Tips For Drawing Thaco/Big Ears

The most recent page is a particularly detailed one and is going to be late. So I’m posting this until then.

-Tarol


Updates Are Back On

So I’m back to working condition after my surgery. I have another one in April, but that’s probably going to be super minor and won’t cut into my work time. But at this point, I’m able to work without hindrance, so there’s nothing stopping me from going back to posting updates every Monday.

Thanks for your patience everyone and I hope you enjoy today’s update.

-Tarol


Goblins Updates

I had surgery on my mouth/face. I’ve been mostly in bed while healing. It sucks, but I’m getting better. Apologies for the lack of content.

-Tarol


My Tutorial: Creating A D&D City

EDIT: The tutorial (which is over two hours long) is now up on YouTube.

Due to a snow storm causing many power outages and me spending too much time this week on the card game (mostly the card game thing), there is no update today. However, I’m about to create some filler that I think some folks might enjoy.

My plan is to live stream a tutorial on how to create an awesome tabletop RPG city, filled with quests and lots of stuff for the players to explore (and wreck). I will then upload that unedited tutorial onto YouTube. I’m setting up to start this right now.

EDIT: I should mention that since I’m trying to create a fairly tight tutorial video, I won’t be joking around or answering questions etc as much as I usually do. Though I will answer questions about the subject matter.

Here’s the link to the live stream.

Here’s the link to the YouTube video.

The next Goblins page will go up on Monday, Feb 13th (and every Monday after that).

Thank you!

-Tarol

And feel free to follow me on Twitter for the type of rambling that you could find at literally millions of other Twitter accounts!


Goblins Changes For 2017

The next Goblins update comes Monday, January 2nd followed by every Monday after that. At least this is the current plan. You see, I’ve been lucky enough to hire the award winning artist, Cheyenne Wright who among other things, colours the popular webcomic, Girl Genius (written by Phil and Kaja Foglio). The fact that Phil Foglio’s 1980s comic ‘What’s New’, is one of the main things that got me into drawing a Dungeons & Dragons themed comic in the first place, is kinda surreal to me. Goblins has four parents. What’s New, Wormy, Heavy Metal Magazine and Elfquest.

Anyways, if you’d like to take a quick look at Cheyenne’s colouring, click here.

So with Cheyenne’s help, it is my strong hope that I’ll be able to keep up with at ‘least’ a once per week update schedule. For now, it’s every Monday. If this works out, we’ll see how it goes from there. Cheyenne is apparently made of art-magic and can colour pages faster than I can type the words “Cheyenne is apparently made of art-magic”. Whether or not we can update more than once per week is based purely on my drawing speed. With the new colourist, comes a new look to the art style. I adore what Cheyenne is bringing to the pages and I hope you all will too.

Sometime in January, I’ll also be working with my new tech wizard, who will greatly improve the look and feel of the website itself. So look forward to massive, visual changes in the website, as well.

With a bit of extra time, I’m really hoping to FINALLY finish my work on the Goblins Card Game (which I have barely touched in weeks), as well as a few other responsibilities I have, connected to Goblins.

As always, thank you for everything!

-Tarol

My Twitter

Cheyenne’s Twitter


Wanted: Colourist For Goblins (filled)

EDIT: The position has been filled. Thank you so much to everyone who applied!

It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to maintain an update schedule that I consider frequent and reliable. For this reason, I’ve decided to try hiring a colourist for my webcomic, Goblins. I tried this years ago but the artist, through no fault of his own, had to back out before long.

Here’s what you’d be required to do…

I’d send you the black and white pages and you’d be colouring them and adding lighting effects, shading, etc. Here are some examples of my colouring style and what would be required of you. Some of these visuals would be very common, while others are fairly rare. (click on the pic for a closer view).

Effects like these beams of light.

The way this hallway fades off into the darkness and the water visuals on the stairs.

Textures like this metal armour or the glass-like tip of his sword hilt.

Rock textures and metallic shine, etc.

Your job wouldn’t be to mimic my style. I’d want you to bring your style and skills into it in a way that compliments the feel of the comic. However, I’m not looking for a drastic change in style with a vastly different look. I don’t want Goblins to suddenly become a completely different comic, visually.

There would be times when a page would require more time consuming visuals and believe me, I understand how that is. In those times, I’d be happy to take on a bit of the colouring workload or listen to your suggestions on how those visuals could maybe be handled in a better way.

Here’s what I’m looking for in an artist…

Long Term

Having a new artist add their talents to the comic changes the look and feel. It requires the readers, for better or worse (hopefully better), to adjust to the change. It’s kind of like seeing a different actor play a known character in a movie’s sequel. So naturally, I’d rather not have this change occur a bunch of times as I hire different artists. I understand that life happens and unexpected changes will sometimes happen. But the artist should be coming in with every intent to stick around.

Experienced

Whether it’s professional experience or just a lot of creating on your own, I need someone who’s created a lot of work and is very familiar with what they’d be doing. If you’re still ‘cutting your teeth’ with this kind of medium, then you might not be what I’m looking for.

The Right Style

Your colouring style isn’t going to perfectly match mine. However, it should compliment the feel of the comic. This can be because your style is very similar to mine or it can be because you’re bringing something that, although very different than my style, just makes this particular comic look awesome.

Photoshop, Manga Studio, etc

Goblins is drawn in Photoshop on a drawing tablet, so I’d be sending you the black and white pages to be coloured on your computer and sent back to me. You’ll need to be very familiar with using your computer as your medium.

Take Instruction But Not Need It

There are things in Goblins that absolutely need to be shown in a very specific way, so I’d need an artist who is okay with me being annoyingly specific at times. A magic sword might need to glow a very specific way or a scene might require a certain emotional feel with the lighting. Most of the time however, I’d want you to make it yours in your way. If I’ve hired you, it’s because I like your style and I am confident that you know what you’re doing. As an artist myself, I completely understand that the more creative freedom I take away from you, the harder it is for you to feel passionate about what you’re creating. Faded passion means faded quality and a bored artist makes boring work. Which leads me to…

Passionate About This

You wouldn’t have to have read the whole comic or be personally into the story, but you’d need to enjoy what you’re working on, on some level. No matter how talented and experienced you are, I can’t use an artist who’s just looking for a paycheck. If you’re not into fantasy styled comics/artwork, then that’ll show in your work.

Communicate Well And Be An Awesome, Intelligent Person

I can’t imagine this working with an artist who I can’t get along with. We’ve all had to work with someone we didn’t like and we know how that goes.

Be Able To Keep Up With The Schedule

I realize how hypocritical it is for me to add this point, since I’ve been defeated by deadlines more often than the Joker has been defeated by Batman. However, the whole point of this is to be able to have a dependable update schedule. I need to be able to create at least one page per week. I’d love to someday update even faster, but I don’t know how realistic that is with this comic. You’d need to have the time to colour one page a week, dependably. Now here’s where my message gets a little conflicting…

I’m an artist and I know how deadlines can be missed. I know how there will be times when artwork is late. Especially when you are passionate about creating the best work that you can. In fact, I’m nervously hoping that I myself, am not ever late in handing you the black and white page that you need. So while I understand the artist/deadline relationship, I need this to work. So if you’re an applicant sending me examples of your work, don’t give me beautifully detailed digital paintings that took you six weeks to create. If you know that you can’t create that kind of work on the required schedule, then you’re not showing me what you’d be creating. Also, if your schedule is really busy, then this might not be best fit for you.

An Adult

Since I mentioned on Twitter, that I’d be placing this ad, a bunch of people have already contacted me about it and some of those people are a bit too young to hire. I’ve seen the art you sent and more than once, I was blown away. Please, please keep creating. You’re awesome and I so need to see that kind of talent continue grow over time.

And now the final details, like…

How Much Does It Pay

The base pay is $125 per page (that’s Canadian dollars, so I think that works out to around $100 American). I say “base pay” because there are a bunch of things that can/will alter that number. I just want you to have some idea of what you’re looking at before you apply. That’s with an intent to make 4 pages per month. I’d be super happy if we could get to 6 or even 7 pages per month, but that might not be possible.

How Do I Apply

Send me some of your work. 3 – 8 examples should be about right, but that’s just a guideline. Or you can link me to a collection of your work on DeviantArt, etc. Send your email to thuntsthisland@gmail.com along with a brief description of who you are and what kind of experience you have. I’ll be emailing those artists that I think might be a good fit and giving more detailed information about payment, the contract you’d be signing, etc. I’ll also be happy to answer any questions you might have for me. After that step, I’ll make my decision. I’m not certain how long this process will take, so I can’t really tell you when you can expect a response from me.

Thank you SO much to those of you who are applying. I really appreciate the time you’re taking to do this and while I’m sure I won’t be able to respond to everyone, I will carefully look over the artwork you send/link. If you’ve already sent me your work, please resend it to the email shown here.

You can also follow me on Twitter, if you’re not already. That’s a great way to shoot me a question or keep an eye on what’s going on.

Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.

-Tarol


Goblins of Elderstone – Kickstarter

The folks over at Lost Goblin, have been working on a gorgeous game called Goblins of Elderstone.

As it’s unfinished, I have yet to play it. But check out the Kickstarter! This thing looks awesome!

But it’s missing something… I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels like there should be something more. Hmmm…

Of course! It needs some Thuntonian Goblins! Well fear not! The folks over at Lost Goblin are already working to add Thaco, Big Ears, Fumbles and Complains of Names to the game! And if the game does really well, they’d love to add more characters, like Minmax, Kin, etc.

So I’m urging everyone to go look at their Kickstarter and give ’em some support. We Goblins gotta stick together, ya know? They’re a bunch of really nice people who are bursting with talent and have massive amounts of passion for this project. If you have any questions for them over on the Kickstarter page, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to accommodate.

Now, I want to be very up front about my connection with this project. This is NOT my Kickstarter. This is Lost Goblin’s baby and none of the Kickstarter money comes to me. By supporting this game, you’re supporting something separate from me and my work. Also, this is not an ad, as I am not being paid to support Lost Goblin or their Kickstarter. However, adding my characters to the game is a business decision, which means that I could possibly profit (financial/exposure) down the line if the game is as successful as we all hope it is. We’re still working out the details of the contract, so I can’t yet say for certain how that will all work out. I just wanted to make sure everything is all out in the open. 🙂

Tarol’s Twitter

Lost Goblin’s Twitter

Mostly though, I just have an uncontrollable NEED to play this game! Hey, maybe they’ll let me live stream it sometime!

SQUEEEEEEE! I mean… erm… manly noise of grizzled excitement.

-Tarol


The Goblins Live Stream Schedule

Live Boop

People have been telling me that they can never catch my live streams because of time zone differences. So I’m trying out a new schedule in which I broadcast twice, every Mon/Wed/Fri.


Why Is This Page Unfinished?

So Danielle and I have to go away until Monday(ish), Sept 12(ish). I was determined to finish the page before we left, but today has been all about laying in bed moaning the moans of the ouched. I was and am still quite ill. Which will make this weekend interesting. Anyways, I REALLY don’t want to have you folks wait until mid September for this page. So I’m doing something I don’t really do and posting it without colour and even without a lot of the inking.

This is a big page. I’ve been laying the groundwork for this very moment for over a decade. I hope you like it.

Also, I won’t be able to live stream on September 9th.

As always, thanks for reading.

-Tarol


The Live Stream Schedule Evolves Further

Here’s the most recent stage of the live stream schedule…

Mondays (‘try not to die‘ day) – 2:00 PM PST

EDIT: I won’t be running any old D&D stuff today. I’ll have to wait until next Monday to start that. Today’s stream will just be drawing.

I dug up boxes, binders and briefcases containing a lot of my homemade D&D adventures. Some of them dating back over 30 years. Periodically, I’ll take a break from drawing, and run the chatroom through simplified bits of my old dungeon crawls. See if you can do better than the adventurers who went through them back in the 80s and 90s. Warning: Some of these adventures that I’ll be using, are really bad. They date back to when I was 10 years old.

Wednesdays (theme not yet established) – 2:00 PM PST

Fridays (‘free loot’ day‘) – 2:00 PM PST

Fridays are when I’ll run the Giveaway Clock. When that thing counts down to zero, I’ll randomly select someone in the chatroom and mail them a piece of Goblins merchandise.

Thanks!

-Tarol


Today’s Live Stream

I’ll be going live at 2:00 PM PST today.

Untitled-1

I’ll be drawing and at various points throughout the stream, giving away some Goblins tshirts. So come and hang out with other awesome folks. This is a great place to ask me questions and share your opinions about the comic. Or you can just lurk silently and see if you win a tshirt. XD

The streaming schedule is now…

Mondays – (starting time not yet established)

Wednesdays – (starting time not yet established)

Fridays – 2:00 PM PST

Thanks for being awesome!

-Tarol


Late Night Monday Live Stream

Live Boop

I haven’t made the official announcement yet, but there will now be a regular schedule for my live drawing. The streaming days will be…

Monday/Wednesday/Friday (I’ll work out the best times for each stream asap)

Tonight’s stream is starting crazy late and this won’t be the norm. Tonight I’m (finally) finishing the newest Goblins page. However, the visuals of this page are not very spoilery. It’s the dialogue that’d be spoilery, and you won’t see that on the stream.

Warning: I have gotten a comically small amount of sleep in the last few days, and I know from experience, that I can seem a little… intoxicated if I’m sleep deprived enough. I’ve made a fool of myself before (more than usual even 😛 ) so to avoid this tonight, I’ll be fairly toned down. I’m happy to answer questions, etc while I’m drawing.

-Tarol


The Goblins Game vs The Goblins Comic

Two or three years ago, I ran a Kickstarter with a small gaming company called Evertide Games. Our goal was to raise $30,000 to create a Goblins card game called Goblins: Alternate Realities. We raised over $180,000 which the head of the company stole and disappeared with.

Since then, I’ve been working two jobs. Drawing the comic and creating the card game. It’s been rough and it feels surreal to say this, but I’m seriously almost done the card game. So I’ve been spending the last couple weeks burning through the last of the work on the game. I know this sucks for those of you wanting the comic to update, but just imagine… in (hopefully) another couple weeks, I’ll be working ONE job for the first time in years! The comic can update faster! I can do crazy things like leave the house for non-essential reasons!

So I’ve hired NaniRoxy (who happens to have his own webcomic called SwitchOut) to write and draw two guest pages for me. While these pages aren’t canon, they’re gorgeous and awesome. The second guest page should be appearing on or around July 14th. After that, I’ll be back to work on the comic with the work on the card game (again, hopefully) behind me.

As far as the release date for the game, that’s still unknown. I’ve been in talks with people and I’m optimistically hoping to be able to provide a copy of the game to the backers who were promised one all those moons ago. I’m also hoping that the game will be available to purchase for everyone else.

I’ve gotten my hands on the Kickstarter backer list (which was tough, since that legally belonged to Evertide as the KS was in their name) and if/when the time comes, I’ll start the task of going through the thousands of names to make sure that the information is up to date and accurate. If you’ve moved, don’t sweat it. We’ll find each other. We’ll make this happen and get you your game. For now, the focus is on finishing the artwork (which I’m proud to say, is hundreds of cards covered in original art), playtesting and design of the game. Later on, will come the ‘hunt down every backer I owe a copy of the game to’ phase. I want to stress that nothing is guaranteed at this point, but it’s looking good. It’s looking like this might actually happen.

What amazes me so much, is the overwhelming support I’ve gotten from the Goblinites. When I held my breath and made the announcement that the money was stolen, I honestly thought that might be the end of my career. I expected a lot of hate and anger but instead, I got love and support. This is the reason why I’ve been working on this game like I have. The years of effort I’ve been putting into it is a direct reflection of your support, trust and patience. And now that I’m almost done this phase of the process, I’m genuinely proud of what this game has become. It’s creativity and fun over profit and product.

It’s something I’m honestly excited about handing over to you.

Thank you.

-Tarol

NaniRoxy’s Twitter

Tarol’s Twitter


My Friend Just Opened a Restaurant!

Hey people in the Brooklyn area!


A friend of mine just recently opened up his restaurant, Propellerhead! Of course, not being in Brooklyn, I haven’t eaten there yet. So I’ve written up a review of the food, based on how I’m sure my eventual visit will actually go.


Tarol’s Review Of The Restaurant Propellerhead

Recently, I got a chance to visit Propellerhead in Brooklyn. I was particularly hungry when I walked into the restaurant, because I’d just finished doing some ‘extreme rocket gliding‘. It’s a sport I invented by strapping several large rockets onto a hand glider.

Most people can’t do it.

I can do it.

I’m really good at it.

Anyways, once inside, I ran into Stephen Hawking who thanked me for helping him with some physics problems that he was having trouble with.

It wasn’t long before I was sitting at my table and ordering the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, but just as I was about to start eating, I got a phone call. When I looked to see who it was, I rolled my eyes in exasperation. It was Scarlett Johansson. Again. I keep telling her that I’m a married man and we can never be lovers, but the poor girl just can’t help calling everyday and declaring her love for me.

I was about halfway through my lunch, when the restaurant was suddenly attacked by ninjas made of lasers and dragons. Everyone was terrified, but thankfully I’m an Epic Belt in Blur-Karate. It’s like regular karate but faster.

Most people can’t do it.

It can do it.

I’m really good at it.

Once I had beaten up the ninjas, I sat back down and finished my sandwich.

This has been Tarol’s restaurant review.

(PS – Oh, and the sandwich was good.)


So if you’re in the area and want to check it out, the address is…

752 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Here’s the Propellerhead website, but as the business is brand new, it’s still under construction at the time of writing this.

Here’s their Twitter, where you can take a look at the menu.
Over at Instagram, they’re propellerhead_bk

Thanks.
-Tarol


I’m leaving the country until April 29th

I’m going to be off the internet grid for a bit. However, I have my brand new, portable drawing tablet and I’ll be drawing while I’m gone, so hopefully I’ll have postable stuffs once I return.

Also, I’m going to have to turn off my Twitch bot while I’m gone. So DumbJarvis won’t be running the chat mini-games until I get back. Apologies to my Twitch regulars.

See you at the end of April!

-Tarol


Drantings – My New, Humble YouTube Series

As most of you know, I have a real problem with time. Being swamped with way more work than I can handle is just second nature to me after all these years. So taking on new creative projects is next to impossible, no matter how much I’d love to do it. However, over the past month, I’ve been tinkering with a concept for a YouTube series. Well at long last I think I’ve succeeded in designing a series that I can add to at a fast pace, without taking on any notable amount of extra work. How is this possible?

Drantings

Drawing and ranting. Whether I’m live streaming my drawing or just listening to music and drawing alone, I’ve started recording the process. Then I just pop into Movie Maker, speed up my recording and then narrate a rant, story, etc. over the visuals. And poof, I have my simple, little YouTube series. I’ve got two drantings up so far and it won’t be long before I add more. So if you don’t hate the sound of my voice and would like to watch time lapsed drawing of Goblins panels, feel free to check it out. If there’s any notable amount of interest in these, I’ll keep ’em up. Feel free to let me know what you like or don’t like about them and I’ll pay close attention to your comments.

Thank you.

-Tarol


Drawing Live

Live boop

Working on a time lapse video that will have been recorded in front of a live studio audience. Hello, live studio audience.

Chess


A Quick, Little Comic To Explain How I Feel

This is how I feel more and more often, these days. Not trying to make a big deal or anything. Just something I needed to draw.

-Tarol

33


New Vote Button Treasures

I just posted a new picture under the VOTE button (top/left corner of the site). It shows a cool fact about an iconic moment from the comic. Some of you might already know about this, but for those who didn’t know this… There ya have it. 🙂

(More visual neat stuff being posted under that vote button all throughout March, so check it out often.)

Thank you!

-Tarol


Thuntonian Lore #4 – Individual Magic Effect (IME)

Thuntonian magic permeates pretty much the entire realm. Although this magic is in abundance, great care and skill is needed to access it before it can be converted to energy and burned up to power spells or magic items.

IME Colour

As each person converts magic into energy, they unintentionally taint it with their own soul, which is itself, a form of energy. Since souls are different and unique, each person contaminates the energy they’re creating in a different and unique way.

To better understand this, imagine magic as water and the energy used to power a spell, as coffee. The spellcaster is like the paper filter and the coffee grounds represent that caster’s soul. Obviously, the water can’t become coffee, without first passing through the coffee grounds, which need to be held in place by the filter. Now imagine that everyone’s coffee grounds are a different colour. This results in each pot of coffee matching the colour of the grounds. But no matter what the coffee looks like, it’s basically the same strength and taste for everyone. It’s just a different colour.

This is basically how IME works. As the burning magic energy glows, that glow is a different colour for everyone. Of course, sometimes someone’s IME colour may appear to match someone else’s, but in ways that most mortals can’t detect, they’re always different.

How IME Is Affected By Levels

Ever wonder why a high level character has high bonuses in just about everything? Bonuses to hit, to do damage and even to display willpower. Sure, a lot of this is due to that character simply having more training and experience in the field, but characters can go up levels by doing things that have nothing to do with combat. Exploring the landscape, accomplishing tasks and “good roleplaying” all grant experience points and thereby higher levels. How can this affect stats and bonuses? Then there’s the hit points. High level characters just have more hit points and as a result, can shrug off damage that would have killed them a few levels ago. Well again, this all comes down to the soul.

Continuing with the coffee comparison, as a character goes up levels, their soul becomes more powerful. This is like adding more and more coffee grounds to their filter. This results in a stronger, more powerful coffee. The added coffee grounds intensify the coffee’s colour as well, but not in the way you might think.

Just as a dream produces imagery that deeply reflects that character’s inner mind, IME can create imagery reflecting that character’s soul.
As a character goes up levels, their IME begins to show imagery specific to that character. At first, this imagery is faint and discreet, but eventually it can grow to something visually spectacular.

Let’s use a hypothetical wizard as a typical example of how IME might progress. We’ll name him Rudy. When Rudy was a kid, he fell into an ancient, mass grave of a long lost tribe and was momentarily buried in dusty, old skulls. As a traumatizing event, this left a mark on his soul which helped shape who he grew up to be.

Rudy – Level 1
As a level 1 wizard, Rudy’s spells glow a deep green.

Rudy – Level 3
Rudy’s magic begins to faintly take shape. Small, glowing, green orbs float around his hands each time he casts a spell.

Rudy – Level 5
The orbs of green light have begun to loosely take the shape of skulls.

Rudy – Level 8
Rudy’s magic has become intense, life sized, deep green skulls of light that dance around his body, menacingly.

Rudy – Level 10
Large, terrifying green skulls orbit Rudy and glare at whatever he is focusing his magic on.

Rudy – Level 15
Rudy’s magic now creates massive, deep green skulls with brightly glowing eyes that shriek at the wizard’s target while he casts his spell. The shrieking is a ghostly, warped version of the screams he made as a boy in that open grave.

Rudy – Level 20
The intensity of Rudy’s IME has grown to legendary proportions and is whispered about by townsfolk in taverns and around campfires. It is said that if he casts a spell in anger, the very ground he stands on becomes forever scorched with the haunting imagery of horrifying, dark green skulls. And if you put your ear to the scorched ground and listen very carefully, you can faintly hear the panicked screams of a little boy. No one except the dark wizard, Rudy the Green will ever know what it means.

Applying IME To Your RPG Character

Here’s how I’ve used IMEs in my games of D&D…

The player decides the colour of their character’s IME as well as what it would look like at higher levels. The DM keeps a record of this and dictates what the IME appears as at what level. The player can’t decide at what rate the IME evolves.
Although the player can choose the look and colour of their character’s IME, the character has no say in the matter, anymore than they can choose the shape of their own nose.

Rudy is a loose guide to the rate of Thuntonian IME growth. It might be vastly different in your game.

Final Notes

Everyone has an IME, no matter what class they are. A fighter may not cast spells, but her IME still appears whenever she uses a glowing, magic sword or a magic ring that shoots fireballs.

Anyone can choose to suppress their IME down to a barely visual, dim glow but it takes conscious, mental effort to do this. Rudy doesn’t want shrieking skulls to float around him every time he magically lights a candle in his study. But during battle, he’s unlikely to devote any of his attention toward keeping his IME down.

In rare cases, IMEs can present more than sights and sounds (in fact, not all IMEs ever emit a sound, beyond a muffled “BAWUMF” or something). Some IMEs create smells, slight changes in temperature to the surrounding area or even mildly affecting the emotions of those who are nearby.
Drastic events can change a character’s IME, but this is very rare.

(PS – I’m hiding sneak peeks and other cool stuff under the vote button in the top/left corner of the site. You can vote for Goblins every day to help support the comic and see the good stuff, if you like. Thanks!)


Sneak Peeks Are Back

Let’s see if we can retake the number one spot over on Top Web Comics. I just posted a sneak peek under the ‘vote’ button (top/left corner of the Goblins home page). Click it to check it out and push Goblins up the TWC list.

My plan is to post a bunch of stuff throughout March, so check often. You can vote for Goblins once every 24 hours! And yes, the rules specifically say that you can vote from different computers (as in once as home, once at work, etc).

Thank you!

-Tarol


Thuntonian Lore #3 – Kliks (part 2)

5. Fluid

Untitled-1

Firstly, let’s clarify the line that separates fluid and organic kliks.

 
Blood is both organic and a fluid, but a klik made up of blood counts as a ‘fluid type’ and not an ‘organic type’. This is based on the thickness of the liquid. Physically, blood reacts a lot like water, which gives that klik the advantages and disadvantages of a ‘fluid type’. A klik made of a thicker material like honey, could fall into the fluid or organic category, depending on the consistency of that particular honey. A klik made up of an organic substance with a more ‘gelatinous’ consistency, would be counted as an ‘organic type’.

 
Fluid kliks have the widest range of extremes when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. They require more food energy than other types, since they need to not only hover, but keep their liquid bodies together at all times. A healthy, well fed fluid klik won’t drip or evaporate under normal circumstances. Their positive is usually the same material that they’re made of.

 
Being made of liquid means that fluid kliks are immune to all non-magical slashing and stabbing damage. Swords and arrows simply pass harmlessly through them. However, blunt attacks like clubs and maces will do double damage to them as chunks of them can ‘splash’ away. If these kliks become too damaged or starved, they can lose the strength to hold themselves together. This will cause them to ‘drip’ themselves away until they either feed on their positive or die.

 
Within this type of klik are the two subgroups, hot and cold. This is not based on the type of liquid that the fluid klik is made of. One klik made of water can lean toward heat, while another water klik can lean toward cold. Each of these two subgroups follow their own rules.

 
A. Heat

 
A fluid klik in this subgroup doesn’t take damage from non-magical heat. It can be heated up to boiling and even (liquid type permitting) evaporated into a gas and still function, unharmed. It can operate with the properties of a gas until condensation naturally returns the klik back to its liquid state. However, a heat tending fluid klik is vulnerable to cold damage and is automatically killed if frozen solid.

 
B. Cold

 
A fluid klik in this subgroup doesn’t take damage from non-magical cold. If it gets cold enough to freeze (reacting normally within the logistics of the liquid they’re made of), it will feel no ill effects or loss of movement or abilities. In frozen form, the fluid klik gains any advantages or abilities that being solid ice might provide. When the fluid klik naturally melts, it comfortably returns to its liquid form. The cold tending fluid klik is vulnerable to heat damage however and is automatically killed if boiled away or evaporated via heat.

 
There is no record of a fluid klik capable of leaning toward both heat and cold.

 
Kloks

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Kliks have their own form of “marriage” that is difficult for most humanoids to fully understand. On rare occasions, a small group of kliks (usually two to five), will decide to merge themselves into one being called a klok. This irreversible process combines each klik’s sense of individuality into one, equally shared consciousness.

 
Almost every aspect of each klik being merged is added to the newly created klok. Memories, physical traits, personality traits, etc. are all present in the new creature. Kloks can ingest any positive that belonged to the kliks who merged. However those klik’s negatives no longer pose a danger to a klok.

 
Aside from the added freedom of being able to choose from a collection of positives, rather than only being compatible with one, the klok possesses the combined intellect of all the kliks merged into it. Kloks are also notably more powerful than kliks. They’re able to use tools, wield weapons, cast spells and once old enough, develop powerful, magical abilities. It’s these ancient kloks that are able to create gateways into different dimensions and realms, allowing the species to spread to different worlds.

 
Despite all of this added power, the concept of giving up personal identity is horrifying and difficult to understand for most humanoids. A common question humanoids ask is “Which klik has control?”. The answer is equal parts “None of them” and “All of them”. Here is an imperfect analogy…

 
When a human drinks enough alcohol, they become drunk and their personality changes. Their intelligence, dexterity and confidence are all changed. Now imagine that the alcohol ingested was its own creature and the human and alcohol were “merged”. The alcohol’s personality and the human’s personality combined to form a new creature with a completely new personality. Yet, while the human feels their personality change and some of the decisions they make are made by the alcohol, they always feel control over themselves. It never feels as though another being has taken control away from the human, simply that the human has become something different than what it was.
There are of course, a lot of differences between this analogy and the formation of a klok, but it gives a partial insight into what it feels like from the klik’s point of view.

 
The main reason for kliks deciding to merge like this, is due to a powerful, family-like bond formed amongst the group.

 
Tics

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Tics are the most mysterious aspect of the species. They’re often mistaken as “baby kliks”, but this isn’t the case. Tics are sub-creatures that are comparable to plants or house pets. What they lack in consciousness, they more than make up for in power.

 
Tics are created seemingly from nothing, by very old kloks. Once a klok creates a gateway to another world, tics are sent to the new realm decades or even centuries before any klik or klok may enter. The reason for this is because tics posses so much power, that they gradually and discreetly alter the world’s laws of physics. These changes in universal logic are what make it possible for kliks to populate the new world and maintain the seemingly impossible abilities like hovering, shape changing, symbiotic procreation, etc.
Tics don’t have positives or negatives. They exist on the massive amount of energy given to them at the moment of their creation. This energy takes a few hundred thousand years to drain, but once it’s depleted, the tic quietly dies.

 
Procreation

 
Possibly the most notable aspect of the species is the way they procreate. Like most living creatures, kliks require a soul to exist. However, unlike most creatures, kliks can’t create new souls for their young. What they do to get past this handicap is an extraordinary feat of symbiosis.

 
A klik wishing to create new life first finds a living creature with a soul of its own. This can be a humanoid, animal, monster… anything with a soul. Then the klik attaches a small orb of its own material onto the creature. Over time, that orb is considered by the creature’s soul, to be a natural part of the body. If we think of the soul as a form of energy that radiates within every part of the creature, then we can understand why that soul eventually fills the orb as it would an arm or a leg. Once this is accomplished, the orb harmlessly separates from the creature, taking with it the small bit of ‘soul’ that filled it up. The new klik now has its own soul that although started as a “copy” of a section of the creature’s soul, grows to become something unique as the klik gains its own experiences and memories. This process doesn’t harm the creature or take anything away from it. In fact, once completed, the creature is left slightly healthier and with a slightly longer lifespan.

 
The creature chosen, can affect the klik being created in a number of ways. While a humanoid usually creates kliks with hands, a horse can give way to a klik with hoves. A fish can create a klik with fins, a bird, one with wings and so on.

 
Past generations can also affect the outcome of the new klik’s physical and magical make up. If a klik three generations ago, was created from some inter-dimensional beast with twenty tentacles, the new klik that was just formed from a human, might find itself with twenty hands.

 
The creature chosen and past generations can all contribute to the material and type of the new klik. This allows a metallic klik to end up creating an energy klik, etc.

 
(I’ll discuss warped kliks in Kliks Part III)


Thuntonian Lore #2 – Kliks (part 1)

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The klik species are a genderless symbiotic race that have spread through multiple dimensions. They have a large amount of magical power but as a result, can at times, be dangerously volatile.

There are five basic klik types, all with the ability to become various mutations of themselves. Some of those mutations are a healthy form of evolution, while others are twisted and dangerous.

 
Positives And Negatives

 
Each klik has its own ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.

The positive is what that klik is required to “eat”. It’s what provides the massive amount of food energy needed to not only stay alive, but to allow it to heal, hover and perform other abilities. The negative is that klik’s main weakness. Contact with the negative rapidly breaks the klik down and ultimately kills it.

While each klik’s type may tend toward certain positives/negatives (a klik made of fire will commonly have water as a negative), there is no hard rule about this. With the exception of the temporal kliks (see below), any type can have any positive or negative.

 
The Five Types Of Klik

1. Metallic
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Metallic kliks are the most common of the five types. They can appear as any sort of naturally occurring metal and even some types of stone. Along with the ability to hover that all kliks have, metallic kliks can polymorph at will, into basic shapes. When they are in any shape other than their natural form (usually a sphere), metallic kliks are unable to hover.

2. Energy
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Energy kliks can be made of fire, electricity or certain types of magical or mechanical energy. They don’t really have a solid form and as a result, are much faster than other types. Energy kliks can have their own unique sets of advantages and handicaps that are separate from the issues they have with positives and negatives. For instance, a klik made up of electricity (or “lightning” as most folks in Thuntonia would call it) can travel through a conducting surface like steel or water. A klik made of sunlight would have no problem killing off a group of vampires, but would be vulnerable to a Darkness spell.

3. Organic

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Organic kliks are the most diverse. They can be made of skin, claws, plant matter (wood, leaves), insect legs, spider webbing, hair, teeth… this means that they can sometimes be kind of gross or terrifying to look at. Organic kliks aren’t as strongly affected by their positives/negatives. While their positive can take hours instead of seconds, to heal their wounds, their negative will not be as damaging to them as it is with other forms.

4. Temporal
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Temporal kliks are partially made of “time” and exist in 3 to 6 consecutive moments of time at once, thus the echoed imagery. While these kliks follow the same rules as other types regarding negatives, their positives are oddly unique. A temporal klik might know what you’re going to do a few seconds before you do it, because it’s partly existing a few seconds in the future and is already experiencing it. Naturally, this tends to lead toward the standard paradoxes that come with time travel and it’s these paradoxes that the temporal klik “eats” as a positive. I’ll give an example…

Imagine that you are about to step on a banana peel, causing you to slip and fall. A temporal klik is hovering next to you and since it exists a few seconds in the past and future as well as the present, it is watching you slip and fall just before you actually do it. Since it also exists in the time frame in which you haven’t fallen yet, the temporal klik grabs you by the shoulder and points to the banana peel, thereby stopping you from ever slipping on it. This creates a pretty standard paradox. The klik sees you fall, allowing it to stop you from falling, which stops the klik from seeing the event, which makes it impossible for it to have stopped you from falling. This of course, causes you to fall, which restarts the cycle of impossibility.

These paradoxes create a kind of logical feedback that temporal kliks can absorb as energy. Once the paradox has been eaten as the klik’s positive, it no longer exists. This cleanly sorts out the timeline in ways that beings who exist in only one moment at a time can’t hope to understand.

Different temporal kliks eat different types of paradoxes. Sometimes the paradoxes require conscious decisions made by other beings. Sometimes they need to involve the destruction of matter. Some temporal kliks can only absorb paradoxes that spread into tiny pockets of time, disturbing very little in a universal sense, while others need paradoxes that ripple outward, affecting events on a cosmic scale.

Existing in multiple moments at a time, makes it nearly impossible to physically harm a temporal klik. Much like the banana peel scenario, these kliks will usually know that they’re going to be attacked before it happens.

 
About Kliks Part Two

 
Aside from the five basic types of klik, there are also kloks (the larger, more complex looking guys) and tics (the tiny guys). I’ll cover these in part two.


Thuntonian Lore #1

2016 brought some updates to my Patreon page. One of the changes, is that with each comic update, I’m now posting a blog bit about something in the Thuntonian Universe (which is a terrible name but around here, it’s what we tend to call the realm in which Goblins takes place).
Goblins is something I’ve been working on for a decade, but the world in which it takes place, is something that I’ve been writing for a total of thirty five years. You see, Goblins is based off of my D&D games, which I ran almost constantly for twenty five years before I started the comic. This means that an immense amount of detail has been put into Thuntonia (I know, it’s just… just an awful name, but it’s so damn convenient).

You’ll be getting info on things like ‘how are Gods created’, ‘what happens if you’re tougher than the Grim Reaper’, ‘why do goblin eyes turn dark’, ‘how exactly does magic work’ and tons of info about the biology of Thuntonian elves, dwarves, etc.

So if you’re a supporter over on my Patreon page, thank. You. Seriously, thankyouthankyouthankyou! If you’re not a Patron, but would still like to help me out, you could always go over to Twitbook or Faceter or whatever social media you like and just say “hey, check out this comic” or something to that effect. And if you don’t want to do that, you can still support Goblins by turning off your ad blocker. And if you don’t want to do that you can STILL support Goblins simply by reading it. And if you don’t want to do that, you can STILL help me by not punching me in the face if you pass me on the street. If you’re doing any of these things, thank you.
Anyway, here’s…
Thuntonian Lore #1 – Demons (part 1)

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The AD&D Monster Manual lists demons and devils as two separate species. Some people have been a bit confused when they see me referring to ‘devils’ as ‘demons’. In Thuntonia, they’re all simply referred to as demons.

Thuntonian demons live in hell and are animated by a form of magic that is more powerful, but more chaotic than the magic found on the prime material plane (that’s where regular folks live). Thuntonian magic is actually a form of energy. On the prime material plane, spells and magic items tap into that energy and use it to power whatever that spell or item is designed to do. In hell, that magic is a massive amount of excess energy that constantly and violently generates various types of heat and radiation into the atmosphere it permeates. This is what gives hell its fiery state. It’s also why demons have no problem with heat and fire. In the same way that sunlight would kill a vampire but feel quite comfortable to a human, fire would kill a human but feel comfortable to a demon.

Since hell magic produces so much energy, demons don’t require food energy to live. They get all the “calories” they need just by existing. But demons don’t have souls and this means they need sustenance that mortals don’t. To understand this, I need to explain how Thuntonian souls work.

How Souls Work

Souls are indirectly responsible for mortals dying of old age, instead of living indefinitely. Imagine the prime material plane as a dark room. In order for life to exist, it needs to shine through that darkness with light. Now think of a soul as electricity and a mortal body as a light bulb. The bulb emits light and we have a living creature. However, while the electricity (soul) can exist forever in one form or another, the light bulb (body) will eventually burn out.

Hell is like a brightly lit room and demons are like bulbs that are not generating any light. They don’t need to, since the room itself is already lit up. Without electricity (a soul) running through them, the bulbs (demons) never burn out and can exist pretty much forever. But just like breaking a light bulb, demons can still be killed.

Souls are what make certain emotions possible. While souls have little to do with whether someone is good or evil, they’re what generate love, empathy, passion, and other feelings. While a demon can experience hate, anger and lust, only a creature with a soul can passionately experience those emotions. It takes a soul to create and appreciate all forms of art. Being moved by a story, painting, song… this is only possible with a soul.

It’s this passion that sustains us. Without ever experiencing any of these feelings in one form or another, we’re really not alive. But demons are living creatures, so how do they manage to exist without being able to generate any kind of extreme, passionate emotions? Well, they are forced to absorb the experiences of others.

Why Demons Love To Make Others Suffer

Demons are able to ‘capture’ the passionate experiences of other souls and use that as a sort of emotional food. While a number of passionate feelings can be absorbed by demons, suffering is by far, the easiest and most energy efficient state to take. This is why hell is known for capturing the souls of mortals and forcing them to suffer in various horrible ways. Souls are like never ending generators of sustenance for demons.

Because of this, demons will often use souls as a form of currency in hell. And since some souls are more capable of suffering than others, some souls are worth more. This is where the whole concept of ‘sacrificing a virgin’ came from. In the rare times that a demon could reach the prime material plane, they might sometimes demand souls. The more innocent, goodly souls tended to be capable of experiencing horrible suffering to a greater extent. The demons honestly didn’t care if the sacrificed person had ever had sex or not. But if the person being sacrificed to the demon was a virgin, there was a greater chance that they were innocent and “pure”. For countless ages, mortals have misunderstood this concept and it has become fairly common practice to sacrifice virgins to Gods, the weather, volcanoes… I mean, if it worked to get the huge, fiery demon to leave the village alone, maybe sacrificing a virgin to improve the crops will work. Yeah… mortals can be dumb.

Demons Have Shaped Our Nightmares

Some of our instinctual fears are there for natural reasons. We fear the dark because there might be a hungry predator hiding in the shadows. We fear snakes and spiders because they might be poisonous and kill us with a single bite. But why do we fear monstrous things that don’t exist on our plane? Well, we can thank demons for that. As a species, demons are much older than any mortal life that’s around today and they’ve been pestering humanoids since the beginning. Demons and demonic imagery doesn’t look the way it does because it’s what mortals fear. Mortals fear those images because that’s what demons look like.

Demons Invented Swearing

Why are some words forbidden? Why do certain words cause noble souls to gasp at hearing them or mothers to cover their child’s ears?

Demons have their own language and of course, this language is older than any mortal species that exists today. This language is so old, so drenched in nightmarish horror, that simply hearing a demon speak it, can cause mortals to go insane or become evil. Many ages ago, mortals would on rare occasion, witness a demon speaking in its hellish language. While telling the tales of their rare encounter to others, those mortals would try to replicate the words they heard. Of course, no mortal can properly speak the demonic tongue. However, just making the sounds to the best of their abilities, carried a fraction of the dark power that the language held. These mispronounced demonic words felt… wrong to hear and even worse to say. Over time a few of these bastardized, pseudo demonic words have become part of the common tongue. They’re easily said by those who don’t shy away from darker thoughts and sometimes, even uttered by the innocent in times of anger, shock or pain.

Are Demons Evil

Yes and no. Not having a soul means that demons are incapable of feeling empathy or friendship toward other demons or those they torture in their realm of fire and brimstone. It’s this lack of empathy that has them betraying each other and conveying no sense of honour or compassion. Yet their cruelty always has a purpose. Demons by their nature, cause suffering in others because it’s how they survive. A human who rips the wings off of a fly, simply to watch it flail about, does so without a purpose. A demon would never do something like this, simply because… well, why bother? Whether or not you think they’re evil, they’re undoubtedly horrible and scary.

Angels

Angels also have no souls of their own and are a lot like demons. Though instead of feeding off of mortal suffering, they feed off of mortal joy. This is why they tend to help out mortals in need and produce “miracles”. Angels don’t really capture and collect souls, like demons do. This is merely because a captured soul is harder to keep happy. It’s better to visit the prime material plane, create some kind of joy and move on. And just as a demon can’t care one way or another about the mortals themselves, neither can an angel. They simply want to feed.

Comic Notes

Let’s answer some questions I can imagine popping up from readers after reading this…

1. Complains of Names still has his soul. His soul was… erm… ‘dented’ a bit when he became part demon, but he’s still got one. The full extent of his transformation will crop up in the comic at some point.

2. Yes, Big Ears saying “shit”, was him saying one of those words that sound like demonic but isn’t. Swear words aren’t actually evil, they just ‘feel’ kind of evil. So while a paladin can technically swear all they want, they tend to not want to do it much at all.

3. Yes, Not-Walter feeds off of suffering, too. I know. I try not to think about that, either.

As always, thank you for everything.

-Tarol


Look out! It’s My Ideological Agenda!

This is something I feel like I should explain.

In the last little while, a few things have popped up in Goblins that have caused some polarized reactions.  It seems that some readers think that I’ve started pushing various ideologies on people. Some folks are unhappy or downright angry, while others are pleased or even joyful. The truth is that I’m not pushing any agenda. It’s just some stuff that happened in the comic.

Okay, maybe that’s not 100% true. Goblins is about bigotry and how lame it is. It’s also about how anyone can find themselves thinking in prejudicial ways. Even while adamantly fighting against prejudice. It’s about how no natural demographic (you know, skin colour, gender, etc) is devoid of bigotry or made up entirely of bigots. This has always been the underlying tone of the comic, but it’s really the only one. There’s no other ideological morals being addressed.

So what points in the comic have caused these reactions? Well, there’s Big Ears’ sexual orientation for starters.

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Some people have condemned me or praised me for making some strong statement about homosexuality when really, I haven’t.

The guy is gay. That’s it. Really.

Goblins isn’t a story about Ears’ sexual orientation, just like it’s not a story about Fumbles being asexual or Chief being a virgin. These are all just details about the characters that have shown up. I’m not trying to make any statements about my own beliefs and nobody has strong-armed me into wedging these points into the comic.

Then there’s the recent discussion about Salt’s gender.

This has nothing to do with gender issues or feminism or anything like that. Salt is a girl. Kind of. I mean, Kliks are genderless, but Salt is just… well she’s just a girl. This was just the moment in which this detail was introduced. I wrote it this way because if I just had everyone calling Salt a “her” without covering it, I’d have readers scratching their heads, thinking “wait, it’s been established that Kliks have no gender. What’s the deal with Salt?”. But again, I’m being both praised and scolded for making some daring statement about gender issues that isn’t there.

I can understand people reacting strongly, though. These sorts of issues are very important to a lot of folks and I get that. It’s just that these issues aren’t here in these pages of the comic.

Thanks for reading!

-Tarol


Live Boops And RSS Changes

Firstly, I’m currently drawing live.  (EDIT: I’m offline now. Follow my Picarto channel, Twitter feed or this blog, to be alerted whenever I live stream.)

Secondly, if you don’t already know, there are now two separate RSS feeds. One for this blog and one for comic updates. So now you can get RSS booped about the things that interest you, specifically.

Thanks!

-Tarol


Live Drawing Now

I know, I know. I’m dealing with a mixture of people. Some really want the live streaming announced on here, while others don’t want it. I’ll have the second RSS feed running soon and everyone will be happy. Until then, my apologies.

You can expect the Goblins update this Friday.

Live Boop.


Dear RSS People

It has been brought to my attention that my frequent, tiny blog posts are less than convenient for people who use the RSS feed. Apparently they keep seeing Goblins “updates” and then go to the site, only to see a one sentence blog post about how I’m live streaming or something similar. I can see how that could be kind of annoying. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t fully ‘get’ RSS feeds. I mean… I know what they do in a general sense but aside from that, I’m clueless.

So I’ll talk to my beautiful, brilliant, German tech guy and ask him if there’s anything that can be done to make this easier on my RSS readers. I’m sure he’ll have some ideas. So for now, just know that we’re working on the problem and we should have a solution soon. In the meantime, I’ll try to be less carefree with my tiny blog posts about casual things like live streams or new sneak peeks under the vote button.

Oh, that reminds me. I’ll be live streaming my drawing in just a little while from now.

Also, there’s a new sneak peek (fully shaded with text. Not really spoilery) under the vote button at the top/left corner of my site.

What do you want from me? I said I’d try!

As for the update schedule, I’m not officially saying that Goblins is updating every Friday. Just that the last three updates have been on Friday and the next one is going to be on Friday. See, if I don’t promise a set schedule, but say that the past X number of updates have been on Friday, I can’t be in trouble for being late. Sneaky Tarol is sneaky. Seriously though, I’ve been trying to keep the updates at a solid once per week while I finish the art for the G:AR card game. Once that’s finally done, I’d like to work on speeding up the updates to once/five days or something, like it used to be. We’ll see how it goes.

If you’d like to keep getting those tiny announcements that will no longer be blogged, you can follow me on Twitter as I’ll keep posting them there. I also tweet out some of the G:AR cards that I draw, answer questions and sometimes I’m even kinda funny! Sometimes.

Thank you for everything.

-Tarol


New Sneak Peek Of Something Odd

Under the vote button is the entire, upcoming Goblins page. The catch is that it’s nothing but empty word balloons and panels. No text, no artwork. I don’t know why, but I just think it looks kinda neat with a bunch of empty word balloons floating around for seemingly no reason.

To see it, simply click on the vote button at the top/left corner of my site.

