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

Rants 2007 January - June


I've been trying to put together the right contxt for this punchline for, what, two weeks now.

The standup comic, of course, is Dagonet.


The panels reprinted in today's cartoon come from, in order:


It's been fixed now so if you hadn't noticed you must take my word for it, but up till today I'd been misrendering Sir Nabon's name as Sir Narbon. Despite the identification of the error, readers of Narbonic, especially of the Narbonic "director's cut" which is rerunning relevant strips right now, may recognize the character design I've given Tristram's latest antagonist.

Speaking of character design, looking at today's cartoon and the one or two most recent Tristram cartoons before it, you may note that Iseult's brother Sir Kehydius isn't getting a lot of panel time except perhaps as a silhouette. That's because I realized belatedly, when their party washed up on the shore of this Welsh isle, that apart from costume he has the same character design as Lamorak...


At the moment triangle fanfiction cartoons are on their annual summer hiatus. But when they come back, new The Hero of Three Faces cartoons - as they've been umbrella-titled since I started hosting them at WebcomicsNation - will no longer be hosted at WebcomicsNation. As convenient as the WCN process is, I've been rather spoiled by my original fanfiction website and by the Arthur, King of Time and Space website: being in whole control of the presentation, not relying on anyone else for site maintenance, etc., even if I'm not good enough at webpage programming not to have to create an HTML file for every pageview. Over the past few months Joey Manley, the WCN boss, has been having issues with WCN's hosting service, culminating in the last week or two with technical troubles that have left some WCN comics unaccessible at times. For as long as since the beginning of the year I'd been toying with the idea of moving triangle fanfiction over to hosting here on the AKOTAS server, and this was just the impetus to show me that it's what I really want.

I've copied all existing The Hero of Three Faces cartoons over to and modified all the links on my own sites' pages I can think of. Including replacing the link on the AKOTAS main page for the WCN mirror site which I now have no intention of completing, not that I was ever any good at keeping up with it. If the present troubles ever resolve themselves I may still, as I have in the past, use that mirror site as a backup for daily AKOTAS posting in case of connection troubles with the main site. But, unless I get bumped by Manley for inactivity, I'll leave my WCN site as is. Anyway, now there's a link to my LJ at AKOTAS in place of the mirror site link.


It's a teal deer.


I thought briefly of giving Guenevere a gold medal in an individual event, since the team show jumping actually wrapped up two days ago but the individual events are still going on. But it seemed less rude to overlay invented winning teams over the actual winning teams than to, however fictionally and in the obscurity of a second generation webcomic, take an individual's accomplishment away. Also, when I wrote this cartoon I already knew that the U.S. team had actually won the event, and I'd've been less comfortable giving Guenevere the gold in an event that an American hadn't won or that the winner wasn't yet known.

Also, the other teams and Guenevere's teammates aren't exactly "invented". I often give extras the faces of people I knew when I was the age Arthur is. The people in this cartoon are likenesses of people from the community theatre production of A Midsummer Night's Dream I did when I was nineteen.

Also, I think silver medal winners stand on the right of gold medal winners, and bronze medal winners on the left. Thats' what I planned to do here when I drew the rushes. But, when I tried to assemble the images that way, the perspective seemed all wrong so I swapped them.


For those keeping track at home, yes this is the first appearance of Merlin's friend Ed in the contemporary arc.

Apparently today is a day when webcomics are supposed to link to three others not linked to before. Since I always link on my front page to everything I'm currently reading I don't have much to contribute. Though a reader informs me that Breakfast of the Gods is updating again, so I've moved it out of the Webcomics I hope will start updating again section.



Recording the creative process

Today's cartoon is, I believe, a first in that I initially rendered it in pencil and then ultimately uploaded a version line-drawn by mouse just because I didn't feel like getting out of my chair dealing with the scanner.


Recording the creative process

I knew I wasn't up to doing today's in pencil, but I didn't want to do it in triangles. I tried to do it by mouse, and I got as far as demonstrated below and I realized that if I'd spent the same time doing it in triangles I'da been done by then.

Oh, and in the Morte Kehydius really tells Mark he fell asleep and out of the window.


Contemporary Tristram and Isolde previously dealt with the Iseult issue here.


Meliagrant previously appeared in AKOTAS in a cameo as a member of the Fellowship of the Grail.

If Meliagrant looks a little oddly pleased with himself in the second panel, it's because I drew this without the script in front of me and misremembered that Meliagrant's dialog in that panel was about how he feels for Guenevere.


I dislike today's gag. It's a solid gag, it's reasonably funny ... but it doesn't really advance any of AKOTAS's agendas.

And it's contradictory for me to feel that way. I've written in this space before I often wish that, instead of working in realtime, these characters lived in the same eternal now as Superman and Charlie Brown. Constant standalone, agenda-free gags such as this one are more or less what I'm wishing on myself when I write that, and here I am resenting one.

A mass of conflicting impulses, I.

But then, if I had no agendas I wouldn't have any cause for the resentment.


This one was a total cheat.

I've been going through old paper dailies when short on a gag for the day. This is one that I decided to re-use. Actually I think it's a great gag. When I was trying to decide who to put in it, I thought, "Aihok and Effex are characters in Merlin's webcomic, why not them just like in the original?" To make a long story short, I didn't even draw new rushes - I scanned the old cartoon from 1997 and it's presented here, edited only for composition. It's not even colored and shaded in Merlin's usual style; few of the most recent Land of Whant cartoons in AKOTAS have been, but none's been bare pencils before. The gag's great but the cartoon, for in-text and out-text reasons, sucks.

Which just turns into grist for tomorrow's gag.


We have some friends who are going through a very rough patch, and by "very rough" I mean "their attorney has advised us not to discuss it". AKOTAS may have a higher than usual percentage in the foreseeable future of single panels, triangles and fillers.


This dialog is adapted from life (for "adapted" read "I probably haven't remembered it verbatim"). For awhile I wasn't sure I could use it here, because I wasn't sure I had a male character who's enough of a wiseass for the first male speaker's lines. Then I remembered Dinadan.

Interestingly (or, perhaps, not), in real life it was the Muslim present who had the first male speaker's lines.

Say, the band's doing well enough that they each get their own hotel rooms.


For a detailed description of the thought processes leading to the characterization I elected for Elaine of Carbonek in AKOTAS, see the text section of this page.

The convention that fillers have the notation filler instead of the date uploaded is a holdover from the early years of AKOTAS when fillers were prepared in advance and the dates they'd run were unknown at their creation. Fillers are very rarely prepared in advance any more, so I'm doing away with that convention.

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