Thanks for reading.
Recording the creative process
For some time - years - I wondered what ought be the contemporary arc analog of the Roman war. Since in Malory the Roman war comes early in Arthur's reign (and so it did in the AKOTAS fairy tale/baseline and space arcs), I imagined it ought to come into the contemporary arc near the beginning of Arthur's stewardship of Excalicorp. Correspondence with a reader on the subject offered (several times) the suggestion that Emperor Lucius' Roman empire could be stood in for by the WTO.
Meanwhile, I planned from the beginning for contemporary Arthur to run for president when he reached the age of 35 and was eligible. I planned for him to run on the contemporary issues of the actual election during the run of the storyline, and to deal with contemporary issues during his presidency.
(Anyone who complains that it's a spoiler for me to give away here that he's going to win can go jump in the Lake.)
But originally I planned for his opposition in the election to be an amalgamation of the two actual candidates running in the actual election. Though Arthur is obviously a liberal and his opposition would naturally be a conservative, and though I still intend to deal with the issues of the current day, I didn't want him or his opponent to be explicitly identified with either of the two actual political parties, for the same reason Clark Kent works for an invented newspaper in an invented city. (That the election in AKOTAS is one with a conservative-party incumbent, as is stressed in today's cartoon, hopefully does point up that this is a different world than ours, similar as it may be.)
My resolve wavered a little bit as the years went by. I don't feel educated sufficiently in economics to use the WTO as analog to the Romans, good as that suggestion was (and loyal as the reader offering the suggestion is). Though I've been trying more and more to incorporate the issues of the day into contemporary AKOTAS, making Arthur's political awareness grow, the fact is I'm not all that politically aware and not interested in being so. I watch Jon Stewart and I follow The Economist on Twitter; and with Yarbro's Michael, Abraham Lincoln, and Gene Roddenberry I believe things are going to get a lot worse before they get better; and that's about it. I never did work in an analog to the Roman war into Arthur's early days at Excalicorp, and I'd about decided it wasn't going to happen at all - even though I knew, in Malory's sources, the Roman war comes at the end of Arthur's reign.
Then in early 2011 this idea occurred to me (the concept, not the joke, which obviously I didn't write before last week), and everything was suddenly all better.
|Webcomics I read mornings: Kevin & Kell, For Better Or For Worse, Tux & Bunny, Sluggy Freelance||Webcomics I read M-W-F mornings: General Protection Fault, Nukees, Newshounds, Spacetrawler, Girl Genius, LitBrick||Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa mornings: Scenes from a Multiverse, Blue Milk Special, The Gutters, Ctrl+Alt+Del|
|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 weekday evenings: Questionable Content, El Goonish Shive, Striptease, Dinosaur Comics, Medium Large, Girls With Slingshots, Shortpacked, Wapsi Square, Sheldon, Devil's Panties, Help Desk, LitBrick, Real Life, PvP||Webcomics I read M-W-F evenings: xkcd, Two Lumps, Order of the Stick, College Roommates from Hell!!!, Bruno, Little Dee, Penny Arcade||Webcomics I read Tu-Th-Sa evenings: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Starslip Crisis, Darths & Droids, Let's Be Friends Again, Bruno, Little Dee|
|Webcomics I read bedtimes: B.C., Something Positive, Station V3, Sinfest, Skin Horse, Peanuts|
|Webcomics I read Sundays: Get Out of My Head, Three Panel Soul, Hijinks Ensue, Zortic, Count Your Sheep, The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, Megatokyo, Head Trip, Irregular Comic||Webcomics I hope will start updating again: Boxjam's Doodle, Punch an' Pie, The Angriest Rice Cooker In The World, My Name is Might Have Been, Dandy & Company, AppleGeeks, No Room for Magic, Li'l Mell, Breakfast of the Gods, Something Happens, Butternut Squash, Sketchies, 13 Seconds, Anywhere But Here, Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break, Kismetropolis, The Magnificent Adventures of Hieronymus Bosch, esquire, The Green Avenger, I Draw Comics, Reasoned Cognition, Perry Bible Fellowship, 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:
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.