Thursday, 27 December 2012

Bonus Feature: Episode 133 in 3D

...and that concludes both Chapter XIII in particular, and Day Three in general.  We've decided to stop posting for a while, and resume with Chapter XIV sometime in 2013, as and when we've got a decent number of strips ready to go.  Watch this space, I guess.  And in the meantime, have a happy new year!

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

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Bonus Feature: Episode 130 Panel B in 3D

I thought I'd go for a single high-res panel this time, so you can enjoy the shiny dimensionality without all those dialogue boxes getting in the way...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Bonus Feature: Episode 128 Wallpaper

1920 x 1080 - can be scaled/trimed down to suit most of the usual monitor sizes.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bonus Feature: Episode 126 in 3D

The Fort Paradox advanced-confusion team are delighted to present: a version of last Friday's episode re-rendered in startling 3D!

Stay tuned for Episode 127 this Friday.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Episode 126


Chapter XII, The Salads of Wrath, is complete, and we now embark on Chapter XIII, A Question for Forkley.  This comprises 8 episodes, and will be published on Fridays, with a bonus feature for each episode released the following Tuesday.

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

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Friday, 21 September 2012

Episode 114

Script by MGHC & TMJ --- Artwork by MGHC

Fort Paradox is back for at least a 14-week run.  We've got Chapters XII and XIII in the can, comprising a total of 20 episodes (plus some episode-specific bonus features, which I'm working on now), so we decided to go ahead and publish those now since the hiatus is already a lot longer than planned.  We might carry straight on into Chapter XIV, or we might not, depending how the writing goes.  But in the meantime, you've got three months of hiatus-free Paradox weirdness to look forward to...

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

Friday, 14 September 2012

Chapter XII is about to start!

Tune in next Friday (21 September) to read the first episode of Chapter XII: The Salads of Wrath!

There will be angry foreigners.  And confused pensioners.  And cryptic robots.  And dangerous alien life forms.  And food.  All brought to you via six weeks of stylistically variable greyscale artwork.  Also, I'm typing this with a hamster on my keyboard.  It's going to be good.  We think.

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

Friday, 18 May 2012

Episode 113 - And an Announcement


And that concludes this chapter. Fort Paradox is going on a short hiatus, due to the fact that were're almost out of episodes to publish. But don't worry, we'll be back soon, so keep checking for updates!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Confessions: Into the Console Room

Well, folks, it's been fun clueing you in on the Fort's dark secrets...
...dark as anything, those secrets...
...but for a variety of complex technical reasons, this is going to be the last in the current series.
And we're not telling you what comes next!
No, we aren't.  But in the meantime, we'll leave you with this final, mind-bending revelation: Fort Paradox is, arguably at least, a timeship; also, the TARDIS is a timeship; so if you stop and think about it, you realise that we've ended up with one timeship landing inside another one, inside a huge void between continuities or something.
Recursive, again.
Exactly my point, Darlan.
Anyway, just as a point of interest, the TARDIS used in Episode 98 was a genuine Tennant-era prop borrowed from the BBC.
Well, we say 'borrowed'...
...we did have to twist a few arms... other words, you threatened to send your Tavuc 'friends' in to get what you wanted...
...hey, you threatened them with your 'friends' and their suitcase too!
Oh, yes... so I did.
Thank you, Cylinder.
You're welcome, George.
And because it was a genuine Tennant-era BBC prop, we weren’t allowed to alter it at all.
Which meant we had to hold all the shower fittings in place with Blu-tack.
Good job you didn't have any running water in there!
Too true.
On that deeply arcane note, we'll wrap up the confessions and leave you all to make your guesses at what we're going to do next.   So, it's goodbye from me...
...and goodbye from him!
...and from him too.


- Cylinder the Cylinder
- George Darlan

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Confessions: Spielberg and Bay

I bet you never realised this: originally, Steven Spielberg was attached to work with us as an executive producer!
Yeah.  But he quit in the end, when we refused to let Michael Bay direct the first two chapters.
Michael quit because we wouldn’t let him replace Forkley with Optimus Prime or fill every single panel with massive explosions.
Strictly speaking, we fired him because he was insisting on having Optimus Prime instead of Forkley and blowing up all the sets on the first day of filming.
We had nothing against Optimus, mind you, but the copyright issues were insurmountable.
And we paid a lot of money for those sets.
Oh, and there was the Edwin issue, wasn't there.
Oh dear, yes.
Bay wanted Edwin to be a gothy teenager with unsurmountable girlfriend issues.
Played by Shia LeBouf.  Edwin nearly quit over that, and we decided Edwin was more important than Michael Bay.
Bay and Spielberg both felt differently, and left us.
But I think we've done quite well without them, really.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Confessions: The Carrot Cheat

