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Arthur, King of Time and Space Arthur, King of Time and Space

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Arthur, King of Time and Space

5/23/04

One of the columnists at Comixpedia recommends this month recording the creative process. Though I enjoy it in others, I feel a little uncomfortable putting author's notes on my works. I picked up my attitude on this from Winnie-the-Pooh where immodesty is portrayed as natural but impolite. Plus there's an element of "the work ought to speak for itself". Plus it oughtn't take more time to read the text on a webcomic site than to read the cartoons... But, as I say, I enjoy it from others, and even learn something sometimes (if only reinforcement of "I'm not the only one who's gone through that!"). Maybe I can do that for people.

Technical matters:
I draw with an "ultra fine point" Sharpie on Mead Academie "Sketch Diary" paper. I scan the drawings into XP MSPaint (as "black and white picture or text") and paste up, letter and color the strip on the computer. (I admit I use MSPaint publically with some trepidation. I gather MSPaint is viewed with intense disdain by the webcomic community. In his guidelines for guest strips Greg Dean declares that MSPaint being all you have is no excuse, though he doesn't offer an alternative in detail enough to be helpful.)

Creative matters:
After fifteen hundred years of evolution and expansion, the King Arthur legend cannot be portrayed properly by modern contemporary visual media the way the twentieth century tried. There's just too much material to fit into two hours, or eight hours, or twelve issues. For a long time I've thought that the proper way to retell the Arthurian legend in a visual medium was serially over years in monthly or weekly installments, to cultivate a fan base the way Sherlock Holmes and STAR TREK and James Bond have cultivated their fan bases.

(Before you say anything, despite the greatness of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant it's not the same thing I'm talking about because Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, Merlin, Morgan, et cetera are only supporting characters.)

Then I discovered webcomics and knew I'd have to build one of my own. I decided to use Camelot in mine because that's the set of characters among those sets I love best which doesn't fall under Someone Else's Copyright. Awhile after that I realized that I'd created the very project I'd been wishing for.

Uh oh.


Webcomics I read:
Irregular Comic, AppleGeeks, Megatokyo, Penny Arcade, Loserz, User Friendly, Sluggy Freelance,
Boxjam's Doodle, Real Life, Sinfest, College Roommates from Hell!!!, Kevin & Kell and PvP.
See also The Belfry Comics Index and Comixpedia.

Arthuriana sources I use or recommend:
Arthuriana - the Journal of Arthurian Studies; the website of the quarterly journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society.
The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester.
Camelot In Four Colors: A Survey of the Arthurian Legend in Comics
Mystical-WWW - The Arthurian A2Z knowledge Bank which has encyclopedically-arranged entries on the characters of the Arthurian legends.
Le Morte Darthur: Sir Thomas Malory's Book of King Arthur and of his Noble Knights of the Round Table, Volume 1 and Volume 2.

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