Friday, 16 December 2011

Episode 91 - last post before Christmas

Script by MGHC & TMJ --- Artwork by BASC


That time of year again.  Christmas does have a habit of disrupting our webcomic posting schedules, and this year is no exception.  Since Alien President and Sidewards both finished over the summer, we've now only got three webcomics still going, and they're all taking a break during the festivities:
  • Fort Paradox will be taking three weeks off, resuming Backstage posts on Tuesday 10 January 2012 and episodes on Friday 13.
  • Brothers in Shells is already in the middle of a longish break and due back online on Monday 16 January.
  • Cylinder and Miserable is going out of action for even longer, as today marked the publication of the 855th and final episode of Series 2, and the comic will take a multi-month hiatus before embarking on Series 3 sometime in the spring.
Hope you all have a happy holidays, and we'll look forward to seeing you again in January!


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

FP Backstage: The Rise and Fall of Bubble-07

It's all Matthew's fault, really. And Oney's. Allow me to explain: first things first, you'll need to watch Alpha One's Quantum Shampoo, and take special notice to the cgi title sequence, which was kindly created and animated by Matt. In order to keep track of all the different cgi elements for the sequence, Matt named all the bubbles, giving them the designations Bubble-01, Bubble-02, Bubble-03 etc. etc. You can see where this is going... Someone (I can't remember who) suggested that the name Bubble-07 would be a good premise for a story. I started to write a story, but got 'writer's block' two episodes in, as I'd backed myself into a bit of a hole story-wise.


So, I present, Bubble-07: All Two Episodes Of It.


Okay, it's not great, I agree with you. That's why I stopped writing it. If you're extra observant, you'll have noticed that the recording icon swapped from the left-hand side of the panel in Bubble-07, to the right-hand side of the panel in Fort Paradox. There's no great rhyme or reason, other than, in retrospect, I thought it would have looked better of the right, so I swapped it round for Fort Paradox.

There was talk of Bubble's continuity being resurrected in 2010, but it never came to anything, so when Fort Paradox was being developed, we decided to include Bubble in that, instead of trying to milk out a story from the ruins of the failed comic.

-TMJ (on behalf of himself, MGHC and SRJ)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

FP Backstage: One of the Interquels

It often happens on this project that we script two episodes back-to-back, but they end up getting separated as other episodes come in between.  A case in point was that Episode 25 was planned before the second half of Chapter II was sorted out, and at one point we thought it would be the 23rd strip - but then Tim came up with another idea, which led to the following piece of concept art:

Episodes 23 and 25 in draft, by Tim

We then agreed that Tim's introductory panels would work perfectly well as a separate strip (i.e. they became a new Episode 23), and the last panel would stay as a self-contained episode in its own right, briefly identified as "Episode 24".  And then, despite having begun life as a single strip, even this pair managed to get separated as Tim added what became the actual Episode 24, and decided that it should be presented in between the two window strips.

Note also the interesting interpretation of the outside of the Fort.  It's partly based off my own comments ("blah, something half-way between a starship and a mediaeval castle, blah something"), but we've since agreed that the Fort probably doesn't look like this drawing.  Not that we've worked out what it does look like, mind you...


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

FP Backstage: Scene Progression

Fort Paradox Backstage: The Progressive Development of the Cafe Scene

Well, we got through the first 8 episodes, fleshing out the notes from the page I showed you last week, and then we needed to work out what the next step would be.

Our second batch of plot notes took shape on a bit of ruled paper taken from a complementary notepad my Dad brought back from one of his overseas meetings (hence the odd, definitely non-FP-related caption in the top left and picture in the bottom right).  I like looking back over paper-based scripting sheets, as they give a better impression (compared to word-processed stuff) of how the ideas developed over time.

