Oct 21 2010

Steamcycle Study

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Steamcycle StudyAs some of you may know, my new comic took a lot of inspiration from the “Steamcycle” pic done by Leo Magna … which he has graciously given me permission to use. In the comic, it will be Fagin’s ride of choice, and features pretty prominently in the first issue, so I figured I’d better figure out how the thing works! So this is what I came up with.

Let me just say … complex design is complex. O.o

Original pic, for those interested.

-The Gneech

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Sep 22 2010

Arclight Heroes!

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John Dunn, Charlie O'Toole, and Fagin, the heroes of Gneech's new comic

“Big Bad” John Dunn, Charlie O’Toole, and Fagin, the interfering troublemakers — ER, adventurous heroes of my new comic! This is a concept rough for the cover of the first issue … it still needs quite a bit of work, but it at least gives you a hint of what’s to come. Characters copyright ©2010 by me. 🙂

-The Gneech

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Aug 31 2010

The Narrative Minefield of Race

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Okay, I’m having a bit of a quandary, and I’d like to hear various folks’ opinions on it — but it’s about the potentially-loaded topic of race, so I respectfully ask that people keep their heads about it. 🙂

I’m working on the main cast of my new comic; it’s a lighthearted fantasy adventure story following a trio of troublemaking heroes-for-hire. The leader is a suave trickster type, the second is a cute and perky gal who has a propensity to blow things up, and the third is a big and scary-looking strongman who covers up horrible scars with a Phantom-Of-the-Opera-esque hooded mask, who actually has a squooshy nougat center and loves to pet kittens. (Anybody remember the phase-through-walls guy on Buck Rogers In the 25th Century? He’s sorta like that, but more brawny and less brooding.)

The trickster isn’t human at all; in point of fact, he’s a white-and-black-furred fox-morph. The bomber-gal has red hair and freckles. The big scary strongman is an imported character from an earlier project I worked on, in which he was a big ol’ cueball — think “Mr. Clean” meets “Two-Face.” However, when I was importing him into this story, I thought that in an effort to keep the cast from being too monochromatic, I’d make him black instead.

John Dunn development sketches

This is where I run into a catch-22 … now instead of an “all-white” cast (if you take a white-furred fox thing as being “white” in the same sense), I’ve potentially got “black man = big, ugly, and scary.” That’s not the intended message by any stretch — this character is a doll and the scariness of his exterior is intended to be a subject of pathos rather than revulsion — but it is something I worry about people taking away from it.

So rather than just bat this one around with my beta readers, I’ve decided to toss this issue out for more general discussion. Am I just overthinking the whole thing? The comic is not about race in any sense, and is not a defining aspect of this character. I don’t want what was basically an aesthetic choice causing anybody grief.

What do you think, folks?

-The Gneech

Aug 17 2010

Speaking of Steampunk…

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Steampunk Spiritwolf

A bit of random silly fun. 🙂 Click through for full-size image.

-The Gneech

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Aug 15 2010

Belated Art

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Sirfox vs. Life TetrisJust a quickie piece I did on Friday for a stressed-out friend. But with all the stress that’s been flying at me since Friday afternoon, this is the first chance I’ve had to scan and post the thing. Click through for the full-size piece.

Enjoy!

-The Gneech

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Jun 29 2010

Old News: Furries Are More Fun Than Grognards

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The Doctor and Jack Sparrow Meet ... at AnthroCon?

First off: happy birthday to anybody out there who might have a birthday today, but I’m not naming names.

Second off: Another AnthroCon has come and gone, and it was fun; not a big winner moneywise, alas, but as we were basically doing a clearance sale of old material, that was expected. Until I have a good, solid new project, I am coasting a bit, and the sales reflected that. The new buttons were a hit, which pleased me. I was deliberately going with something more generic than Suburban Jungle-specific buttons with this batch, and I think it paid off.

I am always amused at “other fandoms” crashing the furry cons, which is becoming more and more pronounced at every one I attend. For those who don’t know, “furry” as a fandom started as a subculture at fantasy/SF cons and was essentially kicked out of those for not being cool enough. (Yes, even f/sf nerds have people they look down on.) But something strange happened on the way to the dealer room: Xydexx’s Axiom of Fandom Enjoyability kicked in to force, and word has started to get around: furries are more fun than grognards! And thus, people who want to have fun, even if they are not particularly interested in “furry” as a genre, go to the furry cons because furries are generally made of awesome.

The Klingons appear to be the first to have noticed this — Klingons are always looking for a good party, and like furries have a tendency to be greeted with rolled eyes in certain corners. But at AC this year I counted at least two Doctors, a few Fairies, lots of Dragons (who have long been “furry” even without fur), Power Rangers and Halo Guys, and of course it isn’t a con until Captain Jack Sparrow shows up.

This is why I created the “Proud to be a Furry” buttons in the first place: as long as we hold true to the idea that furries are awesome, happy people and that being furry is a fine thing, instead of hiding and letting the dickweeds define us with distortions and outright lies, the people whose company are worth the time will come to us.

So keep on being awesome, furries. 🙂 The other fandoms are starting to get it.

-The Gneech