Also, you can still bid on some Goblins artwork. The money goes toward WorldBuilders. An amazing charity. There are links to it on the Ebay page.

And finally, just a reminder that the next Goblins update is this Friday, December 11th. It’s the last page of Forgath and crew, before we switch back to Minmax and crew.

Thank you!

-Tarol


WorldBuilders!

Want to give to a great cause and get Goblins loot at the same time? Signed prints and original artwork from the comic are sitting there, calling to you. Check it out.

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EDIT: There’s also a brand new sneak peek of the next Goblins update, under the vote button (top left corner of my site). It’s very, very unfinished. Voting for my site gives it that extra boost of exposure. It’s a great way to help support the comic without spending a penny. Anyone can vote once per day. You can expect the finished update to go live on Friday, December 11th.

Thank you!

-Tarol


Just Sayin’

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Goblins

The next page appears on December 3rd.

TL;DR version…

3rd.

As always, thanks for reading.

-Tarol


Bit of a Comic Break

The last three updates have been on Fridays. I’ve been quietly trying to get back onto a steady schedule without making any announcements. However, due to a minor medical issue, there will be no update this Friday (November 20th). The next Goblins update will be on Friday (November 27th).

Thank you.

-Tarol


ANOTHER New Sneak Peek!

In the top, left corner of this site, under the TWC vote button, there’s ANOTHER brand new sneak peek of the upcoming Goblins page. Someone is sad in it. Shocker, I know.

Thank you.

-Tarol


New Sneak Peek!

Under the vote button (top left of this site), you’ll catch a glimpse of the next Goblins page. It’s two characters enjoying each other’s company during a little dinner date. Check it out.

Thanks.

-Tarol


Going Offline For Awhile (trigger warning: r*** stuff)

Those who know me, know that I tend to speak out about equality quite a bit. Usually it’s gender equality, but sometimes it’s about racial, economical, etc. It’s an important topic to me for what I admit, are very selfish reasons.

Before I was born, my teenage mother was kidnapped by a number of men and kept for days while she was beaten and raped. One of the men grew a conscience, put a coat around her naked body and sent her outside. It took her awhile to find help, as she couldn’t see. Both of her eyes were swollen shut.

I learned about this tale when I was a teenager myself and it’s become the central part of my moral compass, ever since. My Mother, clearly a stronger person than me, is over this and even makes jokes about it now. This is her way of being bigger than it. Her way of beating it. She respects that everyone who’s gone through something like that needs to find their way of dealing with it.

I didn’t even exist when this happened and yet, I’m still not over it. My teen fantasies of having super powers or being buddies with Optimus Prime all eventually gravitated to be beating up or even killing those guys.

As some of you already know, the ‘Kin and Dellyn’ story arc has two jobs. Firstly, it’s fantasy fulfillment for me. It’s designed to make ME feel better. The second job, is to show how horrific rape is. How it transcends evil. How even other “badguys” can’t stomach it. To de-normalize as much as I can. Before I wrote that into the comic, I had a handful of long discussions with my Mother about it and she gave me her blessing.

I thought that if I did this, it’d make me feel better. Like I actually had those super powers and was flying around stopping rapists. And at first, I did kinda feel like that. It was amazing. This was my way of being bigger than it. My way of beating it. Let me clarify with swiftness and conviction that I am in NO way, comparing my feelings about that past event to my Mother’s. I was not raped. I was not harmed in any way. I just needed a healthy way to get this 25ish year old fury to go away.

But since that story arc has come out years ago, I’ve gotten scolded to various degrees. Usually it’s a verbal tap on the back of the hand to tell me about the sexist things I’m doing that support rape culture. A few times it’s been full on mocking or rage, accusing me of lying about my Mother’s experience and even marrying my wife and pretending to love her, all to hide my massive misogyny.

Basically, that fantasy of mine from my teenage years, has gone sour. I used to fantasize about flying around and saving the day. But over time, I’ve felt more and more like I’m flying around supporting misogyny and rape.

It’s a gross kind of mental nauseousness that grows each time I’m told that my work is in some way sexist. Onlookers commonly say that I should relax and that I’m making too much a big deal about it.

Imagine that you’re stung by a bee. You might say “ouch” and react a bit. Now imagine that you’re being swarmed by bees and stung over and over. You start flailing your arms around and freaking out. Then an onlooker points at the latest bee sting, the one that just happened right there on your arm and says “Relax. You’re making too much of a big deal about it. It’s just a little bee sting.”

Parts of Goblins makes me sick to my stomach, because to some, it’s doing the opposite of what I’d intended. To some, I’m creating sexist work. I know that this is my problem. This is my gross over sensitivity. This is my issue and it’s up to no one but me to fix it.

I’ll be going offline for a little while. The comic, the work on the game… this will all continue as fast as it possibly can. I just mean that my Twitter feed will only post comic updates, G:AR updates etc and I won’t be drawing live for awhile. Stuff like that.

Side note, work has been slowed due to gallstone pain, but I’m having my gallbladder removed November 17th, so I ‘should’ be pain free and working much faster after that!

As always, thanks for everything.

-Tarol


An Old YouTube Comment

I just found this old YouTube comment that I made last year. It was the first time I’d discovered Pentatonix. I guess I was bored, because instead of ignoring the dumb comments, I decided to rip on this one guy forever. I barely remember writing this, but it made me chuckle so I figured I’d share it. Here’s the entire comment, copy/pasted from YouTube…

………………………………………………

Hey, this is AWESOME! But I can’t get ‘too’ excited yet. By my own, personal rule, I can’t be a fan of anything, until a complete douche insults it in a derogatory way that uses absolutely no genuine criticism or evaluation of skill.
Now let’s see…

“LOL bunch of faggots ” – YaZoonDiya

And there it IS! But before I declare myself a Pentatonix fan, I ‘will’ have to inspect the comment to confirm its douchiness.
Hmmm…. Yes. Yes, this is indeed a beautiful piece of work. The complete lack of any punctuation is a staple of the douche and to be expected, but let’s take a closer look, shall we?
It starts with the capitalized “LOL” as an insult, which is the preferred weapon of the common douche, since they rarely understand that it’s an acronym representing laughter, an involuntary reaction, universally representing happiness, and not… you know… a word.
Douches (especially the common house douche, which can thrive in a variety of climates), also appreciate the simplicity of “LOL”, as it contains virtually no intellectual requirement to utilize. “LOL” is ‘so’ devoid of complexity (which can confuse and frustrate the common douche), that it is almost literally binary (i.e. “101”). It is this ‘moron friendly’ feature that makes the douche favour “LOL” in his attacks, despite the fact that it is about as effective as lobbing marshmallows at their enemies.
Next, we have a three word… um… sentence(?) that, I have to say, is breathtaking. Much like the dung beetles’ ability to roll feces into a pristine ball, ten times its own body weight, the douche has a masterful ability to collect and use minimalization in ways that we cannot understand.
Notice how each word plays an integral part to conveying his message, without ever giving more than the most basic of information. “bunch” inticates that the douche has noticed that the group, Pentatonix is more than one individual. Yet the word does not give mention to how ‘many’ individuals there are, and this is because he does not know. But he does not ‘need’ to know. Herein, lies the beauty of the the common house douche’s ability to turn a lack of intelligence into minimalistic sustenance.
“faggots”, another common tool of the douche, has a dual purpose. While he is obviously using it in an attempt to harm or belittle his target, it is the underlying purpose of the word that is of the utmost importance. The douche, possessing no natural defences of his own, has evolved a very curious, but effective manner in which to defend his exposed ego from predators.
He ridicules homosexuals and thus, believes himself to be superior. While this does keep his ego protected, the effectiveness of the tactic is fleeting. And so, just as cattle must constantly eat grass to stay alive, the douche must constantly insult and degrade homosexuals, working the mention of them into as many conversation points as possible.
The most fascinating aspect to this behaviour, is that it is a symbiotic relationship. While the douche’s ego receives protection as a result of this behaviour, the homosexual community can at times, find it fucking hilarious. So both species can benefit.
But as impressive as the douche is, he is not perfect. We see this represented here, with the word “of”. This is a fatal flaw, as “bunch ‘a’ faggots” or “bunch ‘o’ faggots” would have provided more sustenance for this douche, which he would then have been able to store as reserves to get him through the winter. However, since this douche has used too much of his valuable energy to think up the proper word connecting “bunch” and “faggots”, he will sadly starve before the upcoming winter passes. But it is nature and we must not intervene.
Join me next time, when I’ll discuss the habitat and mating habits of the common douche.


Soylent Is Filled With Deadly Amounts Of Lead/Cadmium! (Except it isn’t)

For the past two months, most of my diet has consisted of Soylent. I eat one to four non-Soylent meals a week (usually two) and I sometimes find myself eating a banana or a cookie or something. But it’s safe to say that at least 95% of my diet has been Soylent. So when the company known as As You Sow announced that Soylent had dangerous levels of lead and cadmium in it and was taking legal action against the company, I was very interested in this. I read up on lead and cadmium for a lot of that day and even got to talk to Andrew Behar, the CEO of As You Sow on the phone. He was very polite and took the time to answer all of my questions as best as he could.

If you get enough lead or cadmium in you, either ingredient will do nasty things to your body. However, there is a tiny amount of these ingredients in a lot of what we eat and drink. A tiny amount won’t really hurt you. The thing is, the USA, Canada, Europe… they all have their own rulings about how much is safe. California’s Proposition 65 is a very strict ruling about how much lead/cadmium is safe for us, while Europe and Canada seem to be more relaxed on the subject. It’s the stricter, Prop. 65 that As You Sow is going by when they say that Soylent’s lead and cadmium levels are dangerously high.

With Soylent claiming that their lead/cadmium levels are within the safe limits and As You Sow saying otherwise, who should we believe? Well, I thought to myself…

Hey, I’ve been drinking a scwillion tons of this stuff for months. And it just so happens that it’s possible to have one’s blood tested for lead and cadmium levels. Why don’t I go do that?” Which is exactly what I did.

Weirdly, Canadian healthcare covers the blood test for lead levels, but the cadmium test was $75 bucks. Maybe they had to hire a minor celebrity to do that test or something. Anyways, after some waiting, here are my results…

Cadmium: 2.4 nmol/L (The recommended safe limit is anything less than 44 nmol/L)

Lead: 0.07 nmol/L (The recommended safe limit for adults is anything less than 1.45 nmol/L. The safe limit for children and child bearing women is 0.48 nmol/L)

I understand that this is not at all a scientific survey (unless you consider it a survey of one). But for me personally, this speaks volumes. I have been drinking far more Soylent than most people who use the product (from what I understand) and my lead/cadmium levels are nowhere near those unsafe limits. For me, this is pretty solid evidence and I’m very comfortable continuing to use the product as I have been.

Keep in mind that Soylent’s newest version Soylent 2.0 has much lower levels of lead/cadmium than Soylent 1.5. It’s version 1.5 that As You Sow is going all Charlton Heston over (that’s a Soylent Green movie reference, for you kids paying attention) and it’s version 1.5 that I’ve been drinking on a daily basis. I have yet to even try version 2.0.

I want to make it clear that I am a completely neutral party in all of this. Believe me, if my lead/cadmium levels were anywhere near the unsafe limits, I’d be siding with As You Sow and pointing an accusing finger at Soylent. I might have even been moved to use multiple exclamation points. Y’see, my goal is not to try and take sides and I really don’t care if I’m pissing off Soylent or As You Sow. I just don’t want to… you know… die.

So to sum up, in my personally researched opinion, Soylent is completely safe and I plan to ignore As You Sow.

Thanks.

-Tarol


Live Boop Now

Live boop.


The List! It’s Mine! ALL MINE!

Hello souls and the soulless.

Well, it’s happened! With the help of Kickstarter, I have in my grubby, little inbox…

THE KICKSTARTER BACKER LIST FOR GOBLINS: ALTERNATE REALITIES!

Thousands and thousands (more than I thought, actually) of names, with donation amounts, emails and home addresses! Some of those names are missing the home addresses, but that’s not an issue. We’ve got SOME way of contacting you and we’ll damn well use it.

This list is a big read and so far, I’ve only skimmed through it. I’m told that those who donated through means outside of Kickstarter, are included on the list.

What to do if you’re a backer.

Keep waiting. Before G:AR goes into production, we’ll be performing the massive task of making contact with EVERYONE to whom a reward is owed. Keep in mind, that we will not be able to give you everything that was promised to you during the Kickstarter (ie. tableclothes, working lightsabers…) . At the very least, if you were promised a copy of the game, you should be getting that much (more on that in a moment). There will come a time when we’ll say “If you haven’t been contacted by now, contact us and we’ll verify your backerness”. Keep watching this blog and/or my Twitter for that announcement.

What to do if you weren’t a backer, but you want to play the game.

Keep waiting. While the backers are getting their copies of G:AR, work will be going into producing the game for sale. Once that happens, you can buy your very own copy.

How is all of this possible? You never got the Kickstarter funds.

I’m not allowed to make an official announcement yet, but I… no. We… seem to have been rescued. Very soon, official announcements should be exploding like a Tie Fighter crashing into an asteroid. Keep in mind though… nothing has been signed yet. There’s just been talks and verbal agreements. So while I really think this is going to all have a happy ending, nothing I’m saying is guaranteed. But I’m continuing to do everything possible to get us there. But this whole thing could still crash and burn like a… like a Tie Fighter crashing into an asteroid. Have I used that metaphor? Sorry, when it comes to writing, I’m no Patrick Rothfuss.

Live boops.

You may have noticed that I’m live drawing on a nigh daily basis again. If you’d like to come and hang out with a growing number of fun, friendly gaming/comic geeks, pop in and you’re likely to see me drawing and muttering to myself. You’re also welcome to ask me stuff in the chatroom and I’ll do my best to answer. I’ll make sure to avoid live drawing those Goblins panels that are simply too spoilerish. These days, my time is split 50/50 between Goblins and drawing G:AR cards.

That vote button at the top of the site.

I’ve been neglecting that, but throughout September, I’m going to see if I can post something fun or a sneak peek, etc as close to every day as I can. So feel free to click on that thing once a day to see if I’ve placed anything new under there and help push Goblins back up into the number one spot. While you’re at it, check out the other webcomics in the TopWebComics list. There’s a lot of amazing talent there and you can always vote for more than one webcomic each day! The Sept. 1st sneak peek is something unintentionally phallic from the upcoming Goblins page (don’t worry, it’s SFW).

Thanks!

-Tarol


Soylent: My Thoughts and Experiences

(This isn’t an ad and I’m not being paid to write this. It’s just my honest experience with the product.)

Three weeks ago, I replaced most of my diet with Soylent. A food replacement that started production last year, after a successful crowd funding campaign that raised $3 million bucks.

Soylent is designed to contain absolutely everything that the body needs. Theoretically, a human being could survive on nothing but Soylent and as long as they were getting a healthy amount of calories, they’d be perfectly healthy (at least as far as nutrition is concerned). Kind of like that goop they were eating in The Matrix. Just not as gross.

maxresdefault

From what I understand, most people don’t outright replace their diet with Soylent. Instead, they use it as a meal replacement when needed. I think I’m one of the rare users of the product that has replaced all but a couple meals a week with the drink.

I know that the idea of not eating actual food is unappealing to a lot of people, but for me it’s perfect. Sure, I love food. Pizza, sushi, sugar cereal, ice cream… all of this is awesome stuff, but most of the time, eating is a nuisance for me. I’m always racing against deadlines and I forever have two days of work to get done in one day. I’m more interested in finishing more work, than I am in eating. As a result, I often end up choosing the fastest food option, rather than the healthiest. More than once, I’ve had Pop Tarts for dinner, simply because I wanted to get something in me and rush back to drawing. So the fact that I can walk to the fridge, pour a glass of Soylent, down it and get back to work, is a game changer for me. It not only helps my work schedule, but my health as well. The two or three meals a week that I eat, are usually due to social responsibilities. If I’m out with my family or friends and we go to a restaurant, etc.

Ulcers

Over the past couple years, I’ve started to have serious issues with re-occurring ulcers. I can honestly say that when an ulcer hits peak ouchiness, it’s by far, the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt. Too many times, I’ve found myself curled up on the floor, groaning or even yelling due to the pain. I’ve been to the hospital a number of times and I’m on prescription meds for it, which helps a LOT. While avoiding really spicy foods or an entire pizza helps smooth things over, food generally hurts at least a little bit. But Soylent… this stuff doesn’t hurt. Now I don’t want other people with various types of tummy troubles to take what I’m saying as factual evidence. I’m not a scientific study. I’m one guy with one, single experience. So it’s important to understand that I’m not telling other ulcer sufferers that this stuff will work for you. Also, I’m only three weeks in with this stuff. Who knows, by week four, my ulcers may come back with a vengeance. But so far, so good.

The Taste

Okay, so what does it taste like. Well firstly, don’t drink it warm. It’s just… well… yeah. Don’t drink it warm. Yuck. However, when it’s shaken up well and served cold, the stuff isn’t unpleasant. It’s like a very bland smoothie with a hint of vanilla and peanut butter. I wouldn’t call it delicious, but it’s very easy to drink. I know that some people blend it up with fruit, etc but I’ve only ever downed it plain.

Hunger

Of course, when I’m hungry I sometimes think “I could go for a big cheeseburger or something“. Though, while Soylent isn’t as enjoyable as a steak dinner with mashed potatoes, it’s amazing at removing hunger. Seriously, after drinking a glass of this stuff, I’m not the least bit hungry and once I’m done my liquid dinner, any craving for food is just gone.

Is This Stuff Safe?

Before I ordered Soylent, I did a lot of research on the stuff and while it certainly hasn’t been around for long, there is no end to people online speaking about it. Actually, that kind of makes this blog redundant, now that I think about it. Oh well.

There are websites talking about how dangerous it is, because it doesn’t contain the right vitamins, etc and there are websites talking about how it’s perfectly safe. But here are the reasons that I personally believe this stuff to be safe.

  • I eat crap. I mean… I don’t literally eat crap, but… well you know what I mean. On a daily basis, I do not get the vitamins and nutrients that I need. So when compared to what I was eating… this goop packed with all manner of vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates all designed to keep someone healthy is definitively a big step up for me.
  • I’m no longer eating processed foods and things covered in icing or ketchup. All that junk that my body definitely doesn’t need is pretty much gone. So again, this has got to be a step up on the health… scale. You know, the health… rating… measurement… thingy.
  • A couple years ago, I went vegan for awhile. During that time I accidentally deprived myself of various proteins and such that I need to live and fight crime and stuff. I’m not saying that a vegan diet automatically deprives you of those things, just that a vegan diet done incorrectly, deprives you of those things. I learned as I went along and figured out how much tofu or nuts I had to eat, etc. But here’s the thing… each time I was missing out on something that my body needed, I felt it. I either felt sick or weak or in some way icky. My body seems to be really good at saying “Hey, dumb ass! Eat some protein!” or whatever. But for the last three weeks, I’ve felt pretty damn good. I’ve been paying attention to my body to see if it seems to be lacking something, but I feel awesome. Granted, no one has lived off Soylent for twenty years to see what happens, but at least I know that three weeks is no problem.

What’s The Company Like?

This is one of the biggest selling points for me. They seem to be genuinely cool people. They’re accessible and friendly and seem really willing to help if you have questions. I jumped in with both feet and got the subscription of monthly orders and my first shipment arrived pretty quickly. It was packaged really well. Here’s a pic…

CJfevzdWUAAeWgq.jpg large

So I know a lot of people will shake their heads and turn up their noses at the idea of this stuff, but I freakin’ love it. It’s made my life a lot easier. Even if you’re just wanting some for the odd time you need a meal replacement, I can highly recommend it.

Thanks,

-Tarol


Thaco Is Getting Upgraded

I just placed a sneak peek of the upcoming Goblins page, under the vote button (located at the top/left of this site). It shows Thaco after he’s been “upgraded”. Give me a quick vote and you’ll get to see the unfinished panel. To see exactly what’s going on with Thaco, check out the next Goblins page, which’ll be posted as soon as it’s ready enough to be shown.

If you don’t already, follow me on Twitter to get tweets about when the comic is up, etc. It’s currently the best way to contact me, as I tend to just leave Twitter up while I draw. If you tweet at me, I’m very likely to respond. Drawing is a very solitary sorta thing, so a friendly hello is always a “make Tarol happy” thing. 🙂

Thank you.

-Tarol


I’m Going Camping With The Family

So I’m about to head out the door and go be in the woods for the weekend. This means that I won’t have internet access, etc. I’m passing the daily bonus pages over to a friend so that he can update those while I’m gone.

Also, I’m putting the latest Goblins page up as I run off. It’s obviously not finished, but I really want to have ‘something’ for you guys.

I really hate how slow the updates are, due to working on G:AR. However, I’m really making great headway with the game and I’m enthusiastically racing to the point where I can focus all of my energies on my first love, my comic.

A lot of people continue to ask me if the game will be available for anyone to purchase, even if they didn’t back the Kickstarter. If the game reaches physical form, you’ll be able to buy it. And I can’t give out any information yet, but I’ve been talking to some people and things look very promising. I’ll go public with more details once I’m allowed to.

I’m still hoping to get that Kickstarter backer list. If you’ve moved, etc. Don’t worry. When the time comes, I’ll make sure that you’re not ignored.

Follow me on Twitter for a nigh-daily look at a G:AR card and for other nonsense.

Thanks and I’ll see you on Monday!

-Tarol


Lowtide Update

The Federal Trade Commission has squished some guy who claimed he was making a board game and went to Kickstarter. He asked for $30,000 and got $122,000 and guess what. He didn’t make the game. He did announce to his backers that the game would never be made, though. What a nice guy. Anyways, the guy is actually ordered to pay back the backers! How awesome is that?!

Click right here to read about it.

What does this situation remind you of? Anything? Oh, that’s RIGHT! Goblins: Alternate Realities! Evertide Games asked for $30,000 to make a game, too! Except they didn’t get $122,000… they got $182,000. And while this other guy told his backers that the game project was cancelled, Richard James (CEO of Evertide Games) just kinda… disappeared with the money. And while this other guy gave a few people refunds, Richard was still making NEW sales for his nonexistent Goblins: Alternate Realities merchandise for two years before he finally (recently) took that page down. And while the other guy doesn’t have a warehouse of Goblins merchandise, books and convention banners that disappeared with him and the money… Richard does.

Y’know, when I compare this other guy to Richard, this other guy seems like the lesser of two evils.

At any rate, I’m going to the FTC with this story. If he’d contacted me with some kind of reasoning for what’s happened, my reactions would be very different, but I’m giving Richard mountains of opportunities to contact me with some kind of explanation. I’ve been understanding and taken the “Let’s work this all out together, I know how being overwhelmed can feel” route, but he’s never contacted me (or anyone). So screw it. If there’s a chance I can get the thousands of backers some of their $182,000 back, I’m all over that.

If you’re a G:AR backer and you want to help out with this (or even if you’re just somebody who wants to see this come to somewhat of a happy ending for the people who were ripped off), please contact the FTC as well. I don’t usually call for Goblinites to do something ‘spamy’ like this, but this is a lot of people who lost a lot of money.

Click here to go to the FTC site.

The actual amounts are…

$177,850 Direct payments through Kickstarter

$5314 Payments made to the Kickstarter campaign through Paypal/credit cards

$??? Roughly two years of profits from his ongoing, merchandise sales for G:AR products that were never to be made and shipped.

As for the actual game, I’ve been playtesting it with friends and brought the finished product into focus. Lately, my efforts have been on drawing/creating the actual cards. It’s a slow process and it’s slowed down the amount of time spend drawing Goblins. I can say for certain, that it will definitely be made available for everyone to play online. Programs like Tabletop Simulator will make that possible. As for G:AR becoming a physical game that people can hold in their hands… I’m doing everything I can, but it’s still a big question mark.

You can contact me on Twitter for whatever you need (Click here).

Thanks!

-Tarol


New Vote Incentive

Just wanted to let you all know that there’s currently a brand new sneak peek of the upcoming Goblins page hidden under the TWC vote button located at the top/left of the Goblins website. Don’t worry, it’s not all super spoilery.

Thanks!

-Tarol


New Sneak Peek!

It’s a new month and time to see how well we can do on the TWC list. I’ve just placed a sneak peek of the upcoming Goblins page under the vote button (upper-left corner of this site). It’s four panels complete with text!

You can also vote for Goblins (and any other webcomic on the TWC list that you like) every day!

Also, if you’d like to read each Goblins page a few days early, you can help me out over on my Patreon (click right here for the Patreon page). Chipping in one buck per update (which works out to be about 3 or 4 bucks a month) gets you access to each Goblins page as soon as I finish penciling it. You can read it before it’s inked and coloured!

Thanks,

-Tarol


Attention D&D Players! Your Character Is Dead!

The upcoming Goblins page shows a room with a LOT of dead adventurers in it. I have a neato idea. If you’d like your favourite D&D character to be immortalized as one of the dead adventurers, email a picture of your character to goblins@dccnet.com  <-That’s an email link.

The Rules

  1. The picture doesn’t have to be all expertly drawn. It just needs to clearly show what he or she is supposed to look like (including gear). If I can’t really understand what the character is supposed to look like, I’ll probably just pass it by, so be clear.
  2. Notes are okay, but keep it short. I’m going to be getting a lot of emails for this, so I won’t really have time to read all about the background of your character, etc. I’m sure it’s really interesting, but I’ll be paying more attention to pictures that I can look at and instantly get a good idea of what to draw.
  3. Sending me a picture doesn’t guarantee that your character will appear in the comic. Like I said, I’m going to be getting a lot sent to me.
  4. By sending me a picture of your character, you are giving me permission to draw that character and use it in my comic, on my site or on any merchandise or promotional material. You are also claiming that you are the creator of that character and you’re not sending me a Dragon Ball Z character or something (I have to be thorough with this legal stuff. I’m not looking to steal your ideas, I just don’t want to get sued down the road).
  5. Finally, thank you for the use of your character and I’m so very sorry that he or she had to die in this room like this. But it’s okay, this is an alternate reality and your character *may* still be alive in your reality. It’s going to be okay.

Thanks!

-Tarol


New Sneak Peek (“Epic” Battle)

If you click on the vote button at the top of the site, you’ll see a glimpse of the upcoming Goblins page. It’s an… erm… “epic” battle. By clicking the vote button, you also help to support Goblins by spreading the word about it.

Thanks!

-Tarol


I’m Drawing Live Now

I’m trying to get back into the habit of live broadcasting my drawing. I miss the good times we all had!

Anyways, I’m firing up the broadcasty goodness now. If you’re reading this hours after I’ve written it, I may have stopped. But go make a Twitch account (if you don’t already have one) and then favourite my channel. That way you’ll get an email whenever I go live. Or you can follow me on Twitter, since I always mention there, when I’m live as well.

Come and chill out with us and either join in the chat or lurk in the shadows. 🙂

Thanks,

Tarol


Vote Button Sneak Peek!

Under the vote button (found at the top of this website), you’ll find a brand new sneak peek picture of the hallway that the goblins have to travel down. So what about you? Would you think that hallway was trapped? Would you be one of those players that starts throwing copper pieces down the hallway to see if spikes fly out of the walls or something?

Thanks,

Tarol


Hobbit

Hobbitcomic


Kickstarter: Making the Mafia Look Like Chucky Cheese Since 2009.

I just sent this email to Kickstarter.

Dear Kickstarter. Let’s recap…

I told you that the project was a scam that ripped off thousands of people in my name by taking their money, disappearing forever and forcing me to face everyone. I explained that no backers would ever receive any rewards or product. I asked for the backer list so I could send all of them ‘something’ to try and make this as right as I can.
…You refused to help in any way at all and told me to talk to the person whom you know disappeared forever with the money.

I further explained that none of the backers would ever receive any rewards or product and asked for your help in the form of advice, discussion or somehow removing or altering the scam project page.
…You refused to help in any way at all and told me to talk to the person whom you know disappeared forever with the money.

I sent you a DMCA take down notice, explaining once more and with great care, that no backers would ever be receiving any rewards or product.
…You took the page down and sent a blanket email to every backer, explaining to all of them that they will indeed be receiving their rewards and product. Then you gave all of them a link to a page with my home address on it.

I understand that I’m talking to a business and not a single person, but whoever is reading this right now, please think about this for a moment. You promised over 2000 people that they can expect the non-existent products that they paid for… that have my name on them… and then you gave all of them my home address.

Please stop this. I honestly can’t take anymore.
-Tarol Hunt


Kickstarter: They’re like Wreck-it-Ralph In A China Shop. And Each Piece Of China Is A Backer.

So I just got this email from Kickstarter…

This is a message from Kickstarter’s Integrity team. We’re writing to inform you that a project you backed, Goblins: Alternate Realities, is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.

This is so odd, since they’ve told me repeatedly, that they absolutely cannot send messages out to all the backers. And yet… here’s a message sent to all the backers. Weird. I’m thinking wizards from the future? Maybe it was Ultron and his super high tech?

The law requires that we remove the project from public view until the dispute is resolved (please see our Copyright Policy and Trademark Policy for more info). Because the project already ended successfully, your pledge hasn’t been affected. The creator should still be able to move forward with the project (and send any unfulfilled rewards).

Really?! Really. I mean… seriously? Kickstarter is vastly informed with the current situation. They KNOW that Richard (the creator) stole the money and ran. They KNOW that he is not making G:AR under any circumstances. I have asked them over and over, if they’d send a blanket email to all my backers, telling them that G:AR is not being made. And here they are emailing all the backers to tell them that it WILL be made and assuring the backers that they WILL get their rewards! You have got to be kidding me. You have got to be fucking kidding me.

Thanks again, Kickstarter! Thanks for screwing me over just a little bit more! Now I’ve got a tsunami of emails from people thinking that they’re going to be getting their rewards. I mean, why wouldn’t they think that? Kickstarter just personally told them it would happen. Now it’s my word against Kickstarter’s. I didn’t think it possible, but Kickstarter has made this situation so, so much worse.

Kickstarter… you suck. You’re horrible and/or incompetent people that HAVE to be doing this on purpose. I can’t think of any other reason for this level of ineptitude.

If you have any questions, though, you can still message the creator from the project page.

And finally, we have the climax of this stupidity. Sure. message the creator. Nevermind that Richard stopped responding to all of those messages a loooong time ago. No, no. Please. Please feel free to contact the creator via the link kindly provided by Kickstarter. After all, Kickstarter did just assure you that “you can STILL message the creator“.

Thanks for your patience and cooperation,
Kickstarter

Sit back down, Kickstarter. You’re embarrassing me, yourself and the 3000 backers involved.

-Tarol

 


Goblins: Alternate Realities – Update

EDIRT: (Sorry, I typo-ed “EDIT” and it made me laugh. I now need to keep it this way.) Since posting this blog and the four videos, I’ve actually redesigned a big chunk of the Plot Point rules. This information is now out of date. I’ll have a new G:AR update for you soon. I’m of course, also working on the next Goblins page.

I’ve been working really hard on G:AR, over the past weeks. With that and a medical issue dragging me down (which is thankfully behind me now) Goblins updates have been slow, but I expect them to pick up.

I’ve posted four videos on YouTube, explaining various aspects of G:AR…

Part One: The Kickstarter Thing

This video talks about the money, the stealing in my name (which is still happening) and is basically twelve minutes of me, ranting.

Part Two: The Hell Is G:AR?

(This video is temporarily unavailable as I improve the rules, further.)

Part Three: Types Of Cards

(This video is temporarily unavailable as I improve the rules, further.)

Part Four: What A Round OF G:AR Looks Like

(This video is temporarily unavailable as I improve the rules, further.)

These videos don’t really talk about the more basic aspects of the game (leveling up, combat, quest completion, etc). I just really wanted to explain the unique parts of story creation. Please comment on one or more of the videos and let me know what you think.

Thanks!

-Tarol


Calling Los Angeles Goblinites

UPDATE: Everything has worked out and she’s going to be fine. THANK YOU to those who contacted her, offering to help!

This is another one of those weird times, where I use this blog to try and help someone that we don’t know, but is in a bit of trouble. A Goblins reader has a friend in Los Angeles who is about to be kicked out of her place for reasons outside of her control. She’s got a place set up for the end of February but without help, she’s totally screwed until then.

If you’re in the LA area and have the ability and space to let someone crash with you until the end of the month or even just part of that time, please contact her through her Twitter. She’s about my age and although I’ve never met her, she’s a personal friend of a Goblins reader whom I know and trust.

I believe she has only a few days until she’s out, so if there’s anyone out there who can help in some way, you’d be saving her butt as well as making a grateful friend (I’ll also mail you a plushie Big Ears).

Thanks.

-Tarol


My New Patreon Page

I still have to finish the front page video, but I’m going to put that aside for now, in favour of finishing the next Goblins page. Nevertheless, here is my new Patreon page. Please feel free to check out the rewards and extra features it offers.

If you’re not contributing through Patreon, don’t sweat it. You can still REALLY help me out by spreading the word about Goblins. Of course, the best way to support Goblins is to simply keep reading it. 🙂

!EDIT! I just want to quickly mention the vote button located at the top of the site (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to place a copy of that button here in the blog, otherwise I would), under the Goblins title. You’re allowed one vote per IP address, every 24 hours. And yes, the rules of TopWebComics specifically say that you’re allowed to vote from home, then vote again at school/work, if you like. I’ll be hiding neato Goblins stuff “under” the vote button every 1 or 2 days. Simply clicking on it, will show you that day’s secret Goblin thingy. Right now, the VERY first goblins I ever drew are tucked in there. I drew them back in 2003 and they look REALLY different! So what does voting actually do? It moves the Goblins banner up that list. The higher it is, the more exposure Goblins gets. Don’t forget that you can also vote once a day on ANY of the other comics as well. So if you see something in that list that you like, give them a vote! It takes like, 2 seconds and it makes our day. Trust me. 🙂

Thanks everyone!

-Tarol


(No Longer) Drawing Live Right Now

EDIT: Thanks again, see you next time!

Come and hang out with me whilst I pull an all-nighter. You can type stuff to me and others or if you’re shy, sit silently and observe and no one will know you’re being sneaky and sitting in the shadows.

Click here to hang out.


(No Longer) Drawing Live Right Now

Boop http://www.twitch.tv/thunt_goblins

EDIT: I’m all done right now, but thanks for hanging out with me while I was drawing. I’ll see you again next time!

-Tarol


Lowtide: The Undead Kickstarter Campaign – Third Update

In the summer of 2013, Tarol Hunt and Evertide Games joined together and launched a Kickstarter for the creation of a tabletop game based of off the webcomic, Goblins.

Goblins: Alternate Realities (G:AR) raised over $182,000, but the game was never made. Instead, the owner of Evertide Games disappeared with the money.

Lowtide: the Undead Kickstarter Campaign, is an up to date account of Tarol’s attempt to create G:AR and get it to the people who paid for it in good faith.

The Kickstarter Page

Lowtide – First Update

Lowtide – Second Update

My Twitter


G:AR “pre-orders” are still being collected by the Evertide Games site. DO NOT PRE-ORDER G:AR ON THAT SITE! IT IS A SCAM! None of the merchandise shown on Evertide’s Goblins: Alternate Realities page will ever be made by him, but his ordering system WILL take your money. If you have pre-ordered anything from that page in the last three or four months, see if you can get refunded through your credit card company or Paypal. If you cannot get your money refunded, tweet to me with the hashtag #GARBacker or email me at goblins@dccnet.com (put #GARBacker in the email’s title, so I can spot it easily), with a copy of your receipt. We’ll make sure you’re on our list of backers and we’ll get you hooked up the replacement loot when that day comes.

I’ve sent “take it down” messages out to Richard but so far the page remains up.

I’ve Talked To Kickstarter

I emailed Kickstarter and I’m sorry to say that it hasn’t gone well. Here’s my initial email…

Hi. I’m Tarol, the author of a webcomic called Goblins. In July’13, I did a KS with Evertide Games <linked> that was very successful. However, the head of Evertide, Richard James, disappeared about 4 months ago, taking with him $182,000 given over by my readers, without delivering anything promised to them. After months of trying to contact him and thinking “No, he’d never run off, would he? No, that’s crazy” I’ve recently, finally accepted that he and the money are gone and I’ve started the process of facing the 2700 backers and cleaning up this mess. Here’s my public announcement to my readers- <linked>. Of course, I don’t hold KS responsible in any way, as this is clearly an example of me being far too naive. <some private info edited out>

I’ve announced that I will be having a less expensive version of the game made and shipping copies of it to the backers, all paying for it myself. However, as I technically was not running the KS, I have none of the info, like a backers list, etc. I realize that you can’t exactly hand over that information to someone online, who isn’t listed as a creator with KS with ease. But I’m hoping that there’s something we can work out. I’m willing to provide whatever proof that you’d need, to show that I am who I claim to be and the situation I’m explaining is genuine. I’ll also happily allow you time to do whatever might need to be done first (I imagine you’d want to try to contact Richard, for starters).

So there it is. My wife and I are looking into what legal action we should be taking against Richard and fielding the hundreds of questions pouring in since the announcement. But more than anything, we need that backers list/info in order to hopefully fix this as without it, there’s no way to prove that everybody asking for merchandise is being honest.

On top of that, any advice or help you can offer, would be gratefully accepted, though I understand that there’s not a lot you can do. I look forward to hearing from you.

<personal contact info edited out> -Tarol

This was the response…


Hi Tarol,

Thanks for reaching out about this project and with your follow up questions regarding how to proceed.

  1. We expect all members of the Kickstarter community to act with honesty and openness. When we find that people are abusing the system or the trust of others, we do not hesitate to suspend their account or restrict certain account privileges, like launching another project. We have a dedicated Integrity Team that monitors our system and reviews reports that we receive from our community. While we can’t speak to the nature of specific projects that have been approved or declined, we’re constantly working on improving our vetting process for creators and we are grateful for the feedback that folks like you provide.

  2. We are not able to distribute any backer information publicly. Kickstarter is not able to facilitate any transference of pledges from one project to another or help with any sort of project transference. You will need to work this out directly with the project creators.

It looks like we’ve reached out this creator recently to remind them to check in. Unfortunately, we’re not able to force a creator to respond but we have made note of the fulfilment issues with this account.

Kickstarter’s Terms of Use outline the responsibilities of backers and creators. This information can serve as a basis for legal recourse if a creator doesn’t fulfill their promises. We hope that backers will consider that option only in cases where they believe that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill. If you believe legal action is appropriate here, please talk to an attorney about how to proceed. Kickstarter takes the privacy of our users very seriously, so we don’t provide a creator’s information directly to backers.

Hope this helps clarify!

Best,
Kickstarter Person <I edited out the person’s name, just to be on the safe side>


Not the best response ever. Take it up with the creator? You mean the person that I just explained, has run away with the money? Since that’s not really an option for me, I wrote another email…


Hi Kickstarter Person,

Thank you for your quick response. I’m honestly surprised that there’s nothing that can be done here, I mean, the KS was clearly made around my comic. I’m even in the introduction video with Richard, in which we both talk together about our project.

There must be some way for me to get that backers list. Everything I’m doing is very, very public, so it’s quite easy to make sure that I’m being honest and my situation is real.

I’d be willing to provide some sort of free advertising on my site or even simply pay a fee. Whatever it takes to get that list, I’ll do it. There are almost 3000 backers who are owed something and I’m just trying to get it to them. I can’t do it without your help.

My name is all over the KS page.

My name is on the box of the game.

I’m in the introduction video, in which Richard acknowledges me as a creator.

I’m clearly not a scam artist or thief. Please help me to make this right.

-Tarol


Reading that email now, I can tell that I was really sleep deprived at the time. Oh well. Here’s the response to it…


Hi Tarol,

While I’m sure you’re not a scam artist or a thief, and that you are actually just trying to help,
we are still not able to transfer the account to you or distribute the backer list to you from our end. You would need to locate and work with the project creator in order to obtain this information. I’ve double checked this with the head of our Integrity team who has confirmed that this kind of information transfer would not be possible.

You can review our Privacy policy here: https://www.kickstarter.com/

Best,
Kickstarter Person


So Kickstarter is hinting that they actually, seriously don’t have that information. I really can’t believe this, for a few reasons…

  1. Kickstarter Person never officially makes the claim that they don’t have the backer list. Only that it’s not possible to give it to me. It seems to me that if they didn’t have that info, they’d lead with that as a definitive statement. “That sucks, Tarol! We literally don’t have that info though. Seriously, we don’t posses it. Only the creator has it”.

  2. If Kickstarter doesn’t have access to the backer list, why did Kickstarter Person check with “the head of the Integrity team”? If the problem is a lack of access, you’d be more likely to check with some sort of information retrieval person or tech person. The head of Integrity is where you’d go to decide whether or not you want to give out the list, not whether or not you can find it.

  3. I read the privacy policy and although it also suggests that they don’t have that kind of info, it never actually says “We don’t have a list of backers. We seriously have no idea who funded what”. Which brings me to my final point…

  4. There is no way Kickstarter could function without knowing who’s backing what projects and by how much money. I can’t picture them shrugging their shoulders and saying “I dunno where the millions and millions of dollars filtering through our business comes from. Meh, who cares”.

So they have the backer list. Meaning that it’s impossible because it goes against their policy. Well like I said, I read that policy. It says…

We do reserve the right to disclose personal information when we believe that doing so is reasonably necessary to comply with the law or law enforcement, to prevent fraud or abuse, or to protect Kickstarter’s legal rights.

“…to prevent fraud and abuse…” So Kickstarter seems to have the list and the privacy policy seems to clearly state that they are able to make exceptions in cases exactly like this. I’m not sure what my next move is, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Edit: Danielle and I are digging through boxes of records and computer files in hopes of finding a copy of the backer list that we ‘may’ have (fingers crossed).

 

Common Questions

  • I backed the Kickstarter through Paypal and not directly through the Kickstarter page. Will I be on the backer list?

Absolutely! We’re doing everything we can to get our hands on the backer list and we’ll make certain that everyone is on it. If for some reason, you’re not on it, we’ll correct this. Seriously, if you backed us, there is just no scenario in which you hear this…

3r01rw

  • I’ve moved since I backed the Kickstarter. How can I get my new address to you or make sure you have the correct address listed?

Once we (somehow) get the backers list, we’ll start making sure it’s all accurate and up to date. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to get your new address to us.

  • I now live on the surface of the Sun. Will you still ship to me? It’s crazy expensive to ship here. Also, ouch.

Totally! It really doesn’t matter how far away you’ve moved. You backed us. You’re getting your loot.

  • Are you still going to have the Shield of Wonder bonus deck?

I was the one who pushed for the SoW deck to begin with. HELL YES!

  • What’s going on with Goblins? Where are the updates?

My computer died after eight years of loyal service. I immediately ordered a new one (with the help of a tech savy friend. Thanks Shannon), but they seem to be taking a scwillion years to get it to me. Today I learned that one of the parts had to be special ordered from somewhere else and so I can expect it to arrive on Friday, Dec 12th. Kinda climbing the walls here. I need to draw. Grrrrrrr.

The Actual Game

Note: None of these rules are definite.

Terrain

With no drawing time, I’m getting a ton of work done on G:AR. I’ve started writing terrain cards that randomly create a world to run around in and explore. The cards are dealt face down in the center of the table and get flipped over to reveal the location, once a character travels to it. The outer circle of terrain cards, would represent things like forests, mountains, lakes, cities… while the terrain cards inside of that circle will represent a dungeon crawl. So far, I really like the idea of having a deck for each dungeon crawl. The Dragon’s Maw, The Maze of Mazy, The Well of Darkness, and more. This way, the players could decide which dungeon crawl they’d like to have in this particular game. Of course the placement of the individual rooms would be random each time, just like the outer terrain. And naturally, locations from the comic would be included.

Roleplaying EXP and Backstories

This is still new, but so far I really like it. In social situations, like in a tavern, for instance, player characters can drink and talk together. While doing this, those players go head-to-head, competing to try and form the best backstories and therefore make the most interesting characters and earn buckets of EXP. Here’s how it’d work (keep in mind, that this is still in early development)…

  1. Two or more players, who’s characters are spending some quality time together, each draw a Backstory Card, face down. Then, a Theme card is drawn face up. The Theme Card affects everyone competing.

  2. The first player turns their Backstory Card over for the whole table to see. It might read “The day I was born, many…” or “How did I, as a small child end up standing on a massive pile of dead bodies? I’ll tell you.” or “I thought I was drinking water, I really did! But the truth was…”.

  3. As soon as a player turns over their Backstory Card, they must immediately improvise a part of their character’s history and tell that short tale to the other players, according to what’s on the card.

  4. The Theme Card is used to depict the mood or atmosphere of the stories being told. While each player is dealt their own, unique Backstory Card, the single, face up Theme Card sets the same tone for everyone involved in the social interaction. If the Theme Card says EPIC for instance, then everyone’s backstory must be a truly epic tale. If the Theme Card says HILARIOUS, then everyone’s backstory tale must be as funny as possible. The Theme Card could also be things like TRAGIC, HORROR, NONSENSICAL or CONNECTION TO ANOTHER CHARACTER (which would mean that the player would incorporate one of the game’s player characters or non-player characters into their past in a creative way that could potentially add to the game).

Cj9xR2R

  1. Character Details: Theme Cards would also contain a single word (aside from the word that sets the tone) such as +phobia, +addiction, +attraction, +immunity, +hatred or +fascination. Backstory Cards would contain four detail words, like +acid, +music, +elves, +killing, +big-butts, etc. The player winning the event, would then connect the single word from the Theme Card (let’s imagine it’s +phobia) to one of the choices on their Backstory Card (let’s imagine they chose +big-butts). This choice must be a direct result of the improvised backstory given by the player. The result is a character who has 1 token point in phobia: big-butts. This phobia would give penalties when socializing with or battling anyone with a really big butt.

  2. Some of these details are obviously beneficial, like (+immunity +curses) or (+notices +traps), while things like +phobias and +addictions are indeed, disadvantages. But the disadvantages would offer benefits in other ways. For instance raking in the roleplaying EXP is much easier, with disadvantages. Also, terrain, weapons and other aspects of the game would play off of these character details in both good and bad ways.

  3. If a player becomes stuck and can’t think of a backstory that’s within the given parameters, they automatically lose that social encounter. If two or more players complete their backstories, then all players vote on who’s was the best (I have ideas how to streamline this voting process and make it fair). Only the winning backstory becomes canon. The rest then become tall tales, dreams or drunken babblings that never happened. And only the winning player receives roleplaying EXP, character details and other bonuses.

I’m still keeping speed of play into careful consideration. No one wants to wait 15 minutes for their turn to come around (I hate that).

Thanks,

-Tarol


Lowtide – G:AR – Second Update

Edit: ** IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT **

Apparently G:AR “pre-orders” can still be placed on the Evertide Games site. DO *NOT* PRE-ORDER G:AR ON THAT SITE! Evertide Games will not be making any of the merchandise shown on their Goblins: Alternate Realities page, but their ordering system WILL take your money. There is currently nowhere that you can order G:AR from. If you have pre-ordered anything from that page in the last three or four months, see if you can get refunded through your credit card company or Paypal. If you cannot get your money refunded, tweet to me with the hashtag #GARBacker or email me at goblins@dccnet.com (put #GARBacker in the email’s title, so I can spot it easily), telling me what you ordered and when. We’ll make sure you’re on our list of backers (which we will be organizing soon and giving everyone a chance to make sure they’re on it with any address changes, etc) and we’ll get you hooked up the replacement loot when that day comes. ~Thunt

This is an addition to the blog post entitled Lowtide – Update For Goblins: Alternate Realities. If you haven’t read it, click the title or scroll down to read it before reading this.

