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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


The Thing of Shapes to Come

I think Arthur's MSPaint style works pretty well, for something that wasn't planned out ahead.

Obviously it needed to be something that was easily distinguishable from my normal style; like Merlin's is, I hope, with its lack of outlines and its handwritten dialog. I had already decided Arthur's style would be computer-generated geometric shapes, which I like to use sometimes. But when I wrote the dialog I hadn't imagined anything yet but a couple of featureless shapes with dialog balloons hanging over them. I thought probably the triangle would have a pony tail so Guenevere would think it was her.

I like minimalist cartoons, but not that minimalist. When I gave the triangle its pony tail, it didn't look right without some hair on top of it too. Then the square didn't look right without hair. Then they needed at least eyes and mouths. Then the square's hair should probably be square instead of rectangular, duh. Meanwhile the dialog and balloon outlines were done in white instead of black because originally the background was the same near-black as the background behind the webcam windows in the other panels. So I played with the background color, and whether the balloon interiors ought to be the same as the background, and ... and I think it's nicely different from AKOTAS's normal look and still interesting in itself.

Of course, while Merlin and I are pretty set in our styles, Arthur's only sixteen. His shape characters will probably evolve a lot over the next few years.

While Arthur's panel depicted here is probably funny to AKOTAS readers, it's probably only the last panel of a multi-panel strip Arthur drew. Unless you know his pals as well as he does (as I would hope AKOTAS readers do by now) the gag would need at least some set-up. Arthur'd realize that; unless, maybe, this is one of the panels he drew toward the end of his twenty-four hours.

I wasn't going to write any commentary on today's cartoon. I still believe that it shouldn't take longer to read all the text on a webcomic site than it takes to read all the cartoons. But I reluctantly decided that it fell under the heading of recording the creative process. Then the title at the top of the essay came to me. Maybe that'll be the name of Arthur's webcomic. Stay tuned.

And I should probably before now have provided a link to the 24 Hour Comic Day website, since tomorrow's when the event happen.

Webcomics I read mornings: The Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge,
Peanuts, General Protection Fault, Todd and Penguin, College Roommates from Hell!!!, Kevin & Kell, Real Life
Webcomics I read middays: Calvin & Hobbes, Least I Could Do, User Friendly, Questionable Content, Dandy and Company, Queen of Wands
Webcomics I read evenings: B.C., Pearls Before Swine, Count Your Sheep, Schlock Mercenary, Sinfest, Irregular Comic, Little Dee
Webcomics I read bedtimes: Something Positive, Bruno, Wapsi Square, Medium Large, Alice!, Sluggy Freelance, PvP
Webcomics I read M-W-F mornings: El Goonish Shive, Checkerboard Nightmare, Gossamer Commons, Penny Arcade
Webcomics I read M-W-F evenings: Reasoned Cognition, Fish Institution, Theater Hopper, Girl Genius, Megatokyo
Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa: Digger, AppleGeeks, Striptease, Her: Girl vs Pig, Get Out of My Head, Order of the Stick
Webcomics I read Mondays: The Whovian Observer, Framed!!!, Vigilante, Ho!, Butternut Squash, Pibgorn, Boxjam's Doodle
Webcomics whose archives I'm in the middle of: Sluggy Freelance
See also Talk About Comics, The Belfry Comics Index, The Webcomic List, Nth Degree, 100% Originality Theatre, Comixpedia and Websnark.

Arthuriana sources I use or recommend:
Arthurian Legend
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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