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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


Recording the creative process

1. Ferrett Steinmetz blogs a lot about writing Home on the Strange. He's written a coupla times recently about putting an effort into making individual strips which share a plot continuity standalone in case of new reader: the mechanical things, like having to spend the first panel recapping The Story So Far, and having the characters call each other by name. The first time I saw him write about this I noticed that my characters don't call each other by name very much. (This is probably a function of my not being very good at, or anyway not being very mindful of, giving characters voices different from mine; I generally contrive not to address people by their names very much.)

I wrote about a year ago that I'd checked my most recent strips and was satisfied with their accessibility. But more recently I've been thinking that when I link to AKOTAS in casual conversation I ought to link to the first strip instead of the main page. After all, it really is a pretty wacky premise. A reader who otherwise would enjoy it but comes to the main page on a given day, and finds unnamed characters not rescuing maidens or slaying dragons but griping about sketch comedy, might be confused enough not to stick around.

I happened to think of this while I was importing today's dialog into the graphic file from the text file where it had been composed. I ended up revising every line of dialog in the first panel. I changed Guenevere's single word from, "What?" to, "Leave?!"; I added Lancelot's name to Arthur's line; and I added the word Roman to Lancelot's line.

2. Over the next few months AKOTAS will be covering events recorded in the section of the Morte which Vinaver called The Book of Sir Lancelot. I'm particularly proud of the rationale I've given Lancelot for wanting to go off and Quest at this point in his life. (The public rationale I mean, not the private one, which I cribbed from The Once and Future King. White wrote that Lancelot went off questing not to establish his honor but to preserve it, as one forum poster noted yesterday.) Because it's true: since my primary source is the Morte, which leaves out what we superhero comics fans would call Lancelot's secret origin, for a knight-errant my Lancelot has a singular lack of actual maiden-rescuing and dragon-slaying under his belt. What prowess he has demonstrated is in areas Arthur and the Round Table principles* consider secondary or to be outright avoided. I'm proud of myself for having thought of it soon enough to incorporate it into sending him off on the questing to which he's compelled by the sources (as opposed to, e.g., the way I dealt with the loss of Bedivere's hand). This is the magic of fanfiction. And I'm proud of myself because it's always good for the characters to remind us that, whatever else they are, they're heroes.

* Yes, I meant principles not principals.

Webcomics I read mornings: Kevin & Kell, For Better Or For Worse, Todd and Penguin, Shortpacked, Scary Go Round, Tux & Bunny, Sluggy Freelance, Irregular Comic, Real Life, Peanuts Webcomics I read M-W-F mornings: El Goonish Shive, Theater Hopper, Nukees, Newshounds, Girl Genius, Pibgorn, Malfunction Junction, Ctrl+Alt+Del Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa mornings: AppleGeeks, Achewood, Kismetropolis, Erfworld, Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break, WIGU, Striptease, Digger
Webcomics I read middays: Calvin & Hobbes, Least I Could Do, User Friendly, Questionable Content, Starslip Crisis, Anywhere But Here, Devil's Panties, Narbonic, Schlock Mercenary
Webcomics I read evenings: LuAnn, Count Your Sheep, Goats, Pearls Before Swine, American Elf, Sinfest, Boxjam's Doodle Webcomics I read M-W-F evenings: Reasoned Cognition, Two Lumps, Zortic, Order of the Stick, College Roommates from Hell!!!, Home on the Strange, Penny Arcade Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa evenings: Girls With Slingshots, The Green Avenger, Dandy & Company, The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Get Out of My Head, Megatokyo
Webcomics I read bedtimes: B.C., Something Positive, Station V3, Dinosaur Comics, Wapsi Square, Help Desk, Sheldon, Little Dee, PvP
Webcomics I read Sundays: xkcd, Minus, Smithson, Something Happens, Li'l Mell, Butternut Squash, The Magnificent Adventures of Hieronymus Bosch, esquire, General Protection Fault, Breakfast of the Gods, Perry Bible Fellowship, Ctrl+Alt+Del Webcomics I hope will start updating again: Casey & Andy, 13 Seconds, Medium Large, Mac Hall, The Angriest Rice Cooker In The World, No Room for Magic, The Whovian Observer, Gossamer Commons See also The Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge, Talk About Comics, The Living Comic, Online Comics Day, The Belfry Comics Index, The Webcomic List, Mister Bloo, Nth Degree, 100% Originality Theatre, Girls Read Comics (And They're Pissed), Fleen, 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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