blog archives

23rd of May 2020

otterkit

This Year


Hi everyone, Olivia here.

So, we've been missing a lot of pages lately due to *waves at situation*. And also due to our own lives. The thing is, this story has a LOT more to go, and we are definitely going to tell it. It's a project we want to continue for the next ten years. 
But if we're going to put that much time into it, I really feel that the beginning needs to be redone in order to be more legible and easier on new readers. So given everything that's going on, I'm going to say as the artist that I'll get things up as and when I can, while redoing old pages. In 2021 this series and its attached blog will come roaring back with revamped content, a solid schedule and a lot more engagement. 
In the meantime, please enjoy the occasional page, lots of uplifting memes, and fun art.
Hold your heads high,
-Olivia, the Artist

26th of March 2013

otterkit

What Were The Real Patrin?

The idea of Patrin is one I've taken from the Romani people, an idea that captured my imagination: symbols that would disappear into the graffiti around them in any city and remain meaningless to the uninitiated, but carry layers of meaning to those with eyes to see. 

The original patrin were bundles of feathers, herbs, and ribbons tied or left in some inconspicous place by one Romani for another, a way of telling one another of the direction and conditions they were travelling in. Every type of feather, leaf and root had a specific meaning, and in this way these far flung families could keep at least a tenous link to one another between meetings.

The hobos of the American Great Depression had a similar system, leaving small marks chalked or scratched wherever other hobos were likely to go to help one another on their way. This could be anything from 'sympathetic woman', a mark left on a house where a sad story would get you a meal, to 'man with a gun', marking a house to avoid. In this way, loose collections of people could protect even memebers they'd probably never met. Both systems were extremely useful for a mobile culture before the age of cell phones and all our other easy modes of communication. I've adopted a few symbols from the old hobo slang, as well as a lot I invented for the purpose of this project. 

If you're interested in such codes and code languages, there's a great book called ' Symbols Signs and Signets' by Lehner that's worth a look.

5th of November 2012

otterkit

The Learning Curve

So, what you're seeing now is work I did back in the middle of February, and I'll be honest, it stinks. I've learned a lot since then, and gotten a lot more comfortable with computer art. Lessons so far:

Gimp is great but it only does what you tell it. Actually tell it what you want it to do, not what you think you want it to do

Fonts that look cool are unreadable.

Speech bubbles need to be twice the size you think they should be

The 'smooth line' button is a GODSEND

Don't use the dodge/burn tool for the bulk of shading unless you like wonky images

Think through your images BEFORE you start drawing

and in my effort to get to be a better artist, I'll be redoing a lot of what you're seeing here. So in addition to new comics, keep an eye out for better versions of the old ones :)

Enjoy

16th of October 2012

otterkit

Circles

So, some of you folks may have noticed that this comic was up once, went down, and is now reappearing. We've come full circle; we started on comicfury, got frustrated with the inabilitiy to change a few settings and my bad artwork, gave up. I took art lessons, the three of us learned some design and HTML, and set up a wordpress site: www.parmeshentales.com. Then we discovered that Wordpress sites tend to float all by themselves in the great sea of the Net, stranded and lonley. So, here we are again on the friendly island of Comicfury, where we can actually connect with others :)  While I miss some of the design tools on Wordpress, the community here is worth the trade. I'd still like to figure out how to change the fonts, and if anyone can tell me how I'd be grateful, but for now it's nice to be back! There will probably be bugs and changes for a while, but updates will stay consistent on Tuesdays, and possibly Thursdays.

Cheers!

15th of October 2012

otterkit

Come Away with the Raggle-Taggle Gypsy o...

Come away come away with the traveling show
come away with the raggle taggle gypsy oh!
We'll raggle-taggle here we'll raggle-taggle there, raggle up and down taggle everywhere.

From the North from the South from the East from the West, well the sky is our roof and the road is our rest.
No one to say 'yes', no one to say 'no'.
Run free with the raggle-taggle gypsy oh!
-Gaelic Storm, 'Scalliwag'

 

When I was a child, I was a traveler. My mother was a single parent and a contractor, and so most of my childhood from the age of 10 on revolves around travel, every six months a new town. Some of my best memories are ensconced in the back of a car. I attended 13 schools before high school.

That childhood has left me with a lifelong fascination with travel and with traveling people, with the road and the wild, untrammeled life.

I'm Olivia Myers, one of the storytellers for this strip. Nice to meet you. This project is a triune collaboration between myself, Emily Singer,  and Tori Kinaman. It began as a text-based storytelling exercise, and, since I am a visual thinker, I repeatedly thought and occasionally said 'oh wow I want to draw this!' until I couldn't resist anymore. I'm not much of an artist, but I can't help trying, so here we are with a strip!

This comic is going to cover a lot of ground, everything from cultural bias to magic to music, and, of course, stories. Stories are the lifeblood of a people. Stories tell us who we are, and where we're going.

It's a long and twisting road ahead. Welcome along for the ride.