Kickstarter Backers With Questions

Someone else suggested that I ask all backers to include a hashtag in any tweets they’d like me to respond to. That’ll definitely make it a lot easier for me to answer everyone’s questions. So please include #GARBacker in any tweets to me that you’d like a response to. That’ll be my Bat Signal that’ll bring me swooping in with responses for you. That doesn’t mean I will stop responding to tweets without #GARBacker, I just don’t want to leave anyone hanging. Once again, here’s my Twitter.

“I’ll stay behind and fight the costs, you save yourself!”

Once again, Goblinites are proving themselves to be some of the most paladin-like people on the internet. As expected, the response to my G:AR announcement has been big. What I didn’t expect, was for that response to be almost entirely positive, with so many people offering to help in some way. A heart warming number of backers are asking me to remove them from the list of people whom I owe rewards to. The reasoning being that those individuals would rather repay for the game, than add to the financial obstacle that I’m facing. I think we’ve seen this kind of behaviour before…

 

 

earssacrifice

forgathsacrifice

So to those people… thank you so much for the offer! However, I really want to return the kind of support that you’ve shown me and so I’ve been respectfully declining those offers. I’m sorry, I’m just not going to let you go fight the badguy so I can escape. We’ve seen this kind of behaviour before, too…

dontsacrifice

$182,000 Bucks

This has been brought up as being a point of confusion for a few people, so I figured I should just make sure it’s clarified without any room for misunderstandings. The Kickstarter money raised for G:AR, went to Evertide Games and not to me. To be fair, EG did pay me for some extra card art and when I was having a financially rough month, even advanced me a bit of what would have been my share of the future profits. So while I did get paid for something, the $182,000 was never mine.

Richard’s Not A Bad Guy

I’ve talked a bit about how Richard is honestly an okay guy who I’m convinced, never intended for this to happen. However, he is getting a lot of hate, so I wanted to emphasize my opinion on this. Every one of his actions leading up to this point showed a commitment and strong drive to make something amazing. My theory is that he just got overwhelmed and possibly ran out of money, leaving him with no way to complete everything. This is of course, pure speculation (by that, I mean undiluted guess work and not the awesome science & fiction festival in Edmonton).

I’ve Started Reworking G:AR

With my computer dead and my replacement still on its way (it might even arrive today), I can’t really draw. So I’ve been spending most of my time working on G:AR. I’m actually surprised at how much creative freedom I feel when I’m working on a game that’s mine and not also someone else’s. The difference between “Do you think the game can do this?” and “The game is going to do this.” is massive. I feel like I’m DMing again and it’s incredibly comfortable. Here’s what’s tentatively starting to come together…

  • Character IME (individual magic effect): I’m working on introducing a mechanic where players choose an IME for each of their characters. This IME would evolve as the character’s power grows and it’d play an important roll in the other mechanic I’m working on, which is…
  • Character Traits: I’ve been saying from the beginning, that G:AR is part game and part story creation tool. The more depth the characters have, the more unique and engaging those stories will be. We want to avoid repetition and bland mathematics, as it doesn’t tend to create anything enthralling enough to be memorable.
    "Anyway, to cut a long story short I threw a five and a four which beat his three and a two, another double six followed by a double four and a double five. After he'd thrown a three and a two I threw a six and a three."

    “Anyway, to cut a long story short I threw a five and a four which
    beat his three and a two, another double six followed by a double four and a double five. After he’d thrown a three and a two I threw a six and a three.”

    I’m working on a system that would allow the players to sculpt out personal details as the game progresses. Things like phobias, obsessions, characters forming powerful friendships or even falling in love, gaining nemesis status with each other, etc. The freedom given to the players as to what they could do with this would be pretty much endless. Each positive or negative detail could be applied to basically anything.

    Kin’s crippling fear of someone taking control of her. Kore’s obsession with wiping out evil. The brotherhood between Minmax and Forgath. The love triangle between Dies, Saves and Grem (how many people just noticed how the words Dies and Saves reflect the central draw those two characters have toward each other?).

    These are all plot points that could be initiated by players or situationally created by the game and offer just enough lack of control to present a challenge, while allowing players the freedom to try and embrace, escape or ignore any detail.

    Each of these character details would also affect the game as functional advantages or disadvantages. One character who considers the other to be a nemesis or enemy, might have combat bonuses against ’em. This might force the player of the other character to either try to keep away from the killer, sporting customized bonuses or start looking for opportunities to pile some hate tokens of their own, right back on the attacker, thereby evening the odds (and creating an epic rivalry in the process). I know, this sounds like way too much to keep track of and way to many details to keep the game moving smoothly and easily. When I started mucking around with it though, I discovered that it can be boiled down to it’s simplest/easiest form and still seem really cool.

Pretty much every aspect of the game has some things I’d at least like to tweek a bit. This isn’t to say that Evertide didn’t make a great game, because I love what they put together. I’m just tightening it up and bringing it even closer to something I’ll want to play for years. And of course, these are all initial concepts. I’m mentioning them now, just because I want people to have an idea of what’s happening to G:AR right now.

Thanks.

-Thunt


Lowtide – Update For Goblins: Alternate Realities

In July of 2013, Evertide Games and Goblins successfully Kickstarted a Goblins card game/board game called Goblins: Alternate Realities. We asked for $30,000 and received over $182,000 dollars (if you include the $5,300 received through Paypal donations). Well, when I say “we” successfully Kickstarted it, I mean you. It was done with your money and support, after all.

Since then, nothing has happened. No one has received their stretch goal rewards and no one has gotten a copy of the game. Over 2200 people generously handed over their money and so now, a lot of people are understandably, angry. So what’s going on? Well here’s everything that I know on the subject…

I haven’t heard from Richard James, the head of Evertide Games in four months. I’ve been trying to contact him any way I can, including contacting a few other people that know him. I can’t find anyone else who’s heard from him in the past three and a half months. I was starting to wonder if he’d actually died or had some horrible event happen to him. After all, I had my own er… breakdown thingy in which I mentally shut down for months, without being able to tell anyone.

I’ve known Richard for years now and I can easily say that he’s been an honest guy and a great friend. From the very beginning of G:AR, I’ve watched him put a HUGE amount of work and passion into the creation of the game. He’s helped me through a few tough times and genuinely been there for me as a friend. I have absolutely no doubt that when we started this project, his intention was for us to make the best damn game we could. It’s pretty much impossible to imagine that he’s taken the Kickstarter money and run off. It’s just not him. This is why I’ve so effortlessly trusted him with not only the Kickstarter money, but a room full of Goblins merchandise and convention banners as well.

As long as I’ve known Richard, Evertide has always been a small but great company. However the number of employees at that company has been recently shrinking and I’m not sure if anyone other than Richard is currently left. Combine this with the moment that I noticed that he’s been on Facebook as recently as a week ago, I knew that the thing I’ve been increasingly stressing over for months, was probably true. He may have taken off. With the money.

Now bear in mind that I may be wrong. Maybe something horrible and out of his control HAS happened to him. Maybe he IS dead and someone keeps hacking his Facebook to upload new profile pictures. Or maybe he’s been franticly emailing me and it’s going into my spam folder…

which is glitched to auto erase everything instantly…

and my phone has him accidentally blocked…

and he forgot his Twitter password…

and his Skype password…

and his Skype is glitching to show him sometimes online and sometimes offline…

and the Evertide website has a coding error where messages don’t get to him…

and Kickstarter is broken and can’t be updated…

and the people I talked to have amnesia… and… and… well shit.

Yesterday, one of the people I talked to, said that in his last email 3.5 months ago, he mentioned wanting to hand off all of Evertide’s publishing projects to someone else and go in another direction. This was the first I’d heard of that particular plan. This was when I started hyperventilating.

So what happens now?

Well first off, I haven’t been wronged here, you have. By my project. Yes, Evertide and Goblins were business partners, but the decision was mine to work with them and the money came from Goblins fans, not Evertide fans. You funded the project because you trusted me and my abilities to bring you the game without any serious problems. The responsibility for this is mine. The obligation to repair this as much as I can is on me.

Obviously I can’t offer you what you really deserve, which are refunds. So here’s what I’m going to do…

Danielle and I have talked it over and we’re going to finish the game. I have a prototype of G:AR, and I have already started to tighten the rules up and work on art for some more cards I think the game needs. I don’t have all of the G:AR graphics, but I have a lot. When it’s playtested and ready, our plan is to publish it through an AMAZING print on demand system our online publisher Drivethru has. They create really high quality stuff and they do card games, etc. They’re a dependable and well respected company that I’ve been working with for about seven years now. Those interested in purchasing the game would be able to do so through them.

There are still the people who’ve funded the Kickstarter, though. Many have been promised a copy of the game when it’s finished. So Danielle and I will be purchasing copies of the game ourselves and getting them to you. It’s important to note that although the game won’t look exactly the same as advertised, it’ll still be the G:AR we’ve been talking about, maintaining the same feel and flow it’s always had. It really is a fantastic and addicting game. When I first got the prototype, I played it for most of a day and as soon as I woke up the next morning, I was itching to jump in and play it again. The whole point of the game has always been to create a story as the characters adventure to level up, collect gear and complete quests.

Big Ears goes toe to toe with Kore and steals one of his crossbows which he later uses to save Fumbles from Kin, who wants to kill him because he won’t stop annoying her with his unceasing antics. Each game represents an alternate reality of the Goblins universe, so characters can end up exactly like they are in the comic or entirely different, depending on how you decide to play them.

Now, to those backers who’ve been promised extra rewards beyond the game itself, we’re going to do the best we can to create a list of item for item replacement rewards and get those out to you. These rewards will be pretty humble and in many cases, won’t equal what you were promised, but we’ll do everything we can to come up with rewards that you’ll genuinely be happy to receive.

I’m also working on a modest way for people to maybe play G:AR online. There’s a fantastic new piece of genius, called Tabletop Simulator that’s available on Steam. As soon as my new computer arrives in a couple days (if you haven’t heard through my Twitter, my computer died and I had to order a new one, thus the Goblins comic delay) I’ll be buying a copy and taking a look at how it works. From what I can tell, it looks perfect for getting G:AR to you online, but I’m not sure yet. Even if it isn’t right for G:AR, you should check it out, it looks AWESOME! You can rage and flip the table during the game! WHY IS THIS ONLY JUST NOW A THING IN ONLINE GAMES?! I’ve also approached a small video game company and I’ll be pestering a few more, as well. I’m not sure it’s entirely realistic to hope for a company to create some kind of online game based off of G:AR, given the circumstances, but it doesn’t hurt to tap on a few shoulders and ask.

There are a lot of copies of G:AR and other rewards to be given out, which means it’ll cost a pretty hefty sum. So between finishing the game and covering costs, this is going to take awhile, especially since I am still working on speeding up the Goblins updates. But I’ll keep you posted and get things to you as fast as possible.

We are of course looking into the smartest things to do, regarding legal action. While I’ll be communicative and open about all G:AR details, I’ll be pretty much keeping any legal details (if there are any), private.

I want to sincerely apologise to everyone. To all the Kickstarter backers, the people who helped to spread the word, the people who offered various forms of support, those who trusted me… all of you. I’m so incredibly sorry. I clearly made some bad and naive decisions that resulted in costing thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ll be personally addressing every genuine question or concern from every backer (contact info at the end of this blog).

Note the word “genuine”. Two days ago, I got an email from a backer who (for some reason) asked me what I’d name my tauntaun if I had one. Those are the kinds of questions I probably won’t be answering. But if your mailing address has changed or you want to know about a reward you were expecting, I’m all about hearing what you have to say and answering anything I can.

Those of you who are angry, have absolutely every right to be and I can’t blame you for it. However if you send me hatemail, I won’t be reading it. If you really need it though, there’s a place online that is dedicated to loudly and ecclesiastically hating me. It brings people together in an odd and fascinating way. A little bit of Googlefu will get ya there. See if you can spot which Thunt-hater is me.

Finally, I’ll use my held action this round to AOO some questions before they get asked…

“Why did you take this long to reach this conclusion and make this announcement? Four months is a long time.”

This sounds so ‘excusey’, but I’ve been going through a weird, breakdown kinda thing (words like “weird” and “kinda”, downplay the whole thing and make it seem more quirky and less like a disorder). Four months ago, I was just starting to see my psychiatrist and trying to figure out which meds worked for me and which didn’t. I was filled with so much anxiety, I couldn’t open my email or answer the phone. Doing business of any kind tasted like panic. Facing concepts like losing $200,000 of money that didn’t belong to me, was way out of my abilities.

“Are you ever going to do another Kickstarter?”

I can’t see how it’d be at all possible. I’ve got an unlaunched Patreon account that’s been waiting in the wings for months now. I didn’t want to launch it, have a bunch of people chip in some cash and then make this announcement right afterwards. So while the Patreon has become a necessity I will be turning to, I need everyone to know all about the results of the Kickstarter before they decide if they want to be a part of that.

“So are you going to be making updates on the Kickstarter page?”

I can’t. Officially, it’s not my Kickstarter. I had to donate two bucks just to be able to read the updates, since at the time, only backers could see them. 🙂 I’ll post any big news here in this blog and mention the smaller snippets of news on my Twitter.

“So do you know how long the release of the game will take?”

Not really. I will keep you up to date on how it’s going, though.

“I’ve got an idea for a reward you could give to the backers that they’d love and it would be fairly inexpensive for you. Can I tell you about it?”

Sure, if it’s a genuinely good idea, I’d be grateful. Keep in mind though, that getting 6,000 “Um… what about (thing)? Or let’s see…. Oh! What about (another thing)?” would really slow down my responses to backers, but if you really have a great idea, I’d love to hear it. Thank you!

“How long will it take you to respond to Backer questions and how many questions can they ask you?”

I have very little idea how long it’ll take, I’ll mention if the questions are piling up and if there’s a longer wait, though. And backers can ask as many questions as they like. They’ve been screwed over. They deserve answers, followed by results.

“You don’t use a held action to perform an AOO. AOOs are granted situationally and held actions are an entirely different thing that players have to establish beforehand. Why did you do that?”

Good eye.

“How will you know who’s a backer and who isn’t?”

We have the backer list.

“How can backers ask you questions?”

My email fills up faster than I can keep up, so it’s really not a great way to contact me anymore. I’ll probably create an email just for this Lowtide situation but until then, Twitter is actually a really good way to contact me. I can scan through it really fast, so I am guaranteed to read everything you tweet @ me and can respond quickly. So for now… Twitter is the best place.

So there it is. As of now, Evertide is no longer involved with the Kickstarter or G:AR and I’m taking on all efforts and responsibilities. Also, last week marked the contractual deadline for the release of the game. Which means that every aspect of G:AR, even the parts designed and created by Evertide, became legally mine.

(And her name would be Tauny The Tauntaun.)

-Thunt


Candy War / Goblins Stuffs

Yesterday I was eating some candy and I started playing with it. I made a… something out of it.

Check out the Candy War.

(and here’s my Twitter and the Goblins forum, which is filled with friendly folks who like to talk about the comic)

The Goblins update will be up soon. Lately, I’ve been working on ways to be able to post pages more quickly. One thing I’m trying to teach myself, is how to draw the characters in a faster, more simplified style. I’m optimistic that it’ll save me time in the near future but for right now, drawing Big Ears’ armour over and over in an attempt to simplify it with minimal visual change is eating up the hours.  Don’t worry, Goblins isn’t about to go through some drastic change. I’m talking about little things like armour having slightly less pieces to it and blood splatter not being a recreation of literally. Every. Drop. Of. Blood. Seriously, pages like the recent Forgath vs Kore are easily a good thirty hours just to get the blood right. A lot of that is simply due to the fact that I draw crazy slow. Still, I’m not kidding when I say that every drop of blood has been handled as though it were a separate character.

sp_bloodflow2

Another thing adding to the hours, is the first room of The Dragon’s Maw, which appears in the upcoming page.

sp_DMRoom1

I still have more work to do on it but as you can see, it’s got a lot of detail to it. I’m not complaining about any of this, I’ve actually been having a great time drawing it and of course, no one is making me do any of this. 😛

As a side note, I gladly admit that the bricks in that room (like most of Goblins) are heavily influenced by the artwork of one of my heroes, Dave Trampier. Check it out…

108_2108_3

 

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Kind Of A Weird Request (completed)

Edit: Once again, you folks have proven to be one of the comfy, bright spots of the internet! Seriously, you’re like a group of paladins or something! My friend is astonished, amazed, grateful and super happy. She says “THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!” and will be going to see her friends in October. As a thank you, I’m putting together a desktop wallpaper that will be available to everyone very soon. You’re amazing. <3

Hey readers, I have a weird thing to ask.

In the last five months, I’ve become good friends with a fantastic woman who lives in Texas with her husband and her one year old son. When the three of them recently moving to Texas, she left all her friends behind and has since made no new friends, other than those she’s gotten to know online. In October, there will be a trip that a group of her friends will be going on and I know that she’d love to go, but she can’t afford to make the trip.

I want to stress that this is not an emergency situation. No one is going to be evicted from their home or face medical bills or anything like that. This is simply a trip that I know she’d love to be able to go on to see her friends. I’ve chipped in a bit of cash, as have a few of her friends, but she’s still short.

She needs about $500 to $600 more. Again, this is not an emergency. She’s just an incredibly sweet, quiet and gentle person who would never ask for help with this, herself. I really want her to be able to go on this trip to see her friends. It means a lot to her.

If this is not something you’re interested in helping with, I completely understand. This isn’t exactly a life or death situation for anyone. But if you’d like to chip in a few bucks…

Edit: Goal achieved and so the link to donate has been removed. Thank you, everyone!

PROGRESS – ($730 USD)

I know this is a weird thing to ask and if I hadn’t gone through my own situation which has left me kinda broke, I’d just be forking over the full amount, myself. Thanks so much, everyone.

And now I return to drawing future Goblins pages. Next update… Under The Helmet.

Thanks for being there.

~Thunt


8 Questions That Some Of You might Want To Know But Are Too Polite To Ask

Okay, so we’re really doing this. After seven months, we’re relaunching. Wow.

Now, I know that there are some questions that some of you might have about my situation, but wouldn’t ever ask because it’d be, you know… rude. But if things were reversed, and you were relaunching the comic that I was reading, I’d be wondering certain things about you. Like… are you going to start acting all crazy now? Are you going to be tweeting that the ghost of Artax the horse, has been telling you that the gooey stuff inside Cadbury’s Creme Eggs is made from people? Well, here are 8 answers to questions that some of you might want to know, but are too polite to ask.

  1. “Did you see a professional?” – Yes. I got myself a psychiatrist that I see regularly. He’s awesome and has helped quite a bit.
  2. “Are you diagnosed with anything?” – Yes, I was diagnosed. I’m going to keep that diagnosis to myself, though.
  3. “Are you on any medication?” – Yup, I’m on an anti-depressant. This is the third medication tried out on me, and this seems to be the one that’s got me able to, you know… live.
  4. “Well, are you going to be acting all crazy now?” – No more than usual. None of my symptoms are psychotic, meaning that I’m in no way confused about reality. No hallucinations or bouts of paranoia, etc. What I’m dealing with is anxiety based. Here’s a beautifully portrayed example of what I commonly deal with. It’s a scene from Iron Man 3. Somehow, seeing Tony Stark going through what I go through, makes it a bit less embarrassing.
  5. “Is this going to affect the comic? Is Goblins going to be different, now?” – Yes and no. The entire story for Goblins was written years ago, so that’s not going to change. But in the last seven months, I’ve been drawing things that are very different than Goblins and I’ve learned quite a bit about new techniques, etc. This is bound to create a bit of a leap in artistic quality. Aside from that, Goblins is still going to be Goblins.
  6. “What of the comic’s update schedule?” – I honestly don’t know. Although I’m still dealing with those “Tony Stark” issues, they are getting less frequent and I’m certain this is all totally temporary and there will come a time when all of this stuff is a distant memory.
  7. “Isn’t Goblins your job? How have you lived this long without an income?” – I wield the sword of debt, brandish the shield of IOUs and don the armour of ‘Please Don’t Cut Off My Power’
  8. “Do you have less readers after the hiatus?” – I’m certain that I have lost some amount of readers after seven months of silence. I’m not sure what that amount is yet, but I suppose we’ll see, after a few updates happen and some of those readers that (understandably) wandered off, decide to come back. But it’d be crazy to take this much time off and not expect there to be some damage to the size of my reader-base. We’ll see what the future holds.

As always, thanks for…

…actually…

Thanks for being there.

~Thunt

 


I Quit

Swearing Warning – Not a huge deal, but as I’m not normally a big ‘swearing’ guy, let’s just mention it for the sake of caution. Just for this post, it happens. Lots.
Seemingly Theatrical, Negative Emotion – Flailing Warning – At times in this post, I’m pissed off. I’m also humiliated, terrified, nervous and all sorts of other shit and it’s going to appear awkward and undignified to some and even offensive to others.
Bizarre Method Of Explanation Warning – I’ve discovered that the most comfortable way for me to explain myself here, has been to personify certain emotions, thoughts and reactions into fictional characters or “comical” situations. It’s a little odd at times and might seem as though I’m trying to make a joke out of some serious subject matter. But for me, it’s really just the best way I know to convey my feelings to you.
You’re giving us too much info! – What I’m giving you is less than a quarter of the details. The really messed up stuff, I’m leaving out. Even still, I realise that this is a big dump truck of personal info that’s going to make some folks cringe.

I Quit

Let me clarify right away that the title of this blog does not mean that I have quit drawing my webcomic, Goblins. Although this is a letter of resignation. I know, I know… bear with me.

At one point, I had written three versions of this thing and couldn’t decide if I wanted to post version two or three, so I scrapped them all and wrote a fourth version. All that did was add to the frustration by giving me one extra version to choose from. I eventually decided to combine them all into one perfect blog post. The problem was that there were a lot of details that were repeated in multiple versions, so I spent some time editing it and fixing it up. Man, was I pissed off when I’d realised that all I’d done was write a fifth version. Finally, I wrote the sixth version, promising myself that it was absolutely the last one.

You’re reading version twelve.

The TL;DR (too long didn’t read) Edit

Now this thing is long and I know a lot of you would just like to know what happened to the comic and what’s going to happen, but really don’t care about all the awkward details. I totally get that. I’ve broken this up into clearly titled chunks, so you can scan around and just glance at whatever you like, but for those of you who are in a hurry and just want the ‘Bart Allen’ version of what’s happened, here’s word-for-word, ‘version one’ of this blog post…

Goblins stopped updating for a while due to a private situation. Nobody is dead, dying or divorced. We’re back now. Apologies. ~Thunt

That was originally all I’d planned on saying publicly, but as one week became two and then three, the embarrassment of what I was doing/experiencing started to be overshadowed by an understanding that I was going to have to explain what had happened.

But there ya go. I promise you, you now know enough to keep reading Goblins if you choose to. There’s nothing else in this blog post that you have to know, in order to follow the comic.

…….

Okay… are the TL;DR people gone? Okay… okay, good. Let’s talk about them behind their backs. What a bunch of assholes, eh? I hate those guys. And when I said “I totally get that” about them not reading my blog? I totally didn’t get it! I lied to their asses! Why the hell wouldn’t they read my blog?! And you know what else? There is stuff later on in this post that they’ll need to know! Stuff about the schedule an’ stuff! So fuck them! And there’s some funny stuff too. Like this joke right here. It’s all meta and shit. But they missed it. Gods, I hate their, um… shoes.

The Situation

So about two months ago, I just kind of… disappeared from the internet as well as any place that wasn’t the inside of Little Smial (my tiny cabin in the forest). The comic, for the first time in its nine year run, just stopped updating without a word. So what happened? Well those of you who follow me on Twitter already have the general idea that I had some sort of a breakdown.

While that is apparently true, there are other details that I think the readers have a right to know about. Let’s be honest here, walking away from my responsibilities for weeks, without a word to anybody, is pretty damn selfish. And then sauntering back into work with the audacity to hope that I can simply continue on with my job is… I mean, how many people can just do something like that? So if I want to keep doing this job, I had damn well better swallow my pride and explain myself. “But Thunt,” I hear you saying, “you said this was some kind of resignation letter. How can that be the case, if you want to keep doing that job?” Because shut-up, it makes sense later.

The Inevitable Negative Reactions Are Why This Blog Post Is Hard To Write

If you were to take a look at the character sheet for ‘Thunt’, you might notice… well firstly, you’d notice me scowling at you for looking at my character sheet. I mean come on, that’s just bad form. But after that, you’d be able to see that over the last eight or nine years, I’ve put a lot of points into the skill ‘Know What Happens When You Say Really Dumb Shit To Thousands Of People’. And this blog post… well it’s a bit of a balancing act.

Y’see, if I downplay what’s been going on by leaving out too many details (something I’m immediately tempted to do for the sake of my pride), people might react with…

Really? THAT’S why you haven’t been working for all this time? Because you were kind of stressed or something? We’re all stressed, asshole. You’re what we call lazy.

But if I go too far in the other direction and tell too much, I’m likely to get…

Okay, we get it! Wah, wah, poor you! Stop trying to suck pity and attention from the internet by listing in graphic detail, every panic attack you had. Just tell us you’re back and move on.

Then there’s the importance of tone. Too much seriousness or dryness about my experiences and it’s ‘pity-me o’clock’.

What happened, Thunt? Did you lose your spine in a bet and try to replace it with exaggerated, theatrical, attention-seeking bullshit?

But if I get too comical or try to keep it all too light with the wrong kinds of jokes, I might be Mayor of Ableism-ville.

Hey Thunt, I really enjoyed your hilarious blog that repeatedly mocked people with mental disabilities. Classy move, douchebag.

I’ve gotten a tiny amount of flack after mentioning some of the details on Twitter, so I’m definitely going to get some grief for this blog. And while I’m okay with that, I want to point out the difference between self pity and moral propriety. I’m a big believer in people taking responsibility for their own wrongdoings, weaknesses and mistakes and I need to do a bunch of that these days. Sure, there’s a bit of self pity going on during all of this, but honestly, you guys won’t ever see me showing it. For me, self pity is like trying to sing that Whitney Houston version of the song ‘I Will Always Love You’. It’s off key, painful to witness, only my closest friends and family will ever see me do it and I’ll probably be drunk at the time.

The Inevitable Positive Reactions Are Why This Blog Post Is Hard To Write

When I started explaining myself on Twitter, I was amazed at the support I was getting. Not only did it seem like 99% of the reaction was positive, but it was really positive! An army of understanding people emailing and tweeting to me to say the most amazing things! It was (and is) incredibly moving and helpful and made my frontal lobe smell like hot chocolate. A lot of the weirdness I was going through, slowed down or even stopped, purely because of that support. Here are some of my responding tweets (spliced together)…

After Twittering with you guys, I slept for 7 hours. I haven’t slept that much in one go for 2 or 3 weeks. I’ve also started getting an appetite. It feels kind of humiliating to be celebrating such simple tasks, but I ate most of a sandwich today. I squeed. I have no doubt that it’s because of you. Our Twitter “talks” have been the most social thing I’ve done in a month and a half. I know “friends” isn’t the most realistic word to describe most of you, since honestly, I don’t know many or your faces or names. But “fans” is such a crap term too. You helped me with the down payment to buy my house. You helped me become a better artist/writer and now you’ve played no small part in helping me through… whatever you call this. You’ve literally saved my mind, if not my life. Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m getting all weird and gooey. 😛 I’ll get more into this in the blog, but basically you’re amazing and I’m even more in your debt now. Thank you.

As amazing as all of this felt, I couldn’t help but feel like I really didn’t deserve it at that level. Of course we should all get emotional support when we need it, but… wow! This was massive. I started wondering if people with jobs that actually had terrifying levels of stress got support like this. Firefighters, police officers, soldiers… people who endanger themselves for the well being of others. They have every understandable right to curl into a ball and cry. And if they did, would they get the tsunami of support that I got? Let’s keep things in perspective here. My job involves working from home, sitting in a comfortable chair, listening to music and sipping tea.

I wouldn’t dare to devalue or disrespect the quality and scope of the support I’ve received. It was a rare privilege that many people don’t get to experience. I have absolutely accepted it and used it as the big, huggable, smiling band-aid that it is. I just want to be open about the fact that neither my situation nor my actions have given me any kind of entitlement to that kind of support. I’m just really, really lucky and there’s no fucking way I’m going to take that for granted.

What I Experienced 1.0

(Alright, are you ready for some emotion flailing? Buckle your emo-belts and put on some Coldplay, cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!)

I’m one of those stressy people that’s always worried about something. I also have a problem with guilt. The volume knob on my sense of guilt is turned way up. Due to this, there are two things that have caused this whole situation for me. This basic thought…

I’m missing another deadline. What a fucking joke. If I slow down the updating schedule or lower the art quality, I’ll lose readers and won’t be able to keep this going as a career. But these missed deadlines are way past unprofessional.

And a second thought, which after discussing it with some Goblins readers, I’ve decided to keep to myself (thanks for that advice and help, guys).

I love drawing Goblins. I’d have to, to be able to draw 8-18 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. If I’m being honest about it, it’s really an easy job. It’s not hard work, just long hours. I’m not saying that every webcomic author has an easy job, just like I’m not saying that every webcomic author works long hours. Only that this is the nature of my personal situation.

Those readers who used to hang out with me in the live feed while I drew, could confirm that the schedule I’m explaining isn’t exaggerated. But they could also confirm that I don’t work quickly. I get distracted and take moments to joke with my wife, Danielle or play fight with my dog or something, and my drawing is just excruciatingly slow. I can spend hours drawing a pair of eyes or days/weeks on one panel. But with that guilty doubt always duct taped to the backs of my eyeballs, I’ve always felt like an asshole while working. Like I’m screwing up on such a massive scale but for some reason, I’m still here. I feel like a fraud and a liar. And who the fuck do I think I am, trying to wedge myself in next to the pros?

And hey! Guess what that ongoing frame of mind does to my guilt knob! No, that… that is not some kind of penis euphemism. I’m referring to the symbolic volume control on my overactive sense of guilt. That’s right! My guilt turns bad ass! It puts on Darth Vader armour made of silvery, gleaming adamantium and starts unhygienically drinking milk straight from the carton while giving the middle finger to any who dare suggest he use a glass!

Okay, um… okay, these are not… well they’re not perfect metaphors.

So aside from being wound a little tight, I’ve always been okay. So I’ve carried some anxieties around. Who hasn’t? I’ve still fallen face first into an amazingly lucky life. I get to draw and travel to conventions. I’ve gotten to meet and even become friends with a lot of my childhood idols! When I nervously shook hands with Steve Jackson and introduced myself, he smiled and said, “Yeah, I know who you are. I like your comic”. I must have blacked out from squee overload after that, because when I ‘came to’, three days later, I was dangling from a highway traffic light in a Batman costume and screaming into the sky, “COME AT ME, EDGAR ALLAN POE! I’M READY!”.

Okay, maybe I’m making up the part about blacking out, but my point is that I’m too lucky to complain with any legitimacy. And then, when you consider my two sons and my wife, Danielle… well lucky doesn’t really cover it anymore. And unlike my job, my marriage creates no feelings of guilt or of being a fraud or a liar, because despite whatever other flaws I have, I’m kind of a kickass husband. Knowing this, creates a sort of guilt-free/stress-free sanctuary in a Princess Bride, “twew wuv” kind of way. It’s all very cheesy and wonderful.

So with all of this awesomeness going on, I couldn’t understand why, in mid February, my usual anxieties seemed to be evolving like some pissed off, nightmarish Pokemon. At first, it just seemed as though I was having a bad couple of days. A bit more stressed, a bit more grumpy… meh. It happens to the best of us, right? But as I was drawing, I gradually noticed that I wasn’t just stressed, I kinda felt… scared. My tendency to worry a bit too much, actually felt more like fear. I knew this was an unreasonable, anxiety thing and decided to just push through it. After all, the page of the comic that I was drawing, was particularly time consuming and I was going to be even later than normal.

Oh, that’s what it is!” I thought, “This is a really important part of the story and a lot of the readers are anxious to see the next page. Since it’s going to take longer than usual to finish, I’m just more stressed than usual, knowing that folks will be angrier than usual.

(Okay, let me just ‘Hadoken’ an important point across the screen and into the middle of this blog. Everything I’ve done and felt through this situation, is something I’ve done to myself through my own actions and decisions. No outside person did this. I’m not victimised, bullied or oppressed. Okay, I’m sorry for the interruption and I’m especially sorry for phrasing it as a poorly constructed Street Fighter metaphor. Let’s get back to the blog. Round Two… FIGHT!)

So once a deadline wooshes past me, I tend to stay away from the internet until after I’ve posted the overdue page. If I take in the readers’ frustration and anger while I’m still working on that late page, the adamantium-clad, ‘Guilt Vader’ shows up with the Predator’s Shoulder Cannon as an upgrade. Plus, he’s still got a milk mustache. You really shouldn’t drink from the carton, you guys.

But in February, I started to feel too scared to go online at all. Like… really unreasonably scared. The kind of fear usually reserved for actual danger. For a while, I still nervously checked my email and tweeted out my goofy jokes. And for that while, the jokes actually made me feel better. I really wanted to shake off that bizarre fear and the tweets were a way to stand up to Guilt Vader and defiantly say, “That’s right, sucka! You may have your milk mustache and your plasma shoulder cannon, but I still just tweeted…

Today I punched Paul McCartney in the face. When he looked at me in confusion I said “THAT’S for making Eleanor Rigby only 2 minutes long!”

…whatcha gonna do?!

So between my victorious tweets of “bravery” and my Guilt Free Sanctuary with Danielle, I was doing an okay job at keeping Guilt Vader at bay. But for some reason, that damn fear kept getting worse. While I worked, I couldn’t even play my internet radio or Netflix without a swelling sense of nauseous panic. So I worked in silence. And boy, does Guilt Vader love silence! It gives him all sorts of time to troll me.

~“Still drawing that same page, eh Tarol? I wonder if any other webcomic authors take this long.”~

Shut-up, Guilt Vader. And get your feet off of my coffee table.

~“Hey don’t be like that, kiddo. You like the boots though? Adamantium.”~

Leave me alone.

~“Aw, why? Oh! Because you’re working, right?”~

Yes, that’s right.

~“And good for you. Look, you’re working as hard as you can. As long as you do that, you have no reason to feel guilty. Hey, you want a Pocky? There’s no way I can finish this whole box.”~

I work every damn day.

~“Why do I always get the pink ones? I mean how does this taste anything like strawberries?”~

Nobody else has to work seven days a week, and I do that. So piss off.

~“Absolutely Tarol, you do work every day, it’s true. I mean, look at you drawing away right now. It’s commendable. You’re a professional and you treat this like a serious job.”~

Go away.

~“Oh, I forgot to ask, how was that nap you took today?”~

Go away.

~“What was that, like an hour and a half?”~

Go away!

~“I wonder how many other professionals get to take hour and a half long naps during their serious jobs.”~

GO AWAY!

~“Tarol, I’m gonna lean in really close to your ear now. Like… creepy weird close. And I’m doing this for two reasons. Firstly, because I want you to listen closely to what I’m about to say. Not ‘just’ with your ears, but with that part deep inside you that hears the sounds your dreams make while you’re sleeping. And secondly, because check out my bad ass milk mustache. It’s fucking awesome.”~

I hate you.

~“Aw, I’ve upset you. I’m sorry kiddo. Look, I’ll just whisper this one important thing to you and then I’ll leave ya alone for a bit, kay?”~

Fine. What.

~“Tarol… I know you ‘think’ you’re this fantastic husband to Danielle, but I’m going to need you to let me into the Guilt Free Sanctuary you have with her.”~

You are never getting in there.

~“If you say so, kiddo. But y’know, if I ‘were’ to get in there… heh. You are so fucked. Anyways, I’m gonna go look through my upgrade catalogue. I’ll see ya later. … Seriously though, the pink ones are like bland toothpaste on a twig, I don’t understand why I keep getting these.”~

What I Experienced 2.0

So there I was, drawing without music or movies playing in the background and keeping my growing sense of confusion-flavoured panic to myself. Even though Danielle knew something very bad was going on with me, I dreaded to tell her exactly what, as it… probably wouldn’t be a very happy conversation.

“Honey, great news! You’ll never guess what kind of a coward I’ve just become!”

” <eyes beaming with joy> Jittery?!”

Hooray, you did guess!”

Now usually, the only time I worked without music, etc. was when I had a headache or when I was broadcasting on the live feed. So during the second day of this silent drawing, Danielle glided up to me and quietly placed a tea, two aspirin and a damp cloth for my forehead on the desk.

Since I was feeling bunches of shame for my new terror-based difficulties, and seeing an easy path to hiding it, I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I lied to Danielle. I told her that yes, I had a bad headache and that was why I was working in silence and giving off grumpy vibes.

Now, of course, there are certain untruths that Danielle and I will tell each other, but that’s different. Lying to trick the other person into getting the last “something” is well within the rules of our marriage.

Danielle, you want a Coke?

Nono, there’s only one left and I’ve had most of them. That one is yours.

No, there’s two left and I’m grabbing one for myself now, anyways.

Oh, okay. Sure!

For us, those sorts of lies are not only acceptable, but regarded as an adventurous, even competitive way of showing our love for each other.

But this was something new and as soon I had said it, my marriage felt a little bit different. I had just lied to my wife. I didn’t feel like a kickass husband. I felt like a fraud. I felt like a liar.

~“Hey Tarol! Over here, kiddo! I’m in the Guilt Free Sanctuary! Well… I guess it’s just the Free Sanctuary now, eh? Hang on, lemme just get a quick selfie in here… Aw yeah, that’s a good one. One sec, I just gotta tweet this pic out… hashtag ‘ItsNiceInHere’, hashtag ‘ImDrinkingRedWineButWillBeCarefulAroundYourWhiteCarpet’, hashtag ‘OopsFuckSorryAboutYourCarpet’. And check out this new upgrade I got, Tarol! Voila! The ZF-1 from ‘The Fifth Element“~

~” <Gary Oldman Impression> It’s light. Handle’s adjustable for easy carrying, good for righties and lefties. Breaks down into four parts, undetectable by x-ray, ideal for quick, discreet interventions. </Gary Oldman Impression> I fucking LOVE Gary Oldman, don’t you? They gave him the lamest haircut ever, in ‘The Fifth Element’ and he still looked like a bad ass motherfucker!“~

~”Oh, stop lookin’ at me like you wanna punch me in the milk mustache, kiddo. You’re no warrior. That’s okay, though. <Gary Oldman Impression> I don’t like warriors. Too narrow-minded, no subtlety. And worse, they fight for hopeless causes. Honor? Ha! Honor’s killed millions of people, it hasn’t saved a single one. Tell you what I do like though. A killer. A dyed-in-the-wool killer. Cold-blooded, clean, methodical and thorough. Now a real killer, when he picked up the ZF-1, he would have immediately asked about the little red button on… </Gary Oldman Impression>   Hey, where ya goin’ Tarol? Aw c’mon, hang out with me. I’m gonna torch the sanctuary with the ZF-1 and do Gary Oldman impressions, it’s gonna be awesome! We’ll order pizza or something! Seriously? You’re just gonna sulk and walk awa… alright then, I guess. I’ll find ya later okay, kiddo? And I mean that, because there’s literally nowhere you can go that I can’t find you now!“~

~”Oh, Tarol! Tarol, WAIT! One more thing! It’s important! Thank you. Thank you for turning around. Listen kiddo, I know that you don’t like me and you think that I don’t like you. I know you’re upset that I’m about to torch the Guilt Free Sanctuary for you and Danielle. But believe it or not, I do care about you. And since I know how much this sanctuary meant to you, I’m gonna tell you about another place that you can go to, to relieve this growing stress, kay?“~

~”It’s… <Chris Tucker Impression> a hotel of a thousand and one follies, lollies and lickemollies. A magic fountain flow of non stop wine, women and COOCHIE COOCHIE COOOOOO! All Night Looooong! </Chris Tucker Impression>
What, you don’t like Ruby Rhod?! Tarol, come back!”~

In the days that followed, the sense of fear and panic I felt from looking at or thinking about the internet, expanded outward until I felt that way when looking at, thinking about or drawing my own comic, Goblins.

Now, I just want to take a moment to point out the absurd irony of this. I, Tarol Hunt/Stephens… creator, writer and artist of the webcomic, Goblins… was terrified to the point of visually obvious panic… by Goblins. Just let that soak in for a second.

Once I stopped drawing, things got worse. I was losing my temper at nothing and was afraid of everything. Eventually I found myself just… blocking everything out. As someone who’s always worrying over details, I was surprised at how easy it was to just not think about any of this. I retreated into a weird numbness.
I have copies of the old ElfQuest graphic novels from when I was a kid and I ended up spending most of my time just reading them. Just… over and over.

For the following weeks, trying to eat food reminded me of the people I’d seen doing the ‘cinnamon challenge’ on Youtube. I ended up losing somewhere around 40 pounds, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t happened to have dieted away 20 pounds just before all of this started. Irony. My sleeping schedule became 1 to 3 hour naps and I commonly and easily went 48 hours without sleeping at all.

Danielle seemed to keep trying to talk to me in hopes of finding out what was going on. When that failed, she seemed to keep trying to support me with a lot of tea, hugs and patience. Then, when the only responses I could give her were a lot of yelling, fueled by fear and anger, she seemed to… stop trying.

I never yelled at her, but I did a lot of yelling to her. I remember watching her eyes well up and seeing how scared she was as she realised that her husband had completely lost the ability to make sense.

I remember thinking that I was using the right words and saying them in the right order, but speed, tone and inflection were a foreign language to me. If, as a teen, you’ve ever tried to act sober in front of your parents when you weren’t, you’ll know what it’s like to suddenly be considering every mundane gesture and idiosyncrasy with awkward confusion. Something as common as, ‘what to do with your hands while talking’ feels as difficult as trying to crack open a combination bank vault. With tweezers. While wearing boxing gloves.

For the next few days, Danielle and I avoided each other. She had her part of Little Smial and I had mine. This was completely alien to us and as much as I wanted to go talk to her, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it without going all… Super Saiyan.

The Turning Point

(As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’m using imagery like Guilt Vader to convey my feelings and make it easier for me to explain a personally humiliating situation. Guilt Vader does not represent any hallucinations or symptoms on that level. And while he is obviously fictional, the reactions and emotions I show with him are factual and accurate. I hope you don’t find this deceptive at all. It’s just a comfortable way for me to let you know how I’m feeling.

Remember in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, when they used music to communicate with the aliens? Well it’s like that, except I’m using a writer’s tool to communicate with you. And yes, just like in ‘Close Encounters’, I’m going to put Richard Dreyfuss in a orange jumpsuit and kick him off the planet.

Because ‘Krippendorf’s Tribe’ was fucking awful.*)

I’m going to deliberately gloss over the bulk of the worst of what happened. There may have been the teeniest confusion about reality for like, the briefest of nanoseconds. I also may have sorta, maybe had a tiniest, blip of memory loss, maybe.

So I’m mentioning these details, because I want it to be understood by those whose opinions I value, that this was kind of a serious thing. But I’m being glossier than a brand new suit of stormtrooper armour and I’m down playing more than the second level of Battletoads (think about it) because it’s embarrassing.

So the point that this whole… whatever you want to call it, was at it’s absolute worst, was when Danielle had just finished trying yet again to communicate with me. And again, what I’d given her was not really communication, but more panicky confusion. As she quietly walked away in familiar defeat, I turned back to my Elfquest graphic novel.
I tried to not think about what I was doing to Danielle. How much I was scaring her. How I had taken a situation that I couldn’t handle and made it into a situation that we couldn’t handle.

Before I knew what I was doing, I’d angrily ripped my book apart (my apologies to Wendy and Richard Pini and the Wolfriders). While I sat quietly, looking at the shredded Elfquest pages on my livingroom floor, Guilt Vader made his final appearance. And he was riding a mount.

~“Hey Tarol, how’s it goHOLY…! You like look shit, kiddo.”~

~“Damn, what’d you do to your Elfquest book? Was that the one from when you were a kid? Yikes, that’s an expensive tantrum. But hey, check out my new mount! It’s my latest upgrade! I took Skeletor and Slenderman, put ‘em on their hands and knees, duct taped ‘em together into one, terrifying, nightmarish beast and slapped a saddle on the whole thing! I call this magnificent animal, Slendeletor!”~

~“I know, I know… it’s a little extravagant, but hear me out. (A) He’s a lot faster than you’d think. (B) Both Slenderman and Skeletor are not really undead, but they’re not quite living, either. So I don’t have to feed him! At least… I don’t think I have to feed him. Do I have to feed him? Aw, fuck it. I just won’t feed him, we’ll see what happens. And (C) He’s fucking SCARY, dude! Just check out Slenderman’s long, skinny arms flailin’ about! And Look at Skeletor’s face! I know he wasn’t really scary in the cartoon, but now that he’s here? Daaaamn!”~

Look… I… I can’t do this. I…

~“Oh, I almost forgot! I pimped my ride! Check it out! See? On Skeletor’s butt? Winnie the Pooh stickers! I had to customize, otherwise how am I gonna stand out from everyone else riding evil, fictional icons, duct taped together?”~

…sniff

~“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Tarol. So you shredded Elfquest, deal with it.”~

That’s not why I’m upset.

~“Of course it is! (sigh) Look, I’ll explain it to you. Goblins was a good webcomic. Really good. You have a shelf full of awards, right there. You reached levels of success that most webcomics don’t. And all I heard from you for years was, ‘WAH WAH, Goblins isn’t good enough, it’s going to fail!’. You didn’t think that way when you first put Goblins online! You thought it was good back then, remember? Otherwise, you’d never have posted it! You thought Goblins should succeed, so it succeeded! It wasn’t until you were a success, that you started feeling like a fraud and thinking that Goblins wasn’t good enough! And guess what, you thought it should fail, so eventually it failed! I hate to be the one to break this to you asshole, but you’ve been in complete control of your career, this WHOLE TIME!”~

~“You shredded Goblins. And then when you were done, you shredded Elfquest. A comic like yours, but better in just about every way.”~

~“You don’t see where I’m going with this? (sigh) Okay. Tarol, you shredded your own life. And then, when you were done, you shredded Danielle. A person like you, but better in just about every way. Y’see, it lines up. It’s like synchronized swimming, but instead of water, you’re wading through chlorinated angst. But now it’s done, kiddo. You haven’t drawn it in weeks and you’re too terrified to get back to it, now.”~

I just need…

~“‘…a few more days’. Yeah, Tarol, I know. Look, this fear isn’t going away. This is just the beginning! Dude, I don’t think you get it. This is who you are now.”~

Go away.

~“AHAHA! Are you fucking KIDDING me?! Naw kiddo. We are way past you having enough strength to tell me to go away. You’ve got nothing left and no one willing to…

Go away, Guilt Vader.

~“Wait. Danielle? Wh… what? That doesn’t make any sense. You can’t even see me. How…”~

Do you honestly think there’s anything that one of us can feel, that the other can’t see?

~“No way, Danielle… I mean… No. You’re talking about abstract emotional concepts. I’m a specific, fictional representation of certain feelings. It makes absolutely no sense for you to be able to see me and…”~

Leave now, and never come back.

~“Oh give me a fucking break, Danielle. You can’t go all Smeagol and quote ‘The Two Towers’ at me and call it some sort of therapeutic victory. Do you have any idea how many layers of psychological infiltration I’ve managed to…”~

Leave now, and never come back!

~“Oh, fuck you! Tolkien was a linguist, not a therapist! And besides, that scene never even happened in the books! I’m a hell of a lot stronger than some movie dialogue! I hardly think…”~

LEAVE! NOW! and NEVER come back!

