Four Reasons Why Some Webcomics Are “Non-Canonical”

2016 Artwork Non-Canonical webcomic article sketch

Well, for today, I thought that I’d talk about the whole idea of “canon” when it comes to webcomics. If you haven’t really heard this term before, a “canonical” webcomic is a webcomic that is considered an “official” part of a webcomic series by it’s creator.

A “non-canonical” webcomic is one that, whilst it may feature the same characters, is not considered to be an “official” part of the series by it’s creator.

So, why do some webcomics end up being “non-canonical”?

1) By accident: The day before I originally wrote this article, I had a rather interesting experience. Whilst replying to a comment about one of my occasional webcomic series, I suddenly realised that I didn’t really consider some of my comics to be “canonical”.

Basically, back in 2015, I’d brought back the characters from an old webcomic series of mine for two short B&W narrative comics (that can be read here and here). Both of these comics were parodies of the horror and detective genres, and they were an absolute joy to make. They also introduced significant character and plot changes too.

However, when I re-started this old webcomic series again this year – albeit in a more “traditional” daily cartoon format (albeit in several mini series) – I only kept a few of the changes that I’d made during my two comics from 2015 (these new webcomic mini series can be read here, here, here, here and here).

For the most part, the new comics were more similar to my old comics from 2012/13 than my comics from 2015. There were all sorts of reasons for this (most of them due to the format shift), but it meant that the two comics I made in 2015 weren’t really “canonical” any more. I hadn’t intended this, but – in practice -those two comics are now “non-canonical”.

2) Curiosity and inspiration: Sometimes, it can be interesting to wonder what might happen if the characters in your comic found themselves in a different situation. It can be interesting to wonder how they might react to events that couldn’t ordinarily take place within your webcomic.

Since it could cause continuity problems if you just made these changes to your “ordinary” webcomic, making another non-canonical webcomic update (or series of updates) can be a good way to satisfy your own curiosity (and your audience’s curiosity) without affecting your main webcomic.

Non-canonical webcomic updates can also be a good way to get inspired, since they allow you to take a break and try new things.

3) Reboots: Restarting an old webcomic can be kind of tricky, because you’ve been away from the characters for quite a while and/or because you’re probably a slightly different person to the one you were when you made the original comics.

So, in order to get an old webcomic started again, it can sometimes be necessary to make a few changes to the characters, to the premise of the comic and/or to the storyline. And, as I hinted in the first point on this list, this can have the side-effect of making some of your older comics “non-canonical”.

4) Throwaway jokes: Sometimes, you’ve got a really funny idea for a webcomic update but it only really works if you temporarily change a small detail about one of the characters. So, a good way to do this is to just make the comic and let your audience decide whether it’s canonical or not. You shouldn’t do this too often, but it can work well.

For example, during my “Damania Resurgence” webcomic mini series, I wanted to make a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”. This would mean that one of the characters would have to have a pet raven. Said pet raven appears for literally one comic and doesn’t appear in any further comic updates, so the canonicity of this particular comic update is somewhat questionable:

"Damania Resurgence - Raven" By C. A. Brown (And Edgar Allen Poe)

“Damania Resurgence – Raven” By C. A. Brown (And Edgar Allen Poe)

So, yes, sometimes you can play around a bit with canonicity if you want to include a throwaway joke in your comic. However, don’t do this too often, or you’ll confuse your audience.

——————

Anyway, I hope that this was useful🙂

The Complete “Work In Progress” Line Art For My “Damania Resurrected” Webcomic Mini Series :)

2016 Artwork Damania Resurrected lineart article sketch

As promised, here’s the complete “work in progress” line art for my “Damania Resurrected” webcomic mini series that finished a couple of days ago.

As you might expect, there are at least a few differences between the dialogue in the line art and the dialogue in the finished comics. This is mostly because I sometimes tend to edit the dialogue slightly after I’ve scanned the finished comics.

Anyway, enjoy🙂

"Damania Resurrected - Suspicious Noises (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Suspicious Noises (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Super Cynical (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Super Cynical (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Electric Dreams (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Electric Dreams (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Trained From Birth (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Trained From Birth (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Technology (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Technology (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Reciept (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Reciept (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Trenchcoats (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Trenchcoats (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - The Other Side (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – The Other Side (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Detectives (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Detectives (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - FPS IRL (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – FPS IRL (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Master Debaters (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Master Debaters (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Haggling (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Haggling (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Reflexes (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Reflexes (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - New Level (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – New Level (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

The Complete “Damania Resurrected” – All 14 Episodes Of The New Webcomic Mini Series By C. A. Brown

2016 Artwork The Complete Damania Resurrected

I am very proud to present all fourteen episodes of my “Damania Resurrected” webcomic mini series in one easy-to-read post🙂 Although this mini series got off to a bit of a slow start, it was a lot of fun to make and there are at least a couple of comics here that I consider to be my best “Damania” comics yet.

