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

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Recording the creative process this week

Even before I entered into the Daily Grind contest I hadn't missed a single update here at AKOTAS since its inception. Nor for some eight months before that, at what was then my fanfiction cartoons site (but you can't know that from looking at the archive there, because in the archive the cartoons are arranged in chronological order instead of in production order). Obviously it's a high, high priority to me that I produce a cartoon every day. (The other week on PBS' American Masters, in the episode on Charles M. Schulz, the word "compelled" was used and my wife looked over at me.) But I still don't like feeling I'm putting out inferior work. While "triangle style" does not equate to "inferior work", it's inarguably easier to execute. With triangles, if it's late in the day and I haven't a gag prepared yet (as has happened several times this week), then I don't also have to worry, "Once I think of a joke, will I be too tired to pencil well? And even after that to scan and lay out and color and ...?"

So I wondered if, the next time I thought I was in a slump - or, perhaps, suddenly working 05:30-14:00 Sunday through Thursday, while still taking evening classes twice a week that last till nine or ten - I'd see whether temporarily switching over to triangles as a default didn't make things easier.

Then, as if I wasn't disoriented enough, the day of my first Sunday shift was also the day Daylight Savings Time ended. Apparently God means Ryan Smith to win the Daily Grind.

I do mean to go back to line drawing eventually, and perhaps for occasional Sundays and school vacations before that. How soon depends on how well I acclimate to this job schedule.

Meanwhile it's been suggested I have the characters namecheck each other at least in their first appearances during the triangle era. Specifically it was suggested in relation to Friday's, and in fact I had thought about it myself when I was putting it together. But this was at 00:30 Friday [Central US time], Thursday having been one of this week's can't-think-of-a-joke days. Adding Tristram's, or anyone's, name to the dialog at that point would have required reworking from scratch the dialog balloons in the first panel. Also, I reasoned, Tristram had been namechecked two or three days earlier in the cartoon that had announced the triangle era, which was also the one that brought up Brittany, so I decided I could get away with it; on, perhaps it ought to be stressed, decision processes operating at 00:30 after a long can't-think-of-a-joke day. I'll probably be better about that in the future.

For instance, today, while it isn't necessary to know that that's Uriens on the left, it is necessary to know who he is to Arthur that he falls into a category of people who are always wanting to know whether he's out of his mind, and Arthur's dialog reflects that.

Finally, on today's joke: No one but my wife gets to write my jokes for me, but I don't think she'll mind if I swipe one from Boston Legal.

Webcomics I read mornings: Kevin & Kell, For Better Or For Worse, Tux & Bunny, Sluggy Freelance, Irregular Comic, Peanuts Webcomics I read M-W-F mornings: El Goonish Shive, Theater Hopper, General Protection Fault, Nukees, Newshounds, Girl Genius, Pibgorn, Ctrl+Alt+Del Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa mornings: AppleGeeks, Achewood, Kismetropolis, Malfunction Junction, Striptease, Punch an' Pie, Digger
Webcomics I read middays: Calvin & Hobbes, Least I Could Do, User Friendly, LuAnn, Pearls Before Swine, American Elf, Devil's Panties, Narbonic, Schlock Mercenary
Webcomics I read evenings: Scary Go Round, Questionable Content, Starslip Crisis, Anywhere But Here, Count Your Sheep, Goats, Dinosaur Comics, Girls With Slingshots, Shortpacked, Wapsi Square, Midnight Macabre, Help Desk, Real Life Webcomics I read M-W-F evenings: Two Lumps, Zortic, Order of the Stick, College Roommates from Hell!!!, Chainmail Bikini, Home on the Strange, Penny Arcade Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa evenings: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Get Out of My Head, Dandy & Company, Darths & Droids, Megatokyo, Buck Godot Zap Gun For Hire
Webcomics I read bedtimes: B.C., Something Positive, Station V3, Sinfest, Little Dee, Sheldon, PvP
Webcomics I read Sundays: xkcd, Minus, Smithson, Something Happens, Three Panel Soul, Butternut Squash, I Draw Comics, Perry Bible Fellowship, Breakfast of the Gods, The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, Ctrl+Alt+Del Webcomics I hope will start updating again: Boxjam's Doodle, The Angriest Rice Cooker In The World, Casey & Andy, 13 Seconds, Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break, Li'l Mell, The Magnificent Adventures of Hieronymus Bosch, esquire, The Green Avenger, No Room for Magic, Reasoned Cognition, 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, Brian Roney's Webcomic Reviews, Girls Read Comics (And They're Pissed), Fleen, Mr. Myth, Comixtalk 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.
Early British Kingdoms - Arthurian Bios
. 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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