February 1, 2013 by phicks2012
As the Chronicler of our local SCA group (that’s Society for Creative Anachronism, by the way — we recreate the historic Middle Ages, and Medieval is NOT spelled “Mid-evil”) it’s been my job for over 23 years to put out a monthly newsletter. That can be challenging, and while The Equinox started out relatively small it soon grew to average at least 36 pages. When you’re filling that much space, you need materials that will be useful and entertaining to your readers, and (let’s face it) people are not always forthcoming when you ask them for contributions of art, articles, recipes, event reports, letters from Officers, or humor.
It’s been a serious challenenge sometimes to fill the pages, so back in 2002 when I had a half-page to fill I bullied a friend of mine into giving me something. She sat down and drew a simple comic, making fun of one of our local Knights (not that difficult a concept given the colorful personality of the victim in question). I published it, and the next month I tried to get her to do another one, but — well, she balked. As a result, I thought “Well, if she can do it, I should be able to!” After all, I “sort of draw”, so I sat down and did a comic of my own, this one portraying the Lady who did the first strip. Turn-about is fair play, after all, right?
I knew SHE wouldn’t mind. After all, she keeps count of the number of times her name appears in print ;-), but when other people pestered me to produce more installments and I “branched out” to include more characters I suspected that someone eventually would take offense at being shown in the strip. Fortunately, those selected to be thus portrayed were chosen because they 1) had humorous and entertaining quirks, and 2) had the ability to laugh at themselves, so no one had a problem with it. In fact, the supposed victims kept coming back to me and saying I needed to show them doing or saying particular things, and they handed me so very many ideas that I quickly had more than enough drawn to cover a full year — and more. I feared, as a result, that the jokes involved were going to be outdated before they could be published, and because the ideas just kept on coming I knew that I had to do something to deal with this problem.
The answer, handed to me by one of my “characters”, was to print more than one comic in each issue of the newsletter — and that was a EUREKA moment to be sure! I started printing two in each issue, and after a couple of years it was up to three, and eventually to four — where it now stands.
Over time the cast of characters has changed due to addition and attrition, and I’ve added, just for fun, my versions of some pop culture iconic images like movie monsters and sparkling vampires, and I’ve managed over time to create characters that look more and more like the actual people they represent — and to slowly mutate the original characters to have a closer resemblance as well.
The comics continue to be archived at http://www.covingtoncastle.com/solhaven/sscom.htm for anyone wanting to check them out, and I do allow them to be reprinted in other SCA newsletters if the local Chroniclers contact me for permission. Just sayin’…
I’m not a great comic artist. I make no claims to that level of talent, and will never rival any of THE GREATS. However, I still enjoy creating these, and hope you’ll enjoy seeing them even if you might not “get” the many inside jokes!!
Below are some selections from the Second Year (2003), and I hope you enjoy them.