We Know What To Do With Monsters
First published: November, 2000. Posted Online: April 24, 2006.
Valkyrie Quarterly first picked up our work in 1999. However, this work was Alcott Squad, a strange, pencil-graphic Yamara sequel, more serious than funny, and yet centered around “Yamara’s Cyborg Sister Arcalula and her Commando Girl Rock Band from Space”.
Owner Dave Ryan, and editor Jay Forster made no specific demands on us; we got a free ad page in exchange for our comics appearing. However, Valkyrie was run as a “laddish” gamer magazine, and Alcott was a dark moody bit of weirdness on our part. Now, when you’re publishing your own work, you can be as strange or moody as you like. But when someone else is paying for it, they might run a poll or something, and discover you’re not so popular with their audience.
So beginning with Valkyrie #21, we switched to running all-new pages of Yamara. Dave agreed to keeping the free full-page ad as payment, and we got to continue the Classic storyline.
Well, sort of.
We were aware that diving into the dark implications of Persey’s quest against Yocchi, Ogrek’s sacrifice, Ralph’s eldritch fate, and other complex cliffhangers from the Dragon and online episodes… wouldn’t work in Valkyrie. In this respect, we’re glad we had Alcott Squad to warn us off trying to work detailed continuity into a quarterly magazine with a raucous target audience. We could just make it funny.
Of course, any longtime fans able to acquire Valkyrie would want some reference to the main plot. We decided that as long as we were in this particular venue, we’d write tangential moments that could stand on their own, and then we could insert them throughout a larger narrative when the time came. (Now that the time has come, we’re just going to present them in order. We have a “clever fix” in play, allowing us to pick up the main story thread again later.)
And initially, we wanted to revisit a long-absent member of the party. Hooray! it’s Blag.
For those of you wondering about this Rella character, she’s the girlfriend. Yes, he finally found a woman messed up enough for the job. This should help explain where she came from. Those with the Yamara book, please turn to pg. 47, including you, Aslaug. If you don’t own the book, you can buy it at Amazon. We’d really like it if you did that.
This episode shows Rella as she was circa AD 2000. Currently, Rella is in a car heading toward LA on a self-appointed mission to “Kill Quentin”. She said it was something about bogarting her style. But she’ll be back on Wyhtl in no time.
Q. Are you making Dragon Dice references?
A. Indeed. SFR, the company that purchased the rights and materials to Dragon Dice from Wizards, actually closed the deal just as Wizards was readying to dump the vast inventory of untouched dice they inherited from TSR, into a German landfill. Chris was one of the first artists to create images for supplemental Dragon Dice cards, and has an affectionate corner in his heart for Lester Smith’s world of Esfah. At around the time this strip ran, SFR hired Chris to design the icons for the last, previously unpublished “Kicker Pack” race: Treefolk.
Q. You’re making the letters too small again. Gods, when will it end.
A. When we start posting episodes designed for photons, not ink, silly.
We Know What To Do With Monsters, panel one (detail).