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<   No. 1157   2006-03-28   >

Comic #1157

1 Lambert: {sitting back in a tavern with a cleansing ale and a pipe and reminiscing} Remember years ago, crossing the Orcrift Mountains?
1 Mordekai: Yes, a lucrative trip.
1 Lambert: Lucrative?
1 Mordekai: I mean: We got gypped!
2 Draak: Draak think back to time Draak died...
2 Kyros: I only did fire magic back then.
3 Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs: AH YES, THOSE WERE THE DAYS.
3 Alvissa: You weren't officially a party member, you know.

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This is the winning entry in the contest I ran a few weeks ago asking for readers to send me original artwork. Andrew Bird submitted this beautifully drawn interpretation of the fantasy guys hanging out at a tavern, with hanger-on. Since I hadn't specified any script for the art, I had to then come up with something that would work. I couldn't quite squeeze this into the current storyline, so I used the trick that this is a flash-forward to a future time, when the characters are reminiscing about those wacky days back when they went on a quest across the Orcrift Mountains.

I want to thank everyone who entered the art contest. I received 16 entries, and will be featuring some of the runners-up in future strips over the next few weeks. I'll space them apart a bit, because I need time to come up with scripts for them and try to work them into current storylines!

Draak's line is a reference to the common roleplaying "war story", involving players recounting the greatest adventures of their characters to audiences of variable enthusiasm. The best war stories are usually of the form, "I remember when my character almost died..." Draak of course, goes one better.

And, this is actually the next in my series of parodies of other webcomics. Soliciting unscripted artwork and then later coming up with a script for it is the entire premise behind Whispered Apologies, which is another amazing work of Ryan North, of Dinosaur Comics fame. It combines art of many varied styles by different contributors with text by North and a group of similarly creative buddies, with surprisingly coherent, insightful, funny, and delightful results.


2015-07-25 Rerun commentary: Whispered Apologies didn't last very long, finishing not long after this comic was published.

I was very disappointed by this, and asked Ryan North if I could continue the concept on my own site. Thus was born Awkward Fumbles (the name comes from the same Dinosaur Comics strip where Ryan got "whispered apologies" from: #467).

Doubly unfortunately, I discovered just why Ryan's attempt to make this comic concept work was so difficult. Making the artwork is the hard part of making a comic. Which means very few people actually submitted any. And so Awkward Fumbles died a rather undignified death.

But, you know, I'm glad I tried it. Better to have tried a weird comic concept than to just sit around and do nothing!

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