Fort Paradox: the Second Scripts

As you can see from the layout of this sheet, the conversation with The Bookworm was originally shorter and missing a couple of key points, and it was only intended to fill one or two episodes, instead of the three it eventually expanded to; Edwin's introduction was going to be crammed into less episodes as well.  This sort of thing happens a lot.  I like to take it as a positive sign - if a scene keeps growing and sprouting more asides, then it's probably doing something right.  It's when a scene stagnates and stops suggesting other things that you've probably got a problem.

I'm not 100% sure what we'll be dredging up from the archive next week.  Stay tuned!


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

FP Backstage: The Fateful 22nd

After three Tuesdays' worth of prevarication and history lessons, we finally reach the point in the story where Fort Paradox as we know it began to exist - Fort Paradox Backstage: The Fateful 22nd of July 2010.

I'd had Tim and Sarah staying at my place for about a week, and we'd had one or two too many late, sugar-fuelled nights full of Lego, fictional planets and stuff, and sometime during the evening of the 22nd of July, we decided it was time to do something about the long-gestating notion of a cross-continuity webcomic.  Having listed which characters we wanted to use (see last week's bit of paper), we pulled out an A3 sheet and started jotting down script ideas for the first few episodes.

The resulting document more or less covers Episodes 1 to 7, along with quick notes which got fleshed out to form Episodes 8, 11, 15 and 17.  As you can see, Episodes 2 and 3 were originally going to be one long wordy strip, and Episodes 5 and 6 were originally planned in reverse order.  Other points of interest include a slightly more complex version of the FP logo, a subplot with the snails being antagonistic to Cylinder (which got cut) in Episode 2, another out-of-character moment for Forkley in the draft of Episode 6, a stylistic variation on the snails which never ended up getting used in the finished strips, and a random bit of corridor.

The lower-right corner has been blurred out because it contains a preliminary sketch for an episode which we still haven't used after 16 months and 100 finished strips, but we still think it could come into the plot sometime, so we didn't want to spoil the surprise.

Fort Paradox: the First Scripts

Then we started drawing - I got all digital and made Episode 1, while Tim and Sarah took a pencil each and drew Episodes 2 and 8 respectively - although we didn't finish the first strips until the small hours of the next morning, hence FP's official birthday being on the 23rd of July instead of the 22nd.  And it's gone from there...


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

FP Backstage: The Namanc Begin

We're still in the murky depths of the pre-Fort Paradox universe here, but we're getting closer to the actual start point.  Here goes Fort Paradox Backstage: The Bit Where We Start Infringing Each Other's Copyrights (With Each Other's Permission), and Some Alien-Species Concept Art Sees the Light of Day.

Sorry about the long-winded title there. Sort of doing two smaller items in one post here.

I think the first time one of us borrowed a character off another was sometime in 2008, when Tim made a couple of cardboard statuettes of the eponymous protagonists of Cylinder and Miserable.  Then he asked me if I'd mind if he wrote a short spin-off, which of course I didn't, and the result was the aptly-titled C&M: The Fan Strip.

Sometime in early-mid 2010, things went the other way around: after I'd seen the first few dozen episodes of Brothers in Shells, I picked up a pencil and started doing the odd sketch of George Darlan.  When I showed my first drawing of him to Tim in July, he ended up using a spare bit of the page to show me approximately what the Namanc had looked like in his earliest concept art - which was quite different to the finished article.

And then, along with Sarah, we finally decided that a cross-continuity webcomic was a good idea, so we started making a list of which characters should be in it first - on the same bit of paper again.  So I thought I'd show you that bit of paper:

This was the first-ever bit of paper with Fort Paradox-related stuff on it.  Srsly.

Darlan's apparent moment of megalomania in this drawing is a bit out of character, really (or is he just quoting Jeremy Clarkson?), but the dubiousness of his gadget and the horror it seems to have inspired in Harry Forsen are much more typical.

And as an addendum to the history lesson: Tim rediscovered that very first Namanc concept drawing while clearing out his desk a couple of weeks back, and sent me a scan of it.  Which I shall now reproduce for you:

Apparently this was Darlan's conceptual grandfather.