~“FINE! WHATEVER! I’m leaving! I don’t have to take this shit, I have a plasma shoulder cannon and a ZF-1 so fuck you! Slendeletor and I are outta here!”~

Danielle, I thought…

You thought you’d scared me away? Come on, you have to know that our relationship isn’t that fragile and neither am I.

You really thought I was that easily spooked, eh? When we’re through this, remind me to bite you. Hard.

Well, we’ve never been through anything like this. I’m… weird.

Yes. Yes you are. But nothing in this world is scary enough to make me leave you. Not even you.

But you’ve been hiding for the last…

Hiding? I’ve been researching your symptoms online and making phone calls, you dummy. Now, I…

~“Adamantium boots, baby!”~

Huh? I thought I told him to leave.

You did. He’s sulking on his way out, to show how my own insecurities have been reflected onto him.

~”Respect the milk mustache, bitches!”~

It’s part of his job as the incarnate manifestation of my guilt. It’s all very meta.

Meta? How do you mean?

~”Me and Slendeletor are gonna go be in our OWN webcomic! Better than Goblins!”~

Oh, yeah. That is meta.

That was when Danielle sat me down in front of my tablet and placed my drawing stylus in my hand.

Draw.

Danielle, I can’t…

Not Goblins. Not something for the comic or the website. Just draw what you’re feeling.

The Creepy Picture

So a lot of you have already seen the picture. The thing I drew when my brain had more shaky cam than Man of Steel. Drawing this was a huge help at the time, since communicating just… wasn’t something I could do and I needed to express myself in some way. I honestly think things would have been a lot worse, had Danielle not told me to draw “what you’re feeling”. Since this picture was not a business decision, I’m applying an open license to it, so… do whatever you like with it. Make posters, t-shirts, crop circles… anything you like.

So… what does it mean? Mostly, I don’t know. I think the doll is supposed to represent me? I’m not sure. I just started drawing this image of a broken doll and the rest of the picture grew out from that. She’s got heavy make-up on the right side of her face and no pupil in her right eye. Why? I don’t know.
I have no idea why her right hand is smashed and why there are a bazillion fingers. I just kept drawing fingers. When you’re going through a thing like this, you tend to latch onto ANYTHING that isn’t panic inducing and repeat it over and over to avoid the things that are terrifying (which is why I wound up reading Elfquest non-stop). I did this with the fingers. For some reason, I felt less freaked out when drawing the fingers, so I just… kept drawing them.

Is the monster Mr. Fingers? I’m not sure. I didn’t plan on drawing him, I just drew without thinking and that’s what came out. And what happened to his squished ‘foot’? I have no idea. The plushie/doll that the monster is coming out of is the doll that Fumbles tried to return to the elf child in Goblins. I do know that. And the monster’s neck, is a tongue wrapped in thick wire.

The green bit on the light bulb is my wedding ring. I have no memory of drawing that part. There are a few parts of the picture I don’t remember drawing, but what really pisses me off, is the knife.

I drew a beautiful knife on the floor. It’s what was meant to have been used to scratch up the back wall. I remember drawing it. Danielle remembers seeing it. But at some point, I erased it and drew in the floorboards where it had once been. I don’t remember doing this and it bothers me, because I liked that knife. It looked awesome. Why the hell did I erase it? Grrrr.

The Goblins pages in the picture are all pages where someone dies. This was done with more conscious thought than the rest of the picture, as I had to go through the archives and find each of those pages.

Now let’s talk for a minute about what the picture ISN’T. For the love of all that’s wireless, it isn’t sexual. Honest. I was amazed to see how many people online attributed the picture to some kind of sexual fetish. I mean… as provocative as I am… Sweet Starscream, there is nothing sexual in that picture. And yet…

Could Thunt’s amputation fetish be any more obvious?

Okay Thunt, you have a cannibal fetish, we get it.

…obviously Thunt’s gore fetish.

…his rape fetish…

Notice how each, different fetish is the one and only, obvious fetish that is clearly portrayed in the rorschach test… er… I mean, the picture that I drew.

Another theory some people have, is that I identify as a female, since I’ve drawn the character representing me as a female doll. While this isn’t at all offensive to me, it is interesting, because I’m now accused of being transphobic and transgendered by the internet. Not a lot of people can unlock that achievement!

The truth is that my inner gender matches my physical gender and I’m quite comfortable as a heterosexual dude. However, I’m also comfortable enough to draw my emotions symbolised in a some type of female form if that’s what I feel like doing, because forced gender roles can kiss my butt. If you want to call me transgendered, go right ahead. It’s untrue, but it’s cool with me. If you think I’m mocking transgendered individuals and you want to call me transphobic, that’s also untrue and much less cool, but I can’t stop you.

I Quit

From the very beginning, I’ve treated my readers as my bosses. After all, that’s where my income originates from, right? And when I’m late, it’s you the readers who are tapping your watches disapprovingly. And in a way, you could fire me simply by not reading my comic anymore. The relationship fits! And for years, it’s felt as though I’d be disrespecting my readers if I were to treat the relationship any other way. But there’s been a problem with this dynamic.

Y’see, if you’re my bosses, your opinions default to having more value than my own. That’s one of the reasons why we have bosses. They’re in charge because they tend to hold more experience or expertise. Sure, bosses can make bone-headed decisions and should listen to their employees, but their opinions should default to the starting point of having more value than the other employees.

But while this can work in a lot of business situations, it’s downright destructive in the reader/webcomic author relationship. I mean… let’s be honest, the internet is not an air-tight bastion of complete, unwavering good advice. There are some bad ideas floating around out there.

Until now, I’ve treated each and every comment, email, tweet, criticism and praise as though it were coming from my boss. My superior. This undeservedly fueled the compliments and insults and had me meeting my “critics” in chatrooms so I could nod and smile as they tore me to pieces for everything from not “using better pacing”, to “relying too much on dialogue”. And all the while, I thought I was required to continue this frame of mind as a sign of respect to my readers.

But this was wrong. It is entirely possible to respect my readers and not consider our relationship in a way that has me working under them. And so, this is what I mean by “I quit”. I mean that I no longer work for any of you. I’ll no longer create Goblins with a fear of failure looming over me. Any opinions about me or my work will default to the starting position of “somebody on the internet says…” rather than “your boss says…”.

While I’ll carefully consider the opinions, criticism and praise as it comes in, I’ll do so with an understanding that it’s an outside opinion and could be… well… stupid. I’ll reserve the right to not finish reading the email that starts with “HAY ASSHOLE U SUKK!” or to say “no” when someone demands that I listen to their point by point set of reasons why I’m failing as a webcomic author.

I’m also going to stop being sorry for being late all the time with my updates. I obviously have a huge problem with meeting deadlines. It’s a problem I’ve had for almost a decade and clearly it’s something I can’t fix. So here’s the deal…

I work hard on my artwork. I don’t cut corners and I always try to improve my abilities. I also put everything I have into my writing, trying to get better and I take the craft as seriously as I can. But along with these points, is the ongoing truth that I’m late. Like… a lot. You can think it’s because I work hard, but draw slowly or because I’m just a lazy asshole. But whatever your opinion, this is the nature of my work. I’ve been late a scwillion times and I will be late a scwillion more.

You see, I always want… no, ‘want’ is not a strong enough word. I always need to add more to the page. If I have 3 days to draw a page, I’m going to feverishly try to squeeze 3.5 days of work into it. If I have 5 days, I’ll try get 6 days of work in there. I can’t help it.

I don’t know what’s dumber, the fact that there are long time readers who still email me to point out what a failure I am over this, or the fact that I still feel like a failure over this. Let’s all be smarter about this schedule thing. I’m always going to suck at being on time and either that’s something that you as a reader are okay with or it isn’t. But I can’t spend the rest of my career tearing myself apart with guilt and stress over it. I can’t keep living in fear of the whole thing coming to an end. I have no doubt that being late all the time hurts my career and limits my success to some degree. But obviously it’s not going to completely end my career, as this has been an issue for almost a decade. If sucking at making deadlines was going to destroy Goblins, it’d have done it by now.

So if you don’t want to read Goblins because of the unreliable update schedule, I completely understand and I’ll respect your decision to walk away. I won’t respect your angry emails, because I don’t work for you anymore. I quit.

I’m still creating Goblins and I’m still fully respecting those that deserve my respect. I’m still listening to advice and criticism and I’m still as interactive with my readers as I can be. The only difference is that I no longer consider any of you to be my boss and as a result, I now have a right to place my own opinions about myself and my work, above yours.

Thanks and Apologies

Danielle Stephens
After the last two months, my wife had every reason to yell at me, demand time away from me or maybe even leave me. She didn’t so much as give me a dirty look, though. But even more amazing than her patience, is her strength. Yes, she uses that strength for good now, but if she ever goes Dark Phoenix Saga on us, we’re all dead.
Danielle, I Love you and every bit of safety and protection I give for the rest of our lives, is only possible because of the safety and protection you’ve given me.
I’m so sorry for what I’ve put you through and so thankful for the uninterrupted help you’ve given me.

Vivian Lengyell
Thank you for the phone calls and the corny jokes (and you know… raising me). I’m so sorry for disappearing for so long without contacting you.

Paul Gabriel-Wiener
Thanks, man. You know what for. It is not an exaggeration to say that you’ve done more for me, than any other man on Earth.

Duke Ignthorn
Thank you so much Dukey, for maintaining the site and continually offering help in various ways!

Eric and Shannon
Thanks for your patience, you two, and Eric… I’m so, so sorry I missed your surprise birthday party during this. I’ll make it up to you by, um… I guess… I’ll buy you, uh… a live ewok or something. A girl one. How do you tell the gender of those things?

Dixon and Kyriel
I’m sorry, boys. I’m sorry that after watching The Dark Knight, I broke a pool cue in half and made the two of you fight for the title of “favorite son”. I’m sorry that when you were toddlers, I sat you in front of a Youtube video of a building about to be demolished, told you it was live footage and said “I’ll be right back. You make sure nothing happens to that hospital.”, then I screamed “WHAT DID YOU DO?!” when I returned a minute later. I’m sorry that I had you convinced for the first 6 years of your life, that your midichlorian count was crazy high, and that was why supermarket doors just opened for you when you approached them.
But what I’m REALLY sorry for, is being unreachable for so long. I Love you guys.

The Readers
Firstly, I owe every one of my readers a huge apology for the way I disappeared without a word. I later learned that some of you were making plans to contact my local police department to check on my safety. In reading the massive email and Twitter response, one sentiment stood above everything else. Concern for my well-being. More than the questions about the comic or the updates, there were questions asking if I was okay. There was genuine worry. And so I mean it when I say that I’m incredibly sorry for my disappearance. Should anything happen to me again, I’ll make informing all of you a very high priority.

And secondly, thank you. Thank you for the support, the love, the concern and the understanding. The day after I started talking to you on Twitter, I slept a full 7 hours and even started eating again. You remember how in Iron Man 1, Tony Stark was carrying around that filthy car battery that was keeping his heart alive? Well you guys are that. You’re my filthy car battery. And I gotta lug you around because Jeff Bridges is trying to kill me. Wait. No. You… well, you guys know what I mean. You keep my heart alive.

(Note: I refer to my male and female friends as “guys”.)

Wendy and Richard Pini
And thanks to the Pinis for creating Elfquest. Not just because it’s the work that inspired me to become what I am today, but because your art and writing became an anchor of safety for me during this… thing.
I’ve learned that during breakdowns like this, people often turn to things that make them feel safe or help to dull the pain/fear. These things are commonly repetitive and sometimes destructive. They can be drugs or alcohol or worse. I was lucky to have Elfquest as my anchor.
When I grew up, pretending to be Cutter and imagining that I was fighting trolls, battling humans and marrying Rainsong, I couldn’t have known that one day, those books would help me through the most messed up time of my life.
So thank you, Mrs. and Mr. Pini.If you like Goblins, but haven’t read Elfquest, you’re in luck! It’s like Goblins, but better! Go get it!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

*Richard Dreyfuss rocks


If Twitter were on Firefly…

(Segment I deleted from The Unwritten Blog, which explains my disappearance. It’s goofy, so I’m leaving it here, just for the hell of it.)

If Twitter were a character on the show Firefly…

…then Twitter would be Book. Y’see? Book is obviously… no, wait. Facebook would be Book, of course.

Twitter would be Wash. No, who am I kidding, Wash is so totally Yahoo.

This is a fertile land and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land and we will call it… This Land.

Yup, that’s Yahoo.

Could Twitter be Kaylee? Yeah, maybe if… unless… is she Pinterest? Hmmm, let’s see…

Look at the pretties!

No, it’s shiny! I like to meet new people, they’ve all got stories.

You don’t seem to be lookin’ at the destinations. What you care about is the ships, and mine’s the nicest.

“[pointing to a pink frilly dress] Say, look at the fluffy one!

Don’t you just love this party? Everything’s so fancy and there’s some kind of hot cheese over there.

I don’t know, I’m still not convinced that Kaylee is…

“[Sits on her bed, eating finger foods, listening to classical music and staring at a fluffy dress.]”

ALRIGHT! Fine! Kaylee is Pinterest.

But then who the hell is Twitter? Simon is obviously WebMD, Zoe…Amazon (heh).

Inara? Could Inara be Twitter? Well Inara is a companion, so… Youjizz.com? DAMMIT, Tarol! Don’t be such an asshole! Inara Serra is a capable, strong woman and NOT an example of sexual objectification! So… xvideos.com? Wait, no. That’s not what companions are about at all. Yes, they provide sexuality, but that’s not the point of it. As a companion, Inara is smarter than you, offers support and information and she helps you get to where you’re going in life if you’re lost, but only works when she wants to andOHMYGOD INARA IS GOOGLE! It makes perfect sense! Also, if Inara had married Capt. Reynolds… Well that would’ve sucked. Damn, that might have ruined the whole show.

So… I guess that makes Capt. Reynolds, Youtube? At least I think he’s Youtube. He disables comments…

“[Book] Captain, do you mind if I say grace?

“[Reynolds] Only if you say it out loud.

He regularly picks fights with large groups of unified people…

“[Reynolds] Wha? I didn’t start it! Just wanted a quiet drink.

“[Zoe] Funny, sir, how you always seem to find yourself
in an Alliance-friendly bar come U-day, looking
for a ‘quiet drink’.

And oh yeah, I once saw his naked ass even though I didn’t want to. There’s no doubt about it, Capt. Tightpants is Youtube.

Saffron is Tumblr, that’s easy.

River is… um… what the hell is River?

The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.

Hmmm, I’m still not sure what she is.

I remember everything. I remember too much. And some of it’s made up, and some of it can’t be quantified, and there’s secrets…

Damn, this is a tough one.

I don’t belong… dangerous like you. Can’t be controlled… can’t be trusted.

Um… hmmm.

No power in the ‘verse can stop me.

I’m sorry, I just don’t know…

I threw up on your bed.

OH! 4Chan! Duh!

So I guess that leaves Jayne as Twitter. Which makes sense, I suppose. He almost always talks in less than 140 characters…

Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don’t you think?” (69 characters)

We’re gonna explode? I don’t wanna explode!” (44 characters)

He ‘retweets’ things…

Shepherd Book once said to me, ‘If you can’t do something smart, do something right.’” (86 characters)

He gets blocked by other accounts for trolling…

“[Jayne] You don’t pay me to talk pretty. Just because Kaylee gets lubed up over some big-city dandy doesn’t mean…” (108 characters)

“[Reynolds] Walk away from this table. Right now.

He ‘tweets’ about his food and drink…

Mmm. They call it Mudder’s Milk. All the protein, vitamins and carbs of your grandma’s best turkey dinner, plus fifteen percent alcohol.” (138 characters)

And finally, when he gets a lot of followers, he lets it go to his head and annoys everyone with an over inflated ego.

“[Jayne] No really Mal, I mean maybe there’s something to this. The mudders, I think I really made a difference in their lives. Me, Jayne Cobb.” (135 characters)

“[Reynolds] I know your name, jackass!

So the point I’m trying to make, is that Firefly was fucking awesome. Wait. No. My point was… Jayne’s hat… um… no… DAMMIT JOSS WHEDON! You screwed me up again! You do this to me EVERY time!


This Is Not The Blog.

Very soon there will be a blog post from Tarol Hunt (Thunt), explaining what’s happened and what’s going on with the Goblins updates. This is not that blog.

-Danielle


Drawing Live Right Now

Boop.

As always, thanks for reading (and keeping me company on the live feed).

~Thunt


Unofficial G:AR Update

“When is Goblins: Alternate Realities coming out?”

Short answer… Everyone who backed, should have the game by June.

Longer answer

I remember testing the G:AR card game with Evertide Games at Gencon last year. I was so nervous that people would hate the game or walk away bored or worst of all, not even show up to play it. However, I was delighted to find that not only did our player spots quickly fill up, but we had to create extra seats, which also filled up.

Everybody enjoyed the game and many of the players wanted to play again. I was very happy. However, Richard James (the main designer of the game) wasn’t as excited. He explained to me that while watching people play G:AR, he’d noticed a number of unbalanced rules that could be exploited by players. Some of these details were easily fixed, but some of them went deep into the heart of the game and would require some hefty redesigns.

Well those redesigns are finished and now it’s just a matter of finishing the final details, printing out and shipping the massive amount of boxes and loot. I’m really proud of the quality, talent and amount of work that’s been pumped into this project and I honestly can’t wait for you guys to play it.

As a thank you for your patience, Evertide is adding a set of Not-Walter character and action cards to the game for all the backers.

If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a tweet and I’ll answer what I can.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Want To Do Something Nice?

Sometimes while I’m drawing, I leave a chat room up that has a ‘grab the mic and talk’ feature. It’s like listening to a podcast between a couple dozen people. Over the last week or two, one of the regulars of that chat room (who goes by DarlingNadia) has been stressing over the fact that her and her seven year old daughter are facing eviction. She’s unemployed (EDIT: though she is looking and has an interview lined up) and needs to raise $1261 by Jan. 22.

She’s been getting more and more stressed as each day passes and every time I listen to her cry over her overwhelming stress, I keep thinking “I could fix this”. She’s not a Goblins reader, I don’t really know this woman, but… I could fix this. She’s a devoted Christian and I’m (totally) not, but… I could fix this.

I can’t tell you very much about this person or how she got into this situation, but I can tell you the following with 100% certainty…

Her situation is real. She’s not lying about being evicted.

She and her daughter are HUGE MLP and Naruto fans.

Her daughter, Jessica is a sweety who spends her time leaping off of her couch whilst wearing a cape made from a bed sheet (I’ve listened to her do this a lot).

I’m chipping in a bit of money and if any of you want to as well, we might just help her out. If you’d rather not, that’s completely fair, since you don’t even know her.

I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. Just to be clear, none of this money goes to me or any kind of organized charity. It just goes to DarlingNadia. If you feel that I’m abusing my position, then please send your angry emails to me and leave DarlingNadia alone. She hasn’t asked me to do this and in fact, has no idea that I even have a fanbase that can do this sort of stuff.

Here’s the general Paypal page – Paypal

Here’s her email connected to her account – jacia.feadow@gmail.com

Amount raised so far … $2,182.99   USD / GOAL MET! YOU. ARE. AWESOME!

She has asked me to mention to you how overwhelmed she is. She’s frantically trying to write thank you notes to each person who’s chipping in and having a hard time keeping up! You guys are absolutely amazing people.

I just wanted to shout out to all of the Fans of Goblins… who changed the lives of a Mom, Daughter, Dog, Cat, and 2 angel Fish.. We will be able to stay in our home and I will be able to focus on my upcoming interview without stressing about the day in court.  Thank you all who have supported Thunt, those who have come around two strangers, and those who have been prayerful as well. Donations ranged from $1.02 all the way to $200.00  Thank you for blessing us and showing overwhelming support” -Tiffany and Jessica MLP and Naruto Forever!

Tif and JessAs always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

 


Happy Holidays!

You may have noticed the lack of an actual Goblins update on the 27th. This is because I have been whisked away to Danielle’s parents’ house for the holidays. So here’s the next page in the slow-running series “The Search For Fate”.

Also, here’s the previous page.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great New Year!

~Thunt


World of Steam Has Launched

My friend Matt Yang King has been working on a new web series called World of Steam, which has launched today!

Check out the first episode on Youtube.

Download the episode for $3.

Visit the WoS website.

But Thunt, who the heck is Matt Yang King? I’ve never seen him in anything.

Yes you have. You’ve seen him in Friends, Frasier, Numbers, CSI and you’ve heard his voice in the G.I.Joe cartoon, Dragon Age, World of Warcraft and my personal favourite, narrating this little gem…

Honestly, Matt’s past voice-work has nothing to do with WoS. I just wanted an excuse to post that commercial.

So check out World of Steam!

WoS_CoverTYPEFlat


Three Years Later, We’ve Arrived

It’s hard to put into words how excited and happy I am to have reached this point in Goblins. It’s taken us three years, but as of the next update, the comic has finally looped back around to the Goblins.

As many of you know, Goblins was written start to finish, years ago. So when I cut away from the GAP (Goblin Adventuring Party), I knew it was going to take a very long time before we’d get back to them. I prepared myself for a lot of “Um… I thought this comic was called Goblins. Where are the goblins?” and boy, the internet didn’t disappoint!

After being away from the GAP for so long, it’s hard to remember just what the heck was going on last time we saw them. So what I’ve done is piece together a short reminder. Or you can click here to go read that actual part of the comic.

I’m so incredibly excited to be reaching this part of the story. Some amazing moments that I’ve been waiting almost a decade to reach, are about to happen. So to everyone who’s become a part of this… the casual readers, the hardcore fans, the new readers and the veterans…

This is going to be awesome.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Gender Equality

Note: The subject of this blog post is gender equality. I understand that a bunch of you have no interest in reading about this, so if you’re one of those people, you’re welcome to skip it. I promise not to talk about Goblins stuff or anything else that you’d prefer not to miss out on. You’re safe to ignore this post.

EDIT NOTE: Since writing this post, I’ve discovered that I’ve been broad-brushing men’s support groups and lumping them all into the title of ‘Men’s Rights Activists’. This is inaccurate, as there are other groups that believe in and discuss men’s rights that don’t identify as MRA. I apologise for the oversimplification.

The more videos, podcasts and interviews I listen to about gender equality, the more I notice a growing chasm between feminists and the MRA (Men’s Rights Activists). The reason this bothers me so much, is because I believe it pushes us away from the end goal that most of us want to reach. Gender equality.

There are douchebags on both sides of this chasm. Both feminists and the MRA have people saying insane and hateful things about the other side. But both sides also house some really decent and intelligent people who genuinely want gender equality for absolutely everyone. One trend I’ve noticed, is for individuals from one side to point at one of these insane douchebags and declare “See? All Feminists/MRAs behave this way!” while the other side might declare “That’s an extremist minority who doesn’t represent our views”.

Let’s ignore the insane folks who write blogs about how the other genders need to be rounded up in camps, etc and focus on what I believe to be the meat of both groups. The people who want real equality. A seemingly growing number of these people claim that in order to reach equality, the other group must be eradicated. I don’t see this as the most effective path to equality.

Both sides have attacked the other for claiming to be victims of various levels of oppression. I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I grew up in a house full of women. I lived with my Mum, my Nana and my two sisters (one of them black). As a white male, I’ve experienced almost no direct sexism or racism, but I’ve seen a lot of both of those things smack my family hard in the face. So when women stand up and claim that they face painful or frustrating sexism on a daily basis, I believe them. It seems callous to simply claim that they’re wrong or lying. On that same note, it seems equally callous to declare it a hate crime whenever a group of men want to get together and discuss men’s rights or how sometimes it sucks to be a man. I believe that anytime anyone claims to be a victim, step one should be listening to them. Step one should never be to declare them a liar.

Many of us have seen the people tweeting things like “Men only need to do two things. Apologize and STFU!” or “Women should stop talking and go make me a sammich!”. In my opinion, neither of these people are advocates for the rights of their gender. They’re just bullies. Saying that these people are truly fighting for their gender is like saying the bully who smashed my Marvel Comics lunchbox in grade one was truly fighting for DC Comics. He simply wanted to hurt those who were different than him. That’s what bullies do.

When someone says “women’s rights” or “men’s rights” online, there seem to be various groups of people who’ll react to those phrases as though someone had said the N-word. Sure, “human rights” is a far more inclusive and accurate phrase, but it isn’t wrong to say “Men have rights” or “Women have rights” anymore than it’s wrong to point at Joe over there and say “Joe has rights”.

To me, the feud between feminists and MRAs is like two people sitting in a room. One person says it’s too cold, while the other claims it’s too hot. Both people would be happy with the thermostat set at room temperature, but no one is touching the thermostat, because they’re too busy yelling at each other over whether it’s currently too hot or too cold and which one of them is the real victim.

I don’t think that we can aggressively force gender equality. Sure, we could force people to behave in a certain way with laws, punishments and even rewards, but in order to have true equality, we have to genuinely believe in it. The only way we’re going to believe in it, is if we listen to everyone objectively and with an open mind.

This issue is incredibly important. We need to try to rise above whatever frustrations or hurt feeling we’ve picked up and realise that this is bigger than each of us. Have you ever seen really intelligent people disagree and debate each other? It’s amazing how some of them are able to do that without automatically considering the other person to be stupid, evil or insane simply because they disagree. If we can do this to some extent… If we can disagree with each other without anger, disrespect or prejudgment, I think that discussions might be far more enlightening.

I’m far from an expert on this and I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve read literature from both sides. With both feminists and MRAs, I’ve found things I agree with and things I disagree with. I DO believe that men have rights and that sometimes it sucks to be a guy. I believe that it can be healthy for men to discuss this with each other and hear someone say “I know, right? I hate that!”. I also believe that misogyny is a terrible problem that we all need to address. I think that women get screwed over in a lot of unfair ways and we need to listen to and learn from a lot of the people who are pointing at it and saying “Look!”. I think things like GeekGirlCon, a place to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of women in geek culture are much needed, great ideas.

It’s almost certain that you disagree with at least part of what I’ve written here and that’s cool. In fact, it’s healthy. But you can disagree with parts of what people say without vilifying them. Even if I’m fumbling around and going in all the wrong directions, know that I’m not trying to hurt anyone. I’m just seeing that a lot of people are uncomfortable and I’m doing my small part to try to get to the thermostat.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

And follow me on Twitter, if you like.


Did You Know…

…that the countdown clock tells you when I’m drawing live? You can just click the “Live Stream is On!” link to come in and say “Hi”. Or more likely, come in and say “WHY?!”.

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Why Is The Current Page So Unfinished?

As most of you know, I’m in the midst of my double convention trip. This has resulted in some temporary sacrifices regarding the comic. I really didn’t want to post another Altsplanation or a guest comic, because I’m anxious to get back to the goblin adventuring party (which is right around the corner). So for now, take a look at this very unfinished page which I will finish up once I get back home.

For those of you in the New York area, I hope to see you at NYCC (booth 1668) this weekend!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


We’re Off To Conventions

In a couple of hours, Danielle and I are about to leave for VCON. I’ll have a Goblins booth where I’ll be selling some prints, shirts and anymugs. You’ll be able to find me in the Cyberspace Hall (near registration).

Then, after VCON is over, we’re hopping on a plane and heading straight to New York for NYCC! We’ll be at the Evertide Booth right here. Here we’ll have prints, shirts (if they’re ready on time. Please be ready on time) and books. Everything is being sold by the Evertide Games people (good, upstanding Americans) and all of the merchandise was made in the USA and is meeting us there. You hear that, border people? I’m breaking no laws. Please let us into your country. Oh please, do.

We’ll also be sharing the booth with Romantically Apocalyptic.

We’ll also be playing the upcoming card game Goblins: Alternate Realities at both cons.

I will be bringing my smaller drawing tablet and seeing if I can update as usual. I think that in order to do this, I may have to skip the fancy shading for 2-3 updates.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Dear EVERYONE I’ve Ever Fought With, Insulted Or Was Sarcastic To Online

Dear EVERYONE I’ve ever fought with, insulted or was sarcastic to online:

How have you been?

I want to tell you a secret. Well, it’s not a secret exactly, but it’s definitely something that up until now, I didn’t really want you to know. Remember that time you said something to or about me and I shrugged it off with some condescending remark like “Sure thing, Pumpkin” or “You got it, Kiddo“? Maybe I even dabbed the beginning of my sentence with a snide, little “lol” or “haha” to show you how untouched I was by your comments. And if our communique took place long enough ago, I may have even hit you with a “You mad, bro?” before realising that the phrase had already become a tired cliche. The goal being to show you and any witnesses, that I cared so little about your words, I was sure to forget them moments after my cool, glib response. Well none of that was true. I’m not really cool, I’m almost never genuinely glib and I never actually call people condescending nicknames. And your comments? Well they totally did get to me. Sometimes for days or longer. Sometimes it was because you were smarter than me or had the moral high ground in our debates and sometimes you were just… louder. The crazy thing was that I often tried to expose how upset you were while simultaneously demonstrating my own emotional Teflon. Isn’t that stupid?

At the heart of  our battles, were subjects like gender equality, racism, politics, gun rights, religion or sometimes more personal topics like work, friendships and money.

Sometimes I said things to you that were so damned clever and insightful that I just had to re-read it, imagining how you were going to feel as you faced the glare of my undeniable logic and quick wit. However, we both know that there were also times when I said the dumbest shit imaginable. Yikes. You may have been trying your damnedest to make me look and feel stupid, but nobody can do that to me better than I can.

The point of this letter isn’t to apologise or convince you of my own righteousness. Nor is it to declare that I’m somehow now above it all, as I’m sure we’ll go at it again at some point. No, the point of this letter is to tell you that… well… you’re okay. I don’t mean that we’re friends, far from it. I mean, sometimes you fling the most offensive, venomous hatred not just at me, but at huge groups of genuinely victimised people for “the lols”. On the other hand, sometimes you’re a reasonable person that sees the world very differently than I do.

See, I love my wife (I’m going somewhere with this, hang tight). My wife is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. There is no league that contains her but if there were, I wouldn’t be in it. She’s awesome. Imagine Optimus Prime made of bacon and breakdancing for you on your birthday. She’s that level of awesome. And see, here’s the thing. You have stuff in common with her. Maybe it’s something as vague as ‘you both have opposable thumbs’ or maybe your laugh sounds like hers. Whatever it is, you are in some way, just like the most amazing human being I’ve ever met or heard of. No matter how hateful or bat shit crazy the things you say are, no matter how terrible you make me feel by exposing my faults or proving me wrong, that’s something that I’m always going to remember about you. Some part of you is ‘bacon Optimus Prime’ awesome.

And I don’t mean this in some spiritually over-decorated ‘I have the higher ground’ way, because if you look at all of our fights, I really don’t. What I mean is that it’s mathematically impossible for either of us to ever be completely horrible. As long as my wife, bacon and Optimus Prime are awesome, so are we.

With respect,

~Tarol


Kin’s Story Is Kind of True

(Trigger Warning: This blog post contains upsetting details)

Over the years, I’ve gotten varying degrees of responses from readers concerning the sensitive subject of Kin’s past. More precisely, her rape. Those reader responses have ranged from violent anger to gratitude. Some readers already know this by now, but Kin’s story is a retelling of something my Mum went through before I was born. When she told me about what had happened to her, I became upset enough that years later, I wanted to incorporate her tale into Goblins. With her permission, I went ahead and did it.

Over the years, I’ve sat on comments like “you’re trivializing rape” and “you’re only adding rape to your story because you’re a lazy writer”, etc. I mean, it’s not like a was about to tell the internet about my own Mother’s secrets! About a couple years ago, a rape survivor publicly attacked me for creating a comic that “made light of rape”. I then made the situation much, much worse by ridiculing her on this blog. That was immature and stupid and I apologized. Twice. Recently, it was brought to my attention that she still reads Goblins to this day (she calls it “hate reading”) and still writes in her tumblr about how offensive it is.

When this situation exploded at the time, my Mum called me up and told me to tell everyone what had happened to her and how Kin’s situation was based off of it. I said no. Then we spent the next few months arguing about whether or not to go public with my Mum’s story. Here’s what my Mum said…

“You tell them what happened to me and put my email at the bottom!”
“Mum, you want me to put your email in the blog? Why?!”
“Cause if they want to say something, they can damn well say it to me! Bring ’em on!”
“I’m not going to unleash the darker parts of the internet onto my own Mother.”
“No, do it! I don’t give a fuck! I’ll tell ’em how it happened and then they can tell ME how ‘trivial’ they think it is!”

My Mum is… well she’s pretty damn awesome. Still, I refuse to post my Mother’s email and she’s still not very happy about that.

Anyways, here’s an email I received today that I wanted to post because it brings up some points in a very respectful manner. This email doesn’t call me any names, etc and so I felt that this would be a great way to show an intelligent disagreement to this aspect of my comic and then show my response.

…………………………………………………………….

To the creators of the most excellent comic known as Goblins:

I discovered webcomics and other free content only several years ago. Goblins was one of the first webcomics I grew utterly addicted to. It was one of the ones that showed me what wonders the world of webcomics truly has to offer. It is one of the ones that, still, I hold all other graphic-&-written media up against as a measure.

All of that is true, and will still be true after I say the following:

Are you nuts?

As a survivor of severe abuse myself, I’ve watched Kin’s story with great interest: how she’s portrayed, the brutal honesty of her experiences without being sugarcoated, other characters’ reactions to her experiences and suffering, her own growth and handling of all that occurred in her life, the progression of her story….etc.

Mostly I’ve been very appreciative. I’ve rarely seen a man handle such a difficult story, and especially an issue that is so central to women, with such respect and a call for compassion and honesty. That kind of thing gives me hope for humanity, and I see little enough of it.

But seriously, are you crazy? Kin’s been with Forgath and Minmax for, what–a number of days, now? And already she’s almost kissing him? It’s ludicrous. Even if she had only been raped once, but it had been the night before they found and rescued her, I would have said it was ridiculous.

One does not overcome or recover from that kind of severe trauma, to the degree she’s displaying, anywhere near so fast. Not enough to even to have sexually responsive thoughts, much less find herself almost falling into a kiss. I’d already found it to be a bit much just that she was so comfortable with touching him already. Plus, anyone who’s been through what she has should be having cripplingly terrifying nightmares. She should be utterly exhausted from them, to the point that it affects her ability to function.

You have to understand: It’s not about whether or not she loves him. We can all see that she does. It’s not about whether or not she’s afraid of him, personally. It’s not about being afraid of whoever you’re with for a partner. It’s about the fact that what you’re doing (or trying to do, or attempting to experience) with that person, is so terrifying that you lose the ability to breathe, think, be aware of your surroundings….etc.

The experience of trying to recover sex as a part of your life, after it’s been sullied into becoming something evil, is a long, and difficult one. I cannot speak for all the rest of the population of victims and survivors on our planet, nor should anyone try to…but I can speak from my own experience, and part of my experience is that I’ve spent over a decade in various chatrooms, forums, and support sites for survivors of severe abuse and/or rape….and not one person in all the online places I’ve been to has ever indicated in any way that even a partial recovery like that, so soon, was possible either for themselves, or for any survivors they knew either.

Trying again is….it’s facing something so terrifying that many choose to simply live without it forever, rather than try. But you have to try, because it’s a part of being human that every person has a right to, and if you don’t, you’ll live the rest of your life with a vital part of yourself missing…but somebody took it away and left so much pain and degradation in its place, that rape itself has earned the nickname ‘soul murder’.

It’s facing that, but…with someone that you trust enough to help you face it, fighting through the horrible images in your head, the vile viscous horror of the past trying to suck you back down into it….and depending on them to keep you safe, to make it better, make it different this time. Because….sometimes the only way to recover part of what was taken….is to have someone else give it back.

And it can’t be done in a few days, or weeks, right after the trauma. I have, on a few rare occasions, met men that I just automatically felt completely safe with. It was entirely instinctual, but always turned out to be on the money. One of them was a dear friend who helped me through some of the worst of it. But even with him, it was really, really hard.

I had known him for a year before could accept and return hugs, or sit next to him on the couch to watch tv. Months more went be before I could handle snuggling. And a further year of moving very, very slowly, and utmost gentleness, before I could complete sex without being badly scared. Understand–we’d completed it already earlier in the year. But managing to complete the act of sex doesn’t mean you’re healed, it just means (hopefully, unless you were pressured into it or pressured yourself too much) that you’re doing better than you were. It still takes time, time and experience, to replace the bad memories with more recent, healing ones, as the most prominent thing in your mind when you contemplate something sexual.

That was my experience, but I’ve never spoken to any woman over the years who could do or feel as Kin is right now (I just read the page where she gets her tail back), so soon after any severe sexual trauma. That she should be behaving this way after years of the most severe abuse possible, thanks to a violent psychopath’s use of healing potions and spells, is….well, yeah, ludicrous is the only word I have that’s fitting.

And most of the women I’ve known….while the personal cost of our experiences tend to defy verbal description, most didn’t go through something as severe as what Kin did. In some ways yes, but that gets complicated.

I’m writing all this, because it seems like portraying Kin’s story realistically is something important to you. And what you’re doing with her–her character, and her story–right now….well, you’re taking the Goblins comic, and making it an entirely different kind of ‘fantasy’. (i don’t mean a sexual fantasy, i just mean this is fantastically improbable)

The thing about recovery is….it’s never really over. Even years later, you still have a bad day with it sometimes, and….well, you can recover, yes. You can grow, attain a different kind of strength (the lucky ones), and…yes, you can move on. But you also have to be allowed alot of latitude to mourn. Because, the person that you were, before it happened? That person is gone.

Forever. It’s like who you used to be died, and now you have to learn how to be somebody else, by healing over a terrible life-shattering injury, or perish right along with your past self. The same thing goes for your previous life, the one you were leading. And yes, the same goes for the life you would have had. Because nothing, Nothing, is ever the same again. They don’t call it soul murder for nothing. Rape is an act of destruction so complete, it also reaches out and wrecks the lives of those close to the primary victim.

Secondary victims are everywhere, many of them unaware of this, because the shame attached to sexual assault leads so many victims to suffer in silence. Adding to this tendency is the fact that it’s such a personal experience, and the privacy of the victim was assaulted in such a severe, and degrading way, that having to give record and be examined by physicians and talk to authorities, can feel like you’re being assaulted all over again. A wound so personal and intense, tends to also cause a person to not want to be near anyone, simply for instinctual reasons: a badly wounded animal doesn’t want anyone or anything near it. It just wants to retreat to its den and lick its wounds and whimper until the pain stops.

So, yes, frankly….while I’ve been impressed with much of how you’ve handled Kin’s story, and how her story has affected some of the others around her….right now, I’m disappointed. Really, really, disappointed. I don’t think you’re a misogynist, like those yackers keep claiming. You’re just making a really huge mistake.

Still a loyal fan,
(Sender info withheld)

…………………………………………………………….

Thanks for the email. (Warning: Possible rape triggers in this email)

I completely respect where you’re coming from and have a couple points in response.

What you’re bringing up is all part of Kin’s story. We can see Kin’s alternate self (who’s gone through the same tragedies that our Kin has) pulling her away from Minmax in disgust. Many of the points you’re bringing up with me are about to be brought up in the comic, so you can rest assured that I’m not simply glossing over the serious after-effects of rape.

Furthermore, Kin’s story is a retelling of my Mother’s true story. When she was 16 years old, my Mother was kidnapped and held for 3 days by 4 men. For those 3 days, they raped and tortured her. They held her naked, by her ankles off of a high balcony and laughed while she screamed for her life. Granted, there is a huge difference between 3 days and Kin’s 2 years, but it’s important to me that I tell my Mum’s story through Kin.

What Kin is experiencing with Minmax, is what my Mother experienced after her ordeal was “over”. Kin’s attitude is my Mother’s attitude. Many of the things Kin has said and will later say are things that my Mother has said to me about her ordeal.

It’s true that my Mother was not kissing a guy 2 days afterward, but she did become romantically involved with a great guy fairly quickly. Her stance was that she felt like those men won if she was left traumatised. She felt that if she could beat the emotional pains that followed her around, she could consider herself stronger than her rapists and that felt very, very good to her. However, it wasn’t easy and there was some inner conflict. The conflict that I’m now showing between Kin and her armoured alternate is a symbol of my Mother’s inner conflict.

I’m not trying to say that Kin’s/my Mum’s handling of the situation is the best way and I absolutely am not making a statement about rape survivors who have not had as much success overcoming what they’ve been through. Everyone’s situation is different. However, I’m going to have to disagree with you and others who have told me that I’m portraying the after effects of rape incorrectly, because this is in a sense, a true story.

I really appreciate your honesty in this email.
~Tarol

…………………………………………………………….

Once I learned about this event, I found it permeating almost everything that I did. Now my fantasies of having Spiderman’s powers, involved having Spiderman’s powers and finding those 4 guys. My fantasies about being best buddies with Optimus Prime, now involved Optimus and I, finding those 4 guys. That part in Pacman where you get to go after those 4 ghosts and kill them? Yeah. It was often those 4 guys. It was only a matter of time before I wrote about them. So they became Dellyn.

Please know that I’m handling this story arc with the utmost care because to water it down or trivialize it, would be to water down or trivialize what my Mum went through.

I should note that those 4 men that held my Mum captive were all med students. I’m sorry to say, they’re all presently doctors.

I love you, Mum. However, I’m still not posting your email. Deal with it. 😛

As always, thanks for reading.
~Thunt


Awards For Goblins?

Back in July, I mentioned that Goblins was up for two awards (a Dragon Slayer Award and an Aurora Award). Well the voting period for those two bad boys is coming to an end, so I thought I’d let you know about ’em one last time.

The Dragon Slayer Award
This one is super easy. Scroll down to the ‘Notable Gaming Comic‘ category and click on the little dot next to Goblins (of course, you can click on other comics. You don’t HAVE to vote for us). Hurry though, you only have until September 2nd to vote!

The Prix Aurora Award
This one is a bit trickier as it has a couple requirements to vote. Firstly, since this is Canada’s national science fiction and fantasy award you kinda have to be Canadian. Sorry, non-Canadian Goblinites. Now you know how I feel when you Americans keep telling me that I can’t vote during your presidential elections! Elitists!

Secondly, you have to be a member of the CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association); membership is $10/year. You can get your membership here. Membership comes with a ‘voter’s package’, which includes downloadable copies of amazing work from dozens of authors, totalling a LOT more than $10. The money goes toward supporting sci-fi and fantasy authors and artists throughout Canada. For this award, you’ve got until September 13th to vote.

To those of you who’ve voted for me… thank you. I know it’s a little egotistical, but it’s a really great boost that makes those all-nighters feel that much more worth it. Ultimately, one creates for the sake of creating, but everyone likes a pat on the back from time to time. So thank you so much!

And of course, thanks for reading.
~Thunt


Gencon

Because I’ll be at Gencon, the next two updates will be Altsplanations. Any time the progression of the comic is slowed, it bothers me. However, I haven’t been to a convention in two years (not including VCON, which is figuratively in my back yard) and it’s time I go.

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I won’t have a booth but I will be playing Goblins: Alternate Realities quite a bit. Recently, I discovered that there are limited seats to four official G:AR games. I thought it was just going to be Danielle, myself and Evertide Games sitting around playing the game in some dank corner somewhere, but apparently it’s all scheduled and stuff. Anyways, click here to grab a seat at one of the games. You’ll have to sign up/login to a Gencon account, first. If the games fill up, we’ll most likely be playing the game in some open gaming area, so come and find us anyways.

EDIT: Those who come and play with us get a free promo card from Evertide Games.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The New Site Layout, Gencon

“The layout looks off centred to me.”

Do you have an ad blocker on for my site? If so, that’s almost definitely the problem. If you turn off the ad blocker, that should fix the issue. Also, 100% of my income is currently coming from ad revenue so…

Yoda-hulk“Guilt leads to ad blocker turned off. Ad blocker turned off leads to paycheques. Paycheques leads to eating.”

Don’t feel bad though. A lot of folks have it turned off for the old .com site, but didn’t think to turn it off for the .org site.

“Do you get money if I click on the ads?”

Only click on an ad if it genuinely interests you. Please don’t spam click anything as that doesn’t help anyone. I get teeny-weeny micro payments when you just see an ad and that adds up. So just by reading my comic, you’re helping me out.

“Why are you STILL stuck on the .org site? It doesn’t take almost three months to transfer control of a domain to someone.”

I get a lot of emails about this. All I can say, is we’ve been having technical difficulties.

“But what kind of technical difficulties could…”

topmen“Technical. Difficulties.”

“Um… okay. Are you going to be at Gencon this year?”

Yes, Danielle and I will be at Gencon, though we won’t have a booth this year. Instead, we’ll mostly be in the gaming area playing Goblins: Alternate Realities with anyone who wants to join us. We’ll be playing other stuff too and making asses of ourselves (as is the custom at such events), but mostly we’ll be playing G:AR. Look for two 8 foot tall, Goblins banners in the gaming area and a bald guy repeatedly saying “why can’t I ever win this, it’s MY game!”.

We’ll also be at…

VCON on October 4-6, 2013

New York Comic Con on October 10-13, 2013

Chi-Fi on March 27-30, 2014 as artist guest of honour

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Com Before the Org

Right now, my site is posted at www.goblinscomic.org . It used to be posted at www.goblinscomic.com, but as most of you have figured out and commented on, there are technical difficulties getting my domain back from the individuals who currently have it. At the time of writing this, if you try to go to the .com site, it simply redirects you to the .org site.

Due to technical difficulties THAT ARE NOBODY’S FAULT, the transfer of the domain is having its share of hiccups. So just to be on the safe side, I’m asking all of my readers to bookmark www.goblinscomic.org while you can. If all of the issues are worked out, I’ll let you know and have the .org site redirect all traffic back to the .com site. However, if things don’t work out, the .com site will just stop working and you’ll be all “where are my goblins?”.

Let me state again, that there is no one to blame right now. Everything is cool. Just tech difficulties. Kay?

So bookmark www.goblinscomic.org and change your RSS feed as well. If things fall apart, I’d hate to see you go without your Goblins (and me without my ad revenue /nervous laugh).

As always, thanks for reading my comic at www.goblinscomic.org

~Thunt


LFG- The Fork of Truth Kickstarter

So Blind Ferret has a Kickstarter going for a very cool looking video game based off of LFG. I just took a look at it and it’s got 8.5 hours left and still hasn’t made its goal. So let’s get in there and help them out! Go take a look at the game and if you’re interested, pledge away!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Countdown Clocks and Dragon Slaying

So this five day schedule seems to be working out well. Y’see, the problem with twice a week, was that I couldn’t keep up with that schedule and my updates were always late (as you know). The problem with once a week, is that it just feels too slow for the story. Five days seems to be the current sweet spot. But that means that the updates are always on a different day of the week. How can readers keep track of when the comic will update? Well, the countdown clock shown at the top of the page is an experiment that I’ve nervously introduced and it seems to be working well. What do you think? As readers, is the clock doing its job? Even though the updates aren’t posted on regular days of the week, are you still able to easily know when they’re coming or would you prefer that I follow a weekly schedule? Let me know on Twitter or email. I have to say that for the first time in many years, I feel like I’m in a position where I can get on top of things! Also, I should note that the clock will tell you when I’m drawing live. If you ever see a “I’m live right now” type of notice under the clock, feel free to click on it and come and say hi.

In other news, Goblins has been nominated again for this year’s Dragon Slayer Award! If you’d like to support the comic, please pop over and vote for Goblins in the ‘Notable Gaming Comic’ category. If you do… thanks! If you DON’T vote for me… well, still thanks because you read my stuff and that means a lot to me.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Incentive!

