Q: Who are you?
A: My name is Roland Hansson
Q: What do you look like?
A: Brown hair, glasses, goatee. Like this.
Q: What is your age?
A: 20+ (I don't know when I'll update this page again)
Q: Where do you live?
A: The fair country of Sweden (that's in northern Europe for those who didn't know), where I study Chemistry/Molecular Biology at University of Lund
Q: What hobbies do you have?
A: Reading SF/Fantasy, doing creative things like drawing, reading webcomics, playing computer games.
Q: Is the glass half full or half empty?
A: I dunno. Are you filling it or emptying it?
Q: I mean, what kind of personality do you have?
A: I'm a slacker, geek and webcomic fanatic. In that order. Optimistic? I do seem to get mostly good surprises, but on the other hand, my self confidence is so twisted by reading tons of fantasy books, that even my nightmares usually have happy endings. Like, I'm running from some monster, and I SHAKE IT OFF! If I'm in a room full of poisonous spiders, I manage to avoid being bitten. (On the other hand, I dream terrible dreams of coming late to school or forgetting tests, because that sort of stuff isn't really covered by my books of choice.)
Q: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
A: Strengths: Scientific mind, decent artistic talent, fast reader, understands English pretty well ( wouldn't you say? ).
Weaknesses: Lousy social skills, poorly functioning short-term memory, lazy to the border of stupidity, overly cautious and polite, tends to proselyte about webcomics when given opportunity (try THIS page, by the way). Tends to do the right thing at the wrong time, at the wrong place, in the wrong way, thereby effectively making it the wrong thing.
Q: Why are you making a webcomic?
A: Well, here's the top 10 reasons, scrambled for your inconvenience:
1: Making comics is a great way of improving your drawing skills, the plot forces you to draw things and situations you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
2: This comic is my last best hope...for a social life. Writing e-mails, sending fanart, doing crossovers, answering fanmail ( yeah, right, as if THAT'S gonna happen) - all this will force me to interact with other people, thereby making me practice my social skills.
3: I really like reading comics more than writing. I've assembled a HUGE load of webcomic links, some of them rare and hard to find (I like to think of them as trophies). Now, WHERE do I put them so that people can see them AND my friends, relatives, acquaintancies and people I meet on the bus will have a reason to visit? Hmmm.
4: The focus on humor (or semblance of such) will activate areas in my brain otherwise fated to be assimilated by the growing logical-mathematical part.
5: Writing text, ranting and so on will allow me to hone my English to perfection. Already I have learned much from other comic strips: PH33R /\/\Y 1337 633K 5Ki11Z !!!
6: My selfconfidence could need a genuine boost, instead of the synthetic one (telling yourself that everything is going to be all right because that's what happens in the books and movies), and getting tons of fanmail could be a way. HAH! I kill myself. No, really, that's what I'm going to do if you don't MAIL ME immediately and tell me what you think.
7: In order to take over the world and achieve global domination, one needs a fanatically loyal army. Stumbling upon comics like Sluggy Freelance, Elf Life and Megatokyo, I concluded that drawing an internet comic strip is an easy way of achieving this.
8: Why, the FUN, FAME and FORTUNE of course. Oh wait, that's programming bestselling computergames . Nevermind.
9: In order to vote in the Web Cartoonist Awards, one has to be a web cartoonist. Thus the name. Not that I did the last time, mind you. I just fell short of a reason (and a day).
10: Heck, I needed a hobby anyway, not to mention a webpage.
Q: OK, so why should I bother to come back here next week or so?
A: The reason why you should come back here, is:
1: I keep getting better at this, and sooner or later I'll make a decent comic strip.
2: I read a LOT of online comics, and regularily find new and interesting ones, which I'll add to the Links section as soon as I get the other stuff up. (And if you're not interested in finding new comics, then why are you here in the first place?)
3: Because when I eventually take over the world, I'm going to go easy on those who can prove they sent me fanmail.
Q: Why a FANTASY comic strip? Why not Science Fiction?
