Princess Perdita Pricklepants Mar. 2016 – Feb. 2019


It is with terrible sadness and a very heavy heart that we must report that Her Highness Princess Perdita Pricklepants has passed away.

Her Highness had been fighting with kidney disease for six months, but ultimately passed. She was happy even in her final days. She had grown accustomed to hand feeding and enjoyed being petted and adored during her morning and evening feeding times.

A genuinely gentle, patient, and kind spirit mixed with a curious and exploring nature perfectly in her nature. Always happy to be held and played with, and always excited to immediately look underneath any and every prop when on a photo set.

Beloved by friends, family, pets, and fans, she will be sorely missed. She was a light that burned twice as bright, but half as long, bringing delight and wonder.  All the best to her in her journey across the Rainbow Bridge.

Princess Perdita Pricklepants
Mar. 2016 – Feb. 2019
RIP, dearest sweetest hedgehog ever, you will be sorely missed.

 

Princess Pricklepants Presents Stoats as a Measurement – Delightful Details


In case you missed it, here is the full comic:

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We updated the masthead to use “An Artful Web Comic of Delight and Wonder” a while back, but sometimes accidentally use the old one. Whoops. While this is sort of issue 14, issue 12ish had a few posts, so we’ve decided to count them as one since it’s just easier that way.  We haven’t mentioned it before, but we always put the issue number in the upper left hedgehog.

This comic was dedicated to a running joke from March Mammal Madness where Stoats as a Measurement has been ongoing in describing various mammals stats for many years now. If you search for the #StoatsAsAMeasurement on Twitter you’ll find a treasure trove of wonderful things.

(2019’s March Mammal Madness is coming pretty soon, and should be excellent. Mammal battle brackets, science, education, interesting mammals you’ve probably never heard of before, lots of things coming together. On Twitter you can follow 2019MMMLetsGo and search for the  hashtag, there’s much to see. There’s also a Facebook version though Twitter’s where the action really is.)

There’s even an excellent print by Charon Henning:

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(available here)

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The updated Pricklepants Labs logo featuring a stoat nucleus really just pleases us somehow.

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We made the art for this a good while ago in prep for this comic, and liked it so much we had to share back then. We still like it.  The little paintings, the serious expressions of hedgehog and stoat, the careful drawing of the quills. It really comes together.

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We initially were thinking we were going to draw a big pile of 1,200 stoats for this, but since we started working on this comic two days ago, we realized that wasn’t going to happen. The American black bear’s weight actually has a wide variation, from 90 lb/41 kg/297 stoats to 550 lb/250 kg/1815 stoats.

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Tardigrades are fascinating, microscopic, nearly indestructible little water bears. When they go into their state of cryptobiosis, tardigrades can survive extremes of temperature, radiation, and even the vacuum of space. They’ve been around since the Cretaceous and survived multiple mass extinction events, probably thanks to this microscopic superpower.

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You might have wondered why we included a picture of a 737 in our comic. We have been busy with a lot of things (and have been playing far too much Disney Emoji Blitz) and sort of lost track, so we started this Thurs. night in a panic. We happened to have done a drawing of a 737 in October that we liked. Problem solved.

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Don’t forget Valentine’s Day is coming! We had made a Stoat Valentine a little while back, so this was another case of recycling to save time. While the original’s style is pretty, it wasn’t well suited to a comic.

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Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, here’s a free, very affectionish Valentine for you. The bee, stoat, and chickadee aren’t to scale with each other, but to took some artistic liberties. It turns out we really like drawing bees and birds. That chickadee still really pleases us. Perhaps a Princess Pricklepants, Ornithologist will be coming up since we’ve discovered we really like drawing birds.

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We hope you enjoyed this comic, even with a subject matter that wasn’t very hedgehog-centric, and with a rather abrupt ending.

Princess Pricklepants Presents The Quilluminati – Delightful Details


There’s so much history people don’t know, and we are always excited to get to be an educator! This strip packed in a lot and here we enumerate some delightful details.

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This is a very good title panel if we say so ourselves, and we do say it. So there it is. The currency stylization of the background doesn’t exactly make sense if you really think about it, so don’t.

