Online Fantasy Comic

Archive for February, 2012

Lawlessness in Fiction and the Real World

Lucky In Love continues!

Ah the revelation on The Pity.

Rejection of Law… doing terrible things to people… perhaps conjure up the notion of Whedon’s “Reavers” in his great work, Firefly – insane, violent, terrifying, feral animals of Man. I figured that was a nice suggestion, but Foxhell would go in a different direction.

As with most fiction – fantasy/science fiction – you can see roots in topical issues. If you look at 2000AD in the 80s, it was about nuclear fear – Cold War stuff. 90s, wrought fear of corporation take overs. Look at The Cybermen from Doctor Who – in the 60’s the reflected the fear of organ transplants, by the 2000s, it was technological upgrades. The Pity are no different. They are an example of the growing dislike and hatred for the upper echelon of society – bankers, politicans – people who cream off taxes legitimately, who can stand to take on criminal investigations and win – because essentially, they are above the law. They are Lawless because they don’t have to abide by the code – not because they are at the bottom and too raw to exist within a social construct, but because they are too big and powerful to be forced to live in a social construct.

The Pity are very contemporary in design. They are violent. They are horrid – but they don’t see themselves as monsters. They are selfish and do what they want because they can. And when you can do anything, you can do everything – and that takes us down to the insane horror and depravity we see in Foxhell – which I’m sure those who are beyond the law would (or do) enjoy if they had such power.

The main factor of The Pity, as you will be seen, is they do not see themselves as Monsters. It’s not that usual fictional Nazi superiority ideology, but something more fundamental which by co-incidence I found expressed very well in this article in the Guardian today that ties in very much to what I was looking to express in this story – how people look at that localised circle as the norm, and are often unable to see beyond that to how they are perceived beyond it. Very typical of Bankers/Journalists/Politicians in recent expose who genuinely seem dumbfounded that high bonuses/bribing/claiming expenses on tax payers money, are anything beyond the usual in their groups. The Pity are very much like this and perhaps an expression of my perspective on some of the social models we’re seeing flouting “Lawlessness” in our society, away from the usual stereotypes on the “bottom rung”.

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!

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Foxhell: Episode 17 of Lucky In Love

Lucky In Love continues!

More Fox waxing internal thoughts and exposition! Well, have to be honest, don’t we? She’s a funny girl to write for – she’s got a clipped casual way of speaking, yet at times you’ll see the sparkle of something deeper and more intelligent. A few revelations to her background might come apparent later in this story. More will slip in future tales – she’s an intentional ambiguity. I kind of feel once taken from this Earth, when time isn’t a constant as such, things might blur considerably – Fox is an example of this!

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!


Foxhell: Episode 16 of Lucky In Love and Creating On The Run!

Lucky In Love continues!

We’re back again and the latest story continues to move direction!

Behind the scenes, it’s a difficult situation as I’m running behind schedule! Now this I find has its ups and downs. It means I’m no longer running directly to plan, but it gives freedom to shape the story a little based on reflecting the finished episodes. Sometimes seeing it laid out in its finished elements can give you an idea – or generate the notion of a problem – that could be useful to bare in mind when dealing with future episodes. Maybe even re-emphasising an story attribute you feel might be getting lost in the pace of the strip.

On the downside, its harder to keep up and you end up having to push yourself a little harder – when you’re in that situation, more chance of missing something pre-planned, that gets lost in changes.

But overall, it’s quite an exciting way to work, and for me, Foxhell is as much an exercise in speedy produced, quality tales as it is about telling a story!

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!


Foxhell: Episode 15 of Lucky In Love now online!

Lucky In Love continues!

Another chapter! My only apology is for the lots of exposition! Fox does like talking to herself – she makes that point a lot. Gabby lady!

Tale takes a turn on Monday!

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!


Foxhell: Episode 14

Lucky In Love continues!

Just a reminder that one more tomorrow before the weekend break!

Hopefully there are a few questions at this point:

Who are the people who own the sweatshop?

What caused the Fraggles?

What was Fox doing in this battlezone?

Where are the Legion of Hellions Gate?

– If you’ve wondered any of the above, answers will be dovetailing. Obviously some have already had some vague references – the Legion evacuated the area as soon as it was attacked, we know that the Fraggles are a form of attack very much as the Nazi’s would attack London with bombs in WW2, but the reason for the attacks specifically isn’t clear… or is that alluded to in today’s strip? Well,  a couple more answers tomorrow – and more next week!

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!


Foxhell: Episode 13 and the Font Size of Doom

Lucky In Love continues!

Made a couple of errors in this weeks strips – font size!

Now, the way WordPress works does limit resolution, but given so many people view sites on mobile systems these days, not a bad thing – and makes it far less fun to rip off a 590 pixel wide strip – so it has its upsides. Low load time too (particularly for those with connections on the move).

Downsize is keeping fonts reading – especially if like Foxhell, it can be fairly wordy on occasions. Odd concepts often are. Sadly the font sizes set for this weeks were too big – they looked clunky and messy. So I reduced them a few points and it was fine yesterday, did so again today – on a smaller strip in actual size and of course, it was too small, so up went the font again.

Finding that balance is very hard – especially with technical confines, bandwidth concerns and different resolutions viewing the work. I do my best to make it a balance of all these factors… if it isn’t, well at least you know I try and I’m thinking of you!

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!


Foxhell: Episode 12 of Lucky In Love and the disappearing knife!

Lucky In Love continues!

Foxhell part 12, incorrectly labeled 15, in part because I’m a sloppy ess oh bee, but because this was a part of the script I’d removed, then decided to re-insert into the story. Which makes the next part interesting from a critical reader’s point of view, as you’ll see how it opens with Lucky holding the knife and how the knife is itself slipped into the dialogue without being – hopefully – too clunky, given it was mentioned in yesterday’s strip. The idea was I felt at the time the set up for the knife would be a little better as a post reference, so far as you didn’t have to see it being given. I just figured it would pick the pace up if we didn’t have that moment – but then I realised we lost a character moment for Lucky and the knife could perhaps carry a little more weight if it’s introduced correctly… which is what we have here… I hope.

Well I hope that’s interesting more than spoilery – nothing given away… other than there’s a knife in these two episodes – today and tomorrow!

Whether you like or dislike Foxhell, I hope these little introspectives into the story build might prove interesting!

If you enjoy Foxhell, more of my work is available to view at www.jamesmclean.net

Your support is always most, most welcome!