There’s 19 hours left in the Kickstarter! If we hit $200k (currently we’re at $166k), I’ll post every bonus comic that appears in the paper versions of the books. That includes…

Not Walter Screams Like a Little Girl

The Origin Of Forgath’s Helmet

Goblins: The Youngling Years

The Prisoner of Moon K’Tolo

I’ll also post ‘The Merchandisables‘. A single page comic about a group of heroes who happen to be the most merchandisable characters in history.

These mini comics are each between 3 – 9 pages long and up until now, have only been available to those who’ve purchased the paper books. If we hit $200k, I’ll post them here on the site for everyone to read. These bonus comics will NOT replace the normal Goblins updates.

Note: That $200k goal includes the ‘alternate pledge method’ amount.

So spread the word! And come and say hello in my 24 hour live, drawing marathon!

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


24 Hours of Live Drawing!

To mark the end of our successful Kickstarter, I’m spending the final 24 hours of the campaign, drawing live (which starts now!).

Here. Just click here for the live drawing stuff.

So come on in and listen to me become more and more grumpy with each passing hour. It’s gonna be awkward… I mean fun.

As always, thanks for reading and thanks so much for all of your help with our Kickstarter!

~Thunt


Hello Reddit

EDIT: My AMA is now live.

Hi Reddit. How are you?

Danielle Stephens (my wife) is currently trying to set up an AMA for Saturday. I know that I have to prove to you that I am who I claim to be (or rather, who Danielle claims I am) and so I’ve drawn you a little picture.

Redditguy

Our plan is to start the AMA (Ask Me Anything) 7 pm Eastern, June 29th. I’ll post the link here as well as on my Twitter when the time comes.

~Thunt


Our Kickstarter is ending, so naturally I must do a live marathon.

As of writing this, there are five days left in our wildly successful Kickstarter. It’s almost over, and guess what… there are MORE incentives added!

Free PDFs ($11 level)

GARKSRewardPDFs

Herbert as a Playable Character ($55 level)

GARBonusCardsHerbert

New Adventure Map Set ($99 level)

garrenderadventuremapset600

And of course, all the other bonus stuff is still there too. To read more about the stuff in the pictures above, click here. And you can still pledge through Paypal here.

But it’s almost gone, so this is your absolute, last opportunity. A lot of this extra stuff disappears forever once the Kickstarter closes.

As a thank you, I will be drawing live for the last 24 hours of the Kickstarter. It’ll be right here. So pop in and say hello in the chat room or just listen to me whine about how numb my butt is. Cause you know… I’ll be drawing for 24 hours, straight. I should be tired and grumpy at the end. Well… grumpiER. The live marathon starts on Sunday, June 30, 4 pm (GMT -7).

So THANK YOU everyone! I’m so excited about the success and quality of this game! Please don’t miss out on any of this bonus stuff that interests you. That’d make me sad.

As always, thanks for… EVERYTHING!

~Thunt


10 Days Left!

Well, we’re down to the last ten days of the Kickstarter for Goblins: Alternate Realities. It’s been going very well, and again I wanted to say a huge thank you. Oh, and I finally finished this video that’s been taking up so much of my time.

Also, for those of you who’ve been wanting an alternate payment method (ie. Paypal), we’ve now got you covered!

Once the Kickstarter is complete, I’ll be upping the frequency of my updates and posting that countdown clock that I’ve been talking about. Y’know, the one that’ll repeatedly count down to the next update.

Kickstarters are definitely full time work! It’ll be great to be able to focus purely on the comic again!

Follow me on Twitter for more info tucked in between my inane chatter.

And as always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Google Hangouts AMA

Evertide Games is doing a live AMA on Google hangouts right now. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


I Just Had To Say Thank You (again)

Well as I write this, there are 19 days left in the Kickstarter for the game ‘Goblins: Alternate Realities’ (or G:AR). We’ve passed the $100,000 mark and well…

Evertide really loves adding fun surprises for our supporters. They’ve got some cool ‘instant rewards’ planned for everyone who has chipped in $2 or more and today they even added Tempts Fate as a playable character! Check it out…

GARBonusCardsTemptsFate

Keep in mind that Tempts will not come with the game once it’s being sold! He’s a bonus available to Kickstarter supporters only. Anyone who pledges $37 or more will get him. Why $37? Well that’s the amount that gets you a copy of the game. Unlike the other playable characters, Tempts kind of breaks the 4th wall. You know… like he usually does.

Here’s a link to the G:AR Kickstarter.

In other news…

The Name of the Wind Playing Cards

Our Kickstarter is indeed successful, but if you want your mind blown, head on over to Patrick Rothfuss’ Kickstarter and check out what they’re doing over there! With the help of Albino Dragon Games, they’re creating an absolutely gorgeous deck of playing cards with artwork based on Pat’s bestselling book The Name of the Wind. Check this out…

rothfuss

So if either of these Kickstarter projects interest you, feel free to pledge, spread the word or even have your name legally changed to “Rothfuss Thunt” to show your support. Actually, now that I think about it, Rothfuss Thunt sounds like an awesome name for a D&D character. Maybe a half-orc rogue.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Live AND Recorded

Recorded

There’s a new ‘walk through’ of Goblins: Alternate Realities over on the Kickstarter page. I hope you like it.

Live

And currently, I’m drawing live. I hope you like that too.

As always, thanks for reading/watching/supporting!

~Thunt


The Kickstarter Lives!

Firstly, let’s get that link out of the way… Hey look, it’s a Kickstarter!

And now for the REALLY import part! THANK YOU! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! I feel like you should all be here in my house right now. Like we should all be drinking beer or tea (beer-tea?) together. Seriously, there are no words to describe how grateful I am to you guys. You’ve carried me on your shoulders for every part of my career and I will forever be in your debt!

As I’m writing this, the Kickstarter is at $48,622. So what’s happening with the extra money beyond that initial $30,000 goal? It’s being pumped into the game, of course! The more money the Kickstarter pulls in, the more awesome stuff the game will include. Extra items, higher quality materials, etc. Basically, the higher the Kickstarter goes, the better the whole game is!

If you scroll down the Kickstarter page a bit, you’ll see a map that shows we’ve met our first goal (funding the project within the first 48 hours), which means that the game will include a doublesided character card with Fumbles on one side and Senor Vorpal Kickass’o on the other side. The next goal is to reach $60,000 which will mean that every copy of the game will come with ‘negative hit point’ dice with -1 to -10 on them in the font that matches the comic. It’ll give you something to throw at your opponent after they have killed off one of your characters.

Have a healer on your team. And if you don’t, invest in healing potions.

The other goals will be disclosed on the map if/when we reach the previous goals.

Some people have expressed that the video really doesn’t explain much about the game itself. This has been brought to Evertide’s attention. In fact, Evertide is very interested in hearing your thoughts on all of this and making improvements as they’re needed. Feel free to click here and then click on “ask the project creator” to send them a question or concern.

And again… thank you SO much to those of you who are supporting this project! I think you guys are going to really love this game. It’s turning out to be something very special!

The next update of the comic will be on Monday, June 10th. Again, Goblins has not permanently gone to a once/week schedule. This is just temporary while we get things in order. I’ll continue to keep you posted.

And don’t forget, I’m usually up for answering questions through my Twitter.

As always, thanks for… everything.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Now!

Just a reminder that I’m not talking about the recent “legal hiccup” stuff on my live feed. But I am happy to answer other questions. Well, I won’t give out spoilers on the comic, but I’ll answer other stuff. Well, not personal stuff, but I’ll answer… you know what? NOTHING! I SAY NOTHING!

Anyways, I’m drawing live right now.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Big Changes For Goblins

As some of you may have noticed from my tweets, there’s been bunches of craziness happening with Goblins lately. Here’s a breakdown…

The Goblins Card Game Kickstarter Was Delayed

I’d really rather not get into all the icky details, but there was a “legal hiccup” involving the Kickstarter that forced us to delay it for a bit. Before you start throwing blame around, it’s all been worked out and no one needs to be shaking their fists at anyone (well, you can shake your fists at me if you like. I do it to myself in the mirror. It’s… it’s surprisingly fun). The Kickstarter is now set to launch on Monday, June 3rd! Wait until you see the sweet, sweet stuff that Evertide Games has set up for this! Well here, check out some of it for yourself.

Goblins Is No Longer With Blind Ferret

Let me start by saying this… Blind Ferret is a great company run by some brilliant people. They create and host comics that set the bar for other comics. If you haven’t checked them out, go do so now. That being said, we did disagree on some key issues that led to our separation. The last couple weeks have been really stressful for everyone involved and I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for my part in that stress. I also want to thank Randy Waxman (Blind Ferret CEO) for his intelligence, amazing communication and level headedness throughout this whole thing. Okay, so by now you’ve obviously put two and two together and figured out that Blind Ferret had something to do with the Kickstarter delay. I suppose there’s no way to keep that part private, since the delay and the separation happened at the same time. But let me say that Blind Ferret didn’t do anything wrong. It was simply a disagreement about our contract that took some time to resolve. I honestly stand by my opinion that they’re a great company. Goblins just needed to go in a different direction.

As I’m writing this, Blind Ferret is having a slight technical issue redirecting traffic from the closed down www.goblinscomic.org site over to our temporary mirror site www.goblinscomic.org . Since you’re reading this now, either you knew to go directly to our mirror site or Blind Ferret has fixed the issue they’re having redirecting the traffic. Once control of my site is fully transferred back to me (I’m told the process takes about a week), we’ll have full access to www.goblinscomic.org again and there will be much rejoicing.

rejoicing

But for now, we’re temporarily using www.goblinscomic.org. I will of course, keep you posted concerning this.

Site Redesign

Blind Ferret has asked that I remove all traces of the site design (which is only fair, since they were nice enough to pay for it). So for now, we’ve got bland blackness. But fear not! A new, awesometacular site design is in the works!

A New Update Schedule

Let’s be honest. Goblins is never on time. I mean, sometimes it happens, but not often. I’ve been asked many times “why don’t you slow down the schedule?”. Well, without going into too much detail, I couldn’t before, but now I can. Here’s the deal…

For the next two or three weeks, I’m going to update the comic once/week. Updates will happen on Mondays at noon PDT (GMT -7). This’ll give me a chance to clean up the mess (regaining control of the site, etc), work on the site redesign, make sure everything is running smoothly with the Kickstarter, finish some more Search For Tempts bonus comics and get the new schedule clock working. What’s a schedule clock? This…

Clock-Schedule

…is a schedule clock. Once it’s set up, it’ll be prominently displayed at the top of the site, where it will count down to the next update. This will remove my need to adhere to a weekly schedule where twice/week is too much and once/week is too slow. With this baby, I can update every 4 or 5 days and with a quick glace at the clock, you’ll know exactly how long you have to wait. No more late updates and I can have a day off every now and then! Please note that my plan is to see if I can manage a timely update every 4 days. If not, I will do an update every 5 days. I don’t plan to continually switch back and forth between 4 and 5 days. I want to create a steady schedule that you guys can count on for a change. You guys deserve so much better than all of these late updates.

The Goblins Colourist

Our colourist, Forest Rhodes, has left us today. He’s going to finish up a few more pages in the archives, but then he’s off. I know, I know… he rocks and we’ll all be sad to see him go. But the truth is that in order to keep up with the schedule, he was working himself ragged. I was dumping way too much work on the poor guy and he was pulling all nighters in attempts to keep up. So Forest… thank you SO much for everything you’ve done for Goblins and creating some breathtaking artwork for all of us! Whatever projects you’re working on in the future, please let me know so I can point the Goblins readers at it. I know they’ll want to see what you’re doing! If you want to follow Forest on Twitter, he’s right here. I will return to handling all the colouring of the comic. Don’t look at me like that. I KNOW HIS SHADING IS BETTER THAN MINE!

Live Broadcasting

During the last couple weeks, I’ve been deliberately avoiding live drawing, since I didn’t want to have to face questions about current events. But now that things are all worked out, I’ll be hopping on cam more often whilst I draw. Although I won’t be talking about the situation of the last couple weeks at all, I will be my usual, chatty self and rambling on about crap you honestly don’t care about. It’s how I roll, yo.

Thank you SO much for all of your patience and I hope you’ll enjoy the Kickstarter (Monday, June 3) and a new era for Goblins! And of course, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Goblins: Alternate Realities Kickstarter Delay

Well, the last week has been quite an adventure. I can’t get into details, but we’re working through a bit of a “legal hiccup” and we’ve been forced to delay the launch of the Kickstarter just a little bit. Evertide Games is treating this as an opportunity to add even more stuff to the campaign and make it even more awesomer-er… est. Our delay is your gain.

Nevertheless, I still want to offer my deepest apologies for this delay, which will be as short as we can possibly make it. I’ll keep you posted as much as I can through this blog or on Twitter.

Also, check out just a few of the stretch goal rewards that will be offered to supporters…

coregameplaymatbadgesow

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


The Search For Tempts Fate

In August 2011, I ran a Tempts Fate donation drive. So where the hell are the Tempts Fate comics? Well, they’re not done. At least, the last page of the promised TF comic isn’t done.

The Tempts Fate drive promised four pages of comic, but I was so grateful for the amazing donations from you guys, that I drew an extra page (in which Tempts becomes immortal and gets an icky eye on his foot). This pushed my work load from four pages, to five. So where’s that fifth page? Well, I could give you a bunch of excuses about my workload, about how I can’t keep up with the comic’s schedule even when I’m NOT also drawing Tempts Fate, but excuses only get you so far. It comes down to the fact that I’ve screwed up and I owe you guys for this.

I could have rushed a crappy, un-imaginative fifth page of TF11 and be done with it, but that’d be ripping you guys off. What I want to do is offer you something MORE because of my delays, not something LESS. The problem is, I don’t have time to draw something MORE. Drawing that one extra page is partly what put me in this place to begin with.

So what I’ve come up with, is to draw a penciled, sketched comic arc in which two easy to draw characters attempt to save Tempts from this whole delayed situation. This way, I can offer you something extra that while not very time consuming, is something that I can look at and be proud of, as a way of saying that I’m sorry for screwing up. After all, if I ran a restaurant and you had to wait a long time for your food, I’d want to make it up to you by giving you something extra.

When this ‘Search For Fate’ arc comes to an end, I will post a fully coloured, final page that will bring TF11 to an end. But these penciled pages will remain penciled so I can focus on Goblins.

The donation button has been removed from TF11 as I don’t want any money for doing this. The point of this is to make up for my screw up, not to profit.

Although this first SFF page is posted instead of a standard Goblins update, the rest of them will not be interfering with the main comic’s schedule. Also, I will be posting the rest of the SFF pages on the Tempts Fate 11 page instead of the front page. I’ll tweet and blog when a new SFF page goes up, but I don’t want to promise a schedule.

I really hope that you can accept my apologies for this. As some of you may know, I have a bit of a problem with guilt and this corner that I’ve painted myself into has been a big source of guilt for me. I’m hoping that this sketched arc can leave me feeling satisfied that I’ve corrected my screw up in an honourable way and made up for the ridiculous wait for that last page. If any of you have questions, just send me a tweet and I’ll try to respond to everyone.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


More Goblins Game Announcements!

As of writing this, there are nine days until the Goblins: Alternate Realities Game Kickstarter launches (May 21). Evertide Games is dashing about and making sure everything is in working order.

garbox

This morning, EG announced one of their stretch goals, which they’re calling the “Well of Darkness Adventurer” level. Here’s a look at it.

stretchgoalgar

That’s a lot of loot, man. Also (and I hesitate to post this, because I hate the sound of my own voice so very much) they’ve released 16 minutes of Richard James (EG president) and myself talking about the game and being goofy. Mostly being goofy.

The Facebook page for the game is currently at 3,082 ‘likes’, which means the game will include two bonus, playable characters (and their gear). At 4,000 likes, EG is adding a third bonus character and adding Pan & Yala to the choices of bonus characters (they’ll count as one playable character).

And finally, on Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 noon PDT (GMT -7) I’ll be doing a live broadcast here. Usually I draw during these broadcasts (or I goof around when I should be drawing) but this time I’ll be talking about how to play the game and showing some of the prototype cards I have. The chatroom connected to the live feed will let you ask me questions, yell at me, call me handsome, etc. I wear a headset that reads the chatroom to me in text-to-speech, so I can literally hear your questions.

You can also follow me on Twitter. It’s a great way of throwing a comment or question at me and knowing I’m guaranteed to see it.

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Goblins: Alternate Realities (update on the card game)

Well, the Facebook page for the upcoming Goblins game is off to a fantastic start! Evertide Games has set up a system of stretch goals linked to how many “likes” the page gets. We’ve passed 1000 likes, which means the game is guaranteed to include one bonus character on top of the twelve other playable characters. Based on the votes on the facebook page, it looks like that character will be Biscuit. Once the page hits 2000 likes, a second bonus character will be added (as I’m writing this, we’re at 1433 likes). I ‘think’ the 3rd bonus character will be added if we hit 4000 likes but don’t hold me to that, my numbers might be off. I’ll get back to you with an officially confirmed number for the 3rd bonus character soon. Note: As each bonus character is added to the game, their gear is also added!

EDIT: It has been confirmed that the 3rd bonus character gets added to the game at 4000 likes.

Richard James (Evertide Games president) has talked about wanting to put the extra work into making Not-Walter one of the bonus characters. I want this. I want to make the following party…

Biscuit wielding the Axe of Prissan / Klik wielding Kore’s axes (to munch on. He gets hungry)  / Not-Walter wielding Kore’s uber-crossbows and with one metallic wing, given by Klik

So if you’d like to see Not-Walter as a bonus character, say so in a comment on the Facebook page. Evertide games is really good at busting their butts to make sure the players have what they want in a balanced game. And please, please, please spread the word and support the Kickstarter for the game when it comes out on May 21st! I look forward to playing this game with lots of folks at conventions!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Free Comic Book Day! Have a Free PDF!

Happy free comic book day! Over here, you’ll see our growing collection of downloadable PDFs, each priced at 4 or 5 bucks. Today, Danielle and I are giving away free PDF copies of Goblins Book 1, which contains a bunch of little bonus thingys (including a list of “spoilers” that are no longer spoilers at all, because they’ve all happened by now). But in order to give this PDF away for free, we have to manually enter your email into the “100% discount” section over at Drivethru. So here’s what we’re going to do. In a little while, I’m going to be drawing live while Danielle hangs out in the chatroom of the live feed. Just pop into the chatroom and ask for a free copy of the Goblins Book 1 PDF. Danielle will immediately get your email address from you, enter it into the Drivethru site and you should instantly have your coupon code and link for the free download. We LOVE free comic book day, so we’re prepared to sit at our computers and do this for most of the day, so come on in and say hello!

The Goblins Alternate Realities Card Game

The Kickstarter for the new Goblins card game launches this month! Here’s the Facebook page. Keep in mind that the more ‘likes’ we get on Facebook, the more bonus material will be included in the game when it’s released. So even if you don’t have any money to help out, you can still make the game even more awesome! The full list of bonus material and various stretch goals will be detailed when the Kickstarter goes live on May 21. I think you guys will really like this game. We’ve been playing it and tweaking it a lot and I think we’ve all (Evertide Games and us) come up with something that is addictive and fun. The point of this game is to create your own story with it. Familiar characters from Goblins start to change, depending on how you play them and story elements start to form. Because your game is an alternate reality to the comic, it’s technically canon. Examples…

In one game, we saw Dies Horribly arm himself with Kore’s crossbows and armour and pump all of his XP into combat, becoming Dies KOREbly, the most evil, feared creature in the realm. The only way to kill him, was for a group of other characters to gang up on him and honestly, everyone was too chicken to try (like the comic, your characters in the game can die) so everyone mostly ran away from him. We’ve had Fumbles follow Big Ears around, annoying him (winning charm challenges against him) and earn XP by doing so. Fumbles’ player then pumped all of that XP into more charm, which meant that whether Fumbles wanted to annoy you or win your heart, he was pretty much unstoppable. In another game, a very clever player (me) decided to make an all combat party. So Kore, Minmax and Complain Of Names joined forces. It was a wall of paladin badassnes and goblin/human raging. It was awesome! I lost that game, actually. But up until I lost, I was amazing! I have yet to see anyone combine Big Ears and Kore together… with the Axe of Prissan… and the Shield of Wonder. I’m going to give myself nightmares.

Anyways, keep reading this blog, watching the Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to be kept up to date on Goblins: Alternate Realities.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


My Friend Meggars is Hilarious

This is my friend Meggars. She is awesome. She is hilarious. Just sayin’.

EDIT: Meggars has decided to make her video private, so nevermind. She’s still awesome though.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live….. NOW!

Abra-ca DRAW!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Again

The new broadcasting site is awesome, but some people are having trouble using IRC with it. I only use mIRC, so that all I can give advice on, but for mIRC…

IRC Server: 199.9.251.210

Ports: 6667

Hopefully, that’ll help… someone. Also, I’m live at the time that I’m posting this blog.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Live Broadcast Situation

For now, I’m broadcasting over at Justin.tv rather than Ustream. Come and say hello.

~As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live And Chatting

Bloop.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

I’m drawing live on cam right now. Unless you’re reading this after I’ve turned my cam off. In which case, please accept my apologies.

~As always, thanks for reading.


Drawing Live

Come and hang out, ask me questions and wonder why my wife doesn’t leave me.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


March 8 Update

Today’s page will go up tomorrow (March 9).

Follow me on Twitter for more info.

Also, I’ll be drawing live for most of today. Come on into the chat room and say hi or ask me stuff. Remember though, being logged into Ustream does not always log you into Ustream’s chat room. If you’re not logged in at the chat room, type – /nick <your name> – and that should set you up. Note: I have nothing to do with Ustream’s ads. I agree that they’re intrusive and annoying. I do not get paid for them.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Goblins Permanent Forum!

Okay, I know, I know. The forum died and so you were forced to create a new account in the temporary forum and now you’re being forced once again to create ANOTHER account. It sucks. I hear ya. But this is really your last move. The new forum is backed up like crazy, so we won’t lose anything and it’s being customised by Duke_Igthorn and See_A_Moose who are making it look awesome. Right now, you’ll find it looks pretty blue and generic, but if you go to the User Control Panel > Board Preferences > My Board Style >Weapons And Adventures1, you’ll see the spiffy version that will soon be the default look of the forum once it’s completely finished. You can get to the new forum from the menu or you can click here. Once again, I’m really sorry for this annoying inconvenience, but we’re done with the forum changes. Really.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Baby talk, Twitter and Live Cams

Danielle and I want a baby (or two). We have two sons (who are AWESOME) from a previous relationship I had many years ago, but none that are biologically made up of the two of us. Just for the fun of it, we started this Twitter account. It’s a daily record of whether or not we’re pregnant.

And of course, here’s my regular Twitter account.

As for today’s update, I spent yesterday dealing with a yucky migraine (I’m often whining like a sucky baby about them) so I got almost no work done. I’m feeling 90% better today and I’m trying to catch up. It is my hope that the page will go live tonight sometime. Want to keep me company while I draw? I’ll have the live camera on while I’m drawing for a lot of today.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Oblivion Holes Explained

Let’s talk about oblivion holes. This blog won’t contain any Goblins spoilers, but some of the o-hole facts here will be repeated by characters in future dialogue. I’ll let you decide if you want to keep reading.

Oblivion holes aren’t ‘true oblivion’. As stated on previous comic pages, true oblivion can’t exist if anyone is aware of it. Of course, awareness isn’t the only thing that can dispel oblivion, but it’s effective. Oblivion is the complete lack of existence geographically, conceptually and even chronologically (which is the greatest argument I’ve come across for ‘existence’ after death, but that’s another discussion). Oblivion can’t have boundaries. if it has a boundary, it’s contained. If it’s contained, it exists. If it exists in some fashion, it’s not a complete void. So the oblivion holes that are scattered throughout the Maze of Many can’t truly be oblivion. They’re sort of… oblivion light. Think about this…

Minmax threw his pants into the o-hole. This means the pants never existed, so he’d be in his underwear, right? Wrong. Those pants were bought in Brassmoon City. If they truly never existed, then Forgath (who was forcing Minmax to buy pants) would have still walked into the shop and just grabbed a different pair of pants. Just because that one pair of pants never existed, doesn’t mean that all pants in Brassmoon disappear. So if those pants never existed, another pair of pants should have appeared on Minmax as soon as he threw his pants into the o-hole. So why was Minmax pantsless?

misplacedpants

Since the o-holes aren’t true oblivion (being contained in neat, little holes and gawked at by conscious beings, etc.), they don’t truly erase anything from existence. What they actually do, is scrub whatever they swallow off the surface of existence. It’s similar to that time you spilled a drink on your carpet and had to clean it up. You scrubbed and scrubbed until it all disappeared. Once that wet spot dried, the mess was gone, as though the spill never happened! But if someone were to pull up that carpet and closely examine the parts deeper down, they’d find remnants of spilled Yo-Ho or Pepsi or whatever the hell you were drinking.

Minmax’s pants were erased from the surface of existence, but all of those deeper ’cause and effect’ equations were left alone. So if you were to throw your own Mother into an o-hole (you’d be a cold-hearted monster), you’d still exist, you’d just never have had a Mother. Still confused? Here’s another example…

2 + 2 = 4  We can all agree on that, right? Now if you threw the second 2 in that equation into ‘true’ oblivion, you’d get this…

2 + _ = 2   The second 2 never existed and so the sum is correctly changed. But if you were to throw that second 2 into an o-hole, you’d get this…

2 + _ = 4   See? That 2 is merely scrubbed from the surface of existence and everything else is left alone, even though it doesn’t add up. Just like Minmax’s pants.

If the o-holes were true oblivion, then the psionic Minmax, who’s only goal is to completely erase himself from existence, would just jump into one instead of continuing to work on erasing the entire Maze of Many.

So there you have it. It’s just a fictional set of varying degrees of non-existence.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

I’m drawing live for a few hours or so. Come on in and say hi. Or just sit and stare.

LINK!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Temporary Goblins Forum

Until the main Goblins forum is returned to working order, a couple Goblinites have been nice enough to create a temporary forum for us. You can either get to it through the menu above or by clicking here. I know, I know… it’s not the home we Goblinites are used to, but we’ll get that back soon. Thanks for your patience and of course…

As always, thanks for reading.

PS~ Following me on Twitter is a great way to be kept up to date on what’s going on with the site.

~Thunt


Current Status

Right now, Goblins (and in fact, all Blind Ferret comics) are in a state of repair, due to a technical hiccup. Things are almost back to normal but right now, all the recent Goblins pages are missing from the site. They’ll return very soon though. The forum is still down too, but it’ll be back soon as well. Thanks so much for your patience, everyone!

To be kept up to date on this matter (as well as how often I annoy my wife with low brow trolling), follow me on Twitter.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live For a Few Hours

Bloop.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Beliefs vs Rights

Random thought.

Imagine that a strange phenomenon spread across all the world. This phenomenon caused everyone who didn’t hug someone at least once a day to mysteriously die. There would be some who would hug others while arguing that it was clearly an act of God. This would be okay. There would be some who would hug others while claiming that it was a result of science and that there was no God. This would also be okay. There would be some who would deny others the right to hug because they disagree with their views. This would not be okay.

Keep debating. Keep hugging.

~Thunt


Planetside 2 Beta

The sign-up for Planetside 2 Beta is now open. If you haven’t already, check out the trailer for this game.

-Massively multiplayer first person shooter? Check.

-Combat between thousands of troops? Check.

-Air vehicles, ground vehicles and squishy er… I mean heroic squads of troops? Check.

I advise you all to sign up for the beta and destroy your enemies. Or if you’re like me, die many, many times with a can of Mountain Dew in your hand.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live / Contest Fun

Drawing live right now. Also, there’s still this contestiness in which you can vote for Goblins if you like.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Screaming Demons

We humans used to dream that this world was ours. Some of us even believed it once, but not anymore. It was never our world. It belonged to the demons. The huge, terrifying monsters that hunted us for food. And not just humans, either. They’d hunted dogs, deer… I’d even seen them attack a bear without a hint of hesitation. They feared nothing.

I was hiking through the mountainous woods outside my town. It was a three day journey and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t terrified of running into them. As I walked toward the outskirts of town, the others watched me with stunned silence. They knew that I would encounter them. Some people called me crazy. Most just thought it silently. I knew that I wasn’t crazy, though. A crazy person wouldn’t be as scared as I was.  

There were different names for the monsters, but I preferred “screaming demons”. For it was their scream that terrified me the most. The scream had an… other worldly ability. It could sound distant, as if the unnatural beast was far away, yet be right behind you. The creature could be right in front of you and scream with all of its might and you’d barely hear it, as if it were safely over the distant horizon. It was a ghostly effect that proved the creature’s ability to transcend physics.

Earlier, as I was leaving my town, a strange, old lady stopped me. She offered to sell me a special potion that she claimed could be used against the demons. I laughed at her, for I’d heard such superstitious nonsense from some of the townsfolk before. People often peddled potions or special candles that they claimed would keep the monsters away, as though by some magical enchantment, but it was all lies. Lies designed to take advantage of everyone’s fear of the demons. As I sat by my campfire, watching the sun begin to set, my fear grew and I found myself regretting my choice to laugh at the old lady instead of buying her bottle of potion.

Then, I heard it. Amongst the crackling of my fire and the faint wind dancing lightly through the trees around me, I heard it. The scream. It sounded so faint, like a high pitched, distant child, screaming in anger. I knew the truth though. I knew one of the beasts was here. I whipped around to look behind me, but saw nothing. For a moment, I thought that maybe I was alone and my mind was playing tricks, but then I heard it again. The falsely distant whine of the demon’s scream. This time, I felt it touch my ear. In a near panic, I spun around again and caught a look at it. It was huge and it was hungry. It screamed some more and with a haunting, terrifying, distant whine, it disappeared. Had it turned invisible? Had it vanished by means of some dark magic? Was it gone? No, it was still with me. As if toying with me, it whined its faint scream in my ear from behind me, touching the back of my exposed neck. Attempting to protect myself, I grabbed my own neck, turned and looked for my attacker. However, it continued its unnatural ability to avoid being seen by me. How did it manage such an ability?

Then it struck. With a mouth like a sword designed to stab through my flesh, it bit my arm. “Dammit” I yelled as I slapped the hungry beast, squashing it into a disqusting, greyish, brown paste.

“Damn mosquitoes” I muttered as I sat back down, next to my fire. I was safe for now, but I knew there’d be more.

As always, thanks for reading.

PS~ Goblins is nominated in The Dragon Slayer Awards! Please pop in a vote for us!

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Blub.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Battle Spot & The Wedding

There is a battle coming up in Goblins. An important one. For years, my notes have described the scenery of this battle as follows…

“…in a clearing… [edit] …young trees, mostly pine and maple. Light, thorny underbrush.”

That’s it. Boring. I really like introducing interesting landscapes for battles to take place in. An upside-down forest room, a stone bridge at a dungeon crawl entrance, a carefully balanced platform hanging from giant chains, in the cleavage of a 900 foot woman (okay, that one never happened). So when I stumbled upon an absolutely beautiful spot tucked deep in the woods near my house, I instantly knew that it would be the location of the battle. Now when I say “location of the battle”, I mean that I’ll be drawing it into the comic, not that it’ll actually be a real spot where fighting will… you know what, if you’re confused about that point, I’m just going to leave you to it.

Here’s the video of Danielle and I (and our dog, Ember) walking to the battle spot. It’s mostly just us walking through the forest. Also, it’s really shaky camera work. However, it is a unique opportunity to see a real life version of a place where a webcomic battle will happen. To my knowledge, a comic book landscape has never been introduced this way before.

Also, Danielle made a webpage for our wedding. If you want to pop in and sign the guestbook, I know it’ll make her squee. Thanks so much to those of you who have already commented in it!

And if you’re not following me on Twitter, please do so. It’s a great way to support the comic!

Also, I’m drawing live on cam right now.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Buh.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Right now, I’m drawing the upcoming page right here.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Casting Broad

I’m drawing live, for those who are bored and want to hang out with a mouthy Canadian.

EDIT: Broadcast ended. Thanks for hanging out! Follow me on Twitter to catch my next broadcast!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Webcomic Beacon Newscast

Hey everybody, check out Danielle and I being smart asses (well Danielle was as polite as ever) over at this podcast!

As always, thanks for reading (and listening).

~Thunt


Guest Comic Bonus Update… Um… Stravaganza!

On June 20th, there will be a bonus update written/drawn by the legendary Phil Kahn and T. Campbell. If you don’t already know who they are, they create the webcomic Guilded Age as well as many other projects that have influenced the webcomic genre. If you like Goblins, odds are, you’ll like Guilded Age. I do.

EDIT: The page was written by T. Campbell and Phil Kahn. The artwork is by John Waltrip. My HUGE apologies to Mr. Waltrip. You can read about all three of them here.

This guest comic is a bonus page and will not interrupt the main comic schedule (Goblins updates every Tues/Fri).

Just a heads up though, I’m getting married August 4th and leaving for my honeymoon on August 8th. So expect some sort of disruption during that time. I know, I know. 😉

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Happy 1st Anniversary Dustin and Sarah

Hey Dustin! Sarah wants me to wish you a happy anniversary for her! So here goes…

HAPPY 1ST ANNIVERSARY!

~Thunt


Free Goblins Books For Life!

Did you know that Goblins has never been advertised? By that, I mean I’ve never spent money to get the word out about it. This is something that Danielle and I are planning on doing in the near future. We have a couple plans that we’re discussing.

But while we work on letting more people know about Goblins, so can you! How? Make a video and put it up on Youtube. It can be anything. Write and perform a song, re-enact a scene from the comic, talk about which character you like best, dance with your Big Ears plushie. Anything. Feel free to use my artwork in any way you like for this.

The Goblins Youtube Video with the most views as of my wedding day (August 4th, 2012) will receive some original Goblins artwork (a couple panels from the comic), a Big Ears plushie for each person *featured in the video (up to a maximum of five plushies), signed copies of Books 1 and 2, and a signed copy of every Goblins book that I come out with. Forever.

The Goblins Youtube Video that Danielle and I pick as our favourite (also on August 4th), will also receive original artwork, a Big Ears plushie for each person *featured in the video (maximum of five plushies) and the same “forever” deal with the signed books. We’ll make sure that that this video is different than the ‘most viewed’ video.

(* “featured” means that they’re actually a part of your video. I don’t want to see you pointing a camera at strangers in line at the bank or your Avengers poster and saying “That’s more than five people! I want FIVE plushies, Thunt”. Voice actors count as people and the creator gets a plushie even if he/she is never on screen.)

Once your video is on Youtube, email me a link (my email is goblins@dccnet.com). I’ll link all the vids on my page so you can all check ’em out.

Or… If you’re lazy like me, you could simply tell someone about Goblins. Tell your friends, enemies, the guy who works at the corner store, that weird lady who hangs out at the bus stop smelling like cheese and yelling at the clouds… anyone. You could even put a link in your forum sig or use a Goblins character for your avatar. Although these things do help the comic, they don’t get you a prize. I told you, I’m lazy.

Some things that you should NOT do are, spam anyone (ever), pester celebrities to read/endorse Goblins, anything illegal or anything dangerous.

EDIT: All submitted videos can be seen by going to the pull-down menu: Fan Community>Goblins Vids or by clicking here.

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Avengers 2

I have it on good authority that this is exactly what will go down in Avengers 2.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

I’m drawing live right now. Today I’m all over the place though. I’m shading pages from weeks ago, shading tomorrow’s page and even inking Friday’s page.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Broadcasting Live Right Now.

Live cam. I’m shading previous pages.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Goblins: Alternate Realities (GAR) The Card Game ~ Update.

A couple nights ago, the folks over at Evertide Games put together tester decks for Kore and The Goblin Adventuring Party (GAP). In the words of Richard James (who understands game mechanics like Rainman understands how many toothpicks are on the floor), here’s how that game went…

“For a first test of the game mechanic, things went well… Kore was appearing at the GAP’s location and the GAP party was generally trying to evade him.  I think in one particular duel, the GAP party was in combat with an adventurer caravan that turned out to have Kore in it and Fumbles needed to charm his way out of the situation in order to avoid getting everyone killed.  I was definitely digging the underlying story.”
 
The more I hear about this game, the more I desperately want to play it.
 
As always, thanks for reading.
~Thunt

Shield Of Wonder List

Today, as you probably noticed, is not a comic page. Today I posted stats for the Shield of Wonder.

“Um… Thunt? Where’s the actual list that comes with the shield stats?” You might be asking.

“I’m still typing those all out. I’ll post them tomorrow (May 19th)”. I reply.

“But why didn’t you post a comic page today? Also, I’m low on ammo. Pass me a clip.” You’d say as you leaned up against our sandbag barricade, firing into the mob of zombies.

Oh, I figured I’d set this hypothetical interview in the midst of a zombie uprising to stop it from being boring.

“Well,” I’d say while pulling an ammo clip from my belt pouch and tossing it to you. “I think it’s obvious to everyone, how much trouble I’ve been having, keeping up with the schedule. So today’s update is about the Shield of Wonder, tomorrow I’ll post the actual list and the next update will be a comic page.” Just then, a zombie will have climbed over our barricade, only to be shot in the head by one of my six handguns I keep ready.

“And then you’ll return to the twice a week schedule?” You’ll ask between gun fire.

“Not exactly. Here, let me just draw the schedule in the sand for you. Look out, zombie on your left.” I say as I grab a stick and draw out the following update schedule…

May 18th – Shield of Wonder stats

May 19th – Shield of Wonder list

May 22nd – Comic update

May 25th – Map of the Goblins world

May 29th – Comic update

“I see. So then you return to the usual schedule in June? Look out, two zombies coming up behind you.” You’ll say while zombies explode and collapse due to your gun fire.

“Thanks. Not exactly. You see, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated on time (noon) and even longer since I’ve updated a page with completed shading. There’s also the fact that I’m working seven days a week, sometimes as long as 18 hours. I’m slowly sinking under the weight of this schedule. Look out, Dracula on your right.” I answer as I pull the pin from a grenade and lob it over the sandbag barricade. A loud BOOM then precedes a shower of sand and decomposing body parts that rains viciously down upon us.

After shooting Dracula through the heart with a wooden crossbow bolt made from the Awesomewhupass Tree, you turn to me. “So then what’s the solution? One update a week? Look out, Bizarro Superman riding Godzilla on your left.”

“No, no. One update a week is too slow. Hell, two updates… Hang on.” I then pull out a vial of ten billion Nano Pacmans, load it into my special gun and fire it at the Bizarro Superman and Godzilla team. “Two updates is even too slow. But since I have to make some kind of change, I’ll be updating with some kind of filler on the last update of every month.” At that moment, Godzilla and Bizarro would melt into a sickly, yellow paste. The sound of near infinite Pacmen eating furiously permeating the air all around us.

“Oh I get. So starting in June, the last update of every month will be filler, but other than that, you’re still updating twice a week.” As you begin to understand my plan, you pick up your mini-nuke shoulder cannon and fire it at Giant, Mecha Bigbird from Dimension Twisted-Ouch-Hell.

“Exactly! It’s not a huge change, but it might just give me enough of a chance to catch up with things and maybe get a day off from time to time. Look out, Dire Galactus at three o’clock.”

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Fourteen Ways To Spot A Bad Critic

Criticising someone’s work accomplishes a number of things, but I think that two of those accomplishments rise to the top more prominently than others. Firstly, it can help the creator of that work spot weaknesses that might otherwise go unnoticed and improve upon future creations. This is healthy and wondrous. Secondly, it can make the critic feel superior to the creator. I mean, if Mr. Creator has been deemed “amazing” by making something that’s entertained a lot of people, and I then belittle his work, I must be even more amazing than Mr. Creator! This is unhealthy and pathetic. So how does Mr.Creator know which critic to listen to and which to ignore?

Have you ever seen those American Idol clips of people who were just terrible at singing, but were convinced that they’re actually very talented and that the broken notes they were belting out sounded breathtakingly beautiful? Singing just seems to be one of those things that some people think they’re good at, when they’re actually not. Some activities, like weight lifting, are obvious as to whether or not one is good at them. Can you lift that barbell? No? Then you’re not really, really good at this yet. Simple and obvious. But with singing, tone-deaf people can believe that the tones they’re producing sound fantastic. In this regard, I think that criticising the work of others is less like weight lifting and more like singing.

Here are fourteen ways to know how to spot a bad critic.

1. Anyone who says “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life“.

Sometimes, people who are unable to properly and succinctly make a point, reach for ridiculous extremes. Odds are, your work is not so terrible, that it’s genuinely the worst thing your critic has ever seen in his entire life. If it is, then your critic has led far too sheltered a life to be criticising others’ work. Someone throwing a phrase like this around, should probably be ignored.

2. Anyone who criticises your work without seeing the whole thing.

It really doesn’t matter how adamantly a critic defends the swiftness at which he’s come to judgement on your work. If he didn’t encounter your entire project, then he’s unqualified to critique it. I’ve had someone loudly and hatefully critique my entire comic after reading just one page. I’ve even had someone see me drawing a panel live online, then rush to my forum to offer a biting critique of the art in that particular panel before I had even finished it. There’s no excuse for this. If they didn’t completely see, hear, taste or otherwise experience the work in question, they’re bad critics who should be ignored.

3.  Anyone who uses the word “history” in a comparably definitive way.

This is similar to point one, but in an even more arrogant manner. “This is the worst thing of its kind in history“. “Throughout history, no one has made anything this terrible“. “In the history of art, no has ever…” Alright, stop right there. The person critiquing your work is unlikely to be aware of history’s entire archive of the genre or medium being discussed. If he’s wielding the kind of delusions needed to confidently say something this encompassing, he’s a bad critic.

4. Anyone who writes “period” as a way of re-enforcing a previous point.

This is terrible. Period.” This is a great way for a critic to demonstrate an inability to accentuate. Using the word “period” like this, would suggest that there’s no room for debate. That what’s being said is final and absolute. That there’s nothing left to say on the matter. This contradicts so much of what being a good critic is all about. If you have nothing much to say, then you’re not much of a critic, are you? To quote what I used to say to my kids when they were toddlers who were having trouble getting a point across… Use your words.

5. Anyone who jumps to conclusions about behind-the-scenes reasoning.

The creator of this work is just trying to get more money because she’s panicking because the last thing she created sucked because she’s probably pissed off because Madmen might not be renewed for another season which I assume is her favourite show.” This is far more common than it should be. I’ve seen people come to crazy assumptions about my personal life and then use those assumptions as spring boards for why my work is the way it is. An actual critic will understand that he doesn’t know you personally and doesn’t have any inside information about what’s going on behind the work being critiqued. A real critic will simply review the creation on its own.

6. Anyone using multiple exclamation marks or caps lock.

Have you ever seen anyone discard an intelligent point because there was only one exclamation mark at the end of the sentence? Have you ever seen anyone have trouble understanding an insightful statement purely because it wasn’t in ‘all caps’? Whether the review is positive or negative, a good critic has intelligent things to say and a vast army of well placed words to say them with. A BAD CRITIC HAS NONE OF THESE THINGS AND SO INSTEAD TRIES TO RAISE THE VOLUME OF HIS POINTS LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.” ~Terry Pratchett

 7. Anyone who uses the phrase “One word comes to mind…”.

One word comes to mind when I see this work. Terrible.” The “one word” can be anything, but if that’s all that comes to your mind while reviewing someone’s work, you’re not a very good critic. On the other hand, if plenty of words come to your mind and you incorrectly use this overused statement in an attempt to sound witty, you’re not a very good critic.

8. Anyone who uses the phrase “I want my X minutes back“.

If you have ever used this phrase in a critique, I’d like you to stand up, go find a mirror, look at yourself and realise that other people are creating original art while you can’t even muster up the creativity to insult that art without vomiting a pathetically overused phrase like this.

9. Anyone who tells you to stop creating.

You know how companies will say “Our employees will never ask for your password“? Well an actual critic will never tell you to stop creating. A good critic would genuinely like to see you improve and make something better next time.

10. Anyone who says “This sucks“.

That’s not a criticism, that’s an insult. If you can’t tell the difference between those two things, you’re a bad critic.

11. Anyone with terrible spelling/grammar.

Let’s be clear here. A good critic doesn’t need perfect spelling and grammar. Every painter drops his brush from time to time and there’s no shame in that. But if you’re dropping your brush evry singal tim u tuch teh canvus… well, you might not be very good at what you do. And if you’re purposely mistyping in an attempt to save time or look cool, then you’re definitely a bad critic.

12. Anyone who brags about themselves during the review.

This work sucks. And I know it sucks because I once fought a bear! Who was driving a tank! Plus I’m very handsome! Wait… what was I reviewing? Anyways, the point is that I fought a bear!” Sometimes I’ll be reading a review of something and I start to get the impression that the critic is just looking for ways to point out how many awards he’s won or how often he’s been published. Once, someone justified his critique of my artwork by stating “I happen to own a guitar signed by the comic book artist Jim Lee!“. Yes, this stuff really happens. Good critics don’t use their review of your work as a way to brag about themselves.

13. Anyone who tries too hard to be funny or focuses too much on creative ways to insult your work.

A good critic is entertaining as well as informative. This means that sometimes they’ll find funny ways to point at a flaw in your work. Don’t be upset by this, the critic is just doing his job. However, if the review briefly states “This is awful” and then follows with an entire paragraph colourfully explaining how he had to pour gasonline on his eyes and light a match while having a team of tap dancing priests cast satan out of your work before throwing it into the fires of Mordor, he might be working harder at trying to be funny than at trying to fairly review your work.

14. Anyone who says “You can’t take constructive criticism“.

This is possibly the most cowardly thing that a bad critic can say. Sure, it’s possible that a good critic can review someone’s work and that a creator can over react, causing the critic to fairly exclaim “Wow, that person can’t take constructive criticism“, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the cowards who use that phrase as a shield to defend themselves against creators justly reacting to hateful insults. There’s nothing constructive about telling someone that they suck and there’s nothing truthful about claiming that the creator can’t take constructive criticism at that moment. Most creators thrive on constructive criticism and welcome it. Very few of us thrive on being told that we should “get a life“.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Can’t Remember Dies Horribly?

Here’s a quick look back at the last few moments of Dies and his friends before the story switched over to Minmax and Co. Or if you’d like to roll your sleeves up and read from the point that Dies, Fox and Klik were walking down that creepy staircase, you can go here.

Don’t forget that after 1-3 days, try refreshing the most recent page (some people need to hit Ctrl + F5) to see all the completed shading.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Movie Moments

Sometimes when I draw, I like to have a movie on in the background. The movies I choose to have on are usually things I’ve seen many times. Otherwise, I end up spending half the time holding my pen and watching the screen (which sounds much dirtier than I mean it to). However, sometimes I notice things. Click on the images for full size.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

 


Footage Of My ‘Hood

I’ve posted these on twitter, but I haven’t actually blogged them out until now. Here is a nine minute clip of my new house. The house that you guys helped me get.  And here is a five minute clip of Danielle and me in the nearby woods yesterday. We’ve been here a month and I’ve barely poked my head out the door to look at my “neighbourhood”.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


TopWebComics.com

For years, Goblins has been on the TopWebComics list and it’s been fun and awesome. I remember watching Goblins hover in the 40s and thinking “wouldn’t it be cool to be in the top 10”. Then we hit the top 10 and I thought “wouldn’t it be great to be in 1st place”. Then we hit 1st place and for awhile held that top spot only if I worked at it. That is to say, only if I presented regular vote incentives in the form of  upcoming panels from the next comic page. Then we reached a point where incentives were no longer needed. Goblins started to dominate the top spot with little or no incentives. The competition battled against us with daily postings of regular pics of their characters wearing little or nothing or of seperate comics that could only be read by voting for them on the TWC list. Often, this resulted in knocking Goblins into 2nd place, but it wasn’t long before Goblins would lazily float up to 1st again.

