Fabulous Clem
Updated Thursdays
By Thorin N. Tatge
Puffballs vs. Pinball

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3/31/06 (SoH 4) - Here's an update! At last!

Well the crisis that had me worried before is not so bad as it could have been. But I'm still going through a transitional period...and I'm about to take a trip to visit an internet friend of mine, lasting six days! And after that is a science fiction convention I'm involved with...and after that comes...yeah. With no reason to cancel either of these strips, I won't do so, but I am now somewhat embarrassed to have registered Clem with those webcomic sites. People may see it and expect it to be regulrly updating every Thursday (or at least for there to be something here every Thursday) and that hasn't been happening for a few months. On the other hand, there's no harm keepig it registered, I think--it's not like many people are finding it that way, anyway. :\


Is something or someone fun by virtue simply of the fact that it itself is having fun? Perhaps to some extent? If so, does the same hold true for other emotional experiences?

Can a simple natural organism ever really be happy or have any other emotional state? Is happiness the default state for healthy organisms living life the way nature intended?

Can it mean anything at all for a pinball machine to be "having fun"?

3/17/06 - I'm sad to say that updates will be even more erratic than usual for a while. Something's come up in my life that needs attention, and it'll leave me with less time to work on my comics. I do have a Seven of Hearts drafted, but...I don't know when I'll find the time to draw and color it. I'm rather worried right now, so...I guess the future is uncertain. That's all there is to it.

3/10/06 (Page 36) - Well over a month ago, I spent a few hours scribbling out a few rough drafts for Fabulous Clem, which eventually became pages 33 through 36. It's insane to me, the discrepancy between how quickly I put out those rough drafts and how long it took me to eventually get them finished and posted. Now, for the first time in many weeks, I am finally out of rough drafts to work from.

Not that that bothers me. I could easily create another four in another two or three hours. It's all the steps from rough to not-so-rough that bother me.

My friend Tom gave me several graphics programs that I ought to find useful for this. I'm excited about learning them--problem is, it looks like I'm finally going to have to upgrade my operating system. So that's the next ordeal.

As to the strip. Most red foxes have a familiar distinctive coloration--whitish blaze on the belly and throat, black socks, white tailtip. Amber's one of those freaks with only the tailtip. This was originally just laziness on my part, but now it becomes part of a rich treatment on vulpine color discrimination. ;-)

Deirdre is apparently either too cool or too retarded to have speech balloons that link together like normal people do.

3/2/06 (SoH 3) - I'm a few minutes after midnight this time, although really I'd like to be updating on the midnight that comes before Thursday.

This strip took less time to do than the last Seven of Hearts, but not nearly enough less. I'm finding myself increasingly frustrated with the number os teps needed to do a simple cut and paste in Ultimate Paint--it's much easier, as far as I can tell, to do it in MS Paint. I'm going to have to use very simple figures, and at the same time continue learning Photoshop. (This week, with the patient guidance of an internet friend, I was able to make a picture consisting of several concentric hearts in Photoshop in only...two hours!)

Why is the heart so important? Because I've decided it's going to be the motif of Seven of Hearts. Most (if not all) of the SoH strips will feature an iconic heart in them, just as this one does. :) It means love, of course, and it means that I have a common thread for Seven of Hearts--the strip is all about love! Not in the traditional way by any measure, though.

Why have I mentioned the echidna, a relatively obscure animal species, in two out of my first three strips? I dunno, sometimes it just works out that way. <3.

Oh, one other little note--for some time I've had a link to Ozfoxes.com in the archive bar, stating that Fabulous Clem is listed on that site. Well, due to e-mail mishaps, it wasn't really, but it is now! Way down a long page of nondescript links, but still, it's a start for me. :-) Anyhow, check out Robert and Margaret Carspecken's Faux Pas--it's the only other comic strip I know of to feature naturalistic talking foxes, and the art is so much more refined than mine. Good stuff.


What, if anything, is the real symbology of an egg? What is the merit of surrounding oneself with objects from one's heritage or culture? How much does it matter if these objects are authentic? Can their enjoyment be shared with outsiders in order to bring people closer together?