 

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The intense conspiratorial stare of Grand Quillmaster in the center is very pleasing to us. We spent a very long time drawing a background for this panel. We went with halftone shading, abandoning the proper clean shading of ligne claire stylization and regretted it a little, but there it is.

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Do you see how the plasma engine’s flaring obscures the line of the pyramid? We do. It is sightly wrong. But the composition really tells the story of “hedgehogs built the pyramids and also are the reason people believe in flying saucers,” which is a story that needed to be told.

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This is the best. Just say it. Admit it. It’s true. You know it’s true. The original this is based on is an Egyptian Book of the Dead funerary text, so if you were to go to the trouble of reading the legible parts of the hieroglyphs you could read all about that.

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Very legal & very cool. Not everyone learns about ancient hedgehogs riding dinosaurs to build Stonehenge in school, and it’s a shame.  It’s an apatosaurus, in case you were wondering.

 

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The secret phrase is one more people need to hear, but no one wants to see how things would have worked out if the Quilluminati’s tiny quilly guiding paw hadn’t restrained humans’ terrible ideas.

Princess Pricklepants Presents the Duel Denouement


Princess Pricklepants Presents The Duel Denouement

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(Princess Pricklepants Presents issue no. 12ish)

Several dozen readers have spoken, and the results are clear.  Twitter people are more macabre. Facebook people are less macabre, though still macabre. Hogula is champion. Gorey rules. Warhol drools. Sorry, we don’t make the rules.

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Other things we’ve learned – we are really bad at making polls. Facebook and Twitter’s polls both aren’t very good and don’t have a two week option.

Princess Pricklepants Presents A Minor Delay


Dear readers,

While we have the comic prepared for this week’s PPP, due to illness in the family we didn’t get it published yesterday morning. While the handservant’s fever is managed now, we’ll resume publishing on Sat, Dec. 22, when we will present:

Princess Pricklepants Presents: The Duel.

This one needs a proper morning release and a weekend of devoted care.

In lieu of a delightful comic, please enjoy this classic holiday photo:48373288_10217904197820749_2213523078028197888_o

As a bonus, we present this delightful photo of Princess Penelope as a wee Warrior Princess.

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See you next Saturday!

Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula Part II – Delightful Details


Today we published Princess Pricklepants Presents issue no. 8: Count Hogula Part II (we forgot we needed a title until it was too late).  In case you missed it, here it is:

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We didn’t go into the details of the previous comic since it was a little less exciting art-wise, and seemed pretty straightforward. It was mostly prep to get us to this comic.

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Since Bat-Hog entered the graveyard Hogula is in, we got to make everything Goreyesque, which is good. We’re not great with the comic styling we were using in the previous comic, and don’t especially like it, so we were very happy to escape to this.  Also coloring is hard, so all black-and-white is nice, except shading with crosshatching is harder than coloring, so darn.

The highly hatched hog-rocket landing generally pleased us. We fiddled with it a lot, and would have fiddled more only at some point you just have to stop. It doesn’t quite draw the eye to tell the story of the landing as much as we’d like, but we’re picky. Bat-hog’s determined walk through the bleak snowy graveyard towards the crypt, the tombstones, the crypt in the distance, these we like. In the layout we bled the two top panels together to give some sense of motion.

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A dramatic meeting. We worked on each expression for a good while to get a very serious, stern Bat-Hog. Empty white holes in a mask are nice and easy for making expressions. We made a much more mysterious Hogula that invited multiple readings. Bat-Hog’s quills are a lot more varied than Hogula’s since he just crashed in a Hog-Rocket. The conceit for the bottom panels gets set up here, writ small.

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We put a tiny message in here about the shadows, because it’s not how shadows work. We fiddled a while, reached a point where we could live with the wrongness, and left a confessional note. Nice dramatic left panel, I think. We added the bats late, but once we thought of it, they really helped things pop.

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Bat-Hog’s quills will never settle until crime has ended. The shadows again, let’s not talk about those. We played up the mirrored Bat-Hog and Hogula, each with their long dark cape/cloaks, their bats, and other similarities for the comic, but now we really want to make a vampire Batman just to test things out some more.

