Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula
issue no. 7
Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula
issue no. 7
Princess Pricklepants Presents Hedgehogs in Space – Issue 6
Today we presented our third comic, which unlike “It’s The Great Pumpkin Princess Pricklepants” will be the first of a hopefully long running series. In case you missed it, here it is:
While we’ll be doing a few other things for a while after this, we will definitely be periodically returning to the Labs. Science, the future, inventions, experiments there’s a lot to show and tell you about.
You won’t recognize this from the comic since this was a pane we developed but skipped. Crosshatched black and white ink drawings produce such lovely art, but clashed with the rest of the styles enough that we didn’t use it. Crosshatched black and white ink drawings are on the way once we meet Count Hogula.
Take a nice long look. Glorious, isn’t it!? So much science! So much art! If you don’t think it’s glorious, take another nice long look a the hypno-disc…
keep looking at the hypno-disk…
the nice round hyno-disc…*
* Note that according to traditional hedgehog orthography this term is spelled hypno-disk, with a K, but due to scribal errors, it’s been spelled hypno-disc, with a C, often enough that both spellings are considered correct.
At some point you’ll really admire this schematic. Maybe even yesterday! Waka waka.* This comic combines science, line art, and the Little Mermaid in a way heretofore unseen in the universe. We hope this artistic experience is as fulfilling for you, dear reader, as it is for this humble hedgehog webcomic artist. Click here to make it even more fulfilling with the single best hedgehog time machine schematic tee shirt the world has yet seen.
*Pricklepants Labs is an imperfect homage to Muppet Labs.
Getting to draw two flying cars is an automatically good thing. Except for the part where if you imagine what it would be like if humans had them and rain civilization destroying death on everything it’s less good. So don’t imagine that. Instead consider that we got to return to something like the ligne claire art style we like so much. It’s designed to have great clarity since it was designed for children’s book illustrations. There are clear border lines around every distinct form, shading that’s lower contrast but still uses distinction in bordering hues to define separation, etc. But you can still compose comic art in the style that is interesting as an illustration for adults. By contract we’re required to regularly write on art related topics like ligne claire, since this is an artful web comic, as is stated at the top of each comic. Also we really liked how the trees came out.
Who couldn’t be pleased with a nice, safe, responsible scientific experiment? We were trying to express growth movement here mostly with color and motion lines. There’s no background setting to force a perspective, which makes things more abstract, and lets the viewer fill in the perspective on the gamma-ray-o-tron. We really like putting little arrows pointing at things with text.
In this final illustration, the background is less busy to help focus on the hypnosis-disc which you should again look at carefully. Very carefully. You will eagerly wait with bated breath next week’s issue of Princess Pricklepants Presents.
While we’re still learning to draw, we think this one came out reasonably well overall. We managed to include a bit of foreshadowing in this comic, so tune in next week to see what that’s about. In the overall comic, we only used three types of stylization for quills, which is perhaps less ambitious than the debut issue, but it seems nicely balanced. Since we’ve calculated that pi equals three, it’s a nice round number.
Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 3
Princess Pricklepants Presents Pricklepants Labs
Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 2
Today we presented our first installment of Princess Pricklepants Presents, an artful webcomic of delight and wonder. The single greatest webcomic ever created by us. Since this is our first comic, we had a lot to say that didn’t fit in the little speech bubbles, so in this post we’ll share details of the art, comments on things, and notes about notes. In case you missed the comic, here it is:
In this comic we managed to include references/homages to Alphonse Mucha, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Magritte, Rembrandt, the Flammarion Engraving, Hergé, with subtle references to a few other artists of note, as well as hitting the minimum recommended daily allowance of jokes, both visual and written. We also drew a whole lot of quills.
Perhaps you’re asking, “why a web comic?” Well, you might remember that Princess Penelope Pricklepants used to write stories on our blog featuring herself as a model. Now take a look at this rare behind the scenes photo of Princess Perdita Pricklepants.
As you can see, Princess Perdita is not at all fond of posing, and immediately on coming on set, is ever intent on climbing under any and every element of the set, making the old format much, much more difficult.