I must admit I'm very glad that the plan got revised, as the Darlan we all know and... love? dread?... looks much better.  You know, without the eyestalks, one-claw 'hands' and multiple navels.  But then again, I can't talk, as I've done some  really bad first-draft concept art in my time... e.g. when I tried designing some species for Universe XGT this last Sunday afternoon, and at least one of them was a complete disaster...

So, anyway, that's where Darlan came from.  Next week, if you're lucky, you might get to see the beginnings of Paradox proper.


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

FP Backstage: D'Antarran

As a sequel of sorts to last week's post, I present Fort Paradox Backstage: D'Antarran As it Wasn't.

When I wrote those three preliminary script drafts, I had a rather ambitious idea in my head about what the setting would look like.  The notion was of a planet, once home to an advanced sentient-machine civilisation but now abandoned and fallen into decay, with the comic taking place (or at least starting off) inside a vast building in the middle of a city.

I initially intended the architectural design to be a fusion between the grand canyon and all those mediaeval buildings where each storey leans further out over the street than the one below, all executed in glass and metal, and I saw the thing in a colour palette not too far removed from the scene in Blade Runner where you can see the sunset from inside the Tyrell pyramid.

I never drew it.

Never, that is, until now.  Having shown you the scripts last week, I decided it was finally time to exorcise that old image of the ruins of D'Antarran from inside my head and get it down on paper.  And then once I'd got it on paper (more or less - it doesn't quite get the valley effect I was after, but it's not too far removed otherwise) and I'd scanned it into the computer, I decided I could probably make it a lot better with a bit of digital manipulation - so I set about manipulating, and after a couple of hours' work, here's the finished article:

The D'Antarran Warp Episode 1: Cylinder and Miserable immediately after arriving in the ruins of Forkley's ancestral homeworld

(Thanks to www.cgtextures.com for the concrete, sky and broken-glass layers.)

I deliberately drew this to reflect my original vision of D'Antarran, despite the fact that Tim and I have now extensively revised our ideas about the history of the planet, including the addition of a molluscoid race who would have been responsible for building most of the infrastructure and creating the machine species of which Forkley is a member.  The S'Anonh, as we called them, would have favoured an architectural style where most large buildings had a central atrium with a spiral ramp giving access to all of the floors, instead of stairs - gastropods don't like stairs.  So if I drew you a picture of D'Antarran as we envision it now, then the overall tone would likely be similar, but the horizon would be filled with spiralling structures reminiscent of upended snail shells of assorted species.  The Japanese Wonder Shell probably gives the best approximation of the shapes I'm on about - picture a load of those, of various sizes, planted in the ground with the spiral ends pointing up, and you won't be too far off what's currently in my head.

I'm glad I've got that off my chest at last.


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

FP Backstage: The First Drafts

It's a Tuesday, and we're only posting on Fridays at the moment.  This morning, Tim completed the one-hundredth episode of Fort Paradox (the 101st in narrative order, but the 100th to have its illustrations completed).  We recently finished posting a chapter set in the Ship's Archives.  So it seems like a good day to open the actual Archives, and start showing you some of the preliminary material that's helped to shape those 100 strips.  Welcome to Fort Paradox Backstage: The First Drafts.

Me being the stickler for logic that I am, I think it'd make sense to begin at the beginning, so for today's nostalgia trip I thought I'd show you my very first script notes for what was then called "The D'Antarran Warp" and set on the ruined planet D'Antarran in Universe XGT.  This lot dates from circa 2009, when Brothers in Shells was in its infancy, and before I'd even mooted the cross-continuity idea to Tim and Sarah.  You might spot some suspicious similarities to the first few episodes of the comic as it was actually produced, but there are some pretty major differences too.

Happy reading...


EPISODE 1
Script by MGHC

Cylinder and Miserable arrive on D’Antarran.

CYLINDER
Whoa!  That was a wild trip.