2/27/06 (Page 35) - I meant four days late. Obviously. If you read between the lines. (Oh, bother. Bad Thorin! Bad!)

Meet Amber's family. I don't know who most of them are yet myself, either. :) I had to pick four new previously unused fonts, though! And fonts that are actually readable in small type aren't an infinite resource, so I'll probably be making use of them again.

This page was the first for which I tried something slightly new: I colored the page at a size roughly twice as big as the final image's size in each dimension, and then shrank it and added the lettering. I hoped to get better detail this way, and I actually think it worked. At least, the coloring was fairly easy this time. I think I'll do it this way again.

Since red foxes are non-monogamous and the males go roving, I figured their families would be matrilineal. So, the kits all bear the name Curran. Males, however, do not take their mates' names--thus, the shelter on page 13 (in barely readable lettering) bears the legend "CURRAN - ROWLEY".

Note that the family crest hanging from the banner is based on the actual Curran family crest from Ireland. ;-)

2/23/06 - Clem's gonna be a day late this time. Four consecutive night shifts at Target spells Doom Week. :}

2/16/06 (SOH 2) - While trying to think of material for Seven of Hearts, it occurred to me that I have a wealth of it--my dreams! I therefore present to you a kind of amalgam of one of my recurring dream themes: the Hotel Dream.

Most of the scenes and commentaries I've put in here have been part of one of my dreams at some point. The others are interesting memories from reality, the sort of things I could imagine dreaming of (and maybe I have!)

One thing disappointed me, though--these Seven of Hearts things are supposed to be easier than Fabulous Clem. This one wasn't! I was a little less picky about the details, but it was so big and complex that it took teh same amount of time to make.

Plus, the text isn't perfectly readable throughout. Oh, well. You live and learn. My next SoH should be nice and simple. ;)

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY: What does it mean to dream about a hotel, or another endlessly explorable building? What's the most mysterious cranny, structoral feature, unmarked door, etc., you ever found while exploring a building? Why does an elevator stop when it gets to the top of the building?

2/12/06 (Page 34) - Here's Clem at last, three days late. I have no excuse at all. My only explanation is that I grew so used to not stressing over this comic that I just...well, didn't.

What is that airbrushing in the grass? Is it flowering reeds, or othe flowers? Miscellaneous vegetation? Mud or moss? The mysteries of night travel in material form? You decide.

I think I'm getting much better at detailing my foxes, in pencil, ink, and pixels alike. Alas, how many details are lost when I compress the image to 750 pixels in width! As always, the lazy search for better conversion and coloration methods continues.


1. A Higher World

2. Let There Be Lights!

3. The Oldest Company in the World!

4. Fabulous Clem

5. Death

6. The Rabbits

7. Ill of the Dead

8. Father of the Afterlife

9. Clever, So Clever

10. Play Here Often?

11. See You Around Maybe

12. It's An Addiction

13. You Guys Know I Love You, Right?

14. The Hungry Fox--Part 1

15. The Hungry Fox--Part 2

16. Kit Dreams

17. The Argument

18. Unique Opportunity

19. Cousin Glynis

20. G. B. Corp.

21. Janitor's Entrance

22. The Receptionist

23. A Good Memory

24. The Director of Counterintelligence

25. A Painful Conversation, Part 1

26. A Painful Conversation, Part 2

27. Niles Durnham

28. A Higher World--Reprise

29. Honey, Come Home!!

30. The Job Description

31. The Dome

32. It's More Convenient This Way

33. Especially The Healthy Ones

SoH 1: An important Choice

34. Family Men Are Nothing But Trouble

SoH 2: Hotel Dreams

35. Curran Family Reunion

SoH 3: Eggs For Everyone!

36. Deirdre Curran

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All Fabulous Clem strips and related images are Copyright 2005, Thorin N, Tatge, and may not be copied, distributed or linked to without the creator's permission. Linking to this page or to individual archived pages is permitted.
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