Away From Reality

April 23, 2015

My favorite AFR comics: The ensemble

Filed under: Uncategorized — tabulacandida @ 7:24 AM

Continuing from yesterday’s post, here’s my favorite comics with the major cast apart from Gord and Alaxia. I’ll cover the two leads tomorrow.

Targe the Legolas hunter (77 appearances)

Targe has a special place in my heart. I love writing Targe so much that sometimes I have to stop myself. Too much of him and his unique Targe-ness starts to overwhelm the rest of the comic. I think this one is my favorite Targe comic because it sums up what makes Targe so special: the normal rules don’t apply to him. Targe can do things that no one else can because he simply doesn’t know that he can’t– which also means things can happen to him that don’t happen to anyone else. Targe’s life has two modes: critical success and critical failure. Everything in between is just boring.

afr68

(Behind the scenes: This was the first comic in which Targe wore his yellow sash. The leather belt he wore before was one of many assets that I lost in a computer crash in 2009. It was after that crash that I decided I wanted to work on AFR seriously and commit to making a comic a week. I had to rebuild the Targe character model from scratch and I used that yellow belt because I didn’t have another one. I’ve sometimes thought of adjusting the character model to remove the belt (it doesn’t always pose well), but I’ve hung onto it out of nostalgia. I like to think Targe would understand.)

Hurgon the holy priest (96 appearances)

The very first character I made when I started playing WoW was a holy priest, so I have a great deal of sympathy for Hurgon. The traits I infused into his character– grumpiness, from healing teammates who insisted on standing in the fire; a bit of obliviousness, from looking at green bars all day long– came from my own experiences as a healer in Vanilla. There are a lot of good Hurgon comics I could have picked from, but I think this one is my favorite because it picks up on both of those characteristics so well.

afr296

(Behind the scenes: This is pretty much the only comic that has Targe and Morgatha making mischief together. It was hard finding comics to put them together in because normally Morgatha wouldn’t put up with Targe’s nonsense and Targe wouldn’t have the patience or subtlety for Morgatha’s usual kind of mischief, but having them both crack up at Hurgon’s cluelessness seemed just right.)

Thizzible the arcane mage (101 appearances)

Thizzible started out as a one-shot character with a joke about role-playing. She was, in fact, the last of the major characters to appear and it took a while for her to become a major part of the ensemble. At first she was just a role-player, but that characterization easily expanded to take in a lore obsession, and then a general enthusiasm for all the more narrative- and character-driven aspects of the game. Thizzible has given me a lot of great comics, but this one I think is my favorite, even with Thizzible only in the last panel. It gets Thizzible back to her role-playing roots, and I was amused by the idea of weaponizing bad role-play.

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(Behind the scenes: As you may have guessed, I did have My Immortal in mind when writing Thizzible’s RP character, but I’ve seen enough bad role-play to provide plenty of material.)

Morgatha the warlock (128 appearances)

Morgatha is my go-to character for the dirty stuff, but that’s never been all of her character. From her first appearance she’s been snarky, self-assured, and not glad to suffer fools. Those are the traits on display in my favorite Morgatha comic. This comes from quite early (you can tell I was still figuring out the character posing). This was just after Targe joined the group and they were getting ready to run Stockades as a party. I’ve often wished that voidwalkers actually had this ability.

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(Behind the scenes: It’s interesting to look back at this comic. On the one hand, the figures are very stiff and poorly posed. I was still getting used to the posing tools at the time and I was very bad with things like hands. On the other hand, it uses far more variations in camera angle than I usually did. I was experimenting at the time with posing my figures in full 3D environments, which I hardly ever do any more, since it’s much more time efficient to pose them against a static background. I kind of wish now that I had made the effort to use a moving camera more often in recent years because I like the effect.)

The background characters

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.

2 Comments »

  1. Hands down, my favorite is Hurgon. He exudes a perfect (to my tastes) combination of cluelessness and the driest of dry humor a comics character could have – and gets the bestest lines! (“I expect at least flowers.” “Heal yourself, flag boy.” “Back by the inn, eating the mailbox.” “Hey guys, have you seen this jewel game?”) Thizzible has also had a good run. (“Solidarity, sibling!” & stacking haste & playing chess at Karazhan are some of my favorites.)

    Comment by ejensen — April 25, 2015 @ 6:34 PM

    • Short characters for the win!

      Comment by wowafr — April 26, 2015 @ 8:12 AM


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