MISERABLE
You just spoke in Calibri instead of Abadi Condensed... oh crud, so did I.  Please, please, please don’t tell me we’ve ended up outside of our normal continuity again...

CYLINDER
Looks like we have.

MISERABLE
Dammit.

CYLINDER
Hey, on the bright side, you’ve still got your favourite catchphrase.

MISERABLE
Yeah, I have.  Whoopee-doo.


EPISODE 2
Script by MGHC

CYLINDER
So, now that we know where we aren’t, how about we try and work out where we...

FORKLEY makes an unceremonious entrance.

FORKLEY
OI!  What are you two doing in D’Antarran?

CYLINDER
I dunno.  We just sort of… turned up here unexpectedly.

FORKLEY
Look, this is a restricted area.  If you can’t explain better than that, then I’m afraid I’ll have to send you to the Tharryk Cluster for detention.

JEFF THE NINJA SNAIL also turns up.

JEFF
Excuse me, sunglasses?

CYLINDER
Name’s Cylinder.  Cylinder the Cylinder.

JEFF
Cylinder, Cylinder the Cylinder, is this forklift giving you trouble?

CYLINDER
A bit.

JEFF
Then stand aside, and I shall sort him out with my lightning ninja moves!

CYLINDER
Can I be pragmatic and point out that you’re a snail?


EPISODE 3
Script by MGHC

JEFF
Indeed, I am a snail.  But I am no ordinary mollusc.

MISERABLE
Do continue?

JEFF
I... am a Shadow Ninja Snail.

MISERABLE
A what? Are they meant to be even scarier than regular ninja snails?



'Episode 1' and 'Episode 2' bear relatively little resemblance to any scenes in the finished comic, especially with Miserable not arriving until Episode 55, and Forkley becoming less antagonistic (the butlerish way he comes across in 'Episode 2' is out of character, and although Episode 6 still has him a bit on the grumpy side, his portrayal in the other finished episodes of Fort Paradox is generally closer to how he is in UXGT).

However, you might like to compare 'Episode 3' against the actual Episode 4...

Personally, I think the actual episodes were a lot better.  Anyone disagree?


Episode 85 comes out this Friday, and in next Tuesday's instalment of FP Backstage you might even get to see some concept art!  Stay tuned...


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Episode 79, and explanation

Okay, so here's the deal: we've got enough episodes ready to go that it seems a bit silly to stay on Fridays-only updates all the time, but we're not getting new ones finished fast enough to sustain twice-weekly updates in the long term.  So we've agreed on a compromise plan.  Chapter VIII, Existential Chess, is a short one (just six episodes) and will be published on a Tuesdays-and-Fridays schedule over the next three weeks, then at the start of November we'll kick off Chapter IX and a new Tuesday filler series.


By MGHC

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Pop Quiz: French Person

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: French Person

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
French: Romantic, Dashing, Heroic, French, Garlic.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
French: Ze red, ze white, and ze blue.

Q: Favourite number?
French: 1066.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
French: Ze cooking.  Zere eez no passion in ze cooking 'ere.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
French: Ze customisable rooms.  I can 'ave my own Paris, in my own room.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
French: I wish I could be zere when a car eez built zat lasts for over 20 minutes before exploding!

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
French: Moscow.

Q: And finally: do you know what the phrase 'teetotal' means?
French: Non.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Pop Quiz: Miserable

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Miserable

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Miserable: Grumpy, Grey, Cubic, Reluctant Co-protagonist.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Miserable: I don't especially like any of them.

Q: Favourite number?
Miserable: I don't think I've got a favourite.  But I could tell you my least favourite number: it's 50, because of the stupid fuss the Author makes over every fiftieth episode my native webcomic reaches.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Miserable: The relative sanity, I guess - emphasis on the word 'relative'.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Miserable: Meh?

Q: I'll take that as 'not much', then.  Um... what would your perfect day be like?
Miserable: I think I'd be dead... you probably guessed that anyway...

