794 Conjuring.

I totally forgot to paint Nina’s blush till a few minutes before this went live.  It’s kind of important so I had to get my shit together quick.

Nina’s character design is kind of odd in that even people who hate my comic like that she is pretty while somehow being flawed.  Or at least perceived as such.  I don’t see big ears, and buckteeth as a flaw so I don’t perceive them that way.  I love sticky out ears, and Nina’s type of mouth.  Which looks somewhat different in real life, but I’ve seen it a few times.  The way I draw it on her is just a translation of the reality that is equivalent in my mind.

All of the characters are designed to be pleasing to my aesthetic, even the one people dislike.   I like a wide range of looks in male and females.  Which is not to say I swing both ways, but as an artist I appreciate both forms.  As a hetero male though the girls tend to get stuck with combinations of traits I like.  It’s hard to tell who got the shortest stick, since beauty is subjective.  I’d be interested in your opinions of the looks of any of the characters.  Particularly what you like of course, but general musings are good too.


My guess would be because the ears and overbite along with the blonde hair kind of make her look like Gadget from Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, and pretty much everyone is furry for Gadget.

I’ve been a big fan of Nina’s design myself from the start. I always found her overbite kind of cute. She’s got a very mousey appearance that’s can be either lovely or simply adorable depending on the situation. No, her ears and teeth aren’t really ‘flaws’ but they’re a pair of features that keep her appearance from being the pristine image that some artists give their female characters. It’s little imperfections like that that endear me to several of your character designs. :3

I actually wouldn’t mind reading this saga of young Albus, now that it’s mentioned. I think it’d be pretty interesting to get a nice long look at the youth of one of the most respected figures in the wizarding world. It’d be interesting to see just how he got the reputation he has. And well, c’mon, a young Dumbledore? I’d be lying if I didn’t get where Nina was coming from in some respects…>.>;;

While I never picked up any hints on either characters (mainly because… who cares if they are gay or not, that’s not the focal point of the character), my Gaydar works just fine, just like my Potdar (which picks up the smell of pot on others, in a room of 30 folks, I can pick it up, well enough.).

My preference is for a combination of Nina and Carol I like shorter girls but also like the look of a slight overbite also I generally prefer darker hair to blond

Before mentioning preferences on character design/physical aesthetics, I will say that the way you draw everyone, they almost always seem to be comfortable with themselves (save for a few times with Ed and one time with Jo) and that helps to make them pretty, or whatever word you’d like to use to describe them, “flaws” and all. That being said, I like that everyone has a rather distinct design and look, it just seems right having a variety of folks working where they do, and not a bunch of copies with minor palate shifts.
As for the individual characters go:
Nina has the “tall blonde” thing going for her, and the “flaws” (big-ish ears & buck teeth) are more extra…flavor, we’ll call it, and only add to the character. She knows what she looks like, and probably had to deal with names & other childhood “fun” because of it, but she owns it now, and that says something about her character.
Carol has the combination of being “the curvy one” (which has become more acceptable as time progresses: we’re getting back to renaissance values here) and being the red-head. Red hair is nice, and having the medium length cut is different, and, like Nina, she owns who she is. Yeah, there’s that bit of self consciousness when her intelligence is questioned by Wess, but that shows her putting her mind/intelligence as a priority, and that’s always a good thing. (I realize I’m talking more about character in general than just how they’re drawn, but it all plays together, and just one part without the other isn’t enough) I will admit that her design is a bit curvier that I’m partial to, but that’s preference, and that’s what you asked for.
Jo is Jo. Blue hair is a big plus in my book, that she’s so small (petite, to be sure) and usually quite, but with great outbursts (usually movie-geek-esque outbursts) and randomness make her a very enjoyable character to read, and she’s just cute. She sticks with the too-large, really baggy look, which on someone so small, seems exaggerated, and it enhances her tiny, timid cuteness (and leads to beanbag chairs eating her jacket)
Ed’s Sister (who’s name eludes me, and I’m on my phone, so less options/more laziness for searching) She’s the tall, powerful (or at least super assertive) female, who plays a good opposite to Ed, and his short, confrontational (but not because he wants to be) no-nonsense (but silly when needed) character. She seems to be the one female who is all about the more “girly” clothing, and, as seen when Jo went to get the camera, is also overly comfortable with herself (possibly to the point of overcompensating for some insecurities?) and her whole “no pants” bit with Jo. Overall a nice appearance, though nothing to make her stand out too much (though she does have glasses, another plus with me)
With the guys, there’s more of seeing parts of oneself in them, and finding the parts there that are both liked, and the parts I’d be less than enthused about.
Reggie…is kind of greasy feeling. He isn’t unpleasant looking, but his usual actions/dialogue give him an off feeling (and everyone knows someone like that, so it’s unfortunately quite real) He has his moments, and he can compromise, making him more “normal”, but he still makes me hope for slapstick when I see him on the page.
Wes is that guy who’s too cool for school (yeah, nobody’s said that in a few years) and wants everybody to know it. He’s moral-less Reggie, and that’s even greasier (even if he doesn’t look it…the hair mainly)
(I’m going character trait heavy again, sorry, but train of thought and all that)
Ed. He’s short, stocky, has glasses and anger issues (and a pretty sweet ponytail) I’ve been the short kid with glasses and constant irritations (leading to anger/self control issues) and while it can be an ordeal, I survived, and so did Ed (though I got taller, and he got lumberjack arms) He’s almost a little scruffy, and that adds to his sense of compensating for his height, but also makes his gentler moments seem that much sweeter.
Thomas is the solid buddy you want there, period. He’s got the strong jaw (classically a handsome trait) the done up, but not over styled hair (cares just enough about his looks, but isn’t constantly preening) and is pretty average otherwise (save for the constant cheery demeanor [for friends, at least], or the contained fury, should a friend be wronged) Yeah, he’s probably the most main of the primary characters, and usually the obvious protagonist/”hero” type, and that’s part of why he’s likable, in both character and design, even with being rather “average” He’s a very comfortable character.
John is the “second banana geeky, but tries to be cool” guy. He’s got his little oddities, he’s hungry for the attention of the ladies, and he’s pretty much constantly bested by Thomas. He’s got a darker look than everybody else, broodie, less random smiles, and more angst, but not in a “look, he’s the token goth” (which he isn’t) way. He’s just a bit more jaded, and gas that goatee thing going on. Hell, I’ve pulled that look before! Other than that, he’s pretty average (much like Thomas) and that keeps him pretty comfortable to read, though it does lead to feeling a bit sorry for him, as Thomas pretty much always bests him at…everything (but he only rubs his face in it just enough, and knows when to make peace again after the fact)
Mike. He’s Mike. He’s the “big guy” (both the boss, and the largest male) He’s a big softie, he’s awkward, and everybody likes him for all his niceness, and his inability to exert any authority whatsoever (except for that one defense of Carol, that was well done) He’s likable as a support role, and I’m sure somd fun little stories with him being more involved would be good reads. Design-wise, hes the cuddly bear. He’s that one guy you know that people feel wary of at first, then the talk to him, and realize he wouldn’t hurt a fly, and would rather follow than lead.

