Comics and Storytelling: Then and Now

My most recent comic ends a mini-arc that establishes a new “normal” for the characters, the addition of a new player in their group. A human (or wee dwarf, depending who you ask), plus some foreshadowing for the future.

This has also given me a chance to think about how I used to tell stories, and how that might change.

First, a little history. As I’ve mentioned before, this started off as a photocomic. In fact, this is the very first image I did on a cheap camera in my first apartment in Japan, over 20 years ago.

This was a straight up homage to a comic that was a lifeline to Gillian and myself while we lived in Tokyo: Knights of the Dinner Table. KODT was a way for us to feel a bit of that old roleplaying magic even though we had no one to roleplay with—strangers in a strange land and all.

But eventually I wanted to do something more than just jokes about roleplaying, while at the same time having roleplaying an intrinsic part of the world. I got, shall we say, a bit ambitious, and eventually had an epic story arc that would become known as The Tournament War.

During this storyline, we learn that roleplaying plays a far bigger part in the secret lives of toys than you might imagine. That there’s a reason they are compelled to play. That it’s connected to us and the one thing that sets us apart from every other animal.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Jump to 2023, 20 years later, and here I am dusting off the gang again.

(Ben’s still inside)

And because I’m trying my hand at drawing this time instead of photography, it opens up the possibility trying new things. Right now I’m working on showing the Knights in the game they’re playing as their characters.

But I also want to get better at the crafting of the stories themselves. My one weakness as a comic writer is that I can be a bit wordy. It’s an occupational hazard when you don’t have an editor looking over your shoulder, reminding you to trim things down.

That’s something I hope to work on, either by writing shorter strips, or spacing out the text more (which might mean more pictures… ack!)

It’s not easy to self edit, but it’s something I think I should work on. Feel free to let me know how you like the pacing of my comics so far!

And if you haven’t seen the comic yet, it’s right here: Fuzzy Knights | Tapas Web Comics

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