Webcomics and Graphic Novels, Fantasy and Sci-Fi by Mark Oakley!
is, Thieves &
engrossing self-published black-and white fantasy saga. [. . .] This is
a story for fans of Bone, Elfquest, Nausicaa, or Harry Potter to fall
in love with; highly recommended for teen and adult fantasy readers
Please become my Patron! It's super-easy; see Patreon to find out how. -Now, don't worry; everything will remain free to read here, (many of my readers do not have credit cards, after all). But I'm a full-time cartoonist and I need to pay the bills. There are hundreds of folks reading, so those who are able, please consider chipping in with as much or as little as you choose. Even a buck a month would be a blessing! Those of you who have already extended your support, oh my goodness, Thank-You! It literally means the world to me!
Also.., Jenny Mysterious is now LIVE and will have regular weekly updates!Yessss! Been a long time coming. Jump to her section below. Thanks everybody!
New Episode #284 - Next Episode, Thursday June 1st
-No DRM -No Hassles -Super High Quality -Whole Books with all the extras!
Technical note: I'm using a new sales system for this which doesn't require all kinds of complicated filling out of forms and such. The back-end magic is worked by Gumroad, an awesome new on-line system designed just for digital content; easy payment, reliable delivery, no mucking around. -And holy smokes! They play fair, taking 5% + 25 cents per transaction. Are you paying attention Apple and Amazon? This is how it's done.
NEW! Stardrop eBook Now Available! (See the Studio News (below) for the scoop on this!)
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May 22nd, 2017
New Pages posted - 181 to 182
I've decided to publish the long-talked about Jenny Mysterious free on-line, with new pages every week, starting right now! BUT I am asking folks to become Patrons. Please support my comics with as little or as much as you choose with a monthly subscription, (even just a dollar would be fine!). It's really easy. See my Patreon page for details.
Sample Chapter from, Thieves & Kings, Volume 3, "The Blue Book"
Thieves & Kings is not a webcomic. It's an all-ages fantasy/adventure graphic novel series which I've been working on since 1994. It is nearly done; I hope to wrap up the story in the 7th volume, (currently in production). The chapter featured here offers a good example of what it's like to read Thieves & Kings. --It's a peppy sequence, and it contains both regular comic pages, and some text pages. It doesn't show much of the title character, (Rubel) and none of the Shadow Lady, but Heath and Varkias carry the show quite nicely. I do hope you enjoy this sample of my work!
The Walking Mage is a complete story. Originally it was done in black & white, (which you can check out here, if you like). I wanted to experiment with color and so began by using a computer to color the Walking Mage for its print release. After a few panels I decided that it would be a lot more fun to paint it by hand, and so switched to water-color around episode six.
The story itself is quite a good little yarn; funny and pointed in many places, as political satire ought to be. I was actually quite surprised to learn this! I found myself laughing out loud in several places. --I don't know why this story in particular was so hard for me to accept, but it was. I avoided reading it for several years after it first went to press. The ending is rather abrupt, but it was a serial strip, after all.
So anyway, after having let this web-comic languish in the digital attic, I've decided to pull it out and post it again for all the world in its full-color glory. This is the first time the Walking Mage has been available in full color on the web. I hope you enjoy the adventures of Quinton and Varkias. Cheers!
Woke up from a crazy dream today. -One where Jenny Mysterious stopped by. That rarely happens and it always makes me happy, so I thought I'd share.
-So I'm hanging out with a Very Good Friend, -but the dream kind, where when you wake up, you can't remember who it was. (I have dozens of friends like that in Dream Land.)
And Jenny's there! And it's her! And she's SO cool. And the three of us are hanging out and just talking about stuff. Then the nameless friend, (I can picture her hair and some of what she looks like, but I don't think I could draw her).., anyway, she's not super-powered. She's just a regular, nice person. But she's looking between Jenny and me and listening quietly to the fairly intense stuff we're trying to sort out between us, and then announces...
"That's it! I'm Carpe Dieming!"
"I'm TAKING this Rabbit car!"