Please note: I feel like a total douchebag who’s bragging and building himself up. I HATE this kind of egotistical crap, but it needs to be said to explain what’s going on. So allow me to bring balance to the force with these unflattering facts… I can’t grow a full head of hair. I dance like a moron. I suck at most sports. I’m 38 and I have never had a driver’s licence. Whew, that feels better. Okay, back to the topic at hand.

Ironically, while I write this blog, Goblins is currently in 2nd place on the list (way to go, Two Kinds!). Still, I feel like Goblins has enjoyed the 1st place spot enough and it’s time to move on and make room for the other comics on the list. Some of them are brilliant, by the way! Please check them out! Of course, nothing is actually changing with Goblins. I’m still updating twice a week, tweeting daily and drawing live on cam almost daily. However at the end of April, I’ll be removing the vote button from my site (you know… that goblin with the shield over there to your right).

Now can I please stop talking about Goblins being 1st and go back to making jokes at my own expense?

Thanks TopWebComics and thanks to everyone who’s been voting for Goblins over the years! And thanks for reading!

~Thunt


The Better Comic Won

I’d like to offer a huge congratulations to Gunnerkrigg Court and its fans for winning the ComicMix tournament. The comic deserves it for being a breath of fresh air in the genre and the fans deserve it for being a fantastic group of fun folks that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the article about the results.

I’d also like to thank the Goblinites for getting us all the way up to second place (and a very close second at that)! I hope you’re all as proud and overjoyed as I am with how well we did. The $50 we won is being donated to Child’s Play along with the $100 that Gunnerkrigg Court won. So everyone wins!

Finally, I’d like to offer one more movie clip in honour of Gunnerkrigg Court (well, at least the music from the clip). It’s a bit earlier than the 80’s, but I can’t help myself. It fits so well.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Approaching The Finish Line

Six hours left in the contest and we’re neck and neck with Gunnerkrigg Court (we’re less than four hundred votes behind them)! No matter who wins, the prize money is being donated to Child’s Play!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


GC vs GC – The Final Battle!

I can’t believe that myself and the Goblins fans have made it to the final battle! Go us! For this most epic of battles, we’re dueling Gunnerkrigg Court! A comic with multi-layered, well thought out writing and breathtaking artwork by creator Tom Siddell. It’s nigh impossible to find anyone with something bad to say about GC. By “GC”, I mean Gunnerkrigg Court and not Goblins Comic (notice the synchronicity there? It really adds to the ‘final battle’ ambience). So if you haven’t already, check out Gunnerkrigg Court.

I also want to say that no matter what happens during this last fight, I’m incredibly complimented and humbled just to make it this far! Thanks SO much for the support! And incase you missed it on my last blog post, I’m going to be posting the Shield of Wonder list and the Goblins map regardless of the tournament results.

For the final fight video, I’ve chosen the cheesiest sword fight ever put on film. You really need to watch this one all the way through to believe it. It’s deliciously awful.

Click here to vote on GC vc GC and see the current results!

Click here to watch the horrible yet strangely epic final battle to represent this fight!

Click here to follow Thunt on Twitter!

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Goblins vs Order Of The Stick!

Aha! I have internet again! Why did I lose my internet? Well it goes a little something like this…

The previous owners of my new home move out. The internet company climbs up the pole outside my house and disconnects their internet, since they’ve moved.

We move into the new home. The internet company climbs up the pole outside my house and connects the internet for us.

The next day, the internet company thinks that they have not yet disconnected the internet after the previous owners of the house moved out. So they climb the pole outside my house and disconnect the internet.

I call the internet company and make an appointment for someone to reconnect us. Robert the internet guy shows up (we like Robert the internet guy), explains everything to us and saves the day!

So go vote at the Goblins vs OotS battle! We have defeated Romantically Apocalyptic, and so as promised, I will answer the question that I’ve refused to answer for years…

“Can Minmax see out of his damaged, right eye?” The answer is yes. He suffers no penalty or impaired vision from the scar. Think about it, he complained about how the scar makes him look, but he has never complained about any kind of vision penalty. A minmaxer like him would definitely complain about a penalty to any of his abilities.

So if we beat Order Of The Stick, I’ll post all of the Shield of Wonder’s random effects (*). Let me also take this moment to say that Order Of The Stick is nothing short of brilliant. In my opinion, it’s much funnier than Goblins. The timing of the jokes are astounding. I still laugh at “bluff the stupid ogre”. If you haven’t read OotS yet, go do so now.

And for the 80’s fight scene to represent this battle, I bring you Optimus vs Megatron.

And now back to drawing! This move has made me late!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

EDIT: (*) You know what? The more I think about it, the more I feel like a jerk face for offering you stuff to get you to vote. I’ll post the Shield of Wonder info and the map whether Goblins wins or not. Just give me enough time to get those things in order. 🙂


Goblins vs Romantically Apocalyptic

We beat Looking For Group? Seriously? YES! We destroyed the guys who host my site, send me ad revenue cheques every month and will be publishing future Goblins books!

Wait. Uh oh.

Anyways, now we’re up against Romantically Apocalyptic. I’ve never seen this comic before, but I’m sure it’s some crappy rip off of Penny Arcade or something. It probably sucks so hard that it can’t possibly provide a challenge to us Goblinites. Let me just pop over to their site and read some of this garbage now.

Whoa. That’s a good comic. I mean, that’s seriously good stuff. Intelligent jokes, gorgeous art work and a very original method of combining photography with digital painting. I think we’re in trouble. I also think you should all check out that comic. Awesome stuff!

Okay, here’s the deal. If we beat RA, I’ll answer the most commonly asked question I get about the comic. “Can Minmax see out of his right eye?”

If we beat our next opponent after that, I’ll post my chart of all the things the Shield of Wonder can randomly do.

If we beat the opponent after that (thereby winning the tournament), I’ll redraw and post my map of the Goblins world (something I’ve never publicly shown). I’d have to redraw it, because the ones I use in my notes are messy and covered in spoilery stuff.

I really don’t expect to win the tournament, but there you have it.

Click here to vote on Goblins vs Romantically Apocalyptic.

Click here to watch a cheesy, 80s fight scene that fits into the post apocalyptic tone.

Click here to follow me on Twitter.

As always, thanks for reading! And thanks for voting for us over at ComicMix!

~Thunt


All Baddass Fights Happen In A Warehouse

Okay, maybe not every baddass fight takes place in a warehouse. Still…

Wrought with wounds from the previous battles throughout the tournament, Goblins and LFG stood at opposide sides of the warehouse. Metal railings sprawled out in every direction, just high enough that someone could jump over them, looking super cool. Maybe while throwing some kind of flying kick or something. Bridges made entirely out of cool looking, metal mesh stretched across the expansive area, promising to provide a multi leveled third dimension for the two comics to fight on. Hanging from the ceiling were large, randomly placed chains. Some of which, contained kick ass hooks that dangled from the iron terrain at chest or head height. It totally added a level of manly danger to the aesthetic, so don’t even worry about what the chains were for. You should probably also not worry about what that sparking machine against the wall was for either. Just know that it’s totally going to shower the battle with awesome looking sparks. I guess the machine was broken or something. It’s a terrible safety hazard now that I think about it. Actually, there’s nothing safe about that warehouse. I mean… against that wall over there was an open vat of acid. Seriously, acid! It’s bubbling and this thick, greenish smoke was wafting up out of it. That can’t be healthy for the workers to have to breathe for eight hours! Sure, the vat’s got a white skull painted on its side as a warning, but really, who’s that going to help? It just made it look more baddass. Whatever. I guess it’s a good place for the battle.

LFG stood motionless, his eyes piercing that of his opponent’s. His shirt was torn along the left sleeve, betraying a large wound that Unsounded had given him during a moment of distraction in their battle moments ago. It wasn’t LFG’s fault. This totally hot girl was watching and he had to wave at her. LFG had gained some valuable wisdom at the cost of the painful cut. Pain that he was going to have to fight through. Pain that he would use. Pain that would make him stronger.

Goblins cracked his knuckles in an intimidating display of redundancy. A cool looking, trickle of blood had danced down the right side of his chin from the corner of his mouth. He had Scandinavia and the World to thank for that. He grimaced at his opponent who stood unflinchingly, thirty feet away. Goblins wiped his chin with the back of his hand and… wait. Did he just smear that awesome trickle of chin blood? Damn! That totally made him look all Indiana Jones, two thirds of the way through any of his movies! Now it probably looked like lipstick or something. Did it look stupid now? He wasn’t going to have to go through this really important battle, looking like he’s wearing lipstick, was he? Now this was going to bug him! He looked around for a mirror. What, no mirror?! Oh no, of course not! A mirror could break and create dangerous shards of glass! A topless vat of bubbling acid, the size of a car is fine, but a mirror is too dangerous!

LFG watched Goblins look around the room. Obviously he was searching for a weapon of some kind. This was surely going to be a tough fight.

Crap. LFG was watching him. Should he maybe ask if he had a mirror? No, that’s stupid. Maybe he should just ask if the blood on his chin still looked all awesome and baddass. Forget it. He would just have to take off his shirt and wipe all the blood from his face. He’d lose any chance at the Indiana Jones look, but at least he’d know that he wasn’t fighting LFG looking like an over lipsticked, Fox news anchor.

LFG saw Goblins take of his shirt and wipe the lipstick off of his bottom lip. Good. That terrifying, Heath Ledger Joker look that it was giving him was pretty scary and effective.

Just then, without warning (unless you count the build up of the entire tournament as a warning), the two comics rushed each other. Teeth bared. Fists clenched. The battle had begun.

Click here to vote on Goblins vs LFG (and the other comics that are battling it out, too)!

Click here to see a cheesy 80s fight scene in a warehouse.

Click here to check out Looking For Group (which really is a freaking awesome comic that you guys need to be reading).

Click here to follow me on Twitter.

And as always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The ComicMix Battle Tournament of Serious! Now It’s For Serious!

Round three of the ComicMix Tournament has started!  This time, we’re up against Scandinavia and the World! I mean the webcomic. We’re not actually up against the entire world (which of course, includes Scandinavia).

This’ll be a tough fight, since our opponent has poignant, intelligent humour and fantastic artwork. However, if we manage to win this one, and Looking For Group manages to win out against Unsounded, then my friends… it’s go time.

Goblins vs Looking For Group. (And I have it on good authority that the LFG team said you guys all look like jerks.)

But we must focus on the current fight at hand! Since things are getting more serious, I’ve upped my cheesy inspiration clip to Karate Kid Two (you know… cause Macchio could actually die in that one). Watch it, get pumped, then go vote for Gobins!

Also, follow me on Twitter if you don’t already. I tweet all the time about all sorts of stuff you don’t know or want to know.

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Goblins ComicMix Battle Of Death And Battle In Fighting Cause Fighting

ComicMix Round Two has started and this time, we’re up against Wondermark! A comic with superb artwork and intelligent dialogue. So go check it out, read it, buy something from the site, tell a friend about that comic, then go vote for Goblins!

I’ve decided that for every round we’re still in the contest, I’m going to showcase a cheesy, 80s elimination-style fight movie to get you all in the a bloodthirsty mood. So before you vote, watch THIS (or as much of that clip as you can handle).

The longer Goblins can hold out in this contest, the more publicity we get! And remember kids, there’s a chance that Goblins could go head to head with Looking For group, and in the end, isn’t that a fight that we all want to see?

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sweep The Leg!

The ComixMix webcomic contest has gone onto elimitation rounds. Yes, it’s exactly like that part in Karate Kid. Exactly. For round one of the elimination stage, I’m up against Two Lumps. So go vote for Goblins, but then go read Two Lumps and buy all of their merchandise, because it’s about TWO cats! It’s like Garfield Minus Garfield Plus Two Garfields! That’s more than one cat! That’s almost THREE CATS!

But when you vote, be sure to listen to that Karate Kid music while you do it. It’s just the way these things are done.

EDIT: I really like how this contest “accidentally” showcases webcomics by pairing them up against other webcomics. Great for supporting the genre.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


ComicMix March Madness

Here’s a cool place to check out an insta-list of great webcomics.

Oh, and you can vote for Goblins while you’re at it. Unless that seems too needy. Do you think that seems too needy? Okay, so you don’t have to vote. You can if you want to. Or not. I don’t care what you do. I mean I DO care. I care about you. I mean, not in a weird way. I’m not in love with you or anything. That isn’t to say that I couldn’t fall in love with you under the right circumstances. Maybe I could, who knows. It’s just that I’m in a relationship right now. I’m sorry. I really am. You’ll always have a special place in my heart, it’s just that people change. They grow. That’s not a comment about your weight. It isn’t. You know what, you always do this. No YOU’RE making a scene! So let them stare! I’ve sacrificed EVERYTHING for you and you’ve never supported me in anything I’ve done! Oh HERE we go, I KNEW you were going to bring that up! That was one time and I was drunk! I do NOT drink too much! Well maybe it’s because of YOU that I drink! Wait… I’m sorry. I’m sorry I yelled. Let’s never fight again, okay?

So what I’m saying is, go vote for Goblins over at ComicMix.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Febuary 28th Update

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working at buying a home. The amount of time this takes on a daily basis seems to bounce up and down and for the last few days has been way up, cutting into my work days by almost half. I’m currently looking at the latest page of Goblins and I can see that it’s got at least another seven hours of work, which means that if I update on Wednesday (a full day late), I’d already find myself behind on Friday’s page while still dealing with all the house stuff.

I’m sorry to say that I’m forced to skip this Tuesday’s update. Please accept my deepest apologies. In the meantime, here’s a panel from the upcoming page.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Sneak Peek

Hey look, a sneak peek of tomorrow’s comic inside that vote button over there. Just click on the goblin with the shield.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Worldbuilders Needs Your Help!

Only four more days left on this amazing charity drive! You can help a lot of people in need and get yourself some sweet loot. Also, if you donate, you can know that your money may very well have gone toward paying for a goat. I mean, how cool is that? You’d be buying someone far away… a goat. Imagine this…

Your friend- “Hey, that’s a cool book you have there.”

You- “You like that? Because I bought that book, some family out there has a goat.”

Your friend- “…”

You- “I’m a complicated person, into some deep things. Just know that I’m helping people.”

Okay, so Worldbuilders is about more than just goats. It feeds people and saves lives. So hurry up and get in on this action before it’s too late! Go to Worldbuilders and check it out!

And as always, thanks for reading. Oh, and follow me on Twitter.

~Thunt


Aurora Award

I’ll be accepting my Aurora Award for ‘2011 Best English Graphic Novel’ at the ‘Gibsons and District Public Library’ tomorrow (January 22nd) at 3:00pm. It’ll be a tiny thing. No big deal. Some media coverage. Come out and say hi if you’re in the area. Danielle is making me write this announcement.

Seriously though, thanks SO much to those who supported me in the Auroras!

~Thunt


Shorty Awards, Hugo Awards, Facebooks And Chats

So the 4th annual Shorty Awards have started up. This year, I’ve decided to pimp myself out a bit for it. I know, I’m a whore. Anyways, voting for me is free and takes five to ten seconds. The only catch is that you need a Twitter account. You HAVE to type in a reason (after the word “because…”) or the vote won’t count. It can be really quick if you’re like me and hate homework, which this almost is. Also, if you vote for me again in the same category, your new vote will simply replace your old vote. I appreciate the attempt though. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you should. I often tweet stuff that I think is funny, but usually isn’t. Sometimes I even tweet about the comic. Also, for every thousand followers I gain, I’ll go back in time and kick a nazi.

Now to vote for me in the Hugos, you need to be a member of a past, present or future Worldcon. Here are the details. Scroll down to the category “Best Graphic Story” and vote for me there. You’re welcome to vote for someone else, but be prepared to receive my phonecalls of sobbing at four in the morning.

Also, there’s now an official Goblins Facebook page. I didn’t make it. It was made by fans much smarter than me. Feel free to go join it. There’s also this thing on Reddit.

The chat room connected with my ustream channel has become something very special. There are always people hanging out there and talking about geeky stuff and just being awesome. And these are some of the best people to waste time with online. Ustream chat is pretty cluncky, so feel free to download mIRC and use that to connect to the chat if you prefer. See instructions on how to do that below. The regulars in the chat room will be happy to help you as well. You can also earn XP and gold by chatting. Once you have enough of each, you can do things like launch other chatters with various devices or silence them for brief periods of time (that effect is pretty high level though). If you’re having trouble getting your name to show up in the chat room, try typing… /nick <username> .

How to set up mIRC with Ustream…

In mIRC options under Servers
Click Add
In Add Server
Description: ustream.tv Chat
IRC Server: chat1.ustream.tv
Ports: 6667
Group: ustream
Password: <your ustream password>
Click Add. Then type –>  j/ drawing-goblins  <– to join the channel.

And most of all, as always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Colouring Live

Boo.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Kurtz Ego

Today I read a blog post by PVP creator Scott Kurtz. In this post, he points out how out of touch newspaper syndicates are, by explaining how lame a certain cartoonist contest is. He then goes on to offer his services (along with Brad Guigar) as a paid consultant to the highest bidder. At first, this seems like a funny way of teasing the syndicates for not being able to keep up with the changes happening in the genre. However, it isn’t long before he urges the syndicate to bid on his expertise before legends like Jim Davis or Lynn Johnston manage to nab him. All the while, insulting the syndicate and assuring them that they and all newspapers will be gone in five years because he read that in a survey somewhere. I kept trying to laugh it all off as a joke, but that’s difficult to do when the title of his blog post is “Yes, We’re Serious“.

Now, I’m no business expert, but I’m pretty sure that it’s a bad idea to hire a business consultant who spends most of his proposal publicly insulting you and repeatedly assuring you that you’ll be gone soon. I also find it astounding that he envisions the creators of Garfield and For Better Or For Worse rushing to bid on him like children chasing an ice cream truck during a heat wave. We all know that PVP is a major player in webcomics as is Kurtz himself. The man knows what he’s doing and he does his job well, but with this blog post of his, I can’t help but picture him wearing a tshirt with the words “comics legend” written on it in black marker. That marker of course, being held by Kurtz himself. I also can’t help but wonder if all of this animosity has anything to do with the fact that Kurtz was refused membership into the NCS.

The cartooning contest that Kurtz attacks will place the winning comic on gocomics.com, give the author(s) 100% of any ad revenue generated by the comic and offer them an ebook publishing contract. “This is not a prize. Anyone can put their comic on a webpage and populate it with ads from Google Adsense. GoComics.com isn’t promising (nor can it deliver) traffic.” Says Kurtz. “Also there is no such thing as an electronic-book publishing contract. That’s like selling freshman elevator passes on the first day of the spring semester.”

Really? Having one’s comic appear on Gocomic.com with legends like Calvin & Hobbes, Doonesbury and Peanuts isn’t a prize? A site with a global Alexa rank of 3,149 (PVP’s rank being a lower 18,619). Also, speaking from personal experience, my own “freshman elevator pass” with Drivethrucomics.com has been making me residual income for years. It seems to exist.

I’m not saying that newspapers aren’t in trouble, and his statement about them all disappearing in five years doesn’t seem impossible, but does he really believe that he’s cartooning’s only hope? That he’s so ‘Neo-like’ in his importance that he can slap them with his right hand while simultaneously offering his expertise with his left “for the right price” and have cartooning’s biggest pioneers fighting to pay him? Wait… I’ve got to check the title of his blog post one more time. … Yep, it still says “Yes, We’re Serious“. Jesus Christ. Sorry, I meant Jesus Kurtz.

So to the old school cartoonists, I say… yes, you need to do a better job keeping up with this century. But for the love of Starscream, don’t hire Kurtz for this job. Sure, he’s very successful, experienced and talented, but that’d be like hiring the pissed off, love sick guy you dumped last year, to watch you while you sleep. There are plenty of other successful webcartoonists who’d help you for less money. Many of which have smaller egos and you know… don’t hate you. Don’t look at me though, I just burned a crap load of professional bridges with this blog post.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Chief Day Cake Is No Lie

Here is a Chief Day Cake that is too awesome for words! Click on the images to enlarge them.

Thanks so much TakeruDavis for these amazing pics! I’d love to send you some original Goblins art (we’ll talk).

As always, thanks for reading! And Happy Holidays!

~Thunt


Star Wars Holiday Special

Watching it live at 2pm (Western Canada time) which is a little over an hour from now, so come and hang out. Warning: I plan to drink a lot of rum and most likely be kind of annoying.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Again

Yup.

As always, thanks for reading/

~Thunt


Chief’s Day

December 17th is the first anniversary of Chief’s  death.

If anyone is interested in baking a cake (or something) with a -10 on it and taking a picture, I’ll gladly post those up here on the site. RIP Chief.

As always, thanks for reading (and thanks Arles, for the image).

~Thunt


The Holiday Schedule

Today is Danielle’s birthday. I’m taking her out to dinner, then out to a ‘not too far away’ hotel where we will be trashing the place and jumping on the bed. For her birthday, I’m stepping away from my drawing table for a full 24 hours. This means that there’ll be no update on the 16th. I apologise to everyone, but although this girl deserves the world, the only thing she’s asked for is to spend some real time with me. I’ve pushed her birthday into the background in favour of the comic’s schedule every year since it started and she’s never once complained. Well, not this year.

Furthermore, I’ll be needed to put together a Christmas for Danielle and our two sons and then spend a few days at her parent’s for the holiday season. All of this makes my usual seven day work week to battle the deadlines quite impossible. So here’s the deal… For the rest of December, Goblins will update twice. It’ll update December 20th, then again on December 30th. Once January starts, I’ll be updating on the usual Tuesday/Friday schedule.

Thanks for your patience and for reading. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

~Thunt


Drawing Live Once More

Live broadcast of my drawing.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Casting Broad Now

Today’s live drawing is guaranteed to be 100% spoiler free.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The M Word (And Why I Hate It)

Sometimes when people email me, tweet to me or pop into the live feed chat room, they do something strange. They call me “master“. I detest this completely. In fact, I hate any attempt to take a worshipful stance toward me. It’s usually done with phrases like “all hail the great Thunt” or some similar barrage of statements meant to raise me above the ranks of mere mortals. Sure, I realise that this is either a light hearted joke or simply a tongue-in-cheek compliment, but it more than bugs me. Even worse, when I mention this in my live feed right after someone has addressed me in this manner, someone else almost always has to follow my request to stop, with a follow up “humourous” worshipful comment. “As you wish, almighty, MasterThunt“. I realise that this is all meant to be harmless kidding around, but… grrrrr.

So why does it bug me so much? Well, Goblins fans have become 95% of my social outlet. Other than my family, you guys are kind of like my best friends. Except I don’t actually know what most of you look like and we don’t actually hang out and do stuff in person. This is why I sometimes refer to you guys as my E-maginary friends. You know… E. Like ’email’. I don’t even really like the term “fans” and it took me years before I relented and used the word. Before that, you were always “readers”. Anyways, since Goblins fans are the closest thing I have to regular friends, I love to feel like we’re all just a bunch of folks who hang out together equally. I don’t like feeling as though everyone is gathered around me, I like to feel as though I’m just chillin’ like all the other Goblins folks. I too, want to stand amongst everyone else and say “Get this, guys, I think Dies Horribly is named that because he’s actually horrible at dying!” (Except I don’t say that, because I know it’s not true). So when people take that jokey, worshipful vibe with me, it separates me from my e-maginary friends. It puts me in the super tall chair, way over there in the far off corner where I can’t hang out with you anymore.

Also, I’m not a God. I’m some pasty faced, sarcastic geek from the forests of Canada.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Blork.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Casting Broad

My house is empty and lonely. Hang out with me whilst I draw, kay?

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The House Adventure Comes To An End

Why did the chicken cross the road? … Mortgage approval. … Don’t get it? Neither did we.

Well, it looks like we’re not quite able to get approved for a mortgage that we can afford and so our adventure comes to a less than celebratory end. That’s okay though, we’ll have our house one day soon. Just not this house and not today. The money you’ve donated toward the down payment will sit tight and wait for awhile until we can try again someplace else. Someplace even… AWESOMER! Honestly, I really have nothing to be bummed out about. I’ve got an amazing girl, kids that I couldn’t be more proud of and the bestest job that has brought me the bestest fans. My family and I want to thank everyone for your support and well wishing, and we’d also like to thank our mortgage broker, Brad, for trying everything possible and working his butt off to try and make this happen.

In the end, I’d rather have no house and all of you, than get the house and be without you.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Live Crap

I’m currently working on colouring touch-ups, then I’ll be drawing the next page. Come say hi if you’re bored. Linky.

As always, thanks for watching.

~Thunt


Tempts fate Sneak Peek

There’s a new Tempts Fate sneak peek “inside” the vote button there. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


What’s With The Demon Page?

I’ll be honest with you. I am over worked these days.

For the last few weeks, if I’m awake, I’m drawing (with the exception of Halloween night, where Danielle and I went Trick-or-Treating. Hee hee). Currently, the last couple pages have panels in which the colouring/shading is not completely finished. This is because I’m forced to frantically move onto the next page and come back to the previous pages later.

And as we all know, Tempts Fate hasn’t updated in quite some time. I’ve been forcing myself to draw one hour of Tempts a day, before moving onto the main Goblins comic, no matter how behind I am in the Goblins schedule. But one hour a day is moving the page forward pretty damn slowly. I want to assure the angry folks out there that Tempts isn’t taking so long because of laziness. I’m not slacking off or procrastinating, I just promised too much. But I WILL finish these Tempts pages and I WON’T resort to whipping off rough sketches. It’s important to me that the work is as good as I’m capable of doing. However, if you want to yell at me for promising too much, you have every right too (/sheepish, dumb guy grin).

This demon page allows me a bit of extra time to catch up as well as answers some FAQs about how I work demons. I hope you like it. Next scheduled update will be another Goblins page.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Live Drawing

I’m currently making a fool of myself whilst drawing live. Come and say hi.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Twitter Feed

For now, please ignore the twitter feed on the site here. It’s broken and is stuck on a tweet about a troll email I got ages ago that has been all but forgotten. Thanks so much for your VERY nice emails of support though! My actual twitter account is not broken though, so if you follow me, you still get important, up to date info about how cute my dog is, etc. 

And a giant thank you to everyone who has sent me a “your comic is great” email. I can’t respond to every email I get, but I promise that I do read everyone one of them and if you’ve sent me a compliment, I have definately smiled while reading it.

Also, very soon I’ll have a whole bunch of things to tell you about how the house purchase is going, etc. I just can’t go public with details at this time.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

EDIT: It’s seems as though the twitter has been fixed by the Blind Ferret crew.


Drawing Live All Day Today

Yeyop.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Colouring Live

Want to hang out with me and other goblinoids without getting spoilers from seeing me draw an upcoming page? For the next few hours or so, I’ll be doing colouring “touch-ups” on the page that’s already up and running my mouth off. Come say Hi!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Standard Action

Want some D&D hilarity while you wait for the next Goblins update? Go watch some Standard Action. Or check me out as I draw live  (the effects in Standand Action are better though).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Goblins Merchandise!

By popular demand (and because they sell well), the Big Ears Plushie and  Goblins poster are available on the new Goblins store. New loot will be added soon. If you have any questions, you can email Danielle or try and catch me in the live feed and ask me straight out (I’m broadcasting live as I type this).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Messed Up Sneak Peek

In the vote button over there (the goblin with the shield), there’s a new sneak peek. It’s kinda icky.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Casting Broad

For those interested in hanging out. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Today’s Update

Because I just got back from VCON, I have missed three and a half days of drawing. Therefore, today’s update will be late. I’m racing it now though and I won’t stop until it’s done, which should be sometime tonight. If you’d like to yell at me for this or maybe even tell me that I’m lovely (or even yell that I’m lovely), I’m drawing the page live right now.

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll get a tweet as soon as the page goes up.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Power Outage

We got power back! Wait… let me back up a bit.

We lost our electricity. Early this morning, a wind storm knocked a tree into some power lines and caused a lot of Sechelt, BC to lose power. This meant I that I haven’t been able to work all day. However, power just now popped back on. This leaves me with a question. Can I finish 28 hours of work in 14 hours?

Answer: Let’s do this thing. Come to the live feed chat and keep me awake as I draw all night in a futile attempt to have an update ready for tomorrow afternoon.

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt

EDIT: Nope. All nighter failed. Still too sick. Been two weeks now. I’m so tired of this shit. No update for Sept 27th. Sorry everyone.


Blup

Fixing colouring errors, etc from previous pages, live on cam. So you’re spoiler free if you pop in to say hi.
As always, thanks for reading.
~Thunt

Ew.

I have the flu. Apparently this flu is a jerk, because yesterday I thought I was doing much better, but I was being psyched out. As a result, there will be no Goblins update today, but I’m slowly finishing up a Tempts Fate page which I’m hoping to have up today sometime.

Everything tastes like nauseous. Yes, I’m a big baby.

For those of you looking for a trendier and less comfortable way of being informed about what my body is doing (I suppose I tweet about comic info too), follow me on twitter. Click on my spiderman head over on the twitter section next to this blog.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Double Workload Day

I’m casting broad as I draw my usual amount of content x2.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Casting Broad

I’m currently drawing the next update live. I do this a lot. Come say hi.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Fan Expo vs Updates

Because of the fact that I’ll be gone for a week at Fan Expo (and visiting my Mum, who I haven’t seen in fifteen years…nervous Thunt is nervous), the next Goblins update won’t be until Friday, September 2nd. However, I will be bringing some paper along and drawing Tempts Fate throughout my trip, so we’ll see how that pans out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


I’ll Be At Fan Expo!

Next weekend, Danielle and I will be at the Blind Ferret booth (booth #1342) at Fan Expo in Toronto. Come and buy some Goblins loot, say hello or just hang out and make me look popular. Usually at cons, I sign a lot of books and that’s certainly something I’ll be more than happy to do again. However, for this con I’m inviting people to bring the strangest things you can think of for me to sign (if getting my signature is in fact, something that interests you). I’ll sign a body part (Danielle says it’s allowed, ladies), your lunch, or just about anything that isn’t really gross (ie, no asking me to sign a dead bug or the pile of dog crap that you found outside). I’ll also post pictures of the more bizarre things that I signed on the site when I get back.

So if you’re going to be at the Expo, definately come and say hello!

As always, thanks for reading,

~Thunt


Sneak peek, etc.

There is a sneak peek of tomorrow’s comic “inside” the vote button.

Also, I’m casting broad right now.

Also, I had to format my computer and as a result, lost ALL of my emails. If you sent me an email in the last couple weeks that you’d like me to read, please resend it. I may not respond to very many emails that I get, but I read every one of them. All emails sent to Danielle are just fine though.

As always, thansk for reading.

~Thunt


Casting broad

Broadcasting live drawing.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Right Now

Yup.

As always, thanks for reading/watching/hanging out with me!

~Thunt


Wait… This Isn’t A Goblins Page!

This past weekend, I went camping with my family. We had a great time.

This has made updating today’s comic difficult. But fear not! Meet The Merchandisables. This page was recently drawn by me for the comic Japan Needs Heroes, which is a collection of work from many fantastic comic authors. The goal of JNH is to raise money to aid the folks in Japan who (as we all know) experienced a major earthquake.

So if you want to buy a copy of the above comic (and a plethora of other comics by other artists), you have until this weekend to order it from Kickstarter. After that, you’ll just have to hope that you can find it in your local comic book store.

This Friday, Goblins will continue as normal (click on the vote button for a sneak peek of the next Goblins page). As for today, I am working feverishly on Tempts Fate kicking ass!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Right now, I am casting broad (you know… broadcasting). I’m drawing tomorrow’s comic page on Tabby (you know… my new tablet).

As always, thanks for reading/watching.

~Thunt


Tempts Fate’s Last Adventure?

This Monday at noon (GMT -7 : Western Canada Time) I will launch the newest Tempts Fate. This Tempts will include giving away a bunch of original art from the comic as well as some other goodies. To insure that I’m able to draw both TF and the main comic, I’ll be starting a drawing marathon to coincide with Tempts’ adventure. Here are the rules of the marathon…

– The live camera will always be on and pointed at my desk (though I may mute the sound for brief periods if Danielle and I need to discuss something private or make a phone call).

– I can leave my desk for sleep, bathroom breaks and to stretch my legs for a minute or two every couple hours. Other than that, I stay at my desk. That’s right… no showers (ew).

-I’m allowed six hours of sleep per night.

-I will remain at my desk, drawing until the financial goal is met.

The exact financial goal is still being discussed by Danielle and me, but it’ll be big. Really, really big. Big enough that I’m not sure if Tempts Fate will survive this one. Why so big? Well…

Some of you might remember a blog post about how I didn’t want to do a huge Tempts Fate to try and raise enough money to make a down payment on the house we’re currently renting, but want to buy. After I made that post, I received a large number of emails telling me that I should go ahead and raise the down payment and let the fans decide for themselves what to do. Still, I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. My plan was to scrimp and save and possibly get the down payment together before our lease was up (our landlady was nice enough to give us that much time to try and buy the house). Then the game changed. Last week, Danielle and I were served court papers informing us that the Bank is foreclosing on our landlady’s house (our home). By Canadian law, the foreclosure trumps our lease and from what I understand about the process (which isn’t a whole lot), we could be kicked out of here in about two months.

I hate to sound all whiny, but I’m tired of not letting my son put up posters in his room because we may be moving. I’m tired of the tears, I’m tired of trying not to think about the fact that I may have to give our dog away to open up our apartment finding options. I’m tired of not being able to focus on our wedding or start trying to have a baby.

Besides, if Tempts were standing in front of me, he’d run me through with a spear for not letting him risk his butt on this. He’s kinda crazy.

Click here for the Tempts Fate page (which is where you can donate) or click on the “Tempts 11!” button in the menu up top.

Here’s the live feed of my ongoing marathon.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Goosebumps On My Brain

This is sort of a “coming out of the closet” blog post for me. No, I’m not gay (my apologies to the gay community for stealing their phrase) but I am letting you in on a bit of a secret.

I am an ASMR experiencer. Put simply, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is an strong, euphoric sensation that often overwhelms the experiencer. It is caused by outside triggers that vary depending on the person. These triggers can be auditory, such as a person’s voice, clicking or tapping noises or even the sound of someone eating or chewing gum. Triggers can also be visual, like seeing someone concentrate on something such as sculpting. The euphoric sensation happens whether it is welcomed or not and as far as I know, most experiencers have little to no control over it, though I have read rumours about people who can “will” it to happen.

It is important to understand that this sensation is 100% non-sexual. During the rare times that I’ve tried to explain this condition to other people, it’s been difficult to convince non-experiencers that this isn’t a sexual experience. Nothing about this is arousing or fetishistic. So what is it? Basically, the experiencer will notice a trigger. Let’s say that it’s someone on a bus chewing gum or perhaps it’s someone tapping their fingers on their desk behind you at school. It might even be the sound of a staticy phone connection. At that point, the experiencer will feel an immensely pleasurable “tingly” feeling that sort of crawls across the inside of the scalp. If the trigger continues, the sensation grows. Personally, I would spend this time sitting quite still, waiting for the feeling to pass and hoping to various Gods that no one notices that I’m tripping out on what I imagine heroin might feel like.

This sounds really weird, right? Sounds like I’m kind of insane? This is exactly why I’ve spent my entire life keeping my mouth shut and why (I’m guessing) most of the other ASMR experiencers keep their mouths shut too. So why does this happen? Right now, no one knows. There are a ton of theories, but literally, no one on the planet can explain why this happens. I mean, there seems to be no connection between the triggers and what I’m guessing is some sort of massive dopamine release. I’ve been triggered by watching someone use a pen to do math. It was something about the way the pen moved. Yeah… I’m shrugging my shoulders and rolling my eyes at how ridiculous this sounds, too.

Some people online talk about how they’ve seemingly dedicated their lives to finding as many of these triggers as they can. Some people “do it” recreationally. Some people, like myself, mostly try to avoid triggers. But I think that all ASMR experiencers are very curious as to why this happens.

Sometimes, when I’ve tried to explain this to people, they’ve said… “I think I’ve felt that before”. I’m pretty sure that if you think you might have experienced it, you haven’t. The people who have experienced ASMR, have experienced it a lot throughout their lives and they usually respond with “Oh my God YES! You get that too!? What the hell IS that?! I thought I was the only one!” or something along those lines.

So there we have it. You all know that I’m crazy. The secret that I’ve guarded so closely for my entire life is out there. Also… I’m Batman.

ASMR Research & Support

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Yes, I sure am.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Migraines Suck

Throughout yesterday and today, I’ve been largely bed ridden with one of those nasty migraines. The kind that leave you reading the bottle that your painkillers come in, to find out if you’ve passed the maximum daily amount that you can take. The kind of migraine that then has you on Google to find out just how important that maximum daily amount is and whether it’s okay to pass it a bit. You know… those kinds of migraines.

If you popped into my live broadcasting yesterday, you would have caught my complaining about my head as I scratched out what was meant to be today’s comic. Unfortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time buried under my pillow whining like a small girl. Not the kick ass kind of small girl, like Newt from Aliens, but the horrible kind that you just want to strangle. Like Winona Ryder from Alien3.

The comic will continue this Friday.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Once Again

Cool? Good.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Live Drawing On Canada Day Eve

I’m drawing live for a few hours only today. I have to stop when Danielle’s Mum gets here. She’ll be staying with us for Canada Day.

As always, thanks for watching.

~Thunt


Boo

Doing nonsensical crap live on cam. EDIT: I’m doing it again (June 27th).

As always, thanks for reading/watching.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Drawing & colouring live while talking about how Calgary Comic Con went. I’ll tell you what your favourite webcomic authors are REALLY like!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Lack Of Updates

Because I’m leaving for the Calgary Comic Con, I won’t be able to update the comic until the 24th. I’m leaving for the con on Thursday morning, which doesn’t allow me the minimum 48 hours needed to get Friday’s page finished. Furthermore, I won’t be back from the con until Monday night, which certainly doesn’t give me enough time to do Tuesday’s update.

I’ll tell ya what though. If you guys want to send me a fan comic (here’s my email), I’ll look ’em over on Monday night and post one of them in place of Tuesday’s update. I’ll even send the chosen artist an original Tempts Fate panel. Please make your fan comic one page only.

For those of you who are laughing, screaming, rolling their eyes or peeing themselves over my horrible, horrible laziness and general irresponsibility,  please allow me to respond to you ahead of time.

Marvel or DC would have fired you by now.” … Yes they would have, since they would not like the fact that I’d have sued them for giving me the work of seven employees.

LFG and LICD would never pull this crap.” … Lar deSouza is a god in the industry with a scwillion years experience under his beard. I can’t do what he does in the same way that I can’t fight as well as Bruce Lee. And yes, even Lar has missed updates before.

Goblins is circling the drain because of this crap.” … It sure is. It’s been circling the drain for six years now, with more readers every year gathering in preparation for my inevitable failure.

I’ve been two to ten hours late for a crap load of updates in the last many months and on rare occasions like this convention, I’ve missed an update (in this case, two updates). However, I have never, ever been late or missed an update because of laziness. Every single update time for the past six years was genuinely and sincerely the best I could do without cutting any corners in the artwork.

Anyways, there’s my whiny rant. 😛 I’ll see you guys in Calgary and I can’t wait to see what awesome comics you create!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Calgary Comic Con

This weekend is the Calgary Comic Con (which is actually called the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo) and Danielle and I will be there as guests! We’ll be at booth #1118 (here’s a map) with books, original artwork, and a few other bits of loot, including the new poster. Come and hang out for a bit!

Note: A notable percentage of people at cons seem to think that they’re “bothering” me by talking to me. This is a load of crap. Come and say hi. I promise that our awkward, nervous conversations will be better than the awkward, nervous conversations you have with any other comic author at the con.

EDIT: Also, I’m drawing live.

As always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Pencilling the next comic live. You will have no freakin’ idea what is going on until it goes up.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Again

You guys keep me working for longer. 🙂

As always, thanks for watching.

~Thunt


Broadcasting Live: My backyard, doing some minor touch ups on the last couple pages and eventually some drawing.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Goblins ‘World Of Warcraft’ Call To Arms!

Although our Goblins guild in WoW has become a level 23 guild and has many awesome members, it’s been stagnating for awhile now, since there aren’t enough people ready and able to raid on a regular basis. I myself haven’t been the greatest clan chief since I’ve hardly been able to play the game due to work (after all of this time, my character Twigs, still isn’t level 85).

So if you play Warcraft and want to help our guild become raid-ready, make a character, join the guild and start leveling up! Just let us know that you read the comic and you’re in.

Server: Steamwheedle Cartel

Guild Name: Goblins

Faction: Horde (all races are welcome, but goblins are likely to advance higher in the guild)

Some members who can invite you: Twigs, Lotsapockets, Halfbrick, Kittybelle, Imnotaturtle.

As always, thanks for reading (and playing).

~Thunt


Vote For Danielle?

Danielle is trying to win the right to be the 2011 CUFF ambassador  at the next SFContario. It’s between her and one other person so she’s got a real shot at this. To vote, you need to be a Canadian citizen and fork out $5. If she wins, we’ll both be at the convention this year!

Here’s your link to vote. Thanks so much, folks!

And as always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Live Cam Drawing

For a bunch of hours, I’ll be drawing comic stuff live.

(EDIT: And again. 1:07pm May 30th)

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live Right Now

Drawing Live, with special guest Captain Aronman!
As always, thanks for reading/watching!
~Thunt

Camping Trip

I spent this past weekend camping in the woods with my family. The plan was for me to draw out there, surrounded by trees and camp fires (okay, one camp fire). However, the weather had other plans as it rained pretty much constantly all weekend, which prevented me from drawing anything (you know how everything gets wet when camping in the rain). So today I present you with the 3.5 stats for the Lesser Finger Horror. Next update, the comic will continue as normal.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Sneak Peek

Under (well, you know… inside) the vote button, is a sneak peek of the new Goblins poster that I’m working on. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing A Poster

I’m live drawing a Goblins poster that will be for sale next month at Calgary Comic Con. Come and hang out with me while I do this (and eat pizza).

As always, thanks for reading (and hanging out with me!).

~Thunt


Live On Cam Again

Drawing live on cam now. Come say hi. 🙂

And as always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek / Ad Blockers

There’s a sneak peek of the next update inside the vote button.

Also, I’d like to humbly ask everyone with an ad blocker to turn it off for Goblins. My ads have no sound or pop ups or any of that annoying stuff, so you’re quite safe. A big chunk of my income comes from ad revenue and if you turn off your ad blocker for my site, then it’s like you’re giving my family and I money without actually giving us money!  And sometimes some awesome stuff gets advertised here!

Also, come and say hello whilst I draw live.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Casting broad

Drawing the Japan relief comic. Today you can watch without fear of Goblins spoilers.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing Live

Ever wanted to yell at a webcomic author and tell him that he’s not so great? Well now’s your chance! I’m drawing tomorrow’s update live right now.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Vilias Red

In an effort to catch up with my schedule, I’m posting another page detailing a previous wielder of the Axe or Prissan. This will be a part of an ebook that I’m working on that will detail every axe wielder, in order, up to Big Ears.

This Friday I will continue with the Goblins story at noon (-8 GMT).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drawing live.

Casting broad right now.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Not A Sneak Peek

Inside the vote button, I’ve placed the pic I drew with a ball point pen at the end of ‘Just Bieber’ whilst tipsy on rootbeer schnapps.
As always, thanks for reading (and voting).
~Thunt

The End Of Bieber!

I’ll be going live between 11:30pm and midnight (in about 3.5 hours). Stop by and have a drink with us as we celebrate the end of this terrible, terrible idea of mine.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Trying An Experiment

I’m just trying an experiment here. I’m announcing in my blog (obviously, I mean… you’re reading the blog now) that I’m drawing the upcoming comic live right now. Come in and say hello!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 26 & 27 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Glomp.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Tempts Fate 11 … Save My House

Danielle and I rent our home. If you’ve ever popped into the live feed to say hello or listen to me rant about… well, everything, then you’ve probably seen my house. It’s beautiful. It’s got high ceilings, a wood burning stove, is nestled deep in the Canadian forest and over looks the ocean with its floor to ceiling windows. We love it and are very lucky to be here.

We moved here last October with the following agreement made with the owner. We’ll rent for a couple years and then buy it from her. It was going to be perfect. Nice and smooth. However, the owner popped by recently to inform us that she’d decided to sell the house… now. Danielle and I aren’t ready to buy just yet, mainly because we don’t have the down payment. In an act of desperation, I began making plans to scrape together enough money for the down payment (somewhere in the neighbourhood of $30,000).

My big attack was Tempts Fate. I asked myself “could Tempts pull together $15,000 or so if I told the fans that I was losing my house”. The answer was yes. Yes, I believe that if I turned to my fans and told them that I desperately needed their help and started a massive Tempts Fate drive, I could pull in $15,000 or even more. Why would this work? Because I have incredibly generous fans. They’ve proved this before and when I mentioned my idea in a youtube video and on my live feed, a lot of people seemed ready to prove it again. Then, as time went on, I started to ask myself another question… “should I do this“. Danielle and I talked about this for a couple hours last night and we both agreed that the answer is no.

If fans of Goblins want to support the comic by buying merchandise or books or by making a donation through Tempts Fate, then they should. After all, that’s where my income comes from. But if the creator of the comic turns to those fans and says “give me more money than ever before or my family and I lose our house“, then it’s more like I’m preying on that generosity. Taking advantage of it. A lot of you folks are damn good people! And I know that many of you would donate more than you would normally (even if your normal amount is zero), simply because you wouldn’t want us to lose the house. That’s almost like a kind of extortion.

I have no doubt that you guys would have dug deep and Tempts would have made an historic amount of cash for us, but that’s not how Danielle and I want to buy this house. The cold fact is that we don’t have the down payment and therefore, we can’t buy it. One day Danielle and I will buy our first house but for now, we’ll be moving and renting somewhere else.

A few days ago, I tweeted that if we got this house, it’d belong to all Goblins fans and therefore if you’re ever in the area, you’re welcome to come and hang out, play D&D or whatever. Well, we may not be getting the house, but our offer still stands! If you’re ever in the Sechelt, BC area, give us an email and we’ll do whatever we can to find the time to chill with ya! (Warning: Offer to chill not valid to jerk-faces).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


She Said Yes!

To keep Danielle from learning of my evil plot to propose marriage, I have been unable to let you guys know that this has been my plan for some time (before the Bieber project was dreamed up). So this may seem sudden to you guys, but it’s been in the works for a while.

Today, Danielle and I drove out to the patch of land that her parents have owned since she was a little girl. It was on this land that I first went camping with her… and her husband.  You see, I fell madly in love with Danielle the first time she joined my D&D game, but I was too chicken to tell her. Then she met some dude and moved away to New Mexico and got married (it was not a good marriage). I was crunched into a little ball of self pity. Then she moved back to Canada… with her husband. That was when they invited me and some other friends to go camping on her parents’ land. I really shouldn’t have gone on that trip. Y’know… being in love with her and everything. Like an angsty goof, I carved “I love Danielle” into a dead tree at the end of a far off path. No one saw me do that, of course.

The next year, Danielle and her husband got a divorce. I’ll spare you all the unpleasant details, but I later blurted out that I loved her and had been in love with her for the past six years or so. I was a dummy for not tell her this BEFORE she got married. I know this because she told me so. Apparently, she had been in love with me too, but wrote me off as “too cool to be interested in her”. Her answer was to marry some other guy and move away. To like… New Mexico.

