famous message: "What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be..." This message was intended to encourage people to follow the teachings of the Church for their best hopes of going to Heaven. Although somber this is not as bleak a message as "abandon all hope"!

(Apologies in advance if I didn't format the URLs correctly)
Microraptor edit delete reply
(I just noticed: It seems that I wrote my lengthy answer to your post (see directly below) as separate comment rather than as a reply to yours. I am pointing this out now, just in case that you didn't notice it yet due to not having received a "reply to your comment" notification.)
Microraptor edit delete reply
I don't actually speak much French myself. I obtained this quote by looking it up in an online French language version of Dante's Inferno. I know enough about Romance languages though that I knew which part of the quote was saying " who enter here", and thus could be omitted for my purposes.
In Dante's work, the full quote ("Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!") is supposed to be the inscription at the gate to Hell.
(And yes, I know that Dante Alighieri was Italian, not French!)
I don't know why Google Translate is ignoring the "toute" though...

As for the phrase being unusually bleak for a place that has basically the same function as a cemetery - yep, that's exactly joke here... ;-)
I too would assume that real ossuaries tend to have more comforting or at least contemplative quotes...

(And this Capuchin Crypt -fascinatingly creepy...)
steveha edit delete reply
And this Capuchin Crypt -fascinatingly creepy...

It's really different. Some of the rooms have little flower-like decorations made from vertebrae.

My favorite decoration was a representation of The Grim Reaper. The blade of the scythe was made out of shoulder-blade bones; the handle was probably leg bones, some long straight bones anyway.

I found some photos: Untapped Cities page on Capuchin crypt

No photography is allowed inside the crypt, so those photos are from postcards bought at the gift shop.
Chippewa Ghost edit delete reply
Chippewa Ghost
PLEASE tell me there's a repeating pattern in all them bones...

And something something Capuchin Crunch!

(moderator note: -10 points for low quality comment, CG)
Microraptor edit delete reply
There is a repeating pattern - but it bears no significance beyond me copy-pasting stuff due to me not wanting to work on this page for half an eternity.
So, it's not a "there are faces in the wall" thing, though I admit this seeming so might add to the creepiness.
Yeah, OK, there are faces in the wall, in the form of the actual human skulls that are included in it - but, uh... That's not what I meant...
JammyTheBirb edit delete reply
oooh this place looks cool. Must have taken a while to draw!

great lighting effect in the last panel, seems ominous...
Microraptor edit delete reply
It did take some time to draw, even though, as mentioned in my answer to CG's comment, I took some short-cuts via copy-paste.

And we'll soon see what the ominous thing is that is emitting the light in the last panel... ;-)
Cooke edit delete reply
Pierre is lucky to have gotten out of the catacombs alive! As I understand, it's easy to get lost down there. Or maybe he had some help from this glowing thing hmmm?

Nice atmosphere on this page by the way.
Microraptor edit delete reply
It may well be that the "glowing thing" showed him the way out. But it also did something different - wait and see... ;-)

And thanks! I particularly like how the middle panel turned out! :-D