Q: Not surprised.  Is there anywhere you'd especially like to visit?
Miserable: I should really go for a look round the Fort and see if I can find an undertaker.

Q: And finally: have you ever tried not being sour and depressing?
Miserable: Not that I can remember.  It's an intriguing thought though - maybe something to remember for the future...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pop Quiz: Jeff

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Jeff

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Jeff: Shadow, Ninja, Snail, Silent, Deadly.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Jeff: Black.  Like my karate belt.

Q: Favourite number?
Jeff: 0.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Jeff: Since the '40s, I've had such a surreal life, I've really given up missing things.  There's every chance they'll just show up somewhere else.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Jeff: The CafĂ©.  It's great.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Jeff: Defeat evil.  Save the day.  Eat chocolate.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Jeff: Are you quite sure no-one's listening?  OK, Legoland.

Q: And finally: What do you make of the cleaner?
Jeff: Short work, most of the time.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Pop Quiz: The Bookworm

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: The Bookworm

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Bookworm: Let me see… Contents, Beginning, Middle, End, Index.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Bookworm: Ak'helkth.  It's a lovely Ethklinian word for the iridescence you see on the surface of a soap bubble.

Q: Favourite number?
Bookworm: 1000.  It's a neat, solid number.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Bookworm: There is nothing to miss.  Every book is a world in itself, so my worlds are always with me.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Bookworm: The peace and quiet.  Although having said that, there was an extraordinary fellow with a mop running round the library screaming and yelling the other day.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Bookworm: Plenty of undisturbed reading time, a nice bracing walk in the country, lots of strong tea and perhaps an erudite chat with some friends.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Bookworm: Frankly, I'm always interested in going somewhere new - provided I've had had a chance to do some background reading about the place first.

Q: And finally: tell us something about yourself that's a bit different.
Bookworm: Profiteroles.  I have a terrible weakness for them.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Pop Quiz: Bubble-07

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Bubble-07

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Bubble: Round, Abused, Recorded, Sunglasses, Anger.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Bubble: Blue.

Q: Favourite number?
Bubble: 189.  And I'm not telling you why.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Bubble: There was nothing to miss.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Bubble: This is nothing to enjoy.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Bubble: Waking up and finding that blasted recording graphic had finally gone.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Bubble: Somewhere without handycams.

Q: And finally: What's your favourite book?
Bubble: James Pond, by Ian Fishing.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Pop Quiz: Mallard

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Captain Mallard

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Mallard: Heroic, Bespectacled Tetrahedral Starship Commander.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Mallard: Purple.

Q: Favourite number?
Mallard: Probably 4 - I'm a tetrahedron, after all.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Mallard: My old house.  The officers' quarters around here are decent enough, but home was comfier.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Mallard: The sense of authority.  It's nice to be taken seriously.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Mallard: Oh, I don't know really.  Maybe taking the Fort for an adventure, saving a load of people, and being offered caviar by my grateful beneficiaries.

Q: So is there anywhere you'd especially like to visit?
Mallard: No one place in particular.  I just potter around and tick off as many as I can, in any old order.

Q: And finally: wherever did you find that hat?
Mallard: It was waiting for me on the seat when the computer made me Captain.  Along with a Lord of the Rings-sized instruction manual which I might get round to reading someday.

Q: Thanks for your valuable time, Captain.
Mallard: Don't mention it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pop Quiz: Darlan

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Darlan

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Darlan: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Philanthropist, Green.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Darlan: #00ff22 green, as that's the colour of the drill beam from the XGT47, one of my favourite XGT units.  #77dddd cyan is also very pretty, but I haven't thought of anything to make with it yet...

Q: Favourite number?
Darlan: 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436789259036001133053054882046652138414695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193261179310511854807446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912.  Because Pi to 500 decimal places is really useful.  And fun.  And Ernie now owes me £10.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Darlan: Very little, right now.  I'm having too much fun at the moment to worry about home, and I'm sure it's not permanent.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Darlan: EVERYTHING!!!!!

