Meet the Rothschilds!

This post will make a lot more sense after this Friday's update (when Amschel will finish introducing himself to his time-traveling tour guide), but what the hell; amirite? New sketches are fun for everyone.

Some of you may be familiar with the name "Rothschild;" they're a banking dynasty in France and hold the rank of "Baron" (there are also branches in Italy, England and Austria). Before the late 1700s, however, the family owned a coin shop in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and lived in the Judengasse--or, Jewish ghetto.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744--1812) actually existed, and was the launching point of the successful family still prominent in European economics to this day (his oldest son, Amschel, took over the Frankfurt bank; second son Salomon went to Vienna; third son Nathan was sent to London; and youngest son Jacob/James ended up in Paris). Mayer was the fourth of eight siblings, but I've been unable to find any solid information about them so I just made up all of their names and dates of birth! Fun. Stuff. So as it ended up, our Amschel is five years younger than his more famous brother (I sometimes like to pretend that my historically fictitious characters really existed :\).

Have some visual stimulation:

I realized after the fact that Mayer looks disconcertingly like Luther Levy from a certain period graphic novel I am following online, but to help me sleep at night I've decided to gloss over that fact by pointing out that he doesn't appear often and there are only so many accurate ways to portray a German Jew during the 1760's D: Needless to say, I do not sleep very well.

This sketch is all sorts of wonky since it was more about defining faces and historically accurate clothing; for example, Amschel in this picture is about eighteen months older than he currently appears in the comic, but looks about 10 instead of, oh, 14/15. That's just because I ran out of paper and wanted to get his entire wardrobe in D: That's right, folks! Next chapter will feature actual clothing, not just nightgowns! How excitiiiiiiiiiing.

You may have noticed that only five of the eight siblings are pictured here; both parents died in a smallpox epidemic in the mid-1750s. I will leave the fates of Moses, James, and Nathan open to your interpretations. Maybe they're just grown up and living lives of their own. Either way, they don't factor into the story and I have so many tangents thrown in there to begin with that I don't think the fragile organization of this chapter could handle such non-plotline exposition.

But I digress. To sum up: Amschel is German, and fluent in both that language and Hebrew (he speaks French at Mayer's insistence, since at that time French was internationally recognized as the language of court, and the who's-who of Europe were all able to communicate in it). He is the seventh of eight children, and gets picked on by Carl (who is as friendly as he looks, and does have hands despite what this picture would suggest). He plans to be Mayer's apprentice, and despite being a total airhead when it comes to common sense, is actually surprisingly adept at math.

Kristina tries to tutor him in the Classics, with questionable success.
Very. Questionable success.

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