Webcomics and Graphic Novels, Fantasy and Sci-Fi by Mark Oakley!

 

 

What is, StarDrop?

Stardrop is a light-hearted science fiction webcomic series about a space princess hiding in a small town. “Anne of Green Gables from Space.”

“Ashelle is delightful! I want to adopt her!”

“I just love her! She's such a breath of fresh air!”

“This webcomic is subversive and self-aware.”

Stardrop offers a positive message. That's rare and it's important!”



Note to readers...
Episode 82 begins where
the Graphic Novel ends.
 

Note to readers...
Episode 82 begins where
the Graphic Novel ends.

Stardrop Episode
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or write to. . .

I Box Publishing
#1 - 614 Main St.
Wolfville, NS  B4P 1E8
Canada



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Articles of Note:

Ghost in the Shell - A Teacher Slides Away

The New Fascism

Tribes and Reality

What's with all the Anti-Russia Propaganda?

How to Stay Sane in an Insane World - Top 3 diet changes (not what you think!)


MadMax and Tomorrowland - Reality Splitting Decisions...


Star Wars the Force Awakens - JJ Abrams is a Lightweight


The Mysterious meta-Jenny


I Will Not Hate Because You Want Me To


Response to Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing


Art Software Review - OpenCanvas 6


Why Facebook is an unreliable tool for the Self Publisher


Three Questions from a Beginner Cartoonist


Comics in the New Media ~ How to Publish Comics on Tablets and eReaders Without Getting Ripped Off


Mark at the Movies:Superman, Man of Steel. Propaganda to dim the spirit and fan your fears.


Mark at the Movies: What do, Mirror Mirror, Hunger Games and Cabin in the Woods all have in common? More than you think!


Drawing Democracy


365 Days of Digital Cartooning - Drawing Comics on a Tablet PC


UPDATED!
Tablet button bar Button for Photoshop / PaintTool Sai / MangaStudio5


Portable Drafting Board - Drawing Comics Outdoors

 

 
   Stardrop. . .
Feb 24, 2011

"Drawing Democracy" - In Three Parts   

Princess Ashelle, while a bit breezy around the edges, is also a brilliant military tactician and liberator of over a thousand worlds from the Galactic Imperium. (Princess Leia would probably find her insufferable, but the two basically fulfill the same function.) Anyway. . . With all the news around Egypt today, I thought it would be a neat idea for Ashelle to weigh in with her opinions on how to start a healthy new Democracy! (Visit my YouTube channel to see me drawing this strip while discussing it.)

Because, in spite of all the talk and bother, nobody has ever truly managed to do that. All this poor world of ours has ever managed to achieve is "The Super-Rich Own Everything" under one label or another. Plutocracy.

***UPDATE, Dec 13, 2011:

Iceland's president, Olafur Grimmson, when interviewed by the CBC (transcription here) describes about how Iceland refused to play along with the bank bailout/austerity scheme being imposed upon it by the world. A rebel among nations, Iceland rejected the formula for economic slavehood and is now showing a very healthy recovery after it allowed the banks to collapse and refused to pass the responsibility of their debts on to the Icelandic public. Iceland is an example of the three virtues Ashelle talks about in the comics below; Controling your own national currency, Keeping strong social bonds among the people, and Kicking out the psychopaths. Not necessarily in that order. Read the interview to see what I mean.

  This episode has been released under the Creative Commons lisence to all publishers.
A high-resolution print version may be downloaded
here.


Part II - Education
See the video of this strip's production and discussion here. . .

This episode has been released under the Creative Commons lisence to all publishers.
A high-resolution print version may be downloaded here.

 


Part III - Stop Electing Lunatics! (Psychopaths in Power)
See the
video of this strip's production and my comments. I later added some extra follow-up comments.

This episode has been released under the Creative Commons lisence to all publishers.
A high-resolution print version may be downloaded here.

Close   
 
 
   Jenny Mysterious. . .
Read the latest stuff before everybody else. Become a Patron!

May 22nd, 2017
New Pages posted - 181 to 182
I've decided to publish the long-talked about Jenny Mysterious free on-line, with new pages every week, starting right now! BUT I am asking folks to become Patrons. Please support my comics with as little or as much as you choose with a monthly subscription, (even just a dollar would be fine!). It's really easy. See my Patreon page for details.

-Check out the cool perks!

Thanks everybody!


webcomic Jenny Mysterious by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com
    

Please Vote! (You can vote for both Jenny and Stardrop without conflict.) Thank-you!
    New: Reader's Art!


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   Thieves & Kings. . .

Sample Chapter from, Thieves & Kings, Volume 3, "The Blue Book"

Thieves & Kings, page from the graphic novel series by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com

Thieves & Kings is not a webcomic. It's an all-ages fantasy/adventure graphic novel series which I've been working on since 1994. It is nearly done; I hope to wrap up the story in the 7th volume, (currently in production). The chapter featured here offers a good example of what it's like to read Thieves & Kings. --It's a peppy sequence, and it contains both regular comic pages, and some text pages. It doesn't show much of the title character, (Rubel) and none of the Shadow Lady, but Heath and Varkias carry the show quite nicely. I do hope you enjoy this sample of my work!

 
 
   The Walking Mage. . .

The Walking Mage webcomic #2 - Fired

The Walking Mage is a complete story. Originally it was done in black & white, (which you can check out here, if you like). I wanted to experiment with color and so began by using a computer to color the Walking Mage for its print release. After a few panels I decided that it would be a lot more fun to paint it by hand, and so switched to water-color around episode six.