-And sure enough, we've been leaning against this super-cute little car which is shaped and painted like a rabbit.
"But it's not yours."
"That's right! I'm STEALING it! Get in! You're Driving, Mark!"
Very Good Friend pretty much shoves me and Jenny into this teeny Rabbit car, and suddenly I'm an automotive thief. Jenny is no help at all. She just shrugs and hunkers down in the back seat.
And then I'm trying to drive a runaway rabbit car down a huge hill through town without getting caught or hitting anything. -It's hardly even a real car. It has wheels only slightly more evolved than those on your average shopping cart. But it does have a rudimentary brake system, and I'm able to guide it safely into hiding.
"Why do you even want this thing?" I ask.
It's a fine day. Spring and bright, and we're all laughing and grinning in spite of ourselves.
"For my Summer Job! I'm turning this thing into a Hot Dog Stand."
I woke up thinking that I need to get out more. Also, that a hot dog sold from a rabbit car would hit the spot just right!
Part 2 of 3 ~ The Passing Through
April 15, 2017
You never know just what is going to clickety-click into the keyboard when it's scripting time.
God, I love writing! I'm surprised and elated nearly every time I sit down to hammer out new stories!
-At its easiest, when you're not worrying about broad strokes and big ideas, you just start with what must happen, and then ask yourself, "Okay. I just tipped over that domino. What happens next?" -Then you write that and say, "Okay, that makes sense. So what happens after that?"
And so on... -But with chaos driving random reactions at every step. Things can often logically go in a dozen different directions. Pick one.
By the third or fourth line, I am often SO far away from what I might have originally envisioned, so charmed by the unexpected shapes and forms emerging, that I am reminded... writing is more like exploring than creating. It's like mapping new fractal maths as they unfold. Intricate and fantastic, you can only know what the final form will be by getting right down there into the crunch of it. Revealing each line as it happens.
Trying to *plan* ahead, trying to push that stuff around..? No way! You have to learn how to dance with the unexpected, to lead and to follow and lead again.
I mean.., I had NO idea that I would be writing the following line when I started tonight's scripting exercise...
Jenny [indignant]: "Hey! Burt Reynolds isnâ€™t a 'washed up actor from the 70's'! Heâ€™s retired! -And thatâ€™s only here in the future. Have some respect, kid!"
Part 3 of 3 ~ The Real World
April 16, 2017
Whoa. I just learned a bit more about the area of Toronto where/when Tammy and Jenny grew up.
It's a tough section of town. -I mean, I *knew* that, planned for it, but had sort of forgotten in the time it took to draw my way through the first Jenny Mysterious graphic novel. -I just spent some time chatting with a woman who grew up around Regent Park, Parliament, Cabbage Town...
I might pull some writer-fu and shift some of Jenny and Tammyâ€™s jr. high experiences a dozen subway stops up the map so I can write from personal experience rather than a couple of steps removed. North York had a whole different tone to it. That strange over-lapping ravine system changed the energy of the region in huge ways I don't think people quite realized... But there was still plenty of opportunity for teenagers to go out of their minds with the problems of artificial social containment. -Think RUSH's "Subdivisions" versus... I donâ€™t know. Something with more social depression and anger. Maybe The Clash..? Modern cities always struggle to provide for our young selves needing to be warriors...
Though, Jenny is one of those people who tends to bend reality around her and not the other way. She probably wouldnâ€™t fit in very well no matter where she was, and while maybe being a little confused and sad about being left out of her peer group, also had enough stuff going on in her own personal dramas to also fail to really notice. Tammy would have been a strong influence on her, probably pulling her off into a series of nerdy after-school activities and summer camps and such. Then when the Time Loop starts, all bets are off and Jenny becomes her own thing entirely.
There was a lot of fun stuff and adventure to be had as a kid in the 80â€™s parceled in with the harder aspects. A lot to love crammed in with the danger, tempering the edges. Lots to think about here as I crack my knuckles and squint at my keyboard...
April 16,2017 Early in the morning...
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The Red Book Vol.1
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