Category Archives: Cartoons

The Slenderman Cometh

If you want to scare your pants off, go look up the Slenderman on the Internet.  Actually, don’t look up the Slenderman.  Really.  Take my word for it.

He’s an Internet meme invented in 2009 that was specifically designed to be terrifying.  Victor Surge – and all the people who’ve expanded on the mythos since then – have taken all the scariest bits from all the boogeymen you have ever feared and rolled them into one.  The Slenderman likes to show up in your photographs.  You’re reviewing your images on the digital camera, and there in the back of that nice picnic, there’s a ten-foot tall man in a suit with no face.  Just standing there.  Watching you.

Nobody really knows what he is or what he wants, but once you know about the Slenderman, he’ll start following you (sorry, everybody).  You’re walking around your house at night and you happen to look out the window … and there he is.  Just standing there.  Watching you.  The more you think about Slenderman, the more powerful he gets, the more powerful he gets, the easier it is to see him, the more you see him the more you think about Slenderman … arrrgh!  Your own brain is out to get you!

But there is something you can do.  Quick, look:

Yep.  That’s the riddikulus spell at work.

The Mushroom

I’ve been getting ready to move into a new town (Twin Cities), which involves a lot of digging around in boxes of my things that I haven’t looked at in years.  That digging turned up this:

Yep.  “The Mushroom” was the first short story I ever completed.  I was in the sixth grade at the time and I thought it would be cool to write a story about a mushroom that is actually a space alien.  Which prompted the following conversation when I saw this the other day.

Margaret from 2010:  WTF, Margaret from 1999?

Margaret from 1999:  I thought it was funny!

Margaret from 1999:  I like gel pens.

Anyway, here’s “The Mushroom,” for your viewing pleasure.

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Captain Lunde

I’ve been experimenting with various ways to add depth to my pen-and-ink cartoons.  To illustrate, I tried doing three versions of Captain Lunde, one of the characters in Confederacy.

“That said, Ms. Rattlingbones, you’re more or less trapped here. The only way in and out of Green Vale is by the gates, and we control the gates. And there are a lot more of us than there are of you.”

This first one’s the plain lineart.  I colored in another copy of the picture with a new toy, a bottle of India ink.

Take 2 ...

Much better.  That is, he looks 90% like my mental image of Captain Lunde.  From the neck down, definitely.  The eyes are a little … he’s not supposed to give a “bad boy” vibe.  He’s an authority figure and only too happy to color inside the lines.  Then again, for a few terrifying moments halfway through, he was looking like Bertha the Cross-Dressing Nazi, so I should be glad he doesn’t look like that anymore.

Here’s a computer-colored version:

... and take 3.

India ink is loads of fun, but it’s also laborious.  I’d probably reserve it for in-depth work like character portraits.  Computer shading is something I just might add to Zwitterion installments in the future.


Thanks, everybody, for checking out Zwitterion!  Although I designed this 18-episode sequence to be a complete story arc, I’m planning on turning it into a longer-running webcomic in the future.  Starting this fall, Amy is going to be a first-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota (that’s where I’m going, too).  I’m going to see if I can talk the student newspaper up there into printing it, but whatever happens, there will be updates on this blog.

More information over the summer as things progress.