Roly Blankwater, Mercenary Butterfly

31 10 2008

Notes on my latest 24 hour comic:

This was my 6th 24 hour comic session, and my 5th story (last time I did episodes of The introvert Manifesto). Going in to this one, I felt at risk of falling into a rut with these spontaneous stories. There is a pattern of opening zaniness giving way to weightier peril, which on some level is probably an attempt to replicate my success with The Danger Club. I toyed with the idea of actually going back to an established cast of characters, probably Zigzag and friends, as a way of accepting the pattern and building on it rather than trying to fight it. 

Well, I didn’t go with Zigzag. My trusty story seed generator gave me “cathedral,” “mysterious box of doom,” and “giant butterfly.” I resisted the butterfly at first, like doing a story about a giant butterfly was too girly or something. But what better way to break out my 24 hour rut than focusing on a character outside of my comfort zone? 

But that’s not what happened either. Roly turned out to be well within my comfort zone, and actually one of my favorite characters. I wound up with several familiar themes: an agent of evil transformed by experience, a girl with messed-up teeth rejecting a monstrous suitor (although, “Roly’s Regret” could be interpreted any number of ways), and strong female characters dressed like Catwoman. What’s that about? I couldn’t begin to speculate. I wanted to at least acknowledge it though, hence the re-appearance of Stella Beretta and her former-lizard-cruise-ship-crew companions. It’s looking like all my 24 hour comics take place in the same universe, and the various characters could run into each other at any time.

This is a short one, only 19 pages. I’m happy with it though. I sort of meant to go political (three guesses who the Ultimate Overlords of Unspeakable Malevolence are) but never got around to it. I did not allow myself any “filler” pages; every page had to advance the story somehow. Even the splash pages have additional inset panels. Also I was performing certain host/organizer duties that kept me away from my table for at least a couple hours. So even though the page count fell short, I consider it a success.




One response

2 11 2008

That was so much fun! I love the box! A box of doom, that has all the emotion & fears of a normal person! I wonder if it harbors any self-loathing?

Great story. I do EXPECT a sequel. Or is that against the rules?


By the way, catch my new Random Idea notes on my new blog at


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