Wow, I write a lot when I’m tired. Anyway, there’s my 2 cents (more like a buck fifty, but who’s counting?)

Also, I find the current stories direction (dumbledore fan-fiction) to be comedy gold.

(Reggie…is kind of greasy feeling.)

I think part of that is probably due to how slick his hair looks. Ed might invoke the same feeling to some degree, if he didn’t look like Astroboy.


Okay, I’ll try not to burn up as much white-space as @White Rice. B{)} Hmm… perhaps in alphabetical order, no particular preference:

Carol. I used to go out with Carol — and this woman’s name really was Carol (although her hair was dark blonde). Sadly, she was a lot more of a neurotic mess than Ms. Graves; or she probably would have been Mrs. Bear for the past 20-odd years. Boobs as a weapon — I remember that, if not portrayed quite as blatantly. What a difference a quarter century makes. I like Carol because when she plays head games, there’s a purpose behind it. She has a strong personality, as befits a woman with such a good head above her shoulders and a zaftig body below. Built for comfort, not for speed, as they say. A beauty in the Venus of Willendorf mold.

Jo. I used to work with Jo, as I’ve mentioned before. That shy little cutie that everybody adored — even the other women — and everybody looked out for. I like Jo because of her intense ‘little girl’ attributes (who wouldn’t love her?) and her wild ninja-movie-geek. I just want to tuck her under my arm and take her home.

Nina. Hell, I used to go out with Nina, too. Well, sort of — my last girlfriend was 6’2″ (I’m only about 5’11” — used to be six-even), a ruggedly-built farmer’s daughter (really) with a taste for anime, manga and Transformers. She even has pink anime hair, more or less; it’s a super-pale strawberry blonde. Too bad she was also schizophrenic… Anyway, Nina is that tall beauty that most guys drool over, but they’re afraid to ask out because they fear strong women — which is how most guys see tall girls. Nina’s teeth and ears are hardly what I’d call flaws — they’re character traits. Endearing, if anything, they help to make up what she is.

I have noticed in this story arc that Nina looks different, interacting with Tom alone, than she did with other characters. A little less guarded, and I think her character may may have an mild, unintentional tendency toward appearing aloof. In a real person, this would be a defense developed as a gawky, awkward preteen. Alone with with Jo, she presents herself differently, even as the bemused recipient of hero worship.