But we still liked telling stories and we’ve been making art that told stories. We even made a few early web comic sorts of things like Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery in the Hundred Acre Woods and Princess Pricklepants, Astrophysicist. Also we’d made little single panel comics like this off and on.
So a proper webcomic is a natural progression, and it seems like a nice way to do the kind of things we like to do. Doing these is a fair bit of work, so we created ten comics before we published to make sure we were up to the task, so you’ll be (hopefully) happy to know there’s definitely more to come. We also have many plans for more comics, and hope you’ll come along for the ride.
While this might come as a surprise, we’re huge fans of Art Nouveau and especially Alphonse Mucha, so our title image is a cartoon homage, mixing the silly and sublime in what we hope was the right ratio.
Now you probably noticed the Magritte between the Leonardo and the Michelangelo, and thought to yourself that there had to be some kind of symbolism of a surrealist sandwich with Renaissance bread. You are very astute, dear reader! There is indeed symbolism there.
While not so easy to see in the full comic, we were really happy with the comic version of Magritte:
The apple’s brush strokes, the subtle two-dimensional cubist geometric clouds, the hat’s shading… It is a tiny happy thing.
Michelangelo in comic form. I bet if he’d thought of it, he’d have done it this way.
It’s a self-evident truth that monkeys and squirrels improve everything they’re involved in. While drawing this panel, we learned a few things. First, drawing each quill and coloring them individually is a lot of work. Second, hand painting each individual square in the gingham tablecloth to define the form was probably a mistake. Third, chairs are surprisingly hard to draw.
If you’ve ever read the Tintin comics by Hergé, you’ll be familiar with the comic style called ‘ligne claire’ or ‘clear line’ which we’re using here. It’s one of our favorites. The lines are drawn with a consistent pen width, there’s no hatching/shading lines, there’s a consistent naturalistic perspective, all forms in the image are in focus with each object clearly outlined, coloring tends towards lighter tones, and in general there are no shadows. (We took a few liberties with the tablecloth and chair cover because we’re free.) We’re not going to be using this style aways, but we really like it, so expect more.
You have no idea how many times we repainted this and changed colors around and fiddled with the stars. The hedgehog running in the wheel space station is a highly hedgehog-centric joke we couldn’t resist. If you’ve looked somewhat obsessively you’ll have noticed that we’ve drawn hedgehog quills in three different styles in the first three panels.
If you’re new to this blog, you might not be familiar with our cow, bear, and robot friends. We’d encourage you to catch up on some of our favorites:
Princess Pricklepants, Blogger, Anarchist (An early work, and odd, but still a fave.)
There are many more in the archives.
There’s much more to say about our friends, but we’ll be introducing you over time. Now, let’s take a closer look at that cartoonified Rembrandt hedgehog in the back.
Just look at it! Magnificent gloriousness.
And of course, we had to include a close-up and a nerd joke. Penning those quills took much time. Since this was our inaugural comic, we perhaps took the detail in the art a little further than we’re going to for every comic. In the end, we used five (or maybe six) stylizations for quills. We believe that is a record, and will be contacting Guinness.
We’re looking forward to sharing our comics with you. We’re currently planning to publish weekly on Saturdays, though there’s a chance we’ll change to biweekly, since they are actually a good bit of work to make. If you’re not following us, please follow us on social media where we share comics, art, jokes, and all sorts of wonderful things.
or you can follow our blog with the little link thing on the side.
We also have an Instagram account, but note that we won’t be posting comics there (with the scale we prefer, they just won’t fit): https://www.instagram.com/princessperditapricklepants/
If you like our art, you can find shirts, posters, mugs, notebooks, zipper bags, and other delightful things on our Etsy Shop.
We also have a wider variety of tee shirts on Amazon.
Do let us know if you have any feedback, questions, or comments, we’d love to hear from you. (Twitter/Facebook preferred, but any work). See you next week. Excelsior!
We have happy news! We wrote a children’s book which we weren’t enthralled with so we set it aside and wrote a couple more children’s books until we found a story we really liked. We’re in the (long, not very easy) process of illustrating it now.
