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.


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.




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.


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.



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 Hedgehogs in Space

Princess Pricklepants Presents Hedgehogs in Space – Issue 6


Next: Princess Pricklepants Presents Bat-Hog vs. Count Hogula

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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


Princess Pricklepants Presents Pricklepants Labs – Delightful Details

Hello everyone,

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…*

Clicking here to see a shirt dedicated to this panel feels oddly compelling, doesn’t it?

* 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.

There’s a shirt dedicated to this panel here.


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.