Eventually, Danielle and I went camping again on her parents’ land, this time as a couple. That was the year she found my angsty “I love Danielle” carving. … Awkward. Anyways, we’ve been camping in that same spot in the woods every summer. It’s become a very special place for us. You see, during that very first camping trip (with her husband), her and I woke up before the others and sat by the early morning campfire and talked. It was the first time we’d ever been alone together. Then we both went off and secretly swooned, wondering why we could never be together and each thinking we were the only member of the duo wondering this. It was all incredibly cliche.

So it was at this special spot that I proposed marriage. I lied to Danielle and told her that I just wanted to drive out there to roast some smokies for the hell of it and then drive back home. So we took the dog with us and headed out. So there I was, down on one knee with my family ring… incidentally, that ring is a VERY expensive ring of evil lies. You see, my wealthy, great grandmother in England, bought it for herself to make the men around her think that she was married (children with no husband? Scandalous!).  Then she gave it to my grandmother (I call my grandmother Nana, and she’s going to be very happy to hear that my small rock kills your enchanted bunny. Game over, Moonpie.) on the promise that it would never be given to anyone else. Of course, my Nana gave it to my mother on the promise that it never be given to anyone else. Later my Mother gave it to me, provided that I never tell the tale of my great grandmother and her original reason for buying the ring. Oops. See? It’s a ring of evil lies! I can’t decide if that makes it cooler or not.

So I was down on one knee. I said “Danielle, will you marry…” Then I was tackled by a VERY excited lady. Yes, my 70 lbs dog Ember had taken my one knee stance to mean “It’s time to play” and jumped on top of me. I quickly regained my composure and re-asked my question. By this point, Danielle was already crying.

But she said “yes”.

Danielle, you are my best friend and the source of my strength. Thank you for agreeing to be my wife. I can’t wait to continue making you smile, waking you up with kisses and playing the “stand on my feet as we walk around the room” game. To quote a page from my comic that has not yet been drawn, “I see you”.

~Tarol Hunt


Days 19 & 20 – 30 Days Of Just Bieber

Scwult.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Days 16, 17, 18 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Pork.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Fans

When I first started Goblins as a webcomic, I asked a lot of people a lot of questions. I had no idea what I was doing and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was given advice on everything from site hosting to merchandising. However, there was one very important aspect of being a webcomic author that no one offered advice on, and that was fans.

I’m incredibly lucky to have fans and I’ve learned that they’re a powerful force indeed. Through ad revenue, book purchases and even donations, my fans have granted me the ability to make Goblins my profession. They’ve clothed my children and put food on my table. They’ve inflated my ego with a thousand compliments and kept me grounded and humble with ten thousand criticisms. My fans have forced me up the ladder of self improvement and led me down the path of encouragement. Through my webcam, my fans have kept me company all night while I’ve battled deadlines. They’ve been an unending field of ears to vent to or whine at.

I’ve felt for years now, that Goblins belongs not just to me, but to everyone who’s ever invested any emotion toward the comic. If you’ve felt sad about a character’s death or triumphant during a character’s victory, then you’ve helped in its creation. The more value that you as fans place in Goblins, the more value I feel toward it as well. And the more value I feel toward it, the more of myself I pour into it and the better it is. You are the dictators of the comic’s creation.

I’ve become shocked at how little advice there is for aspiring artists when it comes to fans. So here is my advice on what anyone who may gain a fanbase can expect. Your fans will be your unseen, yet very involved family. They’ll be your friends. They’ll be your employers. They’ll be your hecklers and your teachers. They’ll stress you out with demands and make you feel great with amazing compliments. Most of all, they’ll be the reason that you do what you do. Don’t ever take your fans for granted and always understand that you’re forever in their debt. And from time to time, thank them.

Thanks for honouring me with your fanship and supporting my work, folks. Now let’s see where the rest of the comic takes us.

~Thunt


Day 14 and 15 – Just Bieber

I’m grumpy.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Days 12 & 13 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Glarg. (I talk about the upcoming Tempts Fate)

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Days 10, 11 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Criminy.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 7,8,9 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Blurp.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 6 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Sneh.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 5 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Buh.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 4 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Boo.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 3 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Yo.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 2 – 30 Days of Just Bieber

Yup.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 1 – 30 Days of Bieber

This is a little harder than I thought.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 0.5 – The Launch

Should I even be posting my videos here in the blog as well as on twitter? Anyways, here ya go.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Day 0 – 30 Days Of Justin Bieber

I’ve posted the first of many videos documenting my Bieber experiment. I’ll be posting one per day.

Click here for the video.

Also, this Friday’s update will be a little different than usual. I hope you like it.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Creepy Sneaky Peeky

There’s now a delicious close up of Mr. Fingers “inside” the vote button. Yum.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Dangling Sneak Peek

Sneak peek of tomorrow’s comic “inside” the magic vote button.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


A Short Story

My hand hurts too much to draw, so I’m typing this! For no raisin!

…………………………………………………….

The news says that we should stay indoors. Those of use who are still alive know that staying indoors and waiting, is the last thing that we should do.  I can still hear my wife’s screams as they dragged her away. They came through the backyard by the hundreds. Their bodies were moving, but their eyes were dead. Maybe they were human once, but not now. Not anymore.

In the first few weeks, we kept them back with firepower. But the bullets always go faster than you think they will. We’ve lost more than half of our group and panic is beginning to take hold. We’re just about out of food too, so it won’t be long before we can add starvation to our list of problems. Once this was a nice, suburban neighborhood. Now it’s a living hell without hope.

Well, maybe there is one hope. This morning, they attacked again. At first there were only a few of them, but later came more. With no guns or other weaponry, I was doomed. Then something amazing happened. One of those mindless things died! But why? How? What had killed it? That’s when I noticed the pea pods that my wife had planted last month. They were somehow firing peas toward the back of my yard. But the pods could only fire in a straight line! I quickly got to work, planting pea pods across my yard. Soon I had five of them lined up.

I can’t really explain it, but the sunflowers were helping me. Now, everything looks like it just might be okay. I think we might actually… wait… oh dear God help us! One of them has a traffic cone on its head! You monsters! Have you no honour!?

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Comic Update Skipped Today

Last night, I went out to the shed to get some more firewood. As I was picking up chunks of wood, I felt a minor pain in my wrist and in the palm of my hand which I didn’t pay much attention to. Over the next fifteen minutes, I found it harder and harder to draw as the pain increased. Eventually, I couldn’t hold the pen or press it onto the paper. I took some Advil and went to bed, hoping that it’d be better after some sleep.

It’s seems better than it was last night and to be honest, it’s really not that bad. But holding a pen seems to hit the pain button with a critical hit. I’m going to let my stupid hand have its way and not draw for a day or two. Tuesday’s update WILL be up, even if I have to cut off my hand and graft a pen onto the wrist like Ash in Evil Dead.

I’m really sorry everybody and I’m also sorry to poor Danielle who’s had to watch me stomp around the house in a grumpy mood over this.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


30 Days Of Bieber: The Effects On A 37 Year Old Man.

I am a 37 year old, Canadian guy who enjoys music like Radiohead, Three Days Grace, Pink Floyd, Steve Miller Band, etc. I have never heard a Justin Bieber song in my life. Well, I once heard 15 seconds of a song, but that’s about it. I’ve never even heard a parody. I just know that I am light years away from his demographic and would not enjoy his music if I were to sit down and actually listen to it. But what if I were to listen to it a lot? Like, 30 days of Bieber playing non stop?

I have decided to risk my sanity in the hopes of answering the question, “would a man far outside of the intended demographic learn to enjoy Justin Bieber’s music after hearing it continuously for 30 days”. Here are the rules…

~I will purchase all of Bieber’s music (yes, purchase) and listen to it from the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep from April 1st, to April 30th (I’ll have to stop during showers).

~To spare my family, I will listen to it on headphones.

~I will play his four albums in order, repeatedly (My World, My World 2.0, My Worlds Acoustic, Never Say Never-The Remixes). I cannot skip any songs or listen to them on random.

~I will post a short video blog once per day during “The Month Of Bieber” and describe my reactions and feelings. I’ll link to these videos from my twitter account.

~I will remain sober for all of April.

~I will keep an open mind and remain honest about my findings. If I actually start to enjoy his music, I will say so. If I start to go mad, I will probably start wearing a dead squirrel on my head and declare myself the king of Jello Island.

~I will not sample any of his music until April.

No, this is not an April fools joke.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Sneak Peek

New sneak peek “inside” the vote button. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Wise Man’s Fear

Patrick Rothuss’ sequel to The Name Of The Wind has finally arrived! His new book, The Wise Man’s Fear is available now and I recommend that you all either buy it at a store or save Patrick’s life in “the nick of time” so he’ll give you a free copy in a fit of panicked gratitude. You can also check out his website to get more info or to figure out how to send him gushy fan mail.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Largest Sneak Peek

People have been asking for a “wallpaper” version of the panel that (at least partially) shows fifty five of the two hundred seventeen alternate realities that are currently in the comic. While I’m not really happy with the idea of releasing it as a wallpaper due to the messy art style (remember, I drew those guys at a VERY tiny size so they look pretty messy when blown up) and I’m certainly not going to redraw it with even more detail, I can show you a blown up version that’ll let you guys take a better look at it. You’ll find that big version of the panel under the vote button. I also removed the glare from the window pane to keep everything clear for ya.

Each of the two hundred seventeen alternate realities were numbered and written out years ago. Some of them have sketches, some of them have lengthy paragraphs detailing why they are what they are and a few of them even have character sheets. Many of them just have two to five sentences that briefly explain who they are.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The “Joke”

(This blog post is in reference to my previous post. It contains subject matter that may be a trigger for individuals who’ve experienced extreme stress.)

Since I wrote my blog post apologising for my hypnosis joke, I’ve had tons of emails pouring in. I’ve read a lot of them, but I still have many more to go. I’d guess that about 60% of the emails have been supportive. Many, many women (and some men) have taken the time to explain in a friendly, welcoming manner, what a rape survivor has to go through. I’d like to thank these people. Some of you took offense to my He-man/Goblinslayer questions, thinking that I was trying to make light of the whole thing or make fun of rape survivors. This is not at all true. I was genuinely curious about what someone like that might do in that situation. Here is an excerpt from one of the more enlightening emails…

In your blog you asked why someone who could be triggered by a rape joke be okay with the comic.  It comes down to the fact that in the joke that was interpreted as a rape joke it could be very seriously interpreted as you making light of rape, there are a lot of rapists and rape apologists that do just that through jokes, but in your comic you treat it very seriously.  In the comic it’s very obvious that you don’t take rape as light subject matter and don’t support rapists.  Someone who is triggered by mentions of rape might be in serious trouble at first mention of the rape, but when they calm down and come back to the comic and see you handling the subject seriously they will appreciate it and it might even help them.  It is probably also even more helpful that the character you have who is a victim of rape is still a very real person(in characterization) and isn’t someone who just occupies the story to be a token victim or damsel in distress.  It is very nice for and appreciated by victims to see a character survive and continue on with their lives after something horrible has happened to them.

These sorts of emails have been very helpful. The more that I can learn about the subject matter, the more I can avoid accidentally offending anyone again. However, I’ve also gotten more than a few nasty emails. I’ve been called a “rape apologist”, a “supporter of rapists” and some other names. I’ve also been threatened by someone who claimed that someone else will one day “find” me (at least I think it was a threat, that email wasn’t very clear).

Some people took offense to my referencing my own values, such as a right to uncensored comedy. Some took offense to the fact that my apology contains a personal request for respect. Let me be clear that although I value my own rights, that blog post was about others that I may have hurt with my joke and I was not placing my own values above the pain that rape survivors go through. I do not want to laugh at anyone going through pain. The tweet was a failed attempt to laugh at myself in an exaggerated manner and NOT an attempt at to laugh at rape victims.

If someone online thinks my comic sucks or thinks that I’m annoying/unfunny during my live feed, I can easily deal with that. It comes with working on the internet and after almost six years, I’ve gotten pretty thick skin. But this… this being lumped into the same category as someone who laughs at something as painful and horrific as rape… this is different. I’m not that kind of man. Please stop telling me that you see me as such.

As I mentioned, many of the emails have been supportive and I’m very thankful to all of you. To the people who are angry at me, let me reiterate that I regret making that joke. Not just because it’s caused me to go through what I’m going through now, but because I have clearly hurt some people and that’s never something that I want to do.

I also want to point out that the majority of rape survivors who have contacted me have been very helpful and communicative in a constructive way. So please don’t let this blog post paint a picture of rape survivors as a bunch of monsters. I believe that the truly insulting (and the one threatening) emails were just sent by people who’ve let their emotions cause them to see me as someone that I’m not.

Finally, please do not take this as an invitation to debate. I ask that you do not argue these points in the forum or email me about how I’ve further offended you or how offended you are that others are angry at me. You can either label me as a villain or accept my apology. Either way, let’s all move on and get back to our geeky comics.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Hypnosis Is Bad, M’kay?

(Warning: This blog post contains possible triggers for those who’ve experienced extreme stress)

A couple days ago, I made a dumb joke on twitter. It went as follows…

“I’ve gotten laid before, but I’ve never gotten laid using only the power of hypnosis. But one day I will. Oh yes, I will.”

Is it a funny joke? Meh. Is it offensive? No. At least that’s my opinion. However, a couple people on twitter expressed their disapproval for what was called a “rape joke”.

“A rape joke?” I thought. “This isn’t a rape joke, this is a joke about how funny it would be if I actually thought that hypnosis could get me the ladies”. Nevertheless, a couple folks were upset. I spent forty-five minutes debating with someone online about whether or not my joke was offensive. Then I got an email. Then two emails. Then three.

My stance is that no person on the planet has ever been forced into sex via hypnosis. Ever. It is impossible for someone to make someone else do anything that they don’t want to do by using hypnosis. So how can this be offensive when it’s an imaginary crime? Well clearly people are offended and if they’re offended, shouldn’t I apologise? I mean, whether I understand it or not, I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone.

There is another issue here though. Basically, we’ve got two potential offenses colliding. You see, there are those who find a joke like the one above to be offensive, but there are others who find the idea of comedic censorship offensive as well. The idea of a joke that might send someone into a tailspin of traumatic memories is certainly not one that I want to tell. On the other hand, if I choose to recant the above joke and apologise, how far do I then allow this censorship to extent? Is it just jokes that could possibly be seen as “rape jokes”? What about the Hamburglar? That little bastard steals food from hungry children. Surely the concept of starving children isn’t funny at all. What about jokes about the pied piper? Children are kidnapped on a daily basis and no one can truthfully say that that hasn’t left a lot of people permanently traumatised. But again, I don’t want anyone to read my dumb, little jokes and be triggered into feeling stressed or upset. It’s definitely a complicated issue.

Being a dude, I’m very lucky in that I’ve never had to deal with something as traumatic as rape (EDIT: Everyone yelling at me because “dudes get raped too!” can just back off. What I mean is that rape is very uncommon for a male and that statistic plays a major role in why I or any of my guy friends have been raped). Nor have I had to deal with the tragedy of having someone close to me raped. So I’d be lying if I claimed to understand the kind of trauma that those victims are forced to go through. Therefore, morally I don’t have the right to say “it’s not that bad” or “suck it up, it’s just a joke”. Maybe it is that bad.

But if it is that bad, what happens to these rape victims when they’re flipping through the channels on their TV and they come across that episode of He-man where Skeletor kidnaps Teela in an effort to force her to marry him? Sure, Ol’ Skull-face never actually says that he’s going to have sex with Teela, but what do you think would happen if He-man died at the end of Skeletor’s sword and Teela was forced to become Mrs. Skeletor? You think he’d respect her personal space? Hell no. The implication for rape is there. So do rape victims curl into a fetal position and cry for two hours before demanding that all copies of that cartoon be destroyed? (EDIT: This is a serious question and NOT an attempt to make fun of people in this kind of pain!)

My own comic contains a rapist. If the reason for removing my dumb tweet is because it may possibly trigger a victim into extreme stress, then surely I’d have to remove all scenes in my comic that portray Goblinslayer as a rapist, right? If I don’t have the moral right to say “my hypnosis joke is okay, let it go”, then offended parties shouldn’t have the right to say “the tweet must be censored, but Goblinslayer can stay because I like the scene in which he’s thrown out the window”. They’re all possible triggers. So should these victims fight to have any and all jokes, stories, artwork that contain possible triggers destroyed/censored? Or should they accept that (however unfair it is) the world is full of triggers and instead try to learn how to cope with these details and move on?

This sort of debate has been going on long before I was born and it’ll continue long after I’m dead. I’d be a fool to think that I could solve it here in this blog entry. So instead, I’ll just do my own little part…

I’d like to apologise to anyone that I’ve offended with my hypnosis joke. I was being insensitive and I’ll take greater care when making jokes in the future. (EDIT: Removed the phrase “It’s possible I was be insensitive” because that was further offending people) I’d like to state whole-heartedly that I find the concept of rape and other such crimes to be offensive and not at all funny. The intent with my jokes is to make someone, somewhere smile and I will continue with this personal goal of mine. This may cause me to accidentally offend someone again in the future. If this happens, I ask any offended parties to show as much respect for my right to humour as I believe should be shown toward your own, person pain due to past experiences.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Tempts fate Sneak Peek

Under the vote button, you’ll find a partially completed panel from the long overdue Tempts Fate conclusion. There are four famous (and zombified) webcomic creators in the panel. Can you spot ’em?

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Hey People Who Follow The RSS

You’re going to see multiple pages uploaded in the RSS feed today. That’s because I went back and corrected a Thaco colouring error that was in a bunch of pages. Sorry about that.

And as always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Axe And The Rope

Alright people, I was dancing gracefully through the forum and saw more than a few people talking about how the rope shouldn’t be going through Kore, so let’s have a look, shall we?

Over the years, I’ve had a few intangible items show up in my D&D games. These items often get dirty. So what happens when a magic sword that’s supposed to pass harmlessly through, say, the dude standing next to you (and his clothes, etc) is covered in mud? Does the mud refuse to pass through that guy because it’s not part of the sword and therefore stop the item from passing ghost-like through the guy? What if it’s not mud, but a thin layer of dust? Can this powerfully intangible item be rendered impotent simply because it was left on a shelf for a couple days? What if that dust isn’t on the item itself, but instead on Mr. Dude? Would the sword pass through the dust on his shirt without any problems but be stopped by dust that had been on the blade? What if the dust or mud was on the blade, which cannot pass through Mr. Example-dude, so the sword wielder wipes the dust/mud onto dude-guy’s shirt, which technically makes it dirt ‘on the guy’, but not on the blade and therefore the sword passes through the mud-dust AND the guy? And does this mean that someone could destroy the item’s power simply by painting it? After all, the paint wouldn’t pass through the confused dude, right? It all gets very specific and believe me, players will delve head-first into these specifications.

My ruling was usually as follows…

The item in question will pass through its target(s) like a ghost. If it is dirty, dusty, muddy, painted, dyed, wet or on fire, then the item still passes through its target and carries with it the added material. That means that the dirt, droplets of water, etc. will also pass through the target in a ghost-like fashion. While this added material is piggy-backing on the item’s intangible state, it clings to it’s host and will not easily fall off. That means that the weilder of the ghost-sword cannot coat it in mud, ‘phase’ it into Mr. Dude and shake it to make the mud fall off while inside the poor guy therefore becoming solid within him (certain players have tried this. You know who you are).

As any seasoned dungeon master knows, players have tried to add ropes to everything their character’s do. Seriously. Everything. Most of us have seen the scenario in which someone drinks a potion or something that allows them to walk ghost-like through a stone wall. This of course, is done with a rope tied around his waist while a buddy holds the other end and promises that “this’ll totally work“. The rope, along with the adventurer’s equipment passes magically through the wall as long as it is in contact with our hero. However, most potions, spells, magic rings, etc. will not allow the magical trait to be shared with other people. Clothing and small objects only.

So if we look at the rules established in many text books as well as my own, personal methods of handling the specifics of incorporeal magics, it seems logical that the rope, while attached to the axe, would pass through Kore. Cutting the rope and separating it from the axe caused it to instantly become solid and suddenly occupy the same space as Kore’s hunky body which fused the rope to Kore and his armour. Yes, this is possible. Yes it is. Shut up, yes it is. Think of light passing through glass. Sure, that’s not two molecules occupying the same space, but the atoms do interact to the point where someone could point at a beam of sunlight shining through a window and say “hey look, that light and that glass are occupying the same space”. In this case, Kore is the window and the axe and rope are the beam of sunlight.

Hello, my name is Tarol Hunt and I have 24 years of near-constant practice arguing the physics of magic with hundreds of D&D players.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Kore/Complains Sneak Peek

Under the vote button (it’s the picture of the goblin with the shield), there is a sneak peek of Friday’s update. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Plushie Pre-Orders

Right now, I am setting things up with Creative Creatures to start production of the Big Ears Plushie. It’ll still take awhile for them to be made and shipped out to Canada and so pre-orders are still currently available.

It has come to my attention that I have been under charging for shipping. Currently, shipping is $5.99. I have learned that sending the plushie out to folks will cost more than that. However, the current shipping cost will remain at this price for any and all pre-orders. After pre-orders close, the charge for shipping will go up. So if you want in on the lower shipping cost, pre-order your Big Ears now!

If you have already pre-ordered your Big Ears and received an error message after you finished ordering, don’t worry. That error message was a minor problem with the log out page (which has since been fixed) and your order still got to me safe and sound.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at goblins@dccnet.com

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Your Homework Is…

Hey readers, I have homework for you. In an effort to better provide us with cooler and more effective advertisements on this site, Blind Ferret has asked me to hit you folks with another survey. It’s fourteen questions and multiple choice so it should really just take a moment. The more of you who fill it out, the more it would help me. I really appreciate it, everyone!

Click here for the survey

Friday’s Axe of Prissan update will be the paladin that Saral Caine killed. Then another AoP update on the 28th, followed by the regular comic updates resuming on the 31st.

After awhile, the AoP pages get taking down. Why? Because I’m working on an ebook that details every owner of the Axe in order. All of the pages will be included in that book when it’s released.

Also, I’m working on Tempts Fate this week as well, so it’s coming, along with new and old desktop wallpapers.

As always, thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

~Thunt


Christmas Schedule

Due to family coming over for Christmas, Christmas shopping, Christmas drinking, Christmas stressing and especially Christmas laughing, the updates on Dec 21st, Dec 24th and Dec 28th will be character background pages telling about the previous owners of the Axe of Prissan. From the 31st on, updates will return to the usual comic pages.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone!

EDIT: Danielle just jumped up and down and hugged me when I gave her the news of this announcement. Apparently, my family needs this too.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Warcraft Goblins Guild

Tonight at midnight, Warcraft Cataclysm goes live and with it, the ability to play goblins. Danielle and I will be running around causing goblin havok in Azeroth, so if you want to join our guild…

Server: Steamwheedle Cartel (American servers)

Guild Name: Goblins

Faction: Horde

Contact: Twigs (that’s Thunt) or Lotsapockets (that’s Danielle)

Any Horde race can join the guild, but only goblins can progress up the ranks.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Tempts Fate

I am SO glad to finally have this go live. Thank you everyone for your unbelievable patience.

Tempts Fate 10

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Tuesday’s Update

Yesterday, Danielle was feeling under the weather, but today she has been very sick indeed. I woke up this morning at 3am to get Tuesday’s update finished and I actually got a few hours of drawing in, but after that I spent the day taking care of Danielle. We’re not sure if it’s a flu or food poisoning, but she’s been having a terrible time all day. Due to this, I lost most of the day and so I’m forced to make Tuesday’s update into Friday’s update.

I want to apologise to all of my readers and let you know that the schedule will continue as normal each Tuesday and Friday.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Plushie Big Ears (and sneak peek)

Pre-orders for the brand new Big Ears Plushie are now being accepted. All pre-ordered Big Ears will be signed by me on request.

EDIT: There’s now a sneak peek of Tuesday’s update under the vote button (down and to the right).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


We’ve Moved

This week we moved into a new house and my work time was cut down quite a bit. So I give you one of the previous owners of the Axe of Prissan. All the owners of the axe have already been written in a rough format. Having it all written out years ago allows for some of these characters to play parts in the main storylines of the comic and add another layer to it all. Eventually, the entire history of the axe will be public knowledge.

Next update will be a standard comic page.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek Of Someone Freaking Out

There’s a new sneak peek of tomorrow’s update under the vote button over there.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Double Sneak Peek (With A River!)

New sneak peek under the vote button. Also, I’ll be drawing all day (the day being Oct. 14, starting at 9:30am)  live on cam over at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/drawing-goblins

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Goblin Sneek Peak

Remember when there were goblins in this comic? Well now there’s a sneak peek of one under the vote button (look down and to the right).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Tuesday’s Page

I’ve broken down and told this to enough people that it’s basically public information at this point, so I’ll post it here.

Next update brings us back to the goblin adventuring party (or GAP as they’re lovingly referred to in the forum). Yeah, I’ve missed those guys.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Pouty Face Sneak Peek

New sneak peek of this Friday’s update under the vote button.

(Note: I’m still working on Tempts Fate, I swear)

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


VCON!

I’m about to walk out the door and go to my favorite con in the world, VCON. For those of you who’ll be joining me this weekend, I’ll have a table in the dealer’s room and I’m scheduled for all sorts of panels, so come and say hi!

Due to my absence, I won’t be able to update the comic in the conventional sense. I will of course, be updating on Friday and Tuesday as always, but I’ll be posting character backgrounds on October 1st and 5th. After that, we return to the current Goblins storyline. I hope you enjoy these backgrounds, which offer new insight into the story with previously unrevealed details.

As for Tempts Fate, I’m taking that with me to the convention, but I won’t have much time to work on it. I promise to have that up as soon as I can. The final door is something I’m pretty proud of, but it’s taking me even longer to draw than the zombie door did.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll be back late on October 4th!

~Thunt


“Ken” Sneak Peek

There’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s comic under the vote button.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


A Birthday? I don’t Get It.

For those of you who are a little confused as to why Minmax is giving Kin a birthday, it’s because of this page.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Kin And Minmax Sneak Peek

New sneak peek under the vote button (down and to the right).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek Of A Campsite

New sneak peek under the vote button (down and to the right).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek Of Tomorrow’s Update

There’s a new sneak peek under the vote button (look down and to the right).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Chair Of “Adventure”- An Item For Any RPG

Hey Dungeon Masters and Game Masters, has your gaming session been going on for too long? Are you exhausted and want to stop, but your players are still going strong? May I suggest, the Chair of “Adventure”.

The Chair of “Adventure” can be found anywhere at any time. It can be encountered in a dungeon hallway, a forest clearing or even a crowded tavern. No one knows where it comes from or why it exists. The chair appears to be simple, wooden and unpainted.

Any character who attempts to move the chair will immediately take a 50% hit point loss.

Attempting to pass the chair by walking within thirty feet of it will result in that character’s legs liquefying instantly.

Pointing at the chair will cause that character’s finger to explode with enough force to disintegrate most of the arm as well as causing damage to anyone standing close enough.

Saying the word “chair” will result in the character’s lower jaw transforming into a gate to Hell and sucking his head into the fiery abyss followed by a 25% per ten minutes that a small demon will crawl forth through the newly created Hell-gate.

Turning one’s back on the chair will immediately summon fifteen feet of barbed wired into that character’s lower intestines.

Backing away from the chair will cause the ground below that character to turn into a gelatinous cube.

Any character who attacks the chair in any manner will instantly turn into pure sound. The force of the sound wave will explode the eardrums of anyone within two hundred feet.

Looking at the chair will give you the stomach flu.

Sitting in the chair will transform the chair itself into a black hole that will suck in the characters, the landscape, the planet, light and time and squish it all into a quantum singularity.

The Chair of “Adventure” has multidimensional capabilities. For instance…

Any player in your game that says the phrase “saving throw” must give the DM three of his favourite dice.

Any player that raises one or more eyebrows during the encounter with the chair will owe the DM five dollars per eyebrow. Double this amount if the player’s mouth is open at this time.

If a player has been stacking dice at any time during that game session, he must give the DM seven cents. If he does not have seven cents on him, he must never play original Monopoly ever again. He may only play variants such as Dog-opoly or MileyCyris-opoly, etc.

Any player who has ever rolled a die only to have it bounce off the table and onto the floor now belongs to the DM as his property. Forever.

Anyone who named their character with a play on words such as “Cill E. Bugger” must rip up that character. If said player has ever come to a game and forgotten to bring that character, they must then eat the ripped up character.

Any player who has ever gotten Doritos cheese dust on any game figure must legally change their name to “Cill E. Bugger”.

Any player who has ever placed dice on the gaming area to represent their character when everyone else is using carefully selected and painted figures must go to the nearest tattoo parlour and ask for a tattoo that says “All tattoo artists are morons, especially this asshat tattooing me now“.

The DM now and forever has prima nocta rights over all of the players.

I hope you all enjoy the Chair of “Adventure”.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Fox And Dies Sneak Peek

Check out the new sneak peek under the vote button (down and to the right).

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Twitter vs My Birthday

Firstly, thanks to the many thousands of people who did the survey. Blind Ferret has told me that they have all the information they need. Secondly, thanks again to all of those who’ve been donating for Tempts Fate! If you haven’t received a ‘thank-you’ email from myself or Danielle yet, you will soon. Thirdly, great job on that zombie door!

And finally, I’m offering a bribe… er… I mean contest to gain more Twitter followers and further spread the word of Goblins. Here’s the deal…

If I get at least 5,000 Twitter followers by September 29th (my birthday), I’ll randomly select five people from my list of Twitter followers and send them each a signed Goblins book.

If I get at least 10,000 Twitter followers by September 29th, I’ll randomly select ten people and send them each a signed book. Also, each book will have some original panel artwork tucked into it. I’ll select some good panels too, I won’t send people a picture that just contains Minmax’s foot or something.

If I get 15,000 Twitter followers by September 29th, I’ll randomly select fifteen people and send them each a signed book with original artwork tucked inside.

If we get enough followers, you end up being a winner and there’s a particular panel you’re hoping for, well… we’ll talk. Remember 5,000 followers = books with no original artwork in them.

This is a link to my Twitter.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Homework For You

Goblins readers, you have homework.

Blind Ferret is interested in finding out what sorts of people read this comic and so they’ve given me this short survey to pass onto you folks. By filling out the survey, you’ll be helping us out a great deal. You’d also be making this site better for yourselves, because knowing exactly what sorts of people read this comic means the ads that appear on the site will be geared towards your specific interests. Personally, I’d rather see an ad for a new D&D book than for teeth whitener.

Unlike regular homework, you don’t actually have to do this, but it’s very short (seriously, it’s thirteen ‘check this box’ questions) and I’d be very grateful.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Two Thirds Of A Page?!

Yeah, with Tempts Fate looming over me, I have to find a corner to cut somewhere to get TF posted. Tuesday’s update will be the rest of this page and Tempts Fate’s third door should be up before then.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Sneak Peek

There’s a new sneak peek under the vote button (down and to the right). And don’t forget that updates are now every Tuesday and Friday!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Site & Sneak Peek

Firstly, click on the vote button (look right, then down a bit) to see the next panel coming up. I urge you to do this, because this week’s update really needs to end with all of you seeing that next panel. Go do it now, then come back.

Okay, now that that’s done, let’s take about some changes…

We’re no longer with Keenspot. Well, I guess that’s obvious, but I felt that it should be said to induce closure. There was no dramatic battle between Keenspot and Goblins involved in the break-up. I think that Keenspot will do some cool things in the future and I wish them well. It was just time for us to move on.

Along with the new host and new site, we’re trying a new schedule. For a little while, we’re going to try one page per update, two updates per week. So look for new comics every Tuesday at noon and Friday at noon (Pacific Time, GMT -8). Please note the word “try”.

The Fan Art section is finally updated as well. If you’ve submitted fan art and you don’t see it on the page, please resend it and I’ll have it up there in no time. More menu options are coming soon, we’re still just getting set up.

Tempts Fate (door three) will be up as soon as I can manage. This door took a long time to redesign and is taking even longer to draw. Plus, there’s a Tempts Fate comic page that goes with it. Time consuming stuff. It’s a hard one though and Danielle is more than a little nervous for Tempts.

Finally, I’ve noticed that the ads over here on planet Ferret are pretty damn cool. Feel free to check out any of the advertised games, etc. that catch your interest.

Finally (yep, I used “finally” twice. Take that, logic), thanks to the Blind Ferret guys for putting up with my high maintenance questions and nagging. You’ve been great!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


No ConnectiCon For Us

(Warning: This was typed by a very sleep deprived man)

Last month, the court case that removed my ability to get a passport came to an end. I assumed that at that point, I was allowed to do all the things that had been legally kept from me. Drive a car, use my bank account, get a passport, etc.

In June, Danielle and I took a ferry (I live far away from everything and must take a ferry into the city for many things) to the passport office to order passports at $90 each so we could go to ConnectiCon. Just to be sure, we paid the extra $30 each to get the “express” treatment so we’d be sure to have them in time for the convention. We were assured that if there were any problems, they’d call us. If we received no phone calls, we could pick up the passports on the very day that we were scheduled to catch a plane into the USA. Talk about cutting it close!

For two weeks, I jumped every time the phone rang, hoping that it wasn’t the passport office. After all, our plane tickets came to $1,500 and were non-refundable. The day before we were meant to leave for the convention, we received a letter from the passport office, telling me that my passport application had been denied because there was a “flag” on my name. The letter was sent the date after we applied for the passports.

I quickly called up the FMEP (who were my old “friends” from the court case who were supposed to remove the flag on my name) and asked what was up. The man I spoke to told me that it was all cleared up weeks ago and perhaps the files at the passport office were just slow to update.

Danielle and I woke up at 4:15am the next day in order to catch the first ferry into the city and be at the passport office as soon as they opened. We brought with us, all our ConnectiCon luggage just in case there was something that could be done and we could dart off to the airport with passports in hand. Once at the office, we waited in line to get a number, then waited for that number to be called at which point we spoke with Gordon, a passport office employee.

After hearing about our situation, he looked me up and discovered that the evil flag was still on my name! He said that as long as that flag was there, he cannot issue me a passport. And even if he could, it’s not likely that it could be ready the same day, but if we wanted to contact the FMEP and “light a fire under their butts” as Gordon put it, we could then pay the $150 ’24 hour urgent passport application fee’ and try our luck.

“But I’ve already paid. I paid $120.” I said.

“That was your initial application fee and that application was shut down as soon as we saw the flag on your name. That fee is unfortunately non-refundable.” Danielle and I looked at each other, knowing that although we had about $160 on us, we needed that money for luggage fees, food, taxis, etc.

I decided to call FMEP from a payphone in the hallway and see if I could light that fire under their butts. I was put on hold, so I waited. I waited at that payphone for half an hour before an FMEP rep named Laura answered. After explaining my situation Laura assured me that the flag should be gone by now. I asked if someone representing the FMEP could call the passport office and tell them that. She said “we don’t have the power to do that, only the Department of Justice can do that”. I got the D of J’s number and called them. I was put on hold and so I waited. I waited at that payphone for half an hour. Then I waited for another half an hour. I hung up and decided to pester Gordon again.

I went back into the passport office (where Danielle had made herself at home, crocheting next to a pile of our luggage), waited in line to get a number, then waited for that number to be called, at which point I was talking to my old friend Gordon who was telling me once more that he didn’t have the power to bypass that flag on my name.

I returned to the now familiar payphone and decided to call the mysterious Department of Justice again. This time, I was determined to stay on hold for as long as it took. It took about an hour.

My heart leaped as a man answered. “Department of Justice, before we begin, may I have your social insurance number please?” (For you Americans, a social insurance number is similar to a social security number).

“495…” I began.

“875 234?” Said the man on the phone. That’s right, he finished my SIN number for me (No, I didn’t just type my real SIN Number online, but the real one was said over the phone).

“Um… yeah, how did you..?”

“Hello Mr. Hunt” I was completely confused at this point. I couldn’t understand how he knew who I was.

“I literally just got off the phone with Laura from the FMEP who called me to explain your situation. I can help you. I contacted the security department and as soon as they fax me the information of your file, I can manually remove the flag on your name.”

“Wow, that’s great!” I said.

“Yes, you’re very lucky that I was in the office. I can have this cleared up by tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow? Oh, well I need to be on a plane tonight. Is there any way that was can fix this now?”

“Unfortunately Mr. Hunt, I can’t correct the issue until I get that fax and they won’t be able to contact me until tomorrow.”

“Oh.” I replied “Well is there any way that you could…”

“Hang on Mr. Hunt, the fax is here.”

“What?”

“It’s here. It just arrived.” And five minutes after that comment, this amazing God of a man had removed the flag from my name. He even said “On behave of the Department of Justice, I declare that you are free to obtain a passport without any hindrance.”

I rushed back into the office, waited in line to get a number, then waited… well, you know the drill. We gave Gordon our $150 and a few hours later, Danielle and I both had our passports. An awkward phone call to Danielle’s amazing parents landed us a $200 loan from them, which would cover the other expenses of our trip.

We bused to the airport, checked in our luggage for $50 and waited until just after midnight to catch the first plane of our trip.

We landed in Minneapolis and were all guided to US customs. Something that we were told we’d have to do before we could catch our next flight into NYC. Danielle and I were ready to pay some kind of duty tax on our items, but we’d done some research and discovered that there was no tariff on books.

An officer pulled us aside and asked us all sorts of questions. I explained about the convention and how Danielle and I were to be guests of honour.

“Where are your work visas?” He asked us.

“What? Wait, we need work visas to attend a convention?” I felt that ‘passport office’ stress from the day before returning to me.

The officer explained to us that by trying to enter the USA to sell even one book without a work visa, we were stealing work from Americans and breaking the law.

I told him that I’d be willing to ditch all my merchandise and just go to enjoy the convention and he said “no”. He said that since I already told him that I was planning to sell some books, I could not enter the USA at this point no matter what I said or did.

He asked us if we’d ever sold any books at American conventions before. Not wanting to make things worse by lying, I told him that we’d attended GenCon in 2007. He told us outright that we were not going to be allowed into the United States and mentioned possible jail time.

“Have a seat and wait right there.” He said.

After my court battle, I was now getting used to being told that I might be going to prison. For a guy who doesn’t even know how to roll a joint, I sure hear the phrase “possible jail time” a whole lot. This time was different than the court situation though. Having Danielle lumped into that possibility with me was a special kind of fear. As I sat in my plastic chair looking up at the staggering number of American flags that surrounded me (which now looked angry somehow), I began rehearsing certain conversations in my mind…

“But officer, she didn’t even fill out the customs card, I did.”
“Officer, she’s not the author of the books, I am.”
“Honestly officer, I don’t even trust her to touch my merchandise. She has nothing to do with sales.”

After awhile, Danielle and I were separated and I was brought into an interrogation room. It was explained to me that Danielle was also being interrogated somewhere else so if we lie about anything, they’ll know about it and her and I could be facing five years in prison. I silently hoped that neither Danielle or I accidentally got any facts wrong and end up with unmatching answers.

I was questioned for maybe an hour by Officer C. (you think I’m crazy enough to post his name here?) who asked me about everything. Seriously, everything. When my Father met my Mother, how much money did I make at GenCon in 2007, even this one…

“So why are you a guest of honour at this, ConnectiCon?”

“Uh, well… I’m an author. I guess… I suppose I have a large amount of fans? I mean… I suppose I’m an author of some notability in certain circles.” I’m a pretty modest guy, but we’re talking about jail, people. I’d have told him that I was the best singer in Canada, if that’s what he wanted to hear.

The interrogation was actually a lot like the ones you see in movies. A bunch of times he’d exit the room, leaving me sitting alone in my chair before returning five minutes later. I could vividly picture some cheesy Law & Order group of cops studying me from behind some two way mirror asking things like “what do ya think? Ya think he’s lying?”. There was no such mirror, but I could still imagine it.

After the interrogation, I was finger printed, photographed, then brought into another room where two officers thoroughly searched me. It was all very professional and I wasn’t “violated” or anything but seriously, that was as close to a homosexual experience as I’ve ever come, and I’ve had a prostate exam before.

Eventually, Danielle and I were brought into the same room and escorted by Officer C. to a plane that would take us back to Canada. We were not allowed to have our passports returned to us until after the plane landed in Canada.

Despite all of these events, I want to make it clear that the officers Danielle and I dealt with were very professional. No one tazed us or was unnecessarily rude. They were all just very professional and unwavering in their duties. In fact, Danielle and I were both told separately that we were much more co-operative and truthful than what the officers were used to.

So now we’re back home safely. I’m so very sorry to those of you who travelled a long distance and paid money that you otherwise might not have to get to ConnectiCon to see us. I also want to apologise to ConnectiCon who paid for a hotel room for Danielle and I that will now not be used.

Given that this whole nightmare has cost us over $2000 and made us no profits, I’ll be launching a Tempts Fate this week in hopes of putting a dent in this brand new debt of ours. The riddle door in the last Tempts Fate was very popular, so I’ll be expanding on that idea. Hopefully it’ll be fun for everyone. My stance on Tempts Fate donations is usually “just reading the comic is support enough“, but this time it’ll be a little bit more of the “please help us” variety.

Also, the last three days, being a roller coaster of stress and intense negative emotions has shown me something pretty cool. Despite the tears, the fear and the worrying, Danielle and I never once snapped at each other or turned on each other in any way. The entire time, we were nothing but supportive, loving and close. In fact, the worst part of the whole ordeal for both of us was when we were separated and not allowed to know where the other was. I now know that no matter what happens, there’s no situation that can cause us to turn on each other.

During the interrogation, I answered as many questions as I could with a simple “yes” or “no”. I didn’t want to make matters worse by adding any extra details and tripping myself up. I kept this minimalistic answering for as many questions as I could except one. In an environment where an untrue answer would get me thrown in jail, when asked “Is Danielle Stephens your wife?”.

I answered “She will be.”

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Goblins Desktop/ConnectiCon/Thank You

I’m happy to announce the new, interactive Goblins desktop theme. Over time, new features, content and artwork will be automatically added to it. It’s free to download, and having it on your desktop actually makes us money by including Bing as the default search engine. So feel free to try it out.

Also, I want to strongly thank everyone who has emailed me with words of encouragement concerning my recent court case situation. The amount of emails that I received (and am still receiving) is more than I have ever gotten about any one subject. I’m now about halfway through reading them all. I especially love the stories you’ve been sending about your own experiences. Those emails are very kind, supportive and mean more to me than you may realise. Thank you so very much.

Finally, next week’s update will be up on Wednesday instead of the usual Tuesday, since Danielle and I won’t be getting back from ConnectiCon until Tuesday afternoon. If you’re going to be at the Con, stop by table #31 in the Artist’s Colony and say hello!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


My Court Case

(The following blog entry gets pretty deep and talks about my personal life, it has nothing to do with the comic. Some of you may prefer to skip this one.)

For years now, I’ve been dealing with a very stressful situation that started off as a private matter, but over time began to leak outward into the public and cause Goblins readers to raise an eyebrow and say “what the heck is going on with Thunt?“. Well, since the whole ordeal has now come to an end, I can finally explain what’s been causing me so much trouble.

I have two sons from a previous relationship. Up until July of 2006, both boys lived with my ex, who was having some difficulties. To give you an idea of the sorts of difficulties I mean, let me tell you about… the eggs.

Many years ago, I showed up at the ex’s apartment one Friday afternoon for my much anticipated Father-time weekend pick-up. While there, I’d noticed that a carton of eggs had been dropped onto the kitchen floor and made a splattered mess. When I arrived at the apartment a couple days later for the Sunday evening child drop-off, I was amazed to see that the eggs were still splattered all over the floor, untouched. Now as much as it embarrasses me to say this, I was afraid of my ex. I was like a whipped dog who shrank downward every time I was snapped at or yelled at by her, which was pretty often. So when I asked her if she was aware of the egg mess, she growled “yes“. I inwardly cowered and didn’t press the matter. The following Friday when I arrived for that weekend’s Daddy time, I was amazed to find that the eggs were still all over the kitchen floor. When I asked about it, I was angrily told “you have to wait for the eggs to harden before you can clean them up, Tarol“. A better man and maybe even a better Father would have argued about the health concerns or maybe even gone in and cleaned it up. But like I said, I was terrified of this girl to a humiliating degree and so I did nothing.

There are many more stories like the egg tale, but I’ll fast forward to the time that I tried to pick up my boys only to be told by my ex that she’d dropped them off at a home for abandoned children four days earlier.

What?! Why did you do that?! If you’re having problems, why didn’t you call me?!” I asked in a panic.

Because I’m fucked up, okay?!” This is the statement that I’ve come to remember her by. Every time I have to see her or deal with her in any way, I can almost literally hear her shrieking these words at me. You’d think that after so many years, this phenomenon would start to get funny, but so far it’s just disturbing.

I quickly asked her where this foster care place was, but she refused to tell me. I pounced onto my phone and started frantically calling dozens of places asking all sorts of questions. It’s hard to do detective work when you’re sobbing.

I eventually found my kids and gained visitation rights from the foster care home. It was at this time that I sued for custody. For months, I made court appearances and did paper work on the matter. This was and hopefully will remain the scariest, most stressful time of my life. If you’ve never been involved in a custody battle, it’s like playing blackjack, except instead of placing a bunch of chips on the table, you place your kids up there and tell them that everything is going to be okay. By the way, this custody battle is not the court case that I just won. That comes later.

I remember standing beside my ex in front of a judge and watching her casually explain to him how she had been telling the kids all about what an ass their Father was. I remember feeling a mixture of emotions ranging from “Yes! This will surely help my case!” and “My kids get told that I’m an ass?

I remember the judge saying “You really shouldn’t be putting down the Father to the children like that“.

She shrugged her shoulders and replied “If he’s acting like an ass, I’m going to tell my kids that he’s an ass. I’m not going to lie to them“. I would have payed large amounts of money to know what the judge was writing down after she’d said that.

The custody battle went on for a long while and it was beginning to take its toll on my eldest son. Although I made every effort to keep the whole court battle secret to him, my ex was admittedly giving him all the terrifying details along with some tales about what a monster his Father was. My eldest has aspergers syndrome and although he’s growing out of it at a very healthy rate, it dominated much of his behaviour at that time of his life. The lengthy stress of the court battle was causing him to go through more stress than he’d ever gone through when he lived with my ex (out of respect for my son, I won’t go into the details of how he handled that stress). Once I realised that I was hurting my kids with the custody battle, I called it off.

Years later, my eldest son at eleven years old decided that he really wanted to come and live with Danielle and me and my ex agreed. My youngest son was also talking about wanting to move in with us but at age eight, my ex wouldn’t allow it, claiming that he wasn’t old enough to make those sorts of decisions yet.

Now up until the day my eldest son moved in with us, I’d been paying child support for both boys. When my son moved in with us, my ex agreed that I wouldn’t need to worry about child support since we each had one child to take care of. She explained that she’d contact the FMEP (Family Maintenance Enforcement Program) and tell them that I’m no longer required to pay child support.

A few months later, I received a letter from the FMEP that told me how late I was with a bunch of payments. It carefully listed the interest I’d built up and the punishments that were coming if I didn’t make immediate payments. I emailed my ex and told her about the letter. She seemed surprised and said not to worry about it as she’d contact them and clear it up.

Fast forward a bunch of months later to me standing in front of my mailbox holding yet another scary letter from my pals at the FMEP. My missed payments and interest was quickly building and there may have actually been an exclamation mark somewhere on that letter, which is a pretty big deal when it’s from a branch of the government.

I wrote another email to my ex. She told me how angry she was with the FMEP and how she’d spoken with them twice about this and been assured that the file had been closed. She promised to order them (this time in writing) to back off.