This little story was mostly just created to force ourself to practice at illustrating (still working at it). Hence there are no photos, though there are still many pictures with words under them.
The book itself will be a long slow slog since we’re going to be submitting to publishers and all that business. If anyone has any helpful advice on that front, we’d be delighted to hear it.
And now we begin with our first nicely illustrated picture with words under it.
Princess Pricklepants was sitting at the table with a nice cup of tea on a quiet day, thinking about things, which was her favorite thing to do. After a bit of reflection she was overcome with an unusually strong feeling that she should do something good for the world, something big. Really big.
She ran into Sam, a trusted old friend who’d always been there, and had been in many adventures, despite what some pedantic nerds might say about it. “Hi Sam, I’m working on something big!”
After fourteen seconds, Sam the sloth had finished asking, “aren’t you already big enough?”
Her Highness made a note to schedule another manners lesson with Sam.
“We need to have a talk about manners. Soon. But not yet, as I’m working on something big.”
After a long silence that implied quiet agreement, Her Highness wandered off to the study.
Approximately ten seconds after she had left, Sam had finally finished saying, “no, but I didn’t mean you were big like that.” Alas, he saw Her Highness was already gone. Sam hoped that was the end of the excitement for the day and decided it was time to slow things down a bit.
Her Highness decided to develop a theory of astrophysics that explained dark matter more satisfactorily than current models. That seemed big in every sense.
As she worked, it felt like she was in some kind of wonderful montage with a cool, kind of edgy pop soundtrack driving her quickly towards a discovery that would take far too long to describe in a narrative story format.
She developed her hypothesis:
Dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks!
So elegant! It explained dark matter. It explained the mysteries of pens disappearing all the time. It explained singleton socks. It fit the evidence – socks and pens both had mass. This was science and this was big.
She performed an experiment to test her hypothesis. She took a nice pen out to a patisserie where she bought some nice macarons (mmm).
When she returned, the pen was gone. She then looked everywhere for it and even got helpers to look. It was nowhere to be found, thus proving it was nowhere on Earth and must have drifted off into space. Eureka! Science!
She brought her paradigm shifting work to the Forest Science Council to explain, but the idea that dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks was received surprisingly poorly. Mr. Badger went so far as to call the idea “tosh,” which seemed rather extreme. After a disappointing meeting, she returned home to have a cup of tea and work out a better plan for sharing her amazing new scientific paradigm.
As luck would have it, that very evening the James Webb Space Telescope was brought online, and discovered remarkably unusual and unexpected forms in dark matter which the surprised space scientists described as “like a bunch of pens and socks.”
Princess Pricklepants was delighted to hear this news! With this evidence, her science was even more science-y!
She returned to the Forest Science Council to present her case with this new data, knowing there would be much less risk of having her theory labeled “tosh.”
Unfortunately, despite unimpeachable empirical evidence backing her case, the theory was still not well received. Ms. Bluejay was still concerned. Thus far the council had only seen a few articles on Facebook, but no serious academic work, and the Forest Science Council had just issued another advisory to not trust science journalism posted in exuberant articles on social media until one had reviewed the original research.
Her Highness briefly considered renting a skywriter to send the message “Dark Matter: Really Lost Pens And Socks!” but deemed it impolite to write on the sky. Also, skywriting wasn’t exactly scientific… Still, it was fun to imagine.
She realized that she would have to write a paper including the notes and research from the James Webb Space Telescope space scientist people along with her own significant parts.
Happily, once the Forest Council reviewed the work, they agreed that her work in the sciences was indeed valuable and significant, and the paper was published in their newsletter.
While it felt strange to have a story wrap up with so few twists, fairly minor conflicts, and personal stakes that really weren’t very high, she was pleased enough with the illustrations, and was honestly pretty relieved to know what had happened to all those socks and pens.
“Silly Princess, your work on art and manners and that other stuff amuses, delights, and brings a bit of wonder to the world. That’s no small thing.”
“Well thank you, Sam,” said Princess Pricklepants politely.