I've got a good one - Alan!
Ooh, yes.  The scandal of Alan.
You don't suppose we're being a bit cryptic here, do you?
You're right.  We should explain, not just sit here giggling to ourselves.
Well: you know Alan the Carrot?  The one Louis brought out in Episode 97?
Good old Alan.
Here's the thing: the Alan you see in Fort Paradox is an impostor!
Louis really does have a fluffy toy carrot named after Alan Titchmarsh...
...which, in his younger days, he allegedly used to film with the family camcorder acting out episodes of Gardener's World.
...but once Louis was injured and replaced by Phil, we couldn’t afford the insurance to have the real Alan the Carrot on set, so we made a duplicate.
Out of an actual carrot.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Confessions: Bach and Jobs

Our resident composer has produced... still producing, in fact ...
...a pastiche Bach soundtrack for every single episode.
Unfortunately, because he uses quicktime, there’s a compatibility issue which means that nobody else’s computers can play the files back,  which is why all the readers think there’s no music.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Confessions: The Ones that Didn't Make It

Do they know about the Doorwardens yet?
No, I don't think so.  You tell them.
Righty-ho.  The Doorwardens were a last-minute addition, you see.  In all the early drafts we were going to have Daleks on the doors, but there were a few incidents of violence on set...

We lost two good crewmembers filming Episode 32.  A boom op and a focus puller.  Very regrettable.
Quite.  And there was a bit of a... I dunno, what would you call it, Cylinder?
A clash of ideologies, I suppose you could say?
Yeah, that sounds about right  So we had to let them go, and come up with a replacement quickly.  We found the Doorwaden characters sitting around on a metaphorical back-burner looking sorry for themselves, waiting for their threequel film to be made.
One other note on the subject - the Doorwardens as you see them in the final cut are all played by Andy Serkis via motion-capture.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Confessions: International Golf

“Shall we talk about the location work a bit more?”
“Can do.”
“I guess that translates as ‘the golf course’, doesn’t it? Am I right in thinking that the golf course in Chapter IX is the only piece of outdoor location shooting in the first hundred episodes?”
“I think you are.”
“We spent five years researching suitable locations, and eventually settled on a hybrid: part of the scene was shot on a massive course in Alaska, and the rest was filled in on a pitch-and-putt course in Sidmouth.”
“I have to say, I think the editing is brilliant, as you really can’t tell where one ends and the other begins!”

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Confessions: Fake Snails

Okay, big confession time: Jeff is the only one of the snails who is actually played by himself throughout the whole show.
Louis is played by his Brothers In Shells co-star Phil with some makeup, starting from the last panel of Episode 41, because Louis got injured filming the cutlery scene with French Person.  
And as for Spike, he’s so busy filming Brothers in Shells and working on his audition tape to play the Twelfth Doctor that he couldn’t make the time for us.
He’s depicted in Fort Paradox by a slug wearing a prosthetic shell.  And then the upside-down scenes in Chapters I and VIII were all filmed with advanced animatronics, as the Health & Safety wombles wouldn’t let us put real snails on the ceiling.

As an aside, speaking of H&S – despite being essentially a massive self-propelled artillery piece, Exo is actually our on-set qualified first-aider and has a day job with the Red Cross.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Confessions: Greenscreen II

There were some teething issues with the green-screen, actually.  The worst ones were with Darlan here, him being green and all...
Yes, had some early drafts where I basically came out as a floating pair of eyes, didn’t we.
We did.

And you might have noticed the cross-bar between Forkley’s forks is missing in some episodes?
That’s because it was originally green.  We realised somewhere around Episode 14 that it was an issue, so ever since then he’s been starting each day with half an hour in a makeup chair getting it re-coloured to grey.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Confessions: Greenscreen I

Okay, time for a major confession this week: most of the locations don’t exist.  The vast majority of Fort Paradox is actually shot on a green-screen.

Most of the cast are fine with that, but I’ve noticed Edwin does seem to struggle a bit...
He does a bit, doesn’t he?
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have a great respect for him as a character actor, but he does have a bit of a hard time with all the cutting-edge tech.
Poor Edwin.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Confessions: Art Filters

We’re often asked… well, we’re sometimes asked… well, someone asked me once, about how the episodes are drawn.
The truth is, despite appearances, the comic strip isn’t drawn as such.
It’s merely photographed with a common-or-garden point-and-shoot camera, and most episodes then have ‘arty’ filters applied in post-production.
The ‘Artwork by’ credits refer to the person who wielded the camera and designed the filters for the episode in question.
At first I was going to illustrate the first episodes, but then it came out looking a complete mess, so I decided I’d better stick to the acting and the executive-producing.
Ooh, I’ve just remembered - we designed a Jackson-Pollock-esque filter for Episode 24, didn’t we?
We did.
But it didn’t really work, and nobody wanted to keep it.