Some time later, I received another letter. This one made a growling noise when I opened it. I swear to the gods, it growled at me. Inside, it listed an overdue amount ranging in the thousands of dollars with rapidly growing interest and penalties. It also explained how my bank account was now frozen, I was not allowed to drive a car, leave the country or have a credit card. And if I didn’t pay soon, I would go to jail. It was around this time that I began to develop an OCD style phobia toward opening my mailbox.

I emailed my ex again. This time, her response was quite different. Allow me to directly quote part of that email…

“…you can try to make some kind of payment plan arrangement with them, perhaps they will go easy on you, but as there haven’t been any payments to date, I don’t see how they could.”

This was the only time in my life that I’d ever hyperventilated. I remember laying on the floor with Danielle trying to calm me down. It’s a good thing that I was never drafted into a war because apparently I am a big, squishy wuss.

This began the court battle. The one that as of yesterday, Danielle and I won. My job was to prove that my eldest son had been living with me since July 2006. My ex’s job was to prove that I was a lying, deadbeat dad who was just trying to get out of paying child support for both boys.

Now, you might be thinking “how hard can it be to prove that your own kid lives with you?“. Well, it’s actually harder than you’d think. You see, my son was too young to testify in court. Understandably, Canadian laws don’t allow for kids to get pulled into these messes. School records don’t prove much since he could technically be going to the school closer to my house and still be living with my ex. Add to that the fact that she was still claiming on her taxes that both children live with her and you’ve got yourself a full-blown court battle.

Some of the readers may remember my sudden removal of the Goblins Cafepress store a couple years ago. This raised some questions, especially since I cryptically explained that I’d taken it down due to a “legal issue“. Well, my ex had taken it upon herself report the store to the FMEP who quickly went after it. Not understanding the nature of my career, she also reported Danielle as my “employer“. The FMEP then pestered Danielle about her deadbeat employee, but obviously that had comical results. Although, I’m not sure if the FMEP found it as funny as we did.

Some of you may remember the time that Wil Wheaton mentioned me on his Twitter account, talking about how he thought my comic about him was really funny. Well it turns out that my ex was also a Wheaton fan. I can only assume that she saw his tweet about Goblins and wasn’t very happy about it. This is what she publicly tweeted to Wil…

“Thunt=deadbeat dad: owes child support, used your image to get more hits to his site, Predator for money grub copyright means 0 to him”

I was nauseous when I found that comment. My ex had progressed from attacking me for her own personal gain to attacking me for no reason other than to hurt me. Posting that comment didn’t make her any money or offer her material gains of any kind. It was purely to try and hurt me. I quoted her tweet in an email to her and posted one sentence…

You really are the worst human being I’ve ever met“.

She never responded to that email, but a few hours later, she tweeted this…

oh noes, my ex doesn’t like me. w/e shall I do? Hit a nerve or 3, mebbe? where did I put my puppy-kicking shoes?“.

The court appearances continued on, all the while with FMEP sending me letters that talked about prison time and giant, unpayable debts. Marrying Danielle has been out of the question, for fear of the FMEP going after her as well. If her bank account, drivers license and credit card were seized like mine was, there’d be no way for us to make any kind of a living.

As a white male, I’ve been fortunate enough to never have to deal with the ugliness of prejudice, but over the last few years, I’ve gotten a hint of what it must feel like. Many times I’ve walked up to a court registry or duty council to ask a few questions or get a file on my case. I repeatedly experienced watching the person that I was talking to go from smiling and friendly to noticeably cold after checking my file and learning why I was standing infront of them. No one likes a deadbeat dad.

However, yesterday at 1:45pm a judge, a lawyer representing the FMEP and a lawyer representing the Canadian government all agreed that I owed my ex no money. In one amazing moment, the massive debt was suddenly gone. Danielle and I hugged for a very long time. She cried, I didn’t. Okay, I cried later on. I’m still big, squishy wuss after all.

Now I know that some of you may feel that I shouldn’t be posting all of this info publicly. You may be right about that, but I have two definitive reasons for this blog post. Firstly, a lot of readers have known that I’ve been dealing with some kind of stressful court situation for a long time and I feel that they should know what’s going on. Secondly, I’ve been bullied and pushed around for years over this and that stress has changed me. I wasn’t kidding about that fear of checking my mailbox. It’s like I have a negative, emotional beach ball in my gut that has been deflated, but it’s still there. I feel a lot better than I did two days ago, but it’s not really gone, it’s just smaller and feels a lot less icky. I’m hoping that posting this will fix that. Sort of get it all out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, this “deadbeat dad” has to pack. I’m going camping with my kids tomorrow.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Desktop Wallpapers

There are two new wallpapers in the Extras section. There are two ways to get one. You can…

1. Donate $2.00 using the donation button in the Extras section or…

2. Not donate and just help yourself to the wallpapers anyways.

I like money because I can use it to buy food and stuff, but at the same time I have a hard time saying “only people who give me money can enjoy X“. I realise that this is the basic concept behind sales and that there’s nothing wrong with this idea but seriously, isn’t free stuff better? So if you don’t have the means to donate a couple bucks, that’s totally cool. Help yourself to a desktop if you like and just keep supporting me by reading the comic. However, if tossing a couple bucks my way is no big deal for you, you’d be making my life a whole lot easier.

EDIT: I just got an email explaining that Mac users have the icons on the right side of the monitor rather than the left. I had no idea! I’ll get to work on Mac friendly versions of the wallpapers soon.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Double Sneak Peek

There’s a two panel sneak peek under the vote button.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Dank Sneak Peak

Under the vote button (right over there) is a new sneak peek. It’s a panel from the upcoming comic with no characters in it. Just creepy dungeon goodness.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Yuan-ti Mating Habits

Heh heh.

I had a feeling that I might get some emails regarding the yuan-ti ‘mating ball’. Some readers (okay three so far, but that’s still “some”) would like to know why I made up such a weird and complicated quirk for the yuan-ti. The whole process was actually lifted from the mating habits of the common garter snake. Lots of dudes forming a tangled ball with one lady, two penises per dude… honestly, I didn’t make that up.

Now off to Google with you.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


We’ll Be At ConnectiCon!

That’s right, Danielle and I will be at ConnectiCon this July 9-11, so if you’re going to be in the area, stop by and say hello!

If you’d like to see us at con near you, then send them an email and suggest us as guests.


Sneak Peek Of Exasperation

Under the vote button is a new sneak peek of the next update.

Also, thank you to everyone who’s been buying Book Two! Well, thank you to the people who’ve bought Book One as well, but you guys have already been thanked, so let’s let the Book Two buyers have this moment, okay? There are still hardcover editions available, which give you a +9 against ogres.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Different Kind Of Sneak Peek

Today, we’re trying something a bit different. Under the vote button over there, is a picture of the newest Goblins desktop that I spent yesterday/this morning working on. It’ll be available along with a Tempts Fate desktop that I’ll be working on soon. I still owe you guys a picture of Tempts in his new, goblin armour.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Happy Sneak Peek (May 1st)

Under the vote button is a sneak peek of Kin NOT suffering for a change.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Sneak Peek (April 26)

There’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s update under the vote button. It’s a delicious part of this complete Goblins update.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


I Won A Trip To Cancun! (Not Really)

A couple of weeks (or so) ago, my phone rang. I picked it up to hear a recording of a very excited man congratulating me for winning a trip to Cancun! All I had to do was push 1 to claim my prize.

Now, of course I knew that this was a telemarketing deal and by pushing 1, I was inviting a salesperson to try their best to ram a pricey vacation package down my throat then reach up my ass and pull out a commission.

I had some fun with that guy by pretending to be a complete moron who was jumping up and down, convinced that I was going to Cancun for free. I made it as difficult as possible for the salesman to break the soul-shattering news to my dumb persona by telling him how I’d never won anything in my life and that this was “the best thing that has ever happened to me”. When the salesman explained that I hadn’t actually won anything, but their promotional deal was “so great it was almost like winning”, I made sure to not understand what he meant and prolong the awkwardness for as long as possible.

“Well yeah, but I don’t need that promotion though right? Because I won a trip to Cancun!”

“Well Sir, right now we’re offering…”

“Are you calling from Cancun? Are you there now? Did you win a contest too?!”

“Well, we’re offering to treat you like royalty for a week for one low price and…”

“I’ve been so sad lately and this just changes my life! I’m literally doing the Snoopy dance right now!” I wasn’t.

In the interest of believability, I eventually began to show signs of comprehension caked in bitter disappointment. Although the salesman seemed to believe my reactions were true, he really didn’t seem to give a crap that he’d stepped on my smiling face and crushed what I’d claimed to be the greatest moment in my life.

“So… so I didn’t win anything?”

“Well, our promotion is so good, it’s like winning.” He kept saying that. I’m pretty sure it was written on a piece of paper that was stuck to his cubicle wall with a hunting knife stabbed through it.

“So I… I lose?”

“No Sir, we’re ready to offer you $2,500 off of our amazing package right now. It’s a great deal and available for a very limited time.”

“Well that actually does sound like a great deal. Would I be able to purchase the package from you over the phone with my credit card?”

“Yes Sir, I can do that for you, no problem.”

“Would I be able to pay the full amount right away or do I have to pay in payments?”

“Oh no, a full payment is very easy to do. I can arrange that for you right away if you like.”

“Oh that’s great because I really want to buy this trip. You’ve definitely made a sale. Well… actually it’s like you’ve made a sale, but it’s really just me telling you to fuck off.”

That’s where I ended the call. Usually after I’ve had my fun with telemarketers (remember, it’s not a prank call if they call you) I tell them to put me in the ‘do not call’ list. Apparently, by law, they have to do this. However, I forgot to tell Mr. Cancun to put me on such a list which led to…

THUNT VS CANCUN PART II

Today I got another call from that happy recording, telling me that I’d won a trip to Cancun! … Again!

I sighed and pressed 1 to claim my prize. Soon I was talking to a lovely lady who asked how I was and began telling me about their amazing vacation deal.

“I won a trip to Cancun!” I interrupted with excitement.

“Actually no, I’m offering you a promotional deal worth $2,500…”

“Can I just have the cash?”

“What? No, it doesn’t work that way. For a limited time, you can…”

“This is the second time I won! I mean Jesus Christ, what are the odds, right?”

“You didn’t actually win anything.” This lady was a bit more truthful about the whole deal.

“I disagree, I won a trip to Cancun. That’s what the recording told me. Twice. So can I have both of my prizes converted to cash on one check or do I need to get two separate checks?”

At this point the lady seemed to have decided to play this call by the book. Maybe she thought she was being tested with a weird training call or something, but she refused to do anything other than read from her sales pitches that were no doubt tucked into the three-ring binder in front of her (by the way, I’ll bet $50 that there are a minimum of two hearts doodled somewhere on that binder). No matter how bizarre I got, she kept reading her pitches word for word. Sometimes talking right over me. Eventually I got bored and…

“Look, I’ll be honest with you. You’re company called me up and tried to reel me in with a flimsy lie about winning a contest. It’s pretty low.” I waited for her response but was met with only silence until…

“The weather in Cancun has been beautiful and so this is a better time than ever to…”

“Are seriously still trying to sell me?”

“Look, this is my job.”

“Well your job is lying to people, disappointing them, then using that to squeeze a sale out of them.”

Silence.

“Sir, since you’re still on the line I can only assume that you are interested in one of our vacation packages. Perhaps I can tell you about…”

At this point something glorious dawned on me and I swear to GOD that I actually heard angels singing above me as the sun suddenly shone a bit brighter through my window. I had reached telemarketing Nirvana.

“Wait a second,” I said “you… you’re not allowed to hang up on me are you.”

Silence.

“You can save $2,500 on…”

“You can’t hang up on me! You have to hard sell me until you either make a sale or I hang up!”

Silence.

“Sir, since you’re still on the line I can only assume that you are interested in one of our…”

“BAHAHAHAHA! This is awesome! What should I tell you about? Want me to describe my big toe to you? Because I may be interested in hearing about your Cancun package if you learn all about my big toe. You better not hang up on me because this vacation dealy is starting to sound pretty sweet.”

Silence.

“…interested in one of our vacation packages. Perhaps I can tell you about our amazing…”

“Have you ever wondered what would happen if you swished with liquid paper? I always wondered if it’d make a thin, white, rubbery cast of the inside of my mouth.”

“…perhaps I can tell you about our amazing package deal which includes…”

This sort of back and forth went on for over ten minutes until she eventually broke her company’s rule and hung up the phone. I will remember this telemarketing call as my Magnum Opus of received telemarketing calls. Also, I have a weird urge to plan a trip to Cancun.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Dragon Lung Sneak Peek

New sneak peek under the vote button (you know, the goblin with the shield over there).

Silly dwarf, that is yucky stuff and it is not for drinking.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek Under Twitter

In a whorish attempt to up the number of Twitter followers I have, I’m going to be posting most of my sneak peeks through my Twitter account. If you really hate Twitter, you can still see the links to the sneak peeks from this page in that little Twitter box over there.

Not counting act of God, I can actually guarantee an update tomorrow at noon (-8 GMT) since it’s already finished.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


3-D Sneak Peek

The sneak peek that’s under the vote button (to the lower right of this blog) is not actually in 3-D, but it’s close.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Finally Another Sneak Peek

Under the vote button, we see a sneak peek of the upcoming update, starring Minmax, Forgath and a gathering crowd.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Art Thieves, You Suck So Hard

All thieves suck.

The idea of taking something away from someone else really pisses me off. However, stealing something that someone else not only owns, but also worked hard to create sends me into a molten, poptartian frenzy (to me, Poptarts represent anger, just go with it).

Typing the phrase art thief doesn’t really describe these “artists” properly, so let’s call them, oh I don’t know… doucheparrots. Parrots copy others and douche is not only insulting, it’s fun to type in a rant.

A few days ago, the folks over at hottopic.com were caught selling a tshirt that had a barely altered version of this image which was drawn by Vera Brosgol (check out her very cool site for more of her work). Vera sent Hot Topic an email and in all fairness, they got back to her pretty fast and promised to take the shirt off of their site, which they did. We’ll never know for sure if Hot Topic knew that the image was stolen, but we certainly know that the doucheparrot who “drew” it knew. He (or she) is talentless, scum.

Okay, so everything was worked out. The shirt disappeared and Vera (who is obviously much more mature than I am) quietly moved onto doing what she does well, creating original art. End of the story, right? No.

Today, Hot Topic was caught again. This time they were selling buttons with art stolen directly from Meghan Murphy (whose very cool comic can be seen here). Now before we grab our pitchforks and torches, let’s remember that Hot Topic might legitimately have no idea that they’ve hired doucheparrots. Maybe they genuinely want to sell original merchandise and they’re victims of the doucheparrot people, who are dragging the good name of Hot Topic through the mud. If this is true, they had better take a close look at how they’re doing business and make some much needed changes. Maybe fire whoever is responsible and start printing “We’re sorry we were Pooheads to the real artists” tshirts.

And just because I’m really angry at these art thieves right now, I (or rather Mike Tyndall) present to you, Todd Goldman the King Doucheparrot. This guy deserves something angry and stinging to crawl up his pant leg. Also note that the doucheparrot in question not only stole artwork from dozens and dozens of artists, but he then threatened legal action against Mike Tyndall for making “defaming, derogatory and malicious statements” about him on that page. Now, even though I’m talking poorly about Todd Goldman here, I can’t be sued because Todd Goldman is a name I just made up.

It’s original, I swear.

I created that name and it’s my work.

Not stolen, totally a Thunt original.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Riddle Doors & Canadian Awards

I’ve been getting emails and requests on Twitter for me to explain just how the door solution worked. To see how the solution was found, check this out.

I think that it would have been much better if I’d set up the password to be something recognisable instead of a gibberish word. Some people got the word, but weren’t sure if it was correct because seriously, what is a leafoof?

In other news, I am nominated for an Aurora Award! In Canada, this is actually a big deal. You get a huge trophy and your very own TARDIS! Okay, maybe not a TARDIS. Here’s how the Auroras work…

The five artists who get the most nominations by Feb. 15th end up on “the ballot”. From there, a voting system starts in May at Keycon 27. So if you’re a Canadian citizen living in or outside of Canada or a permanent resident in Canada, then you can make me feel like a big shot by nominating me here in the catagory of Artistic Achievement – 2009.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go shower off the stench of vote-whoring.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Wil Wheaton + Thunt = Angry People

It’s weird how much flak I’ve gotten for Wil Wheaton’s mention of me. Everything from stand-offish sarcasm from a few emails, to others angrily using Twitter to contact both Wheaton and myself. What’s the big deal? I’m a fan of his, so I drew him into my comic and twittered about it. Yes, I twittered about how I wanted him to see it. I didn’t start a spam campaign or pass out his email address or anything. I twittered that I wanted the guy to see my work. Now before you start painting “Thunt was getting his readers to spam Wheaton” on a sign and waving it above your head, let’s take a moment to look at some important numbers.

-Wheaton has close to two million followers on Twitter.
-He Tweets dozens of times a day, often with inane/entertaining questions to his followers.
-I currently have a meager 1,450ish followers and when I ask them a question such as “can condensed milk go in tea” I get maybe 30-50 responses in the space of a couple hours.

So if (1,450 Twitter followers + inane question = 30 to 50 tweets) then (1,638,000 Twitter followers + inane question = somewhere around 49,000 tweets) I actually can’t imagine him getting 49,000 responses every time he asks a question on Twitter, but lets just say, considering how many times he tweets with fun questions or “look at a picture of the waffles I ate for breakfast“, that it’s a lot. Wil Wheaton is clearly not a man who minds getting Twitter traffic.

Does my mentioning on Twitter about how much I’d like Wheaton to look at my comic, get people to send him tweets? Yes. Does it flood him with spam? Of course not. The tweets he got about my comic from Goblins readers is nothing when compared to his usual daily traffic, which as I’ve mentioned, he encourages. Let’s also not forget that we’re talking about Twitter here. Twitter. It’s not his email or his website, it’s Twitter. The same social networking site that people use to show pics of their cat sleeping or their lucky D-twenty. This is the site that is primarily used to tell the world that your shoelace broke or that the guy in front of you at the bank has body odour. Twitter is simplistic, pseudo-intellectual tripe and I freaking love it. It’s the perfect place to say “hey geeky celebrity, check out my backwater, Canadian comic in which you appear cause you rock“.

One email that I received talked about how Wheaton only linked to me on Twitter to “shut me up“. However, Wil also copied a snip of my comic and posted it on his Tumblr account along with a comment about how funny he found it and how he liked the shirt I’d drawn him in. This doesn’t seem like the actions of a guy who just wants to shut me up or who feels like I’m flooding him with a tidal wave of spam.

Now that that’s said, let me take this moment to recommend his books. They’re pretty much mandatory reading for any geek and you can find them along with a huge amount of other brilliant and hilarious material over at his site. Along with my recommendation to buy his books, I’m aggressively asking all my readers to go over to his Twitter account and tell him how awesome he is. Tell him he’s intelligent, tell him he’s funny. Make him smile. In fact, I also want everyone to go over to Neil Patrick Harris’ Twitter account and compliment him for rocking our worlds. Then when you’re all done there, head to Girl Genius’ Twitter and thank the Foglios for making such great comics. Then onto Lar deSouza and Ryan Sohmer for their inspiring work. Wait a second… my call to spam is starting to look an awful lot like social networking. Hmmm…

You see, as much as I’d like to think that I have the kind of tspamnami powers that some angry folks claim I have, I’m just one more person having some fun on Twitter, and what some people call “encouragement to spam“, I call respecting someone I look up to by telling folks about him in my own way.

As always, thanks for reading and following me on Twitter.

~Thunt


Audio Ads

Audio ads, as you probably know, are those ads that spew out annoying sound while you’re trying to browse a site. It’s been brought to my attention by a few annoyed readers that Goblins sometimes shows an audio ad.

I hate audio ads. I hate them more than I hate brussel sprouts, and I hate brussel sprouts. Keenspot manages the ad rotation on my site and they hate audio ads too, that’s why they’ve blocked them from Goblins and their other sites. However, some audio ads are still getting through and somehow making their way onto my comic. I hate this more than I hate brussel sprouts with an earwax center, and I hate brussel sprouts with an earwax center. I’ve contacted the Keenspotian Gods about this and I’m going to do everything I can to stop this from ever happening again, because I hate this. I hate it more than I hate brussel sprouts with an earwax center dusted in powdered glass, and I hate brussel sprouts with an earwax center dusted in powdered glass. In the meantime, please bear with me.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt

PS – Brussel sprouts are yucky.


I Have The Power!

For the last day and a half, I’ve been without electricity. A wind storm knocked down a whole bunch of trees in my area, taking out power lines all over the place. Although this looked pretty cool, it stopped me dead as far as finishing the update that should have gone up on Monday.

Power lines and cable lines were all repaired and now I’m back in the realm of heated food and light!

In other news, one of the maple trees in our front yard fell over during the wind storm and did some minor damage to the front of our house. I’m going to miss that tree. 🙁

I’ll try and have the update up sometime on Tuesday night.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Goblins vs The Dentist

I don’t want you to think that Goblins has become stuck in a ‘one page a week’ schedule, because it hasn’t. Not permanently, anyways. If you haven’t already caught my complaining on Twitter, I had some yucky dental surgery done, which lead to some gross complications, which lead to me going back to the dentist today. It’s been a painful, whiny week. If you add Tempts Fate and the recently passed holidays in there, you get one page per week. Very soon though, I’ll be able to do more as well as finish cleaning up the site.

Also, Book Two is a hobbit’s hat-rack away from to shipping out! Hang in there, peoples!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Dentist! Oh Dear Gods, A Dentist!

On Tuesday morning, I have a dentist appointment to remove a wisdom tooth that is apparently right on a nerve. What is the difference between removing this tooth and removing a normal wisdom tooth? This will cost more, hurt more and take longer. I’m not sure exactly how this is going to go down, as soon as my dentist said “Okay, we’re going to separate your jaw from…” was when I started watching old cartoons in my head so i don’t know everything about the process. I do know that my dentist is against knocking his patients out, so I’ll be awake for this.

I’m not sure how much drawing I’ll be able to do tomorrow, but I know I won’t be broadcasting any of it. In the meantime…

Dear Dentist who is about to torture me:

Dantooine. They’re on Dantooine.
Shire! Baggins!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Pointy Sneak Peek

Under the vote button there is now a new sneak peek. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Christmas Schedule

I had hoped for there to be a Tempts Fate update today, but holidays with the family has been hectic and (I’m not going to lie) loads of fun. Since my two boys will be away with family for Christmas Day (sniff), we’ve celebrated Christmas with them today. Presents, turkey, trying to put together the new toys, crumpled wrapping paper covering the entire livingroom… we did it all!

On Christmas eve, Danielle and I will go stay with her family for three days, making drawing impossible during that time, so the next Goblins update will be Monday, January 4th and Tempts Fate will update on Wednesday, December 30th.

Have a great holiday season and I’ll see you next year and as always, thanks for reading!

~Thunt


Double Panel Sneak Peek

There’s a new sneak peek under the vote button. I’ve added text to the sneak peek that is not the actual text that will appear in the comic.

Also, I want to thank everyone who’s been donating to Tempts Fate. THANK YOU! The last couple months have been… well, you know when your bills and income decide to have a foot race and the bills start to win? Yeah, that. I’ve gotten a couple emails lately asking what the minimum donation is and the answer is $1 (just because Paypal charges a bit for each donation so less than that starts to equal zero). If every Goblins reader donated a dollar, I could buy a house! Well, a small house, but you get the idea.

For the desktop picture that Tempts will win for everyone, should he survive, send me an email letting me know what you’d like it to be. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


I’m A Dummy

I um… well… I forgot to put the donation button up. It’s there now though, at the top-left corner of the Tempts Fate comic.

I seem to have critically failed my intelligence check. Feel free to mock me.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Tempts Fate

Tempts Fate started as a fun way to create a donation meter. I drew a few pictures of a goblin either surviving or dying in various traps depending on how donations went. As the concept grew and Tempts became almost a comic of his own, I tried to find new ways for the whole thing to be original and fun. I started coming up with ways for readers to help Tempts along without ever donating a penny.

This all came to a screeching halt however, with my idea for a visual, play-by-post Tempts Fate game. I wrote a dungeon crawl, filled it with rooms, traps and monsters and set up a system in which readers could adventure through the crawl, gather magical gear and help Tempts fight an entire army. I drew goblin body types, hair styles, jewelry and hundreds of various weapons and armour bits each sized in a way so they could all be put together by myself in a sort of virtual paper-doll manner. My plan was to have readers email me their actions, so I could email them the game’s reactions and update the picture of their character on the site. When the game, which was to be Tempts Fate’s ninth adventure, launched last year, I was amazed to find that in under 48 hours, I had over a thousand character submissions with no sign of the emails slowing down. Accepting defeat, I realised that I could never handle that many characters and so I reluctantly took the Tempts Fate 9 down.

Since then, I have tried to find a cheap way to turn the game into an online automated version to allow everyone to play without me needing to manually handle each move. Those of you who have been waiting know that it hasn’t been happening. One person in particular has been great with working on programming the game but as both of us have full time jobs that must take priority, it’s been a very uphill battle.

I miss Tempts Fate and judging by the emails I’ve been getting asking when he’s coming back, so do some of you. So for now, I must reluctantly shelf the game idea and let poor Tempts get back to doing what he does best, tempting fate. Maybe one day the game will happen in some form. I’ve still got a mountain of artwork for this project just sitting here.

When Tempts Fate 9 launched and crashed all those months ago, I had gotten some donations from readers. Since it would be unfair for those donations to go uncounted, I’ve transferred that money onto this Tempts adventure, giving us a bit of a head start.

Also, in the interest in doing new, interactive things with Tempts, I’ve added The Door to this adventure. It’s a way for people to take part in helping Tempts without donating any money. I hope you guys like it.

Note: The site is still under construction, so some pages are pretty messed up. That’s being worked on.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Intelligence

I have this theory about intelligence. It’s an over-simplified theory but here it is…

There are three basic levels of intelligence. The first level consists of people who are not smart enough to know anything about the complexities of the universe and the deep suffering humanity has endured since its beginning. These people, unaware of the dark or disappointing aspects of existence, take blissful pleasure in small, insignificant things like a sunny day or a blueberry waffle. They spend their days with dumb looking grins on their faces, talking about unimportant, simple pleasures.

The second level of intelligence is made up of people who are smart enough to have a notable understanding of those complexities of the universe and that deep suffering that humanity has endured. With their grasp on the bleakness of existence, they see no emotion in a sunny day, knowing full well that emotions are nothing more than chemical reactions in our brains, triggered by our environment to help dictate our actions in ways that might benefit our species. They fail to see the point in that blueberry waffle, knowing that at any given time, uncounted people around the world are dying of hunger caused by corruption.

People within the third level of intelligence are also aware of these detailed and dreary points of our world. They understand the moral failure that so much of our planet endures. They know about the distant, permanently undiscovered details of the universe that are so vast and numerous, they masquerade as a great, black emptiness to our simple, mortal minds. Yet, these people who are completely aware of the dark or disappointing aspects of existence, have the extensive intelligence that is needed to take blissful pleasure in small, insignificant things like a sunny day or a blueberry waffle. They spend their days with dumb looking grins on their faces, talking about unimportant, simple pleasures.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Site Layout

Working on the new site look now, expect bunches of things to not work properly for the time being.

Thanks for your patience.

~Thunt


GeeksOn

The good folks over at GeeksOn have interviewed George R.R. Martin, Gina Torres (Zoe from Firefly) and Joss Whedon, but in their latest episode, they’re stuck with me.

Slow day.

Check it out.

~Thunt


Remembrance Day

Thank you to the heroes who have worked, fought and sacrificed for Canada and the rest of the world.

~Thunt


New Site Layout

The new sit layout is still being worked on and it should be up in the next day or two.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Twitter Thursday Respondogasm

For all of Thursday, I’m once again doing a 100% guaranteed responce to everyone and anyone who tweets at me.

Here is my Twitter account.

Also, if you haven’t gotten an email from me regarding your donation yet, fear not. There are still quite a few more “GIMME LOOT” emails for me to respond to. And thank you SO much to everyone who’s been donating! I hope you like the loot.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Between Book Three & Book Four

In order to give some much needed attention to long overdue responsibilities like recreating/updating this “mostly functional” website, finally getting the visual-play-by-post Tempts Fate 9 game up and running and building up as much of a buffer as I can, Goblins Book Four will begin here on Monday, November 9th. But fear not, on every Monday between now and November 9th, I’ll be posting a bunch of my concept sketches of scenes from Book Four, some with their text included, so you can have an idea of what’s coming. I won’t show anything spoilery, just think of the sketches as teaser trailers.

The recreated Goblins site will look cooler and contain a bunch of new features like an RSS link, a cosplay photo section (so email me pics of you in your Goblins costumes!), D&D tools and more. I hope you like it.

So to sum up, here’s the schedule…

Monday, October 26th ~ Book Four concept sketches
Monday, November 2nd ~ more Book Four concept sketches
Monday, Novemeber 9th ~ Goblins Book Four launches!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Dammit

Well… Crumbs & Pennies. 🙁

I’ve been working my butt of on this last update, but it’s taking a very long time. Too much detail. Anyways, I’ll have it live as soon as it’s finished. For now, I’m crawling into bed.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Final Sneak Peek Of Book Three

This next update is the last update of Book Three and the last update of the Brassmoon story arc. Under the vote button is a sneak peek of a panel from that update.

And to everyone who has been pre-ordering Book Two, I offer my loudest, most obnoxious thanks ever! I really appreciate the interest that you’re showing in the Book. Since this is Keenspot’s first experience with publishing Goblins material, they’re looking at how much interest there is and using that as a gauge to see how quickly they can invest in things like Goblins plushies, animation, etc. Your pre-orders make these fun things happen faster. As a thank you, here’s what I’ll do…

When Book Four starts updating, I’m going to be giving this site a much needed overhaul. Things like an updated fan art page (thanks to the artists for their patience), RSS link, D&D tools etc will be added. I was going to save a map of the Goblins landscape as a bonus in my next PDF downloadable book, but if the Book Two pre-orders pass 600 (this includes orders of both the softcover & hardcover or the combo pack), I’ll instead add it as a permanent part of the revamped site for free.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Book Two & Twitter

Well, after a delay at the printers, Goblins Book Two pre-orders have finally begun. Hooray! To anyone who pre-orders a copy, Thank you SO much for your support! The more we impress Keenspot with pre-orders, the faster they’ll start making other fun stuff like Goblins plushies!

Last Thursday, I did 24 hours of answering every, single Twitter message I received. The whole thing was very fun and due to Twitter’s ability to create quick responses, didn’t taken much time off my hands at all. So I’ve decided that every Thursday will be Respond-to-all-Twitters-Thursday. I may still respond on other days, but not to everything. I’m not ignoring you, I’m just not always going to be looking at my Twitter account.

So this Thursday, hit me with questions, comments or goofy stuff. You are 100% guaranteed a response. If you don’t already know, this is my Twitter account.

Also, I’m hoping to find the ending to Book Three into next week’s update.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Twitter Craziness

For 24 hours (which started this morning at 3am) I’m responding to absolutely every tweet I receive. If you’d like to join in, my twitter account is right here.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Update Status & Sneak Peek

I’m about to leave for VCON and since I won’t be back until Monday, the update is going to be late this week.

Also, there is a new sneak peek of the upcoming update under the vote button (it’s nice to be drawing forests again).

This story arc is alllllllmost at an end, at which point the comic will return to the “rotate through different story arcs” pattern that it used to follow. The end of this story arc will also mark the end of Book Three. Book Four will begin by continuing the adventures of Dies Horribly and his party.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


VCON

This weekend I’ll be at VCON. I’ll be DMing some D&D and hanging out with folks much bigger than me, both in size and career (Lar looks like he could crush me with one hand). If you’re in the area, come hang out with me, the guys who bring you LFG & LICD or Miles Teves, the very man who designed Iron Man’s armour for the movie, the undead pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean and Tim Curry’s rockin outfit for the movie Legend (and a scwillion other cool things).

Unfortunately, an annoying delay at the printers has pushed back the release date of Goblins: Book Two, so I won’t be selling it at the con. However, they are making soft cover and hard cover versions of the book, which should be pretty cool.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Technical Problems

As some of you already know, the forum is down. It won’t be back up until October 1st when the bandwidth resets.

Also, Keenspot is having its own tech issue and as a result I can’t update the comic. I’ve been poking at the tech folks and I hope to get some help with this as soon as possible.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Thunt’s birthday

September 29th is Thunt’s birthday. He’ll be 36.

Also, my correct email is dragonturtle@dccnet.com my email link on the site is wrong. Thunt’s email link is correct though.

Signed, Danielle


Ears And Scrole Sneak Peek

This week’s sneak peek is now under the vote button.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Fake Text Fun

A new sneak peek is now under the vote button to the right of this blog. Just for the hell of it, I added fake text to the sneak peek panel.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sept 8th Update

I’m hoping the update will be ready by Tuesday night.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peak (Sept 3)

There is now a characterless sneak peek of the upcoming update under the vote button to the right of this blog. Characterless… that’s a word, right?

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Yeah, It’s A Short Update

This week, Danielle and I went camping for our 7th anniversary. This cost me two days worth of work and was… so worth it.

Anyways, that next page (which sort of explains the wagon) didn’t end up being a part of this update.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Double Panel Sneak Peek

There is now a sneak peek of two panels from the upcoming update, under the vote button to the right of this blog.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek Today

New sneak peek under the vote button.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Worldcon Trip Cancelled

Originally, Danielle and I were going to travel to Montreal to attend Worldcon. Unfortunately, a delay at the printers has made it impossible for us to get Goblins-Book Two in time for the con. Without that book to sell, our profits would be lessened to the point where the trip is no longer financially justified. So we have been forced to cancel the trip.

I’ll still be holding the fan comic contest sometime soon. Details will show up here at some point.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Sneak Peek Arrival

There’s a new sneak peek under the vote button to the right there.

Thanks everyone who’s voted Goblins up to the #1 spot! Look at us go!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Ustream

Those of you who like to pop into the live feed of me drawing, ranting and sometimes playing with my action figures will have noticed that I haven’t been there in days. That’s because the site that hosts the live feed, Justin.tv, has made some technical changes which have caused my connection with their broadcaster to be choppy and unpredictable. The admins there (okay, one admin) has been very helpful in trying to find the problem but at this point he’s basically shrugging his shoulders and giving up. Asking Justin.tv for further help at this point is kind of like calling the police and asking them you help you find your car keys. It’s just not going to happen.

Now before you helpful readers start emailing me with great advice on how to fix the problem, let me say that this problem has been confirmed to be on Justin.tv’s end and there is nothing that I can do. But thanks anyways to you tech savy folks who were halfway to clicking on my email link to help.

So in an attempt to move on, I looked into Ustream, another live broadcasting site. That’s when I noticed this little gem tucked into their terms of service…

(i) License Grant. Ustream.tv does not claim ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by uploading, streaming, submitting, emailing, posting, publishing or otherwise transmitting any User Submission to Ustream.tv or on the Site, you hereby grant Ustream.tv a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works based on, perform, display, publish, distribute, transmit, broadcast and otherwise exploit such User Submissions in any form, medium or technology now known or later developed, including without limitation on the Site and third party websites. You represent and warrant that you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses to Ustream.tv. Ustream.tv will own all right, title and interest in and to all derivative works and compilations of User Submissions that are created by Ustream.tv, including all worldwide intellectual property rights therein. You agree to execute and deliver such documents and provide all assistance reasonably requested by Ustream.tv to give to Ustream.tv the full benefit of the rights granted to Ustream.tv by you.

Now… am I wrong in thinking that they’re legally dressing me up in a skimpy french maid’s outfit and having their kinky way with me? That they could take an image of say, Big Ears that I was drawing on their feed and put him in a book, movie or whatever they feel like making and there’d be nothing that I could do? I’m no lawyer, but it sure looks that way. I’ve emailed MINEstream… er… I mean Ustream today with this question, so we’ll see what they say.

I’ll have a new sneak peak up tonight.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Two Thirds Of A Page

In an attempt to get back onto my “around Monday, sometimes Tuesday and on rare occasions, Sunday” schedule, I’m posting this small update. Next week’s update will contain the last third of this page and at least one other page.

(The crowded panels always take so much longer than panels containing one or two characters.)

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Crowded Sneak Peek

There is a new peek of the next update under the vote button to the right of this blog. Clicking on it not only lets you see the unfinished panel, it pushes Goblins up the top ten list over at TopWebComics. This promotes the comic and lets more people find it. Also, there are a ton of great webcomics in that list, I recommend taking a look at them and if you find something else in there that you like, please support them by voting, emailing them praise (we comic authors kinda like that) or even buying a t-shirt or something. Of course, simply returning to their site to read the comic is a great way to support them too!

On another note, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has been emailing me or posting in the forums with kind words about the comic. I can’t respond to everyone and frankly, I gave up trying to answer every email a long time ago, but I read absolutely all of them and every single “thank you for the comic” email that I get makes me smile and feel very good about entertaining people. So to all of you, thank you.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Drooling Sneak Peek

There is a new sneak peek picture under the vote button to the right of this blog. It contains an excessive amount of ogre drool.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Darn

Okay, clearly I missed that Tuesday mark that I was hoping for. Things are going as fast as they can and the update will be here ASAP.

Sorry folks.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to Canadians and non-Canadians alike!

This weekend I’ll be camping with family and friends. We’ll be leaving Friday morning and coming back sometime on Monday. Because of this, it’s safe to expect a one page update on Tuesday (July 7th) and then another one page update the following Monday (July 13th). After that, I should be back to multiple pages.

In August, Danielle and I will be going to Worldcon in Montreal and that will unfortunately mean skipping a week in the undates. I’m hoping to do some sort of fan-comic contest for that week though. I’ll post about that soon once Danielle and I work out all the details. We’ll have a table in the dealers room, but it’s still unknown whether Book Two will be back from the printers by then (fingers crossed). I will however, be handing out original sketches to anyone I see wearing a Goblins T-shirt or a Goblins costume. If I were to see one of the two people who have Goblins tattoos, you can have one of my thumbs.

Also, I’ve been getting a bunch of emails in the last few weeks from people asking permission to use art from the comic for forum avatars, etc. My rule is, if you’re not making money from my art or claiming that you drew it, then go for it! If you want to use something from the comic on your website, etc. then just mention somewhere where you got it. Just don’t, you know… post the whole comic on your site.

Note: This blog post is not a legal contract and can’t be used against me in court ten years from now if someone is deliberately trying to rip me off. 🙂

And now, I’m off to draw, live on camera.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New, Pointy Sneak Peek

Under the vote button, there’s a new sneak peek of the upcoming update.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


A Look Behind The DM’s Screen

First off, thank you to every one of you who has emailed me or posted kind words in the forum. The response from this update has been huge and I’m blown away by the giant smiles that my inbox keeps giving me. I’m just sorry that I can’t answer everyone back personally.

So just for the hell of it, let’s take a look at what the inner Dungeon Master in me is saying when I write a scene like this…

Okay, Thaco and Goblinslayer are fighting in the sewers. Goblinslayer originally had a -4 due to the darkness created from Thaco’s plan, but he cast a minor spell on his sword (which counts a natural weapon) and the glow from that helps somewhat. He’s still fighting with a -1 when within five feet of the glowing blade since it doesn’t create a huge amount of light and it’s still pretty dark. By the way, that penalty gets worse, the further he gets from the glowing blade-stick.

Aside from the darkness, the enviroment creates some difficulties of its own.

1) Medium creatures like Goblinslayer, suffer a small movement penalty due to the water (-5 ft/round) while small creatures like Thaco have a 50% movement reduction.

2) Due to the filthy state of the water, humans will have to make a Fortitude save at DR 12 for every 10% hit point loss they take during this battle. If Goblinslayer takes 43% hit point loss (I’m not saying that’s how much damage he took, just using that as an example), he’s going to have to roll four Fort saves the next morning. Since in my world, goblins are more resistent to diseases than humans (they have to be to eat the stuff that they do), Thaco’s Fort saves are at a DR 6. These saves are done all at once after the character’s next sleep and failing just one save is enough to make the character sick. A failed roll means he has caught a fever and suffers a -4 to Con, Cha and Str everyday until the fever clears. Every morning, the character rerolls his Fort save once. A successful roll means that he’s feeling better. In other words, the more you muck about in the sewers with open wounds, the higher the chance that you’re going to get sick.

3) Those rusty pipes that are poking up everywhere (and yes, there are panels establishing that there are a lot of them, not just the one that Goblinslayer fell on, as some folks think) are a hazzard too. Everytime a character takes damage while standing in the water, he must make a Balance save at DR 5+1/each point of damage taken. A failed save means that he’s slipped and fallen. If the character falls, he must roll d6+1/every point he failed his Balance save by. This roll represents how many feet he falls away from his current, standing position. A roll of 5 feet or less means that he’s basically fallen straight down, taking no additional damage, but counting as flat footed until spending an action getting up again (this is what happened to Thaco when he got an arrow in the back). A roll of 5 or more feet, means that he’s slipped into the next square over, in the direction away from his attacker. If the next square over contains a rusty, jagged pipe, an additional roll to hit is made against the falling character as though he is flat footed. If the pipe hits, the attacker adds another 2d6+8 to his damage roll (this is what happened to Goblinslayer). Once the character has taken pipe damage, there is a 10%+1%/every point of damage that the pipe has done to him that he will become stuck on the pipe and (assuming he’s still alive and not suffering trauma effects) need a successful Str check to pull himself free.

4) Also, if a character is climbing the walls in this area, a failed Climb check means similar “fall on a pipe” roles must be made.

So there you have it. Some of these rules don’t actually have anything to do with the story in the comic, but regardless, these are the sorts of numbers that dance around in my brain when I’m writing a scene, climbing a tree, wrestling with my cat or standing in line at the bank. I think a lot of experienced DMs live in a similar brain space.

This is why some folks might be scratching their heads saying “wait a minute, why does Thaco have Knock Back?”. He doesn’t.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


The Wait

If the update isn’t up tonight, it’ll be up tomorrow.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Archery Sneak Peek

I’ll be drawing off camera until this update is finished. It’s a little too spoilery to show in the broadcast. Don’t be surprised if the update isn’t up yet on Monday. It simply has to be four pages long. Anything less for this update would completely ruin it.

There’s a new sneak peek under the vote button.

And finally, thank you SO much to everyone who’s been donating! I hope you like the desktop!

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Pan and Yala Desktop

I just finished the brand new Pan and Yala desktop pic (the ogre’s name is Pan, it just hasn’t been mentioned in the comic). It’s a picture of the two of them before they ended up in the Dungeons of Brassmoon. The desktop is available for a $2.00 donation (the Paypal button is at the top of the webpage, under the FAQ flag).

Of course, if you can’t donate (or just don’t want to), feel free to click here and grab the new desktop anyways. However, if you use the new wallpaper pic without donating, you are legally obliged to say something nice to me if we ever meet in person. Compliment my shoes or something.

For those of you who have donated, Danielle and I want to offer a huge thank you! Even small donations are a giant compliment that make us feel loved as well as help us with bills, etc.

And now I return to drawing.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


New Sneak Peek

Clicking on the vote button to the right of this blog will show you a sneak peek panel from the upcoming update (as well as move Goblins up the ranked list). The picture is of a new character. Well, not ‘exactly’ new, we’ve seen him before.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Short Update

In an attempt to catch up with things, this update is a small one. As much as I would have liked to tack on another page, that would have added a few more days to the wait time of this update which would have added a few more days to the next update, etc.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


"It’s not my fault!" ~Han Solo

Last night at 3:30 am, I finished the update and tried to post it. It was at that time that I was horrified to discover that my site was down. After some clicking around, I found that every one of Keenspot’s sites were down. This gave me that “if I’m going down I’m taking you all with me” satisfied feeling. I felt giddy. Then I felt guilty for feeling giddy. Then I Twittered my status and went to bed.

But today, Keenspot is all fixed and so the update is up.

In other news, isn’t Twitter lame? Twitter is so lame. Damn, it’s lame. So um… I’ve been doing this thing on my Twitter account called ‘If I’. Basically I start a sentence with “If I…” and then type out some bizarre crap. Here are some examples…

(If I #1) – If I were riding a T-rex, I’d be all “Yo, check out my T-rex!” but that’d be redundant cause, y’know, they can see it.

(If I #5) – If I could grow a mustache that could talk, it’d probably speak italian. I can’t speak italian. Sh*t.

(If I #4) – If I ever get stung by a bee, it’d better not be a laser-bee, because those are made of puuuuurre laser.

I started doing these and as soon as my number of Twitter followers went down, I knew I had to do more. My Twitter account is here. Gods, Twitter is lame. Isn’t it just so lame?

Also, the forum is down because of a bandwidth issue. I’m not exactly sure when it’ll be back, since I don’t run it, but I’m guessing that it’ll be alive again as soon as June kicks in.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Update Today

The 2.3 page update will be up today (Tuesday). I have no idea what time, since I’ve still got to finish colouring, texting, etc.

EDIT: Last night I called the updated 3.3 pages. That was a typo, I meant 2.3 pages. Sorry everyone, I didn’t mean to psych you out.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


My Internet Is Back Up!

Well that sucked.

I’m really sorry that you folks had to wait like that. As you can see, I was without internet for longer than I expected. I won’t bore you with the details.

Three new pages are now up.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


My Internet Is Down!

I’m posting this from my neighbour’s computer…

My internet is down and won’t be up again until Tuesday – Thursday. I apologise for this delay and although I can continue drawing, I can’t broadcast over the cam or update the comic for now. And allow me to answer this question before it’s asked…

“Why don’t you just update from your neighbour’s computer?”

I am imposing so much already and there is no way that I’m going to ask this guy that I really don’t know “hey, do you mind if I download and install an FTP program and use that program to upload some weird stuff from my flash drive?”.

I’ll post / update as soon as I have my connection back up.

As always, thanks for reading (and waiting).

~Thunt


The VCON Pre-con Bash

Today (Sunday, May 3), Danielle and I will be attending the VCON Pre-con Bash (info on the Bash is on the front page of that link, just scroll down a bit) in Vancouver, BC. The point of this event, which runs from 1pm – 5pm, is to promote VCON, Vancouver’s sci-fi/fantasy convention.

If you’re in the area and feel like popping by, come and say hello. The address is Rio Theatre, 1660 East Broadway.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Thunt


Hey, The Blog Is Back Up

After having Twitter on this site for awhile, I’ve found that I like it for quick announcements, but I think that I still need the blog here. I plan on having the website redesigned soon (it needs it badly, I know) and I’d like to have both the blog and Twitter here. I’m still using Twitter to announce when I start broadcasting the live drawing or make tiny announcements, so feel free to follow me on Twitter if you like.

Nine days ago, my neck muscles decided to freak out and stop me from turning my head, moving, being without pain, etc. Why did my neck do this? Well, 21 years ago, I suffered a severe neck injury and ever since then my neck has pulled every 1 – 3 months. Usually it’s for a few days, but every handful of years it’s a big one like the neck spasm I’m currently experiencing. I’ve been to the doctor and gotten some cool pills, but I still need more time to lay in bed like a useless lump and so I’m going to have to cancel the update that would have appeared “around Monday” May 4th. For now, I’m going to still draw, but only for an hour or two at a time.

The next update will be “around Monday” May 11th.

Also, some people have donated to Goblins and have not gotten ‘thank you’ emails. This is due to Danielle’s email account being wonky and so let me just say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated. I realize that it’s something you don’t have to do and Danielle and I appreciate it very much!

As always, thanks for reading.
~Thunt