Away From Reality

April 22, 2015

My favorite AFR comics: Background characters

Filed under: Uncategorized — tabulacandida @ 7:57 AM

The end draws near.

In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be posting the last AFR comic, but before it all ends, I thought it would be nice to look back and remember some of my favorite comics. So, in the next few days I’ll be posting a list of my favorite comic for each of the AFR characters, starting with the background players, moving on to the main ensemble, and ending with the leading pair.

Here we go!

In creating the characters for AFR, I made one character for each class, so that I would have the right person ready for any class-specific gags (like this one that required a hunter, mage, rogue, and warrior). Here’s the whole gang enjoying a class joke (minus Wufu, since this comic was pre-monk).


(Behind the scenes: The computer I was using at the time couldn’t actually handle this many characters in the scene at once, so each of the panels of this comic is made up of two separate images carefully lined up next to one another so it looks seamless. The division is between Korin and Anica. If you look carefully, you’ll see that no figure crosses the middle line of the panel.)

Wufu the brewmaster monk (4 appearances)

You might be thinking “Wufu who?”, since Wufu the monk was only in four comics. I guess I just don’t have a lot of monk jokes up my sleeve. Here’s my favorite of those, making fun of the monk ability Touch of Death. I like this comic for a few reasons. First, I think I conveyed Wufu’s nonchalance and Gord’s exasperation pretty well. Second, the joke is short and sweet and doesn’t take too much set up.


Korin the shaman (9 appearances)

You probably don’t remember Korin, either, because even though she was in 9 comics she was never more than a background filled in most of them. The only comic she really played an important role in is this one, a joke about shaman totems (which were a much bigger deal for shamans back in the day). Sadly, despite what Morgatha says, she never really became part of the cast.


(Behind the scenes: Do you remember the big blue dot I use to represent Blizzard in the comics? Well, that figure comes with two big white hands. I make the hands invisible for the Blizzard appearances, but the dope-slap hand in this comic is one of them, with the dot and the other hand made invisible.)

Elyssa the retribution paladin (10 appearances)

Elyssa never got much to do besides show up when a paladin joke was called for, but she managed to have a little bit of a personality anyway as a proud and pugnacious paladin (best seen here giving it to warriors for whining about class changes). In my favorite Elyssa comic, though, she’s the set up for some unintended (by her) innuendo. I’ve done some dirty jokes on AFR now and then (usually involving Morgatha– they’re kind of her specialty), but I think this one pays off the best. (It just requires knowing a little something about out-of-date paladin spells.)


Anica the combat rogue (13 appearances)

Anica often showed up along with Elyssa (it’s probably not a coincidence that my wife and I play a human rogue and a dwarf paladin as a leveling pair). Like most of the minor characters, she was mostly there for class-specific jokes, but she did develop a bit of a personality, cheerful and a little distracted. In my favorite comic she’s part of the ensemble running a dungeon. She plays her part in the comic, but the reason I love this one is because I think I got the knocked-out, tweety-birds-circling-head expression on her face just right.


(Behind the scenes: The background for this comic is just a couple props and some flat textures. I’m pretty pleased with how well they work to suggest a Pandaria dungeon.)

Zhanashkar the frost death knight (23 appearances)

Zhanashkar is the only AFR character inspired by an actual in-game experience: watching a death knight in early Wrath running around Elwynn Forest picking flowers. From the very first, Zhanashkar had a definite personality: he is so totally into the whole dark, gothy vibe of the death knight, but the world just won’t play along and keeps sticking him in sunny happy fields of flowers or has him recovering stolen carrots from bunny people.  My favorite comic, though, is where he reveals exactly what being a Frost death knight means to him. I can’t resist a good pun. (Or a bad one.)


(Behind the scenes: Zhanashkar’s spiky font and blue text were my way of trying to represent in the comic the distinctive death knight voice reverb. Since the font is harder to read, Zhanashkar’s text is slightly larger than anyone else’s. Zhanashkar’s glowing eyes are not part of the model; I add them by hand in postwork, which lets me make them a little more expressive. I always think of Marvin the Martian when I’m drawing them.)

The ensemble

The leading pair

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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