This guest art is from my friend Shawn Handyside of the exceptional comic Staccato. Back when I first started putting up a vote button, Staccato was one of those comics inhabiting the top echelons of the list, and along with Spelling the Vacuum was one of the few I thought belonged up there.
I’ve since come to terms with the actual meaning and uses of voting lists (they’re one of many pretty good channels for bringing in new eyeballs, but they don’t tell you much…and it’s deadly to think of them as a goal in themselves), and my comic and Shawn’s have evolved in different ways.
I owe him a great debt of gratitude for his assistance in getting into the New Hampshire newspapers. He introduced the editors there to webcomics in general and his favorite reads in particular. The powers that be chose to include both Staccato and PartiallyClips among their comics selections.
As for this art, it was actually his second attempt. The first drawing he gave me was great, but it was unusable because it was an action piece. I may use it to revive Cliptoons, though.
The natural thing to do with this piece was a kind of Animal Farm homage. I almost did a joke about finding a bunch of Orwell books in the trash, thrown out because their dystopian visions have been lapped by cable news, but it wasn’t really finding its way to a laugh, and was bordering on a political joke.
The real problem with writing to this one was explaining the crown, scepter, and cape in a way that made any internal sense. Talking/thinking animals is the one necessary conceit. I can’t comfrtably do two without some kind of reason. That might sound weird.
Making him magical was one door I opened, and that led to this “from the future” thing. *shrug*
Oh and, since “perq” is short for “perquisite,” this is my preferred spelling. You’ll see it more often as “perk,” but I feel it’s my duty to help keep that spelling alive. Why? Because I play Scrabble, and we need every “Q without a U” word we can get.