The story itself is quite a good little yarn; funny and pointed in many places, as political satire ought to be. I was actually quite surprised to learn this! I found myself laughing out loud in several places. --I don't know why this story in particular was so hard for me to accept, but it was. I avoided reading it for several years after it first went to press. The ending is rather abrupt, but it was a serial strip, after all.

So anyway, after having let this web-comic languish in the digital attic, I've decided to pull it out and post it again for all the world in its full-color glory. This is the first time the Walking Mage has been available in full color on the web. I hope you enjoy the adventures of Quinton and Varkias. Cheers!

 
 
   News From the Studio. . .

On Writing: Both Sides of the Dream Divide.
 

April 13-16, 2017

On writing: Both sides of the Dream Divide.

Part 1 of 3 ~ The Dream Side

April 13, 2017

Woke up from a crazy dream today. -One where Jenny Mysterious stopped by. That rarely happens and it always makes me happy, so I thought I'd share.

-So I'm hanging out with a Very Good Friend, -but the dream kind, where when you wake up, you can't remember who it was. (I have dozens of friends like that in Dream Land.)

And Jenny's there! And it's her! And she's SO cool. And the three of us are hanging out and just talking about stuff. Then the nameless friend, (I can picture her hair and some of what she looks like, but I don't think I could draw her).., anyway, she's not super-powered. She's just a regular, nice person. But she's looking between Jenny and me and listening quietly to the fairly intense stuff we're trying to sort out between us, and then announces...

"That's it! I'm Carpe Dieming!"

"What?" (blink)

"I'm TAKING this Rabbit car!"

-And sure enough, we've been leaning against this super-cute little car which is shaped and painted like a rabbit.

"But it's not yours."

"That's right! I'm STEALING it! Get in! You're Driving, Mark!"

Very Good Friend pretty much shoves me and Jenny into this teeny Rabbit car, and suddenly I'm an automotive thief. Jenny is no help at all. She just shrugs and hunkers down in the back seat.

And then I'm trying to drive a runaway rabbit car down a huge hill through town without getting caught or hitting anything. -It's hardly even a real car. It has wheels only slightly more evolved than those on your average shopping cart. But it does have a rudimentary brake system, and I'm able to guide it safely into hiding.

"Why do you even want this thing?" I ask.

It's a fine day. Spring and bright, and we're all laughing and grinning in spite of ourselves.

"For my Summer Job! I'm turning this thing into a Hot Dog Stand."

I woke up thinking that I need to get out more. Also, that a hot dog sold from a rabbit car would hit the spot just right!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 2 of 3 ~ The Passing Through

April 15, 2017

You never know just what is going to clickety-click into the keyboard when it's scripting time.

God, I love writing! I'm surprised and elated nearly every time I sit down to hammer out new stories!

-At its easiest, when you're not worrying about broad strokes and big ideas, you just start with what must happen, and then ask yourself, "Okay. I just tipped over that domino. What happens next?" -Then you write that and say, "Okay, that makes sense. So what happens after that?"

And so on... -But with chaos driving random reactions at every step. Things can often logically go in a dozen different directions. Pick one.

By the third or fourth line, I am often SO far away from what I might have originally envisioned, so charmed by the unexpected shapes and forms emerging, that I am reminded... writing is more like exploring than creating. It's like mapping new fractal maths as they unfold. Intricate and fantastic, you can only know what the final form will be by getting right down there into the crunch of it. Revealing each line as it happens.

Trying to *plan* ahead, trying to push that stuff around..? No way! You have to learn how to dance with the unexpected, to lead and to follow and lead again.

I mean.., I had NO idea that I would be writing the following line when I started tonight's scripting exercise...

Jenny [indignant]: "Hey! Burt Reynolds isn’t a 'washed up actor from the 70's'! He’s retired! -And that’s only here in the future. Have some respect, kid!"

~~~~~~~~~~

Part 3 of 3 ~ The Real World

April 16, 2017

Whoa. I just learned a bit more about the area of Toronto where/when Tammy and Jenny grew up.

It's a tough section of town. -I mean, I *knew* that, planned for it, but had sort of forgotten in the time it took to draw my way through the first Jenny Mysterious graphic novel. -I just spent some time chatting with a woman who grew up around Regent Park, Parliament, Cabbage Town...

I might pull some writer-fu and shift some of Jenny and Tammy’s jr. high experiences a dozen subway stops up the map so I can write from personal experience rather than a couple of steps removed. North York had a whole different tone to it. That strange over-lapping ravine system changed the energy of the region in huge ways I don't think people quite realized... But there was still plenty of opportunity for teenagers to go out of their minds with the problems of artificial social containment. -Think RUSH's "Subdivisions" versus... I don’t know. Something with more social depression and anger. Maybe The Clash..? Modern cities always struggle to provide for our young selves needing to be warriors...

Though, Jenny is one of those people who tends to bend reality around her and not the other way. She probably wouldn’t fit in very well no matter where she was, and while maybe being a little confused and sad about being left out of her peer group, also had enough stuff going on in her own personal dramas to also fail to really notice. Tammy would have been a strong influence on her, probably pulling her off into a series of nerdy after-school activities and summer camps and such. Then when the Time Loop starts, all bets are off and Jenny becomes her own thing entirely.

Research, research...

There was a lot of fun stuff and adventure to be had as a kid in the 80’s parceled in with the harder aspects. A lot to love crammed in with the danger, tempering the edges. Lots to think about here as I crack my knuckles and squint at my keyboard...

 

Mark Oakley
Wolfville, NS
April 16,2017 Early in the morning...

 
 


 

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Music from Oceansend

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"A Place to Hang My Spacesuit"
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