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Darlan: Ooh… Something interesting, but unexpected happening.  And fireworks.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Darlan: The Forsen Technologies production centre.  I've been there once or twice before, but I generally don't seem to be able to get beyond the boardroom.

Q: And finally: Have you ever invented something genuinely safe?
Darlan: Yes.  Once I invented a nuclear reactor that ran on nothing but salt.  I think it was very safe, because when it blew up, there was no messy radioactive waste polluting the environment.  Just nice safe antimatter.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Pop Quiz: Doorwardens

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: The Doorwardens

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Doorwarden: Doors, Doorframes, Doorways, Door-handles... Robot.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Doorwarden: I think most of the doors in here are greyish or brownish.

Q: So your favourite colour is greyish-brownish?
Doorwarden: Yes.

Q: Favourite number?
Doorwarden: About eight-and-a-half million, because last time one of us tried to count, I think that's how many doors there were in the Fort.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Doorwarden: I didn’t have a life before Fort Paradox.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Doorwarden: So many exciting doors to stand next to!

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Doorwarden: 24 hours standing next to a really big door.  And opening the door, and closing the door.  And saying hello to people who come through the door when I open it.

Q: No signs of clinical obsession going on here, are there...  Next question: where would you most like to visit?
Doorwarden: All the doors I haven’t stood next to yet!

Q: Definitely no signs of obsession.  And finally: do you have any interests which don’t involve doors?
Doorwarden: Should I?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Episode 70

Script by MGHC & TMJ & SRJ --- Artwork by MGHC


Bonus points for anyone who gets the cryptic reference...

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Pop Quiz: Louis

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Louis

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Louis: Hmm… Fast, Agile, Racer, Mechanic… Hang on, do you count "Hmm" as one of the words?

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Louis: Green. Most snails and slugs like green, as it reminds us of lettuce and runner beans.

Q: Favourite number?
Louis: Ooh, favourite number. Umm… I don't really have one.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Louis: Ernie and the rest of the boys. It's a shame we can't all be here.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Louis: Well, what do you think? It's another adventure! What else could you ask for?

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Louis: I think it would have to involve eating someone's cabbage, and a trip to Silverstone. Preferably intertwined somehow.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Louis: It would have to be the Top Gear test track.

Q: And finally: Talking of Top Gear, who do you think the Stig is?
Louis: Sorry, George asked me not to tell anyone...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pop Quiz: Oney

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Oney

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Oney: Errm. I'm not in five words… I'm in a room thingy with a microphone in front of me.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Oney: Red. It's the colour of my shirt, and it's amazing and very brainy.

Q: Favourite number?
Oney: 18. And 1. Both really.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Oney: Guns. And the life restorator. And Moonwater. I'd kill for some Moonwater right now.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Oney: I HATE I HATE I HATE I HATE I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS *beep*ING PLACE!!!!! I HAVE TO RUN AROUND CLEANING EVERYTHING AND I'VE GOT TO LOOK AFTER GAVIN WHO'S JUST A *beep* HEAD ON A *beep* STICK FROM *beep* THREE GROUP!

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Oney: Kill all my enemies, then have a massive drunken party with all my agents, which ends with Carrots the android getting blown up.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Oney: Now?

Q: Well, yes, I suppose…
Oney: The bar.

Q: And finally: What's your favourite film series?
Oney: The 2005 Maximus reboot saga. They're well awesome…

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pop Quiz: Edwin

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Edwin

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Edwin: Gardener, Pensioner, Practically-minded, Conservative, Civilised.  Sorry - can I count 'Practically-minded' as one word?

Q: That's fine.  What's your favourite colour?
Edwin: Green. Especially the warm, living green of a new leaf in the sun in April or May.  That's my horticultural hobby showing through there.

Q: Favourite number?
Edwin: Four. It’s a very practical number.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Edwin: Everything.  Absolutely Everything.