I’ll try to remember to make a “work in progress” line art article for this series sometime in the near future too, but it might be a couple of days.

If you want to catch up on the previous four “Damania” mini series, then they can be found here, here, here and here.

As usual, all fourteen comics in this post are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence. Likewise, you can see a larger version of each comic by clicking on it.

"Damania Resurrected - Suspicious Noises" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Suspicious Noises” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Super Cynical" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Super Cynical” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Electric Dreams" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Electric Dreams” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Trained From Birth" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Trained From Birth” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Technology" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Technology” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Reciept" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Reciept” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected- Trenchcoats" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected- Trenchcoats” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - The Other Side" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – The Other Side” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Detectives" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Detectives” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - FPS IRL" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – FPS IRL” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Master Debaters" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Master Debaters” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Haggling" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Haggling” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - Reflexes" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Reflexes” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Resurrected - New Level" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – New Level” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (16th August 2016)

Here’s the final (if somewhat rushed) episode of “Damania Resurrected”🙂 I’ll post a retrospective of the entire mini series on here later tonight. In the meantime, you can catch up on the previous mini series here, here, here and here.

This update was kind of rushed, but it was written in response to discovering that John Romero made a new level for “Doom” earlier this year, albeit about a month after the level had been released. And, yes, I make these comics quite far in advance.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Resurrected - New Level" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Resurrected – New Level” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (15th August 2016)

Woo hoo! My long-running “Damania” webcomic series has been resurrected for yet another mini series🙂 You can catch up on the previous mini series here, here, here and here. Stay tuned for the next update tomorrow night🙂

I’m seriously surprised that it’s taken me this long to make a “Wild West”-themed cartoon. Although the duelling scene is probably closer to something from 19th century Britain than 19th century America. But, hey, artistic licence.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Resurrected - Reflexes" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Resurrected – Reflexes” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (14th August 2016)

Woo hoo! My long-running “Damania” webcomic series has been resurrected for yet another mini series🙂 You can catch up on the previous mini series here, here, here and here. Stay tuned for the next update tomorrow night🙂

Yes, it’s a comic about haggling, of all things. Don’t ask…

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Resurrected - Haggling" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Resurrected – Haggling” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (13th August 2016)

Woo hoo! My long-running “Damania” webcomic series has been resurrected for yet another mini series🙂 You can catch up on the previous mini series here, here, here and here. Stay tuned for the next update tomorrow night🙂

Yes, today’s comic is a cynical political cartoon. As regular readers probably know, I tend to make my art and comics quite far in advance and, the morning before I made this comic, I read this article about yet another British debate which had been censored before it even began.

The irony here is that the person who refused to debate is a left-wing NUS LGBT officer and the person she refused to share a platform with wasn’t some goose-stepping far-right extremist and/or some frothing fundamentalist, but none other than the one and only Peter Tatchell. Perhaps the most famous LGBT rights & human rights activist in current British history!

The reasons for this informal censorship were apparently because Peter Tatchell openly supported the right to free speech for a few narrow-minded people that he strongly disagrees with (and whom I strongly disagree with too). This NUS officer doesn’t seem to realise that free speech is for everyone or it’s for no-one. Democracy is based on debate, and debate requires free speech. I really hope that these modern “liberals” don’t end up in parliament in the future, since they’ll be in for quite a shock.

But, yes, it made me think of my debating days at university [a different one to the one in the news article] less than a decade ago (plus, I couldn’t resist the idea of drawing Harvey debating).

Back then, thankfully just before all of this modern hyper-censorious silliness really seriously took hold, the debating society was a place where people could put forward ludicrously controversial private motions just for the hell of it, and where you were just as likely to be arguing for the other side. It was the opposite of a modern “safe space” (which did exist back then, but it was only at the LGBT society’s events. Even then, it seemed like a rather novel thing) and it was an exhilerating thing.

But, yeah, with debates being constantly shut down by “liberals”, of all people, I despair for the future of democracy in this country. Hence this satirical cartoon.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Damania Resurrected - Master Debaters" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Resurrected – Master Debaters” By C. A. Brown