Epic Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline The Corby Tribe remastered on Drunk Duck
Submitted by Reinder on April 29, 2009 - 14:46
A revised, remaster of the epic Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline The Corby Tribe starts its run as a daily comic on ROCR's mirror site on Drunk Duck!
Back in 2001, I really wanted to experiment with a comics format that America hadn't seen in so long, few readers were even willing to recognise it as comics. The format of a row of panels with a block of captions underneath is a throwback to the early days of newspaper comics, when word balloons were by no means universal. In the US, the captioned comic format is best represented by the old Prince Valiant Sunday pages, but in Europe, it was both very common and very enduring. The Dutch comic Tom Poes ran in this format until creator Marten Toonder*)'s retirement in 1986 and was re-run in some papers for a decade and a half afterwards. The British comic Rupert Bear ran, and still runs, in a similar format, only with verse.
In the late 1990s, there seemed to be a minor revival of the format in the Netherlands, with artist Eric Heuvel contributing a captioned comic to the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. As publication went on, I had difficulty churning out comics using this combination of art and prose day after day, and over the two or so years that the story ran originally, I ended up diluting the format. So towards the end, it looked like every other strip out there.
While preparing images for the re-run on Drunk Duck, I found that Drunk Duck doesn't support the format well - it's possible to put text under each episode but it's formatted in a way that's awkward if the text is tied closely to the art. The space is more for commentary. So I took the opportunity to re-format everything so the text is part of the image file. This loses the searchability and flexibility of the original format in which the text was displayed as HTML, but it also allows for a more rigorous approach to the format this time around. I expect the comics will at the very least continue as fully-captioned comics for a few months longer than they did the first time around.
*) The characters in Mr. Toonder's work were anthropomorphic animals, and to an English speaker, his name may sound like a furry pseudonym; it is not. As someone who often gets his name misread, I sympathize.