Q: Um, right... so, what do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Edwin: I’m not really enjoying it as such… mind you, that garden centre is quite good.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Edwin: Just pottering around the garden. Maybe meet up with a friend for coffee or lunch. A good book in the evening, with a hot chocolate.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Edwin: I’d quite like to see the German Christmas markets sometime. That, or Vienna.

Q: And finally: Beethoven or Bieber?
Edwin: Beg pardon - Beethoven or what?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Episode 67

...and here goes Chapter VII: The Sword in the Droid...


*****


Script by MGHC & TMJ & SRJ --- Artwork by MGHC

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pop Quiz: Forkley

We seem to have settled on Tuesdays for posting these quizzes.  Anyway, here's our hardest-to-draw forklift truck in the hot seat:


*****


Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Forkley

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Forkley: Fun-loving, Mischievous, Quick, Red, Loud.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Forkley: I'm more into textures, rather than just colours.  I like my colours all bold and crazy and mixed up.  Orange and black is a pretty good combination, I think.

Q: Favourite number?
Forkley: A quintillion.  Partly because it's huge, and partly because the name sounds really cool.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Forkley: I miss the huge open expanse of concrete outside my hangar where I used to make skid marks most mornings.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Forkley: Corridors.  Lots and lots and lots of exciting new corridors to explore.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Forkley: I keep changing my mind about that, but the main constant is that there would be a lot of lasers.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Forkley: I’m half-way through a grand tour of the five most impressive ruined planets in the universe.  I got to two of them and then got distracted, and then an intergalactic war got in the way.  Once that’s all settled down I really want to finish the tour.

Q: And finally: I've got to ask since you're a forklift truck, what's your maximum lifting capacity?
Forkley: A lot.  I mean, it varies depending on the nature of the load, depending on the state of my batteries and my hydraulics, maybe even my tyre pressure, but on average, a few dozen tonnes.  If I try really hard when I've just been tuned up, and I've got something compact but dense to lift, I can manage a hundred tonnes.

Q: That seems a lot for a machine your size.
Forkley: Maybe by your engineering standards, but you've got to bear in mind that I'm the product of one of the most advanced races in the known universe - people who had perfected cheap large-scale FTL transport before you Earth lot had even invented the railway.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Pop Quiz: Fred Nagg

Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Fred Nagg

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Nagg: Displeased…About…Being…Mindlessly…Interviewed

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Nagg: Hmm… The edge of ultra violet is great. Especially if you like Niquee parasitology, which incidentally, I do.

Q: Favourite number?
Nagg: Why would anyone want a favourite number?

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Nagg: My work. I also miss Harry and the rest of my friends. In fact, there's one thing that I wouldn't really miss about my old life, BUT HE FOLLOWED ME ON!

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Nagg: Uuuggh… I don't know. The food tastes funny, the job's boring, and locals are downright odd. That said, as a speciologist, a sentient Forklift and a talking toilet roll holder are fascinating.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Nagg: Up at 5:00am, do a good day's work out in the field, somewhere really nice like Ll'aana 4, then back home, bath, stiff milkshake, find that George Darlan is on holiday, evening stroll, bed.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Nagg: D'know, really. I get to go to loads of interesting places. Wall Street might be interesting, if Earth wasn't out-of-bounds for tourism. I'd like to meet a human banker. They sound a fascinating sub-species…

Q: And finally: Wound you agree that the great Dr. W.Q Mallard is a superb captain?
Nagg:
I feel slightly uneasy about answering that question… Who is this interviewing me anyway?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Pop Quiz: Cylinder

Haven't made our minds up yet whether it'd be best to post the Pop Quiz separately on Tuesdays or to include it with the Friday episodes.  I thought I'd go with Tuesday this week, on an experimental basis.


*****


Fort Paradox Pop Quiz: Cylinder

Q: Describe yourself in five words?
Cylinder: Crazy, Enthusiastic, Spontaneous, Joie-de-vivre, and... um... Sunglasses.