We left things hanging with poor Hogula complaining about suffering unfair prejudice by the living, next week we will fill in more, so stay tuned.

An Update On Princess Perdita’s Health


Dear everyone, here we offer here a (rather long) proclamation on Her Royal Highness’s health and well being which we hope will answer any questions you might have. We also include several photos of Her Highness taken today.

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Her Highness thanks you all for the great outpouring of concern, kindness, and offers of help. We are grateful and it warms our heart to see good in the world coming forward in times of need. You all are the best and are proof that good will triumph.

Please let your hearts rest easy. Her Highness is doing fairly well and far better than she was a week ago. After many tests the vet determined from a blood test that the issues Her Highness was seeing were caused by kidney problems. It might be that Her Highness’s selective picking out of some bits of kibble might have increased her protein and caused some troubles, but we can only guess. Knowing the cause lets us treat the issue, so we’re grateful to the vet for figuring this out. If you’re in Austin, the vets and staff at Research Boulevard Pet & Bird Hospital are all very good.

Her Highness was dehydrated a week ago, but is now doing well on that front, and back to drinking her water as usual. This is an excellent improvement. Since last Wednesday Her Highness has taken daily trips to the vet to get subcutaneous fluids for fluid support to help keep her electrolytes in balance and get her system cleaned up. Today was the first day we didn’t take her to the vet, but we were trained in doing the subcutaneous fluid treatment (don’t ask) and that therapy is continuing.

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Her Highness’ weight had gotten troublingly low, but at this point has stabilized and we seem on track for a healthy recovery.

The vet gave the hand servants an anti-nausea med that is being administered twice a day. This seems to be helping with interest in food.

The royal palace has had some extra heating added to ensure it’s extra comfortable for Her Highness as she lounges in the Huffledome, and this is being monitored with great care. While it had been somewhere in the mid 70s to low 80s, it’s now in the mid 80s to low 90s to help while Her Highness has a bit less weight for heat regulation.
The hand servants are still hand feeding a diet the vet provided via syringe, but are attempting to coax Her Highness to try a bit of food with limited success, but feeding via syringe is easy and Her Highness is a good, helpful patient so there there’s much food in the hedgie (and much food on the humans).

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Her Highness is perky, sniffy, and by all signs appears to be feeling bette. She is sniffing around her home, occasionally liner diving, and visiting the wheel a little (though not much yet).

She is happy to receive pets from the hands and plays with the hands like normal, playing endless tunnel, and flip floop, and nuzzle rub, and so on.

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In all, while Her Highness still has some issues that require extra care, they seem manageable. The hand servants will do all they can to ensure Her Highness is healthy, comfortable and well cared for.

 

Princess Pricklepants Presents Hedgehogs In Space – Stellar Details


Today we published Princess Pricklepants Presents issue no. 6: Hedgehogs In Space.  In case you missed it, here it is:

ppp-comic-1-6This is the intro comic boldly going where no hedgehog comic has gone before. While this particular issue has some Star Trek influence, now that we’re through this intro comic, the goal is to be more akin to Muppets in Space, the single greatest sci-fi show ever produced. Every real sci-fi fan knows in their heart that the Muppets in Space Star Wars episode was the most ambitious crossover in history.

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It’s always helpful to start a sci-fi thing off with an explosion. This helps the audience immediately know that we’re dealing with sci-fi, and not, say a torrid hospital-based hedgehog soap opera (which starts with a hospital scene) or a hardboiled hedgehog detective (which starts with some moody, noir setting). We bet you knew this was a sci-fi episode right away. Explosions. They work.

Another fascinating explosion fact we’d like to share is that the model for the explosion we used to make the drawing say “explosion” was the Atari 2600 Missile Command box art.

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Excelsior!

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We don’t have a lot to say about this panel, since it really speaks for itself. We’re very pleased to be able to bring Boris in as Boris here. You might be wondering why Boris is calling the robot a “little robot” when in terms of the scene, the robot’s not small. The reason has nothing to do with the robot, and everything to do with a bear who wants to pursue a science of scent-based phenomenology.

