Sat, Apr 12, 2014
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Recent News

Sat, Apr 12, 2014 I hope the story hasn't become impenetrable. That's often a concern for me. I read some other comics, and I can tell that some of them are just so beautifully drawn and written, but good lord, their plots are impenetrable. So hey, if you're feeling a little lost, here's a brief summation.

Sandra was turned into a demon girl. She got upset and went crazy and her wizard friend had to banish her to someplace weird. It's been a while since then and her old buddies have sort of moved on in various ways. Jack was seen in New York, seemingly wizarding other people. He got a vision of Sandra (or "Zandra," rather) and resolves to return to his home to deal with it, most likely expecting a fight of some sort since they parted on very poor terms. Also, his magic book is now a woman for some reason. Now Zandra is returning to her old house and it's gotten bigger. Which is kind of creepy, I hope. That should do it.

Y'know, in some ways, these narrative comics are the most trying of all (in SOME ways, that is). You have to fall back so much on your skill as a pure writer, and when you've been up all night it's just so much harder to judge your own work.

Ah, well. I can't even care right now too much. You, go... I don't know, sign a humanitarian petition. Do a good deed. It's time for me to decompress.

If that means what I think it does. Kind of sounds dirty, now that I think about it...

-Joe
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 Let me make one thing perfectly clear.

April Fools Day is not over until I say it's over.

Clear?

And confound it, this is a tradition that's worth keeping alive. And also I was pressed for time preparing for MoCCA Fest and I had to do something. You understand. I'm sure we'll have fun next weekend, though. You'll be happy then.

Have you noticed how I try to make pony Zandra a little cuter every year? I hope you noticed.

-Joe
Fri, Apr 4, 2014 I'll see you at MoCCA Fest, I hope! If not, don't worry about it. I'll forgive you someday. I can't speak for Jim, though. He might hold grudges.

-Joe
Sat, Mar 1, 2014 Y'know... trying new things, especially when it's replacing something that's timeworn and comfortable... it's often fraught with uncertainty. That's a word, right? "Fraught?" Anyway. Typing out the dialog with the new font, making balloons around them... most other cartoonists are well used to it, but I'm settling into this for the first time. I'll have to master all the nuances of this particular technique, and there'll doubtless be many little frustrations I'll have to overcome before expressing the script this way becomes second nature. It's like moving into a new apartment. In some ways it seems crappy and intimidating, but after a while... it just becomes you.

I also did something I might once have balked at here (if "balked" is also an appropriate word). I feel bad even saying it, but for those buildings in the upper half I loosely penciled over a lightboxed photograph. Look up "Central Park," do an image search, you'll probably find the exact picture I used.

Part of me feels very uncomfortable having done this. It feels almost like stealing someone else's work. But then, all I traced directly were loose pencils, and I've been told that many great artists work similarly without guilt. Apparently the rule is that if a photograph is altered in any way it becomes free to use for artistic license.

I dunno. I can't deny that trying to do this page any other way would've been a tremendously laborious and time-consuming task.

Y'know, this is the first time I've actually drawn a big city like New York. At least in Zebra Girl. This was a groundbreaking page, this was. Maybe I'll have it mounted.

But hey, I'm rambling. The lack of sleep's getting to me again. Better than alcohol, I tell you what. G'night everybody. I hope the font meets with your approval. I hope we can all adjust to our new digs. I hope I eat soon.

-Joe
Sat, Feb 15, 2014 I've really got a weird habit of messing with that girl's shape, don't I?

-Joe
Sat, Feb 8, 2014 Hmm... You might have noticed that this prologue isn't really telling the story exactly the way it went. It's as though someone is taking artistic liberties...

-Joe
Sat, Feb 1, 2014 You might have noticed that with the new arc I'm doing a bit of experimentation. I'm trying to move towards a somewhat more iconic drawing style, I'm putting a little more "open air" into the pages, and I've moved away from hand lettering.

Yeah, fair warning... I might not be moving back. It's hit or miss at this point, taking some getting used to, and it'll probably take more when I get into the traditional word balloons, but I can't say it doesn't take a HUGE chunk of time and effort out of my work.

I dabbled with this before and it received a negative reaction, but I'm going to be designing my own font (for when we get back to regular dialog instead of this storybook malarkey) and hopefully it will be something we can all just learn to... well, if not love, at least not mind. At any rate, something's gotta give. I think honoring the old ways for thirteen years proves my devotion to the craft.

-Joe
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 ...What, we waited all that time for this??
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 Well this is it, today's the day we get back on the Zebra Girl train. It occurs to me that some of you might be a little rusty, I know I'm dreading condemning myself to another merciless storyline, so I thought I'd remind you of a thing or two.

