March 19, 2013 by phicks2012
As I’ve outlined in three previous posts, I have served for over 23 years (a Known World Record) as the Chronicler for our local SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism – with an accent of Creativity, in my case) branch, and am responsible for putting out the monthly newsletter (The Equinox) for the Shire of Sol Haven. Over the years I’ve created both poetry and art (along with articles, puzzles, quizzes, and other items) for use in the newsletter, and have thus amassed a collection of such things.
The newsletter averages over 36 pages an issue, and when you have that much space to fill on a monthly basis you learn how to fill that space. You get creative, and back in 2002 when I had a half-page to fill I brow-beat a Lady in my group into giving me something. She grumbled, but sat down and drew a simple comic lampooning a colorful local Knight (who, thankfully, also had a sense of humor and of the absurd), and I published it. But she balked at doing another one the next month, go figure, so it occurred to me that I could try doing something of the same sort myself. After all, while I was no Stan lee I did “draw”, and I thought that even with such limited ability and experience I should be able to manage a simple comic! So, taking my inspiration from what my friend had previously done, I drew a comic featuring the Lady who had given me the first one, because I knew she had the ability to laugh at herself — a laudible talent!!
I never really considered doing more comic strips after that, but when other people came to me wanting more of the things, and just kept on supplying me with ideas for the future, I somehow kept going. I included more characters, choosing other people with interesting quirks, entertaining personalities, and good senses of humor, and none of them objected or took offense at being included. In fact, they seemed to be flattered, and they in turn generated yet more ideas! They furnished me with so many that I quickly had more than enough strips drawn to cover a full year, and I was fairly sure, as a result, that the jokes were going to be old and outdated (meaning far less funny) before they could be published. Humor often relies upon timing, and therefore I needed a solution — especially when the suggestions just kept on coming in.
The answer, cheerfully offered up by one of my “victims”, was to print more than one comic in each issue of the newsletter — so I started printing two in each issue, and after a couple of years it was up to three, and eventually to four — at which number it still stands.
Over the years I believe I’ve managed to improve, and to make the cartoons resemble more closely the actual people portrayed, and the pop culture characters I’ve come to include just for fun. I feel I’ve also added other improvements to the strips over time, and I hope you agree as I continue to include installments in my posts!
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.
I make no claims to great artistic talent, but I do enjoy doing the strips! Below are some selections from the Fourth Year (2005), and I hope you enjoy them.