I think this indicates two things about you:
(a.) You are a good student of Human Nature; obviously, or nobody would be reading your strip and leaving comments after (how many?) years.
(b.) You are maturing as an artist; you have developed the ability to illustrate things that are difficult to even put into words — concepts and feelings (although you gotten good at drawin’ purty gurlz, too).


Crave I have to ask, do you intentionally make Nina’s ears look like they came off of a super monkey ball character? this isn’t meant to be an insulting question and I apologize if it comes off as such, I just notice it every time I see Her on the strip, and it isn’t a bad thing, My ears are freakishly big and decades of playing with them from a toddler age has made them foldably pliable, but Back on the topic I started, whats with the Monkey ears?

I enjoy all of your characters in their aesthetics, except Reggie and Wes (Part of that may be their characters?). Ed and John split most of what I prefer in a guy, both physically and character-wise, and the girls all have their own traits that I enjoy (Brooksie’s alt style and encyclopedic knowledge, Carol’s tits/body, hair, and demeanor, Nina’s bookishness and leadership qualities/soundmindedness, Jess’ acceptance of her sexuality/general confidence.)

Mike and Thomas are the types of guys I’d like to have around for a convention, or for a night of MK+MK gaming (Mortal Kombat + Mario Kart, my group’s term for party/enjoyment gaming, as opposed to competition gaming).

Honestly, I’d probably find Nina more attractive as a human, but because of your art style, I can’t help feeling like she looks far too much like Gadget from Rescue Rangers, which is very odd for me. Not that I have an issue with furries or with RR, but she seems odd standing next to the rest of the cast, methinks.

I think it’s cute how the tips of her ears turn red when she’s blushing! Nice detail

I was going to say the same thing.

I never look at anyones flaws, i do not care how they look, (unless really ugly, but thats a matter of opinion) i try to see how they are, their personality. I have read this comic for so long, i have forgotten about Nina’s Flaws. i don’t see them anymore, i just see Nina

Interesting fact…The war museum in Ottawa has a “gaydar” that “supposedly” worked during WWII or something…(ironically, its beside a double 0 agents pistol)

You know on second though, I don’t think R2D2 is gay. It was supposed to be a sex-less robot, obviously as robots don’t have sex. He’s just talking gay.

If I were to pick a favorite, hell I have a favorite, Brooksie. The combination of adorable/ninja/spaz/awesome wrapped up in a petite frame topped with a short blue haircut is ultimately been the most appealing.

All the character designs are very cool though, everybody feels very genuine both visually and as people.

I concur. I know a girl who is “Brooksie”, except shorter, brunette, and with video games instead of movies. She is a blast to hang out with, and every time I see the banner i think of her.
now if only she was single…

My thoughts on the character designs?
Living in the real world, I have to say that these characters are all people that I could equally well see living in the real world. And that’s something rare and special in a comic, and in a webcomic. Which is part of the reason I keep reading.
Seriously. “Flaws” is a poor choice of words, methinks, when there is no perfection. We’re human, and we cannot be ideals. Your characters, by virtue of not being idealized (in either character or appearance) are very real, very human. Keep it that way.
The women are extremely attractive. The men – well, I’m not in to them, but that’s hardly your fault.

” I don’t see big ears, and buckteeth as a flaw so I don’t perceive them that way. I love sticky out ears, and Nina’s type of mouth. Which looks somewhat different in real life, but I’ve seen it a few times.”

As someone with bucked teeth this made me smile. :)

I doubt Rowling originally intended Dumbledore to be gay. There is never even the slightest hint in the books. And after so much fan speculation I guess she was like “well yeah, he’s gay, whatever”. Otherwise she would have risked an angry swarm of flamers declaring her homophobic and intolerant.

heh. the fact that after sooo long you still get walls upon walls of text from fan comments is impressive. and the utter lack of gaydar doesn’t seem too surprising considering how robots and old people are frequently assumed to be just as asexual as severus snape, since procreation is no longer an option for most old folks and robots have to BUILD their children. besides that, society is still so homophobic that most people see a character (especially a male one) and automatically assume they are heterosexual untill proven otherwise.

that said – dumbledore x grindlewald anyone? you’ll probably find it on the wand and two snitches. >;D-

“automatically assume they are heterosexual untill proven otherwise” means homophobic? That means, as the number of, let’s say, males above 30 who have a driving license are much larger than those who don’t have, or as there are much more right-handed people than left-handed, or much more people can see that there are blind people, and I assume that if I see someone and assume he/she is not part of some exception who are few and far between, I’m having a phobia?

You know what phobia means? If someone does not like something, or is merely not interested, or just does not actively fight for some cause, does not mean they have a phobia.

I thing most of today’s society is not homophobic, but homophobic-phobic.

I can honestly say I wouldn’t give a fuck if a favourite character of mine turned out gay. Well, if they were female and hot maybe it would make her even hotter, but it still wouldn’t effect my perception with the upper brain.

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