Q: What's your favourite colour?
Cylinder: Yellow.  Custard yellow.  I wouldn't change my voice colour to custard yellow, because it wouldn't be very readable against light backgrounds, but it's my favourite colour overall.

Q: Favourite number?
Cylinder: Oh, I don't know.  I'm not really the sort to get excited about numbers; I'm more into shapes and colours and ideas and stuff.  But maybe 42, because of Hitchhiker's Guide, if I really had to choose one.

Q: What do you miss most from your life before Fort Paradox?
Cylinder: Oh, not much, really.  Having said that, it was nice having my sentient, preservative-steeped sprig of broccoli to keep me organised, and if I stay here long then I'm sure I'll start missing my airship, and my custard jacuzzi, and Shoppy's habit of making pithy metaphysical statements with really appalling grammar.  And I've left some other friends behind too, which is kind of a shame.  But I mean, I've just said a lot of words, which makes it sound like I'm grumpy here, but I'm really enjoying it actually.

Q: What do you enjoy most about life on board Fort Paradox?
Cylinder: The variety.  As in, it's really different from my normal life; all new places and new people and whatever, so I'm really enjoying the adventure aspect.

Q: What would your perfect day be like?
Cylinder: All my friends and an insane amount of pizza and lemonade, all hanging out in... well, anywhere really - it's the people that make the difference, more than the place.  Just talking and messing around and stuff.  Having fun.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
Cylinder: That's a good one.  I've done so many places already, and there are so many still to go... you know what, just point me to the horizon.  Seriously, I'll explore wherever this ship takes me.

Q: And finally: you have a noted fondness for puddings.  How many fillings do you have?
Cylinder: I don't know.  I think Albert's got some tins of black cherry sauce in the cupboard, and plenty of custard - that's a great pie filling, if you ask me, cherries and custard - but I don't spend my time counting them.

Q: I meant fillings in your teeth.
Cylinder: Oh, that sort of fillings.  Sorry.  None - I do like me some pudding, but I also have an encyclopaedic first-hand knowledge of toothpastes.

Q: Well, that's it.  Thanks for participating!
Cylinder: Any time.


*****


Q for the readers: Which character(s) would you like to interview next?
A: in the comments area...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Tuesdays Down

By the time you read this, you should already have noticed the updated header graphic, which is properly centred relative to the page (unlike its predecessor), and states that the webcomic "updates every Friday".  What, no Tuesdays?

Um... no.  Sorry.  We don't have many more finished episodes left (just 9, at the time of writing), and we've decided to cut the posting rate to once-a-week again to avoid completely running out.  We think a reduced-but-still-regular schedule is better than the risk of having to stop altogether.

Episode 65 releases on Friday the 8th.

As per last time, we plan to re-introduce Tuesday posts if and when we get far enough ahead with writing new episodes.  And in the meanwhile, we've decided to fill in the blanks with a little pop quiz which will be answered by a different character each week.  Unless you've got any more burning questions, in which case we might consider doing another Weekly FAQ instead.


- The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Episode 58 (and a bonus feature!)

Script by MGHC & TMJ & SRJ --- Artwork by BASC


*****

And here's something that I should have posted along with Episode 57 on Tuesday, but forgot to add: our first episode in stereoscopic 3-D!

I've rendered it with the red-cyan anaglyphic process, so to view it you'll need a red filter over your left eye, and a green, cyan or blue filter over your right.  My own homebrew 3-D specs use the cellophane wrapper off a cherry-liqueur chocolate for red, and a Lego windscreen element for blue, but you could cheat and use 'proper' stereo specs if you've got any handy.  Which I haven't.

By the way: don't get used to this.  It isn't going to be a regular feature!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Episode 51

Script by MGHC & TMJ & SRJ --- Artwork by SRJ


*****

If you recognise the picture on the wall, click here...