A: In one word: Lazyness. The thing about fantasy is that it's FANTASY. No background research required at all. I'm able to make up facts at a whim. I WAS considering to make some sort of comic about some dystopian future, but
1: I haven't read enough SF to know I wouldn't unwittingly copy someone.
2: Ghost 2138 does it better than I would.
3: I already have thought out several month's worth of Golden Age. Seems like a waste.
Still, maybe someday...
Q: From where do you draw inspiration?
A: I read and enjoy fantasy in general, but in particular Terry Pratchetts books.
A: Most of the species comes originally from a RPG which I, my brothers and a couple of friends used to play - "Drakar och Demoner", 4th edition - (Which, by the way, isn't the same as D&D) and what they didn't make up by themselves, they probably nicked from Tolkien and other RPG:s. I have of course tweaked them further. Some of the characters in the comic will be characters we made and played.
Q: Tell me more. It's * yawn * interesting.
A: Sure. For example, a rule we set in the game, ranking directly after "The Dungeon Master is never wrong" and "If the DM for some reason is wrong, see prior rule" was: "There will always be freaks". A halfling barbarian? OK. A dwarwen knight? Sure. An Ogre-scholar? Why not? It's not like NORMAL people set out to be adventurers, after all. This sort of thinking is central in my comic.
A: Otherwise, I read lots of webcomics. Look at my linklist.
Q: How did you think of this setup?
A: I watched an episode of JAG, (which is an unusual event), "Yesterday's Heroes", where these old guys fooled Rabbs, and I got the idea to make some old guy characters (In all fairness, so did our RPG-playing-buddies who also watched the episode). I envisioned a prosthetic-laden dwarf, a senile arch-mage, a reumathic fighter monk and a middle-aged pickpocket. We never got to play them much, but they became a theme in my drawings. At my latest attempt at doing comics (the third since I got good enough with a pen that anyone could see what I was drawing), they became the main characters. But I needed something more. Someone young and fresh, to ask questions, bring up subjects long forgotten, upset the equilibrium in the gang. And preferably female, to weigh out the others (for some reason we seldom made female characters). I named her Ciria, for no reason at all.
Q: "GOLDEN AGE" Where does the name come from?
A: Well, in that world, this time period IS the GOLDEN AGE of adventurers. And it's a pun of the average age in Nimble's gang. I'm not certain if the name 'Golden Age' is taken though, it seems kind of obvius, considering there are comics with names like 'Acid Reflux' and 'As if' out there. That's why I've added the "of adventuring" bit.
Q: How do you draw your comics?
A: With a pencil in my right hand. Duh. Four strips per page. Then I ink it in. This has the effect of
1: Making it possible to scan the comic with the common scanner.
2: Lessening the artistic quality. (I'm new on handling a reservoar pen). When I have the image, I work on it in Corel Photopaint, which is the program that happened to be on sale for half the price at the time. Then I text it, resize it, make it a GIF-file and upload it. I've heard there are ways of compressing gif-files further, but I haven't tried them yet.
More to come on this when I have the time.
Q: Why can't you make every strip in colour?
A: Have you got ANY idea of how troublesome that would be?( I can't very well use space-reasons, since the grayscale images often are LARGER. Go figure.)
Q: Why are you late so often?
A: Because I'm a slacker at heart. Because sometimes I can't get access to the scanner. Because I try to do homework from time to time. And because of writer's blocks, the size and frequency of which make the path of my life resemble some sort of obstacle course. Take your pick.
(I'm lucky in that most of my audience live far to the west, the time difference taking the blunt of my sloppiness)
Q: How can you manage a website when you know as little HTML as you do ancient Latin?
A: I bullied one of my little brothers, named Magnus, who knows somewhat of these things, into doing some basic coding. From there, I can tweak the rest to my liking. After all, though I haven't read much Latin, I still can puzzle together phrases and get quotes from books. Per aspera ad astra!
Q: Is this strip supposed to be funny?
