In regards to the watch featured in the most recent comic; is it an amplifier of sorts for the use dark science? Or is that something to be revealed down the road?
It’s definitely related to Dark Science, and it will be explored fairly soon. But because I like to tease everyone, I’ll also say that the purpose/function of the locket has similar to a concept that’s found in Fullmetal Alchemist.
This may be an odd question to ask (and it isn't specifically about Dark Science), but as someone with PTSD I was wondering if you've ever thought about the after-effects Kim would have felt after her incident in Hob. Being able to build her own limbs would certainly be a cathartic experience, but in general not much is said explicitly about her accident and how she coped.
While I have suggested that Kim’s recovery/rehabilitation after Hob was pretty gruesome, you’re right in that I haven’t gone into much detail regarding her emotional and mental state following that kind of trauma.
It’s something that I’ve gradually suggested in different parts of Dark Science and will continue to slowly explore. Right now, the most overt thing is Kim’s almost manic need to be self-reliant. She’s always been an independent character, but I think her physical trauma definitely amped up the idea that she needs to be complete self-possessed and reliant at all times.
On Kim's back, where the (for lack of a better word) lines are is that still skin? or something else?
The lines on Kim’s body are essentially subcutaneous wires that connect her ports and prostheses. So basically, yes, that’s still her skin, they’re basically just covered with the equivalent of metallic tattoos.
Have you made any major narrative revisions since beginning Dark Science?
The main story of Dark Science hasn’t changed much since I wrote it four years ago, but the “script” has gone through probably hundreds of revisions since then. The major elements have always been in place, but how to get from A to B with each Act and scene is something that I’m usually determining as I go.
What kind of a story do you want to tell with Dark Science, and how does it differ from the kind of story you wanted to tell with Hob?
Hob was a very simple story, but it was about differing viewpoints regarding how to approach the future. Through that, it was basically telling an “origin” story for Kim.
Dark Science is a more complicated story, but it’s primarily about different philosophies regarding the purpose of science and knowledge. It’s also partly a story about personal identity and its fragility within a society that quantizes every element of human life.
Hi! Just a quick note to say that I recently started following your twitter, and I was... quite surprised that you, just like the rest of us peasants, are displeased with your own art at times. I know everyone does it, so I shouldn't've been surprised, but I thought you'd like to know that I have always really looked up to your work in comics as having the coolest designs, plots, and characters. Even if you are discouraged sometimes, just know that many of us are awed by your work anyway!
Thanks so much. I’ve been told by a lot of friends that I’m disproportionately hard on myself (and it’s very likely a factor in my slow drawing speeds), and it can be a tough hurdle to overcome for any artist. As is the case with a lot of people, I am by far my own harshest critic, and it can be difficult to tune out that negativity.
The best remedy I’ve found is to just focus on what you’re making and what the end result will be like. Often hard for me to take my own advice, though.
What are your thoughts on the new Thor design, and, while we are at it, Falcon's tenure as Captain America's design? Also, what is your favorite Issac Asimov story and why is it The Last Question?
I love Thor’s Zechs Marquis mask, and most of the outfit in general. I’m just not crazy about the molded chest piece or the stray bit of armor on the arm. Those parts look neither Nordic nor Kirby Fake Nordic- they just feel slapped on.
I’m totally into Falcon being the new Cap, but I’m really not into the design. It’s kind of a weird mashup between Captain America and his Falcon costume, as if they really need to remind you that he’s now pulling double superhero duty. He looks like one of those Amalgam Comics characters.
There are ways to incorporate Falcon’s persona into Captain America without making it look like a 90s mashup. Heck, you could just go the USAgent route and fiddle with the patterns while keeping the same silhouette. I don’t know, I just think it’s a sloppy design.
I like the story driven stuff like Dark Science and Hob, but any chance we'll ever see a return to something more like (Advanced) Dungeons and Discourse, Lantern Season, or just the older stuff in general? The D&D stuff, Summer Dream Job, and pretty much anything involving Tiny Carl Jung were always my favorites.
Similar to when Hob ended, once Dark Science is over, I’ll go back to one-shot comics for a while. Definitely!
You regularly display a fairly impressive knowledge of natural history and paleontology (notably in warm-up sketches and "The Sleepwalkers"). Is this something you went about researching in order to incorporate into your stories, or is it something you've always had a casual interest in and wanted to use since you already knew a lot about it?
I’ve always been a massive paleontology nut and The Sleepwalkers was me finally giving in to the temptation to make a comic about it. I held off for years because I didn’t want it to devolve into something that was just self-indulgent. Thankfully the premise of The Sleepwalkers kind of let me have it both ways, indulging and poking fun at it at the same time.
Honestly curious. With as little modesty as possible, how big of a celebrity would you say you are? Do random people ever recognize you on the streets or anything similar?
I get recognized maybe once a month in Portland, and a little less than that when I lived in New York. If I’m actually at any kind of comics or other nerdly event, though, I’m picked out pretty regularly.
I’d say I’m fairly well known in most comics circles, and occasionally known in the broader nerd-o-sphere.
HI, since updates seem to be a topic of the day, one of you're kick starter goals was daily updates for a year, though it was not reached, was that a realistic goal? what would it have required for you to write/draw that quickly? would the comic have retain its high standard of quality?
