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:

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


Photoshop CS4 vs CS5 Speed Comparison for Tablet PC


Photoshop Speed-Up Trick for Digital Art


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. . .
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
New Pages posted - 132 to 133
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!


 
 
   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. . .

No More Commissions!
 

Aug 28th, 2016

Holy smokes!

I'm in commissions purgatory.

Don't get me wrong; I'm working on several really cool images, and I'm very pleased with their progress thus far -and I offered them happily, but after this...

NO more commissions!

I don't see how other cartoonists *do* this! -I'm pushing miles of pencil and pen, but getting no actual work done; Jenny Mysterious and the Stardrop crew are just sitting there looking at me accusingly like, "What's up, dude? Don't you care? Why are you spending all of that creative energy on something nobody except a couple of other people are even going to see?"

If any of you have ever gotten a drawing from me in the past, feel lucky. The only way to get one from now on is to catch me at a convention or somewhere. -Or to take one of the images I've drawn on my own free time because I felt inspired and not because anybody requested. Or to give me enough money to cover some *serious* expenses or press time so that Jenny and Ashelle and the others will nod speculatively and say, "Yeah, fair point. We can wait if it means a hard cover edition."

Okay. Just needed to vent a bit.

Back to it.


 

Eos Fine Foods!
 

Aug 26th, 2016


As many of you know, I like to feature my town in Stardrop. The image above is Eos Fine Foods here in Wolfville, the local health food store. One of my fave spots to shop for cool grocery items.

The girls are picking out ingredients for making chocolate chip cookies, which Kytanna has never done before. A nice little bonding experience, which will be cut short by Todd, the space plant. (Episode 170)

I like how this book is shaping up, with normal, every day locales and events, mixed with outtathisworld sci-fi stuff. It's neat to think that Kytanna can fit comfortably into shots like this, and in the same book, be cycling across an alien landscape.

Many of my Wolfville friends and acquaintances strike me as being similarly equipped for such adventures. -Just the last week, the guys from the Dead Sheep Scrolls comedy troupe posted pics of themselves rock climbing the treacherous horizontal face of New Brunswick's King Street.

Comics are fun!


-Mark Oakley
Wolfville, Nova Scotia,
August 26th, 2016


 

Junior High
 

Aug 23rd, 2016

Partly due to staying up waaaay past my bed time, and not being able to sleep easily, (see below) I lay in bed in a state of extreme exhaustion.

And could smell the oncoming Autumnal air. What a sense! It always wakes me up from the drifty heat dream that is Summer.

Perhaps a combination of my brain being all full and prepared to dream, but not being able to sleep, mixed with the cold air of the coming season worked together to put me into an oddly meditative state where near visions were easily accessed, right near the top where they rarely come. -The sort of thing, where when you're in it, you think, "Ah! So THIS is reality. How sublime!" -while also knowing it will be a brief window of sense into the world which will close again after rest, returning me to the normal busy illusion I walk around in every day with the rest of the world.

I found my mind walking the halls again of my old Junior Highschool, probably because of a piece of Jenny scripting I'm fiddling with just on the conceptual level at the moment.

For the first time ever, I found myself looking at those old memories from outside my own head, while at the same time remembering the visceral senses within myself. -What it felt like to sit in mister Bugarski's music class, all the students set in orchestra pit seating, and the memory of what it was like to cluster out the door and walk between classes. -The smell and sound of the newly swept hallways and the slightly sickening worry of, "Will I make friends on my first day?" The metallic scuff sound of the chairs and desks and the slightly waxy feel of those old black surfaced lab benches in the science class downstairs. -The threadbare blue gym bag I'd gotten at a Blue Jays game the previous year in which I carried my books on the way home, hands on cold metal handle bars on my bike, with the few leaves crunching on the sidewalks.

All these are common enough sorts of memories for most of us, but with an extra element which I'm having a hard time recalling now...

The various phases of being human, of girls and boys growing up, trying to figure out what the world is and how they fit into it, the hormones making us all feel crazy, wanting and dreaming things we are programmed on a genetic level to seek and deal with, while our personalities try to find a way through to create expression.

The human monkey is on a fixed trajectory, with fixed features, born and raised through childhood, into the reproductive and working age, then hitting a phase much later where we begin to think, "Wait? What was all of that now?" -Our little souls inhabit our monkeys for a while, we ride along through these phases, looking out.

There was more, which unless you have also missed a lot of sleep and are lying there with the cool night air drifting through your curtains, I cannot capture or explain. But it left me realizing, yet again, that with a character like Jenny... it's like she's fallen off the ride. How does she cope? Seeing the monkey trajectory through life, and not being able to forget enough to click into the world clattering around her? Will she be able to make friends, or will she alienate everybody? Will they view her from a distance and try to ignore her distressing qualities and comments?

We'll see.

But I think perhaps there is a very good reason we forget.


 

-Mark Oakley
Wolfville, Nova Scotia,
August 23rd, 2016

 
 


 

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