A: Yes. It is. However, humor isn't something I excel at, and I do have problems getting the punchlines right, what with English not being my native language and all. If you think you could do a better version of one of my strips, mail me, and if I find that it is indeed funnier, I'll *gritting my teeth* consider replacing the text for the sake of my few readers. I'll probably even give you credit - in some remote corner of the page.
Q: I don't like your strip. Why won't you go away?
A: No matter what you put on the web, someone somewhere's going to like it, even if you don't. Thats a statistical fact, which means it's a lie, but hey, it sounds good.
Q: DIVINITIES? What happened to good old-fashioned gods?
A: In my opinion, godhood implies omnipotency or, at least, the ability to create or destroy an entire solar system, create life on Earth in seven days, that sort of thing. "Deity" isn't quite right. Divinity is a word less defined, allowing me to reinterpret the definition more freely. And the Divinities dislike the term "godling". It is such a demeaning word.
Q: 40 years of adventuring? That's a lot of flashbacks!
A: Yes. I'm planning to do some flashback episodes eventually, like how the gang formed. The focus will probably be on the present time, though.
Q: What's up with Ben? He seems to be head-butting the fourth wall.
A: The clinical term is exsanity, a slowly progressing dimensional shift-over wich affects powerful wizards, as a result of tampering too much with 'reality'.
B: "I could've sworn I heard someone..."
Q: Uhh...right. Not to mention that he looks like a xerox copy of Gandalf.
A: He does NOT! Er... maybe a little. See, I was going for the "archetypical wizard"-style, which just happens to include a beard, a staff and a pointy hat of some sort. Which is because Tolkien is the basis for practically all modern fantasy. But I personally don't think Ben looks THAT much like gandalf.
B: Hello? Anyone there?
Q: And while I'm nitpicking, isn't the name Hook taken? Like in Captain James Hook?
A: Nicknames are given because they are appropriate. Deal with it. "Hook-for-a-hand One-eye Metal-leg Noseless" is simply too long to use in normal speech.
Q: How is 'Ai' different from 'I'?
A: Spelling. Ai comes from a big family (the Yah), his siblings being: Yu, Mee, Thei, Nouh, Hoo, Wot, Wai and Hou. This is no big problem for them, since their native language doesn't resemble English. One may speculate, though, over the fact that their father (a well known explorer) is known to possess a peculiar sense of humor.
Q: Ai...Yah? *groans* That isn't very funny, is it?
A: *switching on laughtrack* You're outvoted.
Q: I want to complain about your use of a word derived from Earth (this planet that is REAL, you know)...
A: Say no more. Just so you know, English isn't the spoken language in my fantasyland. Therefore, words like Amazon (coming from the land surrounding the river Amazonas ) aren't to be taken litterarily, but as translations.
Q: How is it possible for Nimble to always be unshaven, yet never grow a beard?
A: It isn't. He shaves roughly every other day, before going to bed.
Q: When will this NAQ be up?
A: Now that's a stupid question if I ever wrote one - oops...
Q: That's a pretty nice background.
A: Thanks, I made it myself. I call it 'organic marble' and it's the result of messing around with the "smudge"-tool when the "clone"-tool is what you really should use. It turned out good, though.
A: And NO, you can't have it. Unless you ask very nicely and you don't plan to use it for your webcomic site. One should try to be original, after all.
Q: What are the coming attractions?
A: Character Sheets (like Cast, but in a RPG. Not necessarily implying this is all a game session. ), Rule book (some stuff like basic geography, rules of magic, history), Legacy of Links ( Can someone please come up with a RPG-tone word for "Big Link-list?" This is to be the story of all the good comics I ever visited, in roughly chronological order. It's quite a lot.) Available Quests (my take on 'contributions') and, if people REALLY demand it, eventually a forum: Troll's Bridge (though I wouldn't want trolls there, of course). If I get any fanart, I'll make a fanart section. Not very freaking likely, though, since for there to be fanart, there must be actual fans.