The goal was specifically to get assistants, with the end result being faster updates. I think a small version of that is still possible (especially if the upcoming Patreon does well), and if I have even a part-time assistant, it could make a big difference. I wouldn’t change anything regarding how I actually draw DC, I’d just have more time per day to work on it.
Any self-employed artist will tell you that 80% of your daily work isn’t drawing, it’s all the other little things. Having someone to take care of even half of those tasks would speed up the comic immensely.
Trying to come up with something worth asking. I'm sure you have several different ideas of how a story could play out before you settle on one, so do you have any particularly cool ALTERNATE UNIVERSE DRESDEN CODAK moments worth mentioning?
In the first draft of Hob, Kim was supposed to die. It wasn’t terribly interesting after that, so I nixed it. Mind you, the first draft of Hob was different in a LOT of ways. Hob could talk and turn into a bird.
I know you've probably heard this a lot, but your art is seriously great. It's worth the wait for each new page to come out, I think, because you make it look really good and it's obvious a good deal of effort goes into it. It kind of makes me want to get even better, to be honest. Aside from that, I like the plot of the story so far! I don't really know what's going to happen next, so I'm interested to see where it'll go.
Thanks very much! I can drive myself crazy getting excited about some upcoming element of the plot, but then remember that it’ll be months before we get to it. Probably the main reason I’m looking for ways to speed things up. Dark Science is going to get super duper interesting soon, I think, and I just can’t wait!
I never got why some webcomic fans demand and get angry about updates. The creator is giving you a gift of story and art and sometimes humor for free!
Slow updates can harm the momentum of ongoing stories, and I definitely recognize that as a weakness of my comic, but yeah, at the end of the day it’s a free comic with no official update schedule. I want to get them out as quickly as I can, but I also don’t want to make promises I can’t keep.
First: your art is great (I am in love with basically every character design that I've seen of yours), your stories are great, and willingness to both speak out on feminist issues and freely accept your own privileged position is, dare I say it, really great. Second: have any companies, big-name or otherwise, approached you regarding doing anything with Clockwork Empire, or something similar to it? (I would in a heartbeat, if I had such a capability.)
Thanks very much!
Regarding Clockwork Empire, I’ve had some modest interaction with Nintendo, most notably a recent interview for Nintendo Magazine UK. I’m not a game designer though, the whole thing is just a fun proof-of-concept kind of exercise. It’s helped bring up this conversation in the gaming world, and that’s the best I ever hoped for.
Hi! When I was growing up, I was told over and over that comics and graphic novels (AND science) were only for guys. Reading your comics online was my first exposure to a love I hadn't even considered I was allowed to have! I just wanted to say thank you for that!
No problem! That stinks that you had to grow up in an environment like that, but I’m glad that you’ve discovered a new passion!
Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for your art and storytelling, which are always top notch. The internet may be sour and like to take your not receiving hate as a challenge, but I'm glad the majority of your received messages have been positive. Way back when you first started this blog, you made a bunch of posts about comic theory and I found them incredibly helpful and interesting! Is that anything you'd ever consider picking up again?
Thanks! It’s been a couple years since I’ve done any essays/articles on comic theory and design, but it’s something I definitely want to start up again this year. My current non-comic set of priorities are:
Finish sending out the rest of the Kickstarter commissions
Set up a Patreon
Redesign the Dresden Codak website
Write new articles on comics???
So there are a few things I have to do first, but after that? Yeah!
Actually, no, I really haven’t run into any problems with it. The overwhelming majority has been positive feedback. Everyone’s experiences with anons are going to be different, but for me so far, it’s mostly been people who want to anonymously say nice things.
As I mentioned before, I’m a Straight White Man™, the least harrassed people on the planet, so your results may vary.
Hey, I'm sure you've been bugged about it before, but has work on the Silmarillion stopped? If so, will it be picked up? I'm not being impatient- I know you've got a lot to do, and you're not obligated to produce content for anyone. Just curious.
I’ll get around to it when I have time and the mood strikes. All of my reboots/redesigns are 100% nonprofit, so I can’t have them cutting into my actual work time.
So far, I love the Dark Science thread and can't wait to see where you go with the current story line. However, I do miss the Tokamak siblings, but I do understand why you decided not to include them in DS. But when you're done with DS, will we revisit Kim's hometown and what she had wrought o so long ago?
There’s a story as to why the Tokamak’s aren’t friends with Kim anymore, but I’ll probably never tell it because it’s probably very sad.
Hi. Been reading Dresden Codak for... 6, 7 years? Maybe longer? Always been curious, as a fan, how popular the site actually is. I sometimes meet people who have heard of it, or seen individual strips through friends, and I live in a pretty isolated, non-nerdy area. Do you have any sort of measurement on the site's popularity (hit counts/month, etc.)? Or do you just try to focus on and appreciate the fact there's fans and an income from it? Cheers!
It’s hard to properly gauge these things, but Dresden Codak is one of the larger webcomics when it comes to general audience size and overall online presence. I didn’t really investigate until it became the second most funded comics Kickstarter ever.
I was kind of surprised when I found out, because I don’t have much in the way of daily traffic. However that’s really only because the comic updates less frequently than a daily strip. Turns out the actual audience size is pretty big.
What other kinds of animals or creatures are in Nephilopolis beside tv headed cats?
There might not be many living creatures in the more urban parts of the city, but there are proper plants and animals on the island itself. There’s a more rural area around the outskirts of Nephilopolis that we may see soon…