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This brings the Cute, damn it!

gerbnskull.jpgAnd here we are, my two favorite tchotchkes from webcomics: my plush Skull, from PvP, and my Gerbil, from Narbonic. I have no idea if Shaenon Garrity and Scott Kurtz like each other, hate each other, are indifferent to each other or "other," but on my desk these two get along in perfect peace and harmony.

The gerbil is handmade, in the best sense of the word. It's clearly excellently put together, with a scosh of craftswork in it. It's soft and adorable and sits very nicely, and is the best packaged thingy I've ever received. Oh, it showed up in a Priority Mail box full of packing foam, but what a box. See, I'm addicted to commissioned/original artwork. If I could, I'd wallpaper my apartment in bristol board dirtied with Sharpies. And the box the Gerbil came in had three Garrity original drawn gerbils on it (one on each of three sides) and a drawn picture of Shaenon Garrity herself on the front, a bold finger (not that finger) thrust upward as she declares "I BRING THE GERBIL!" This to me epitomizes going the extra mile.

Skull, in contrast, is machine made, in the best sense of those words. Well stitched, bean stuffed and amazingly soft, I'd gladly get Skull for any stuffed animal lover -- especially children. Skull was meant to be adored by a child. As for packaging... well, it got dumped into a secure mailer envelope and sent on its way. I was a bit torqued about that -- what if it got crushed? -- until it hit me that Skull is essentially stuffed with the same stuff you'd use to pack Skull in anyhow, so the chances that harm would come to him were negligible. (The gerbil, on the other hand, has a rigid spine, and so could be harmed in transit if care were not taken -- but of course, care was taken.)

So, I'm grooving on them both. This was a good day.

(Oh, the picture in front? More proof I'm not an artist.)


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Maybe you're not an artist, but you ARE a cartoonist. Consistency may be the hobgoblin of small minds, but it's also the hallmark of a good cartoonist...a strip has to have characters look pretty much the same from panel to panel. And while your level of single-image craft may be, ah, low, your panel to panel consistency is very good.

Mind, on the other hand, blows chunks because I strongly dislike drawing the same thing over and over. Which is the main reason you'll never see me drawing a webcomic. :)

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