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Crew members complaining and gossiping behind the backs of other crew members are a staple of sci-fi. Fun fact: the background of the bear and cow scenes are the same drawing mirrored. We liked a lot of the details the bear’s speech bubble hid and didn’t want to waste them. That bear’s a talker.

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We think this panel pretty much speaks for itself and manages to say a lot with one image.

We are still generally following ligne claire here though we were looking at a lot of Möbius drawing when coming up with a setting. Apparently we really like the Franco-Belgian comic artists.

One little detail we haven’t mentioned before but which is nicely illustrated here is that we follow the Law of the Simpsons: hands have three fingers and a thumb. We’ve been quite consistent with this from the start.

final-panelWe think this one came together pretty well. We’re back to the view screen from the beginning, the crew is all together save the robot, and we have some new mysterious bits like the hedgehog-esque shuttle. The robot is flying the shuttle, hence not in the scene.

If you can identify the blue planet with two rings you’ll find the text has a richer, deeper, more symbolic meaning.

We hope you liked this one, and we look forward to future Hedgehogs In Space where we can explore things like Space Madness, Existentialism In Space, Cows and Bears Bickering In Space, etc.

Princess Pricklepants Presents Hogula: Of Monkeys and Melancholy – A Closer Look


Today we present our fifth comic. We enjoyed making this one a lot, and hope you enjoyed it too. When we make a piece of art that we like and other folks like it as well, it’s such a nice feeling for us. Also, as Her Highness is both royalty and a superhero, any time we can bring even a small smile, we have scored a victory for the forces of good and justice. As defenders of the good and just, this must be our way. In addition to heroic efforts to amuse and delight, this issue has a big stylistic change since we use the drawing style of Edward Gorey for our comic, a style we’ll sometimes call Goreyesque. In case you missed it, here it is.

ppp-comic-1-5  We’ve used the Goreyesque style a lot since it’s awesome. If you like this style, this grants you rights to being a member of our favorite people club. Gorey is a great source for inspiration since his work’s brilliance runs deep. In fact, this piece below which we posted recently was what got us thinking about starting a webcomic. And now here we are.

gorey-pumpkin-spiceYou might have noticed that previously whenever Hogula was featured in an illustration, this is the style we used. If so, you’re quite astute. A big jump from ligne claire, but a wonderful style, and a rule we will follow with diligence and dedication unless it’s fun not to.

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We added a few tombstones with tiny print as a special treat since nobody will notice them unless pointed out, and the only place you can have that pointed out is here. So here we are, insiders with sort of inside joke. This makes you cool. So, cool friend, let’s behold the next detail.

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The Francis Xavier quote’s from the mock graves at the Haunted Mansion.  Quentin returns again, as is the way of Quentin. In case you’re not familiar with Quentin, here he is.

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There are a number of other references to Quentin as he likes to write in, feel free to look in the archives to find fun old posts.

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Initially you will have imagery of a hedgehog looking at something like a mirror. But intuitively you know vampires don’t have reflections in mirrors. A puzzling scene.  After looking more carefully it becomes clear that the hedgehog vampire is measuring out their life with coffee spoons while looking at a picture of a hedgehog vampire who is measuring out their life with coffee spoons.

We chose to introduce our comic with direct reference to T. S. Eliot’s Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock with an illustration intended to alienate the audience in a Brechtian move. This is why we’ll never be popular.

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If you look upon this comic panel and aren’t filled with a sense of awe and majesty, we recommend at least three hours a day of art immersion therapy for the rest of your life. Some quality time with an Art History Book, perhaps few great museum visits and your level of cheer and wonder will grow and ultimately you shall look upon our comic and giggle.

The panel itself focuses on the message.  Three caws of a raven which clearly is are the sign. Waited for, century by century, while staring at a painting of a hedgehog vampire with a spoon. What does the sign mean? What forces are at work here? Why would a presumably powerful hedgehog vampire endure such a thing? A panel that raises many more questions than it answers, but which guides you to the next panel.

