Away From Reality

May 8, 2015

AFR #340 – All’s well

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — tabulacandida @ 8:50 AM


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< The beginning of the end

And so it ends.  Eight years ago I made the first AFR comic.  I had no idea then how long it would go on.  I certainly never imagined getting 340 comics out of it.  Back when I started, there were only a couple other WoW-themed comics on the web.  Now there are dozens of fabulous comics for you to enjoy.  I am happy to leave the field to so many people who are cleverer, funnier, and much better artists than I am.

It’s been a lot of fun, and the best part of all has been you, the readers.  Whether you’ve been following AFR for years or just stumbled on it today, whether you’ve contributed to the comments or just been a reader, you are what has made these 340 comics worthwhile.  Thank you all.

AFR may be ending, but I’ll still be around.  You can follow my non-WoW comics over at Tabula Candida, and I’ll have a new creative venture to announce very soon.

Thanks for eight good years, and may all your hits be critical.

– Erik

May 1, 2015

Fan Favorites part 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — tabulacandida @ 3:25 PM

A couple final favorites for Gord and Alaxia.

This is one of the few comics where Gord doesn’t play the straight man but actually gets to come out on top. This is from back in the day when Sunder Armor was a separate warrior ability that stacked up to five times. The most fun part of creating this comic was deciding what the sound effects should be for each application of Sunder as the poor scarlet guard lost more and more of his armor.


Inspired by The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” here’s the WoW-themed “Don’t Stand In The Fire,” and Gord is back to being the butt of the joke. Alaxia is singing into her staff like a microphone in the last panel. Hurgon is supposed to playing air guitar, though I don’t think it comes across so well. Morgatha is just being Morgatha. You can tell I didn’t have any good fire effects at the time because the smoldering effect on Gord is pretty lame. Oh well.


Fan Favorites part 1

Fan Favorites part 2

April 30, 2015

Fan favorites part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — tabulacandida @ 12:00 PM

For a few years now I’ve had a running gag in the comic around Winter Vale: Alaxia and Hurgon keep having to restrain their friends to try to stop them from killing Greatfather Winter. Here’s the whole sequence.  Not sure what I would have done next December.





Fan Favorites part 1

Fan Favorites part 3

April 29, 2015

Fan favorites part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — tabulacandida @ 3:07 PM

Here’s some favorite AFRs picked by fans who commented on last week’s posts.

There’s a story behind this one, as you might imagine. You see, a few of my comic titles had some risquee puns, and a few more were perfectly innocuous but just happened to have an unfortunate combination of words, so for a while I was getting a lot of search hits from people who clearly were not looking for WoW comics. When I made another punning title (involving ERP, or erotic role-play) commenter Tokkar pointed out:

Of course you realize that the title will bring out the people who are searching for naked blood elves again…

At which I threatened to start naming all my comics: “Statistical abstract of projected fire hydrant maintenance outlays for fiscal year 1972.” Commenter Coffinshaker then came back with:

awe man, I came here looking for erotic statistical abstract of projected fire hydrant maintenance outlays for fiscal year 1972 pics! wtf? I call bait and switch!!!

After that, this was kind of inevitable.


Poor Hurgon. He’s usually the butt of the joke. But here’s one comic where he gets to deliver the punch line.


This one is about Scarlet Monastery. From today’s perspective, this comic may not make much sense, but back in the old days, before the Cataclysm revamp of Azeroth and the dungeon finder system, if you wanted to run Scarlet Monastery as an Alliance player at the appropriate level you had to run through several high-level zones and the Undead starting zone just to get there. For many groups, just getting to Scarlet Monastery took more time, more planning, and more resurrections than the dungeons themselves. This comic may not work so well in today’s Azeroth, but I still think “Heal yourself, flag boy!” is one of Hurgon’s best lines.


Early on, Thizzible’s running gag was that she role-played as Jewish.  Although she officially switched role-plays later it’s always been there in the background for her (and when her mother started playing there was definitely some Jewish mother humor going on). This comic played on that role from a different angle, invoking the People’s Front of Judaea. (There’s a callback many comics later, by the way, when Thizzible was experimenting with being a battle pet.)


So, this comic, about the chess game in Karazhan, is basically the tactical deployment of Calvinball. For the record, the games that Thizzible and Targe invoke are: old Star Trek‘s 3-D chess, checkers, poker, tennis, darts, horse racing, cold-war-era Olympics, some weird foot-basket-hockey-ball amalgam, Latin American football announcers, and the casino game dabo from Deep Space Nine. And yes, this is exactly how Targe and Thizzible would play chess, even if they were just having a friendly game one afternoon.


Fan Favorites part 2

Fan Favorites part 3

April 24, 2015

My favorite AFR comics: The leading pair

Filed under: Uncategorized — tabulacandida @ 7:07 AM

Here we are with Gord and Alaxia, the first two characters of AFR who have remained the leads throughout the life of the comic.

Alaxia the restoration druid (191 appearances)

Choosing a favorite Alaxia comic is really hard. I think Alaxia is my favorite character and she’s the one who has the most of me in her. I picked this one because I think it’s one of the best Morgatha-Alaxia friendship comics, and the relationship between those two characters is one of my favorite things in the comic. It reminds me of the relationship I had with my best college friend.


(Behind the scenes: The last panel of this comic is the first time I ever had the “tail” of the dialogue box cross behind another character’s dialogue box. I agonized for so long about that. Should it go this way? What about over here? Should it be thicker? Thinner? A different color? In the end, I think it ended up being perfectly clear who was saying what, and all that fretting was for nothing.)

Gord the protection warrior (246 appearances)

I thought it was going to be really hard to figure out my favorite Gord comic. After all, to the extent that AFR has a main character, it’s him. He’s in more than two thirds of the comics. And yet, this was the easiest pick of them all, because there is and has always been one defining trait to Gord’s character: he’s Azeroth’s everyman. He’s the guy who can’t catch a break. He’s Charlie Brown trying to kick the world’s football. He’s Donald Duck. And no comic shows us that side of him better than this one.


(Behind the scenes: Believe it or not, this was the first comic to feature all six of the major cast– Gord, Alaxia, Morgatha, Hurgon, Thizzible, and Targe.)

The background characters

The ensemble

Got a favorite AFR? Got a question about the comic, the characters, or how it’s all made? Let me know in the comments and I’ll write about it next week from a creator’s perspective and give you more glimpses behind the scenes.

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