Thanks for reading.
Yeah, I'm kinda poking at Greg Dean again, like I was a month ago. When he solicited guest strips for his trip to the Comicon in July he specifically ruled out stuff done on MSPaint, which I stick with for my reasons, and it's looking like I may never get over that. But that's not what I feel badly about.
I didn't write today's gag with the intent of assembling it cut-and-paste from the other gag. Now, I don't think of cut-and-paste as cheating in the first place as do some webcomic artists and readers. When I do it, it's for effect. Timing. Remember the classic 70s Doonesbury strip from the storyline when Roland Burton Hedley, Jr., was introduced, when his coworker asked him what he'd covered at the Saigon bureau? Remember how the third panel of four had no dialog? Timing. Even if I'd drawn new "rushes" to scan for today's cartoon, the first three panels would have been identical or nearly identical as they are now. And, as I'm fond of saying, often (though not this time) when cut-and-paste panels are only nearly identical, it takes more time fine-tuning the differences than it'd've taken to draw and scan all the panels seperately. But anyway it's the writing that's the really hard part, as Fred Gallagher once observed at a con panel he shared with Greg Dean who cuts-and-pastes the grand majority of the time stop that.*
But I didn't draw new rushes today. When I looked back at the earlier cartoon to remind myself how I draw Greg's room, the little lightbulb went on over my head, and next thing I knew I'd pieced together today's cartoon in a fraction of the time taken by the average weekday Arthur, King of Time and Space - perhaps only ten minutes. That's what I feel badly about. Because, see ...
Readers of this site and/or my forum posts in webcomics communities will see not-infrequent allusions to my personal website (as opposed to this, technically and perhaps one day genuinely commercial, website) with fanfiction on it; sometimes I refer to it as "my previous [webcomic] project". People may infer that it's stopped updating and perhaps been taken down. It's not. I have a great love and respect for fanfiction, and believe that it is and of a right ought to be fair use as provided for by copyright law, as parody is. (I however haven't the resources to test that conviction in court so, since Arthur, King of Time and Space derives pretty obviously from some of that work, I don't link to that site from this one. If somehow you're someone who didn't follow me here from that site, and you're really interested, just feed my last name into Google.) And I never intended to stop updating the cartoons there even after starting this website last May - I just always take summers off there "like a real tv show" and, from Arthur, King of Time and Space's launch date until about a month ago, it was on its annual summer hiatus.
I really missed it, not least because the style of the cartoons there is very different from the style of these and I like it a lot though some don't. As I warned its readers last May, I no longer commit to updating there daily - but I've come close some weeks. And I've learned the HTML for tables, which allowed me to reorganize some pages there that needed it (I've been hand-coding that site since the mid-90s). And I've recently discovered (if I was notified, I somehow missed it) that my ISP there has upped its personal user acounts' webserver diskspace to the point that I could now archive all my fanfiction webcomics on my site instead of making the old ones rotate. And that has led to the planning of a redesign of the whole website incorporating the navigation conventions of webcomics culture as never before. (I should mention all this there, but that website hasn't got a news section.) Not to mention that Doctor Who is coming back to broadcast in 2005 after sixteen years.
So (and this, finally, is what I feel badly about) I've been very distracted from Arthur, King of Time and Space lately. And I'm afraid it shows. I don't know whether it shows (though two fillers in the space of less than two weeks must have tipped off some of you) but I'm afraid it does. And I can't help it because I do love my fanfiction. Arthur, King of Time and Space came from fanfiction; it is fanfiction. But my muse's been playing in this sandbox all summer and now she wants a turn in the other one.
So I'm having a rough stretch here. That happens to webcartoonists, and I knew it happens when I started here because after all I already was one. That doesn't mean I have to like it. But I hope you'll bear with me, or if you go away you'll come back later. I suggest mid-December, or next May at the latest.
But I still have something new that I genuinely think is funny here every day.
* Please note below that Greg Dean's is the webcomic I save for last every
weekday morning. Greg's also the only webcartoonist Merlin's been portrayed
as pals with besides Scott Kurtz whom
I save for last every day.
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.