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We will be honest here. We made this panel since we were practicing crosshatching on the crow and we just liked it so much that we tried out making the crow large enough that the details were easily seen, and nothing else we tried was as pleasing . And we also get to sneak in a reference to an awesome Twitter SciComm game, #CrowOrNo – you should check it out.

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Look at that monkey. The direction of the narrative up to this point seemed as though it was aimlessly wandering through a series of vignettes, but now that we’ve found a monkey, the entire narrative has been transformed as we center on the monkey due to Monkey’s Law. Monkey’s Law is an interesting regulation that actually provides a very good, well justified reason for monkey-centrism, though sadly, Monkey’s Law forbids discussing much beyond this, so legally we won’t go into further detail.

The strong contrasts in this illustration, the clear simple line work to define the forms, the busy line work defining the lighting, the overall composition leading the eye to the monkey, just look at it. So much to see, but a quick glance still tells the story.

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In this issue we even have a rarity – a very satisfying conclusion. It’s also a monkey-centric conclusion, as this final panel follows a monkey panel, and therefore by law must include a monkey (some interesting legal exceptions apply, but it’s illegal to list them, alas).

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little account from behind the scenes, thank so much for coming along. And now you know that if Hogula appears, we’ll be going into a nice scratchy, heavily crosshatched black and white Goresyesque style. You also know that if a monkey appears, the monkey will persist and the narrator/narrative’s attention will drift to it. We really liked a number of the panels here. Many of them are interesting if taken as individual works, and together they tell a tale that reveals a bit about Hogula. We’ll be returning to Hogula at some point –  we have Bat-Hog vs Hogula complete and waiting.

Thanks for reading, and please join us next week.

Princess Princess Pricklepants Presents Hedgezilla – Delightful Details


Hello everyone,

Today we presented our fourth comic, which even has some narrative. In case you missed it, here it is:

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We definitely will be returning to Hedgezilla sometimes. Mech-Hedgezilla’s story must be told, the mysterious origin of Hedgezilla is a mystery I’m sure many wonder about, and there’s other things worth visiting we think.

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Our first illustration is a different direction from things we’ve been doing. That’s in no small part because we discovered the mixer brush in Photoshop when we were working on this and went a little crazy with it. It’s really useful for water effects and smoke and things. We’re not sure why we return to images of San Francisco being destroyed so often. It’s a really lovely city. It’s just a little too delightful for Hedgezilla to resist smashing for some reason.

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In case you’re worried, Pricklpants Labs will be rebuilt quickly. Post-Kaiju reconstruction forces are large and very effective. The car is a ’75 Datsun B210. Since it lasted this long, we didn’t have the heart to let the giant radioactive lizard crush it.

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That flame, that smoke. We were a little troubled at how we drew them at first, but I think it was worth it. Pretty happy with everything in this panel, which is rare. It really seems to say “giant hedgehog chewing on subway in devastated city” so clearly. Smoop made its second appearance here. It’s Her Highness’ favorite brand of wine.

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Based on the first Hedgezilla art we ever did, so it’s close to our hearts. I think we might have gotten a little too hyper-focused on drawing city details here. Don’t think about just how gargantuan that antenna is based on the perspective. It’s just really, really big, okay?

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The glorious final panel with San Francisco saved took a good while to draw, but it seemed to be missing something. Windows. So we penned in thousands of tiny dots in neat patterns over hours and it looked a lot better, but still might have been a mistake. We went a little crazy with the mixer brush in Photoshop but liked the effect. There’s even a flame reflection on the water.

We think the subway panel is our fave, though we like so many of them. Hope you enjoyed this week’s comic, and tune in next week for more Princess Pricklepants Presents.

We have a few delightful Hedgezilla shirts here:

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https://www.amazon.com/Womens-Hedgezilla-Poster-Graphic-Asphalt/dp/B01I7H1V7I

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https://www.amazon.com/Mens-Hedgehog-Shirt-Hedgezilla-tShirt/dp/B073Y2KWQM/

And more delightful shirts, mugs, posters, phone cases, zipper bags, and thing here.