First: The comic usually updates just under the wire. It's going to be up sometime today, but probably later rather than sooner. That's just how I work. That's why it's updated "weekends," as opposed to a specific day. Second: If the website's broken it's not my fault. Seriously, I've been trying for like a year to finish building this place and I still can't get the FTP to cooperate. That's why I'm setting up the mirror site. More on that later. Bottom line, when something goes wrong with the site (or with anything, really), just tell yourself "it's not Joe's fault." That'll make things better. Maybe the whole world. And if it doesn't? You know who not to blame.

You can thank me for stuff, though. I don't mind.

So! I'll see you later today and I guess we'll just... see where we go from here. I wonder if I'll be making any changes to my art style? Wouldn't that be awesome? I bet that'd be great. Wouldn't that be great? Well don't get your hopes up, I ain't promising anything. I find that helps me get away with a lot.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 Can you tell I'm trying to distract you yet? If not, forget I just admitted it. But I'm glad to have a chance to put this one up in the archives. Again, if you'd like to see the full picture you can find it here in my patch of DeviantArt. If you haven't seen it already then that oughta make it a little clearer just what's happening.

And, since self-promotion is nothing to be ashamed of and damn it I need to do more if I'm ever going to reach the stars, I'm going to go ahead and pimp-- wait, is that okay to say? Pimp? Is that word okay? Well, I'll publicize my YouTube channel here. Click the "Like" insignias and that'll be good for some reason, or so I'm told! It'll help pass the time, right? Hell, I got a pretty face. I ain't ashamed.

Recent videos include:
My Brilliant Discourse Regarding an Upsetting Trend in Comics as Exemplified by Batman: Death of the Family,
My Devastating Followup, a Dissertation on the Nature of Editors, Producers, and Mistakes
and
Something About Doctor Who.

That'll earn your respect, right? Huh? Right?
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 I was going to just leave the Zandra/Crystal snugglefest up there, but I figured I owed you more than that. Slightly more. Like... some character sketches relating to the upcoming arc more. Not more than that. This stuff's already free, y'know?

-Joe
Fri, Jan 3, 2014 I've always found it inexcusably dishonest and generally quite cheap when an audience is promised sex and/or violence to lure them. So I promise NOTHING. I'm just saying there's a possibility of sex and/or violence. The upcoming story arc might just as easily be quite chaste.

...But wouldn't you feel foolish if there was perfectly good sex and/or violence happening while you weren't reading? Hmm. I think you would. Of course, like I said, I'm not PROMISING that Zandra and Crystal will have gorgeous exaggerated lesbian romance. In fact, maybe you don't even care for that sort of thing. I make no assumptions regarding your preferences. In which case you might be missing out on erotic content which you WOULD care for. What if it's totally unlike the above illustration? It could be Zandra and Mike making out! Or Zandra and Sam! Or Wally and Crystal! Or Wally and Jack! Or Wally and Sam! Or Sam and Zandra's Subconscious Dream Television Sam! You're bound to find one of those pairings sexy. There's just no telling. God, anything could happen... I think you'd better start reading again on the 24th just to be on the safe side. I'm telling you this as your friend.

Incidentally, if you're interested in seeing more of the above image you can find the full version over at my DeviantArt portfolio. And if you do like it you can thank Ghoul King for commissioning it.

Straight truth, I hope that you all have a great new year to look forward to and to have you on board for Zebra Girl's continuing adventures.

I certainly hope I pull it off, however sexy it might not be.

-Joe
Sun, Nov 3, 2013 Well, this is the end, beautiful friend. The end of my elaborate plans. Sandra is finally out of the Outlands. What will she find back on Earth? Tragedy? Triumph? Sticks of butter? We'll see. But not right now. Right now daddy needs to have a lay down.

You can feel free to expect various updates to the site over the next few months, maybe a guest comic or two (though that part's up to you folks). A mirror site hopefully being born. But this is the last regular comic of 2013. Zebra Girl's adventures in Dreamland are done, and her hooves are now aimed back at solid ground. We'll look back in on dear Sandra (or "Zandra," as she seems to have become fond of addressing herself now young people these days I swear what is this world coming to why I never) in the spectacular future year of 2014. Let's hope we're all still here to have fun with her, eh? Thanks for sticking with us so far, you crazy palooka. Without you this comic would just be a tree falling in the forest. Or something. I don't know. You figure it out. But man! What a trip.

Oh, I hope Crystal's okay.

-Joe

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