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About the comic

What is my comic about? Well, it's about geeks. Sort of.

This comic is pretty much about anything that strikes my fancy. Funny concepts? Sure. Good storytelling? Hey, why not? Something that may be topical? The sky's the limit! Just so long I can tell it through the eyes of some geeks.

Geeks can be funny. Geeks can be serious. It's all in who they are. They're more than just fanatics of some games, or people who dream in C++. They've got minds. They've got family. They've got friends. They've got personality.

They can be the person that has aspirations of being on the stage based on how well they roleplay Garok the Mighty. They can be the person whose impeccable logic (from long nights of programming) lets them win any debate they enter, even against tenured politicians. They can be the person who creates a media empire based on the fantasy world they created during those long lectures at school. They can be *anyone*.

There's just more to a geek than their pasttimes. That's what I want to present. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Standard disclaimer:

All characters and events presented within this comic, unless otherwise noted, are works of fiction. Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, or event is purely coincedental.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do you update?

Usually, I try to have a comic five, if not six, times a week. This, of course, bars unforseen circumstances such as illness, vacation, theft of computer, theft of artwork, etc. For the most part, there should be a comic every weekday, including Saturday. Sundays will (or should) be reserved for special stuff, like guest comics or weird things when I'm in the mood for it.

In terms of server time, the comic updates at approximately 2am my time (EST). Ah, the joys of crontab :)

The comic's late. What do I do?

Grin and bear it. If I'm late, it's often for some idiotic reason, like I'm super tired, I misnamed a file, etc. I DO update, eventually, mostly within the same day. Apologies to my fans <g>, but a mostly daily comic can be taxing. (I really should start working ahead of time again...)

Are these people based on anyone in particular?

Sort of. To a certain extent, all the major characters are based on me, or an aspect of me. Sometimes my friends influence (indirectly!) the personality of a character, but I try to make them separate entities unto themselves. Of course, this doesn't stop me from taking real-life situations and putting them into the comic in some form or another <g>.

Why weren't there any women in the comic at the start?

One of the things that frustrates me with comics about geeks is that when you add women into the equation, you often end up with jokes about how women are SO much better than men. I HATE that. And I'm female. I want characterization, people we can care about, rather than gender jokes up the wazoo. So, unfortunately, female characters got the boot.

It wasn't always like this. An earlier concept of the comic actually included some female characters. They weren't geeks, though. :) For the most part, they were outsiders, like one was the girlfriend of the main character. I wasn't really happy with it. In any case, I had better ideas involving male characters (where I can let random dysfunctional personalities bounce off each other without worry), so the concepts evolved.

What are your biggest influences?

Lots. Here's a few:
Bill Watterson. Pretty much enough said. An intelligent, well-drawn comic. Truly an inspiration to us all.
Berke Breathed. Creator of possibly one of the weirdest comics, and one of the most lovable characters.
Scott Adams. Proof to everyone that just because you have simple drawings, doesn't mean you can't become popular <g>.
Charles Schulz. DEFINITELY enough said.
Other influences, at least artwise, include the now-defunct television show Gargoyles and the associated fandom, (some) Disney animated films, and the artwork inside various RPG sourcebooks.
Finally, a big thumbs-up to various comics I read, where just because the creators aren't slick artists or anything, doesn't mean they can't tell a fantastic story.

Why is Hiryuu's hair blue?

The obvious answer: Hiryuu looks like an anime character. Anime characters often have blue hair. Ergo, Hiryuu has blue hair. It makes him look more interesting.
The interesting answer: We see his hair as blue, because that's what color I chose for him. In THEIR world, however, like all Japanese people, Hiryuu's hair is black! In color shots, however, it gives him a more distinctive look than if he had a big black blob on his head.

What's up with Pete's hair?

Pete's hair is basically an Archie-style hairdo gone loco. In a "real world" scenario, his bangs curl, but not as drastically as what we see. Again, it makes him look more interesting.

Why is Onibuke in color?

Onibuke is of a different nature than the rest of the world. He's made up of "game" matter, whereas the guys are made up of "ToG-world" matter. To show the difference, Onibuke appears in color, while everyone else is in grayscale.
To get an idea of how different Onibuke looks, there's an episode of the Simpsons, one of the Treehouse of Horrors ones, where Homer is sent to the "real" world. He looked all nice and shiny, right? That's sort of how Onibuke looks to everyone else in ToG-world.

What's the name of the city these guys live in?

Charleston Bay, Ontario. It's fictional, so don't look it up on Google or something.

Who or what is a Litazia, and how do you pronounce it?

Litazia is a fantasy-type name I made up some... 10+ years ago for a character. It's based off letters in my real name.
What kind of character? Sixth panel.
How do you pronounce it? Lih-TAH-zee-uh.

Yes, she is also the drow that featured in the "Drow Your Sorrows" storyline.

Do you plan on ending the comic any time soon?

Barring things like burnout, I easily have material for another three years of comic.

Will there be a book?

It's amazing how many times I've been asked this. It's obviously rather exciting, the prospect of your own work bound up and taken with you!

However, there are currently no plans for such an endeavour. There are several reasons:
(1) The early strips make me cringe. Seriously, I can't imagine wanting to have those printed. They're ugly! I'd like to redo them, given a chance... but there are so many of them! I'd be redoing comics for months!
(2) They're currently not in "printable" format. I don't work at 300dpi, much less 600dpi. So my "master" copies aren't worth attempting to print.
(3) Printing would be a nightmare. I like the idea of putting comics on the web, because you don't "have" to constrain yourself to certain sizes. Of course, most people do, which just makes it all the funnier.
The point being, there are a LOT of ToG comics that don't fit a certain size. You have the standard "single-sized" comic, but then I branched into "double-sized" comics. I could probably do a print run with that, but... what about the triple-sized comics? Quadruple? There's even a hextuple-sized comic! How would that get printed, like a centerfold?
Never mind some of the more esoteric ones. The entire sprite story arc? I think I'd have a LOT of fun trying to get that legally printed. It's not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination (truth be told, it was funnier in my head), but if I wanted to be complete, it'd have to be included. And, of course, anything with a cameo. Ugh.
(4) Who'd buy it? Ok, some people would want to buy ToG books, but that's not quite my point. A print run makes sense if you have a few thousand readers. ToG has decidedly *less* than a few thousand readers. The numbers don't quite warrant it. I could do print-on-demand through Lulu or something, but I'm not sure.

Point being, ToG, in its current incarnation, is to stay on the web.

However, I'm not opposed to a book composed of original material... >:)

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The Tao of Geek and all related materials copyright 2002-2008 Liz Walsh. Do not use without permission.
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