Chainmail Bikini, RIP

By Shamus Posted Friday May 16, 2008

Filed under: Projects 33 comments

I’ve been getting emails and comments here and there from people soliciting reaction to the end of the Chainmail Bikini webcomic and asking about what I’m going to do next.

Shawn’s announcement says it all, really. There wasn’t any difficulty between us. We’re still cool. I’m still grateful for all the hard work he put into it, and I wish him all the success in the future. (And let’s be totally clear, he put a lot more work into it than I did.)

I plan to wrap up CB by posting my notes for the future scripts and a synopsis of the rest of the story. It won’t be funny, but I do hope it will give readers a sense of closure. I plan to set aside a block of time this weekend and finish that off.

I don’t have any immediate plans to do another comic with FtB. I’ll talk with them at some point and see what everyone is interested in doing.

For right now I’m scratching my comic-making itch with these little videogame comics I’ve been doing. I’ve done 15 of them so far, and they’re pretty fun to make. They don’t really deserve to stand beside DMotR or CB comedy-wise, but for the effort I’m putting into them (almost nothing) they are a bargain.

It’s rather telling that I’ve come to calling them mini-comics. They’re usually six or so panels, which puts them well over budget for a “normal” sized comic. They’re not small. They’re just small compared to what I normally come up with. Perhaps some day I’ll figure out how to work my japery into four panels.

I’m not sure how much further I want to take the idea. They don’t have a title or a logo or anything. I don’t follow a regular schedule. There’s no name for them. They’re just humorous pictures placed in a cynical attempt to get readers to endure my endless blather. That is, the comic is there to trick you into reading the wall of text. To that end, they have been a rousing success. I’m not sure if naming them and committing to a regular posting schedule is a good idea or not. If I get too formal I’ll probably start raising my standards, which would require actual effort on my part.

Anyway. Thanks for reading. Sorry it didn’t work out. I’m sure we’ll find some way to keep ourselves amused.


From The Archives:

33 thoughts on “Chainmail Bikini, RIP

  1. Deoxy says:

    I'm not sure if naming them and committing to a regular posting schedule is a good idea or not. If I get too formal I'll probably start raising my standards, which would require actual effort on my part.

    HORRIBLE idea – any level of formality and certainly any attempt to “raise standards” would be a definite DECREASE in quality on these. The ad hoc nature of them is perfect.

    And for me, they didn’t work at all to get me to read the wall of text… as I read it anyway.


  2. folo4 says:

    *puts on ditz cap*

    AHA! Your first scrapped project ( as far as I know! )! I knew there’s a first time for EVERYTHING :D

    *takes off cap*

    well…. your last sentence is mute; Life WILL keep you amused until the day you leave this world…forever.

  3. henebry says:

    I was sorry to see the end of Chainmail Bikini, especially since Shawn’s note reminded me of projects I’d started over the years with friends and then felt guilty about bailing out of. I often find that the greater the expectation for success, the harder time I have working on something. Thus, a project begun as a fun sideline to my paying job can quickly become more of a grind to be dreaded on a daily basis than the pay job. The key (for me) is to keep the hobby light-hearted, inconsequential, occasional. That’s why I’m a bit in awe of anyone who can create a webcomic on a daily basis “” and why I sympathize not only with Shawn but with you, Shamus, in your inclination not to make the mini-comics a regular feature.

  4. kmc says:

    I’m like deoxy; I read anyway, but I love the comics, and anything (like formalizing them) that might lead to you not having time to make them or getting burned out on them, in my opinion, can only be a detriment. I don’t think we need them to be anything bigger than they are. Just keep making them!

  5. MRL says:

    Ditto with Deoxy and kmc (Kimchee?); I’d read the text anyway, but the comics are a welcome bonus. It’s good that they’re strictly a “when inspiration strikes” thing; you don’t have to feel pressured to keep to a schedule or anything like that.

  6. Jadawin says:

    FWIW, even though I found this site because of DMotR, I stayed for the writing, and rarely bothered reading CB. Your one-off game-related comics are a lot more entertaining than CB ever was, IMO.

  7. I LOVE the minicomics but think someone needs to start giving him games–he is running out since each game only provides a few comics. Either that or he will have to start doing a comic with his wife–and since I usually only draw children I don’t think that would provide much inspiration.

  8. I could use some help with writing mine if you want to make funnies with D&D miniatures, taking picture is a lot less time intensive than actually drawing stuff.


  9. Hotsauce says:

    folo4: “your last sentence is mute”
    I think you meant “moot”

  10. JFargo says:

    Just want to say I agree with Deoxy. I like that these are just informal little comics that don’t take too much effort and are a nice extra to your normal columns here.

  11. Mari says:

    I was sad that CB is over but I can’t say I was surprised. Since the hiatus was extended the first time I’ve figured it was in the works. Life happens and everyone understands that.

    As far as your mini-comics, I’m with the others: keep it fun. If that means avoiding the trappings of a “webcomic” then avoid, man, avoid! Heck, I came here for DMotR and stuck around to read the other walls o’ text. I think I’d still like this place just fine even if you weren’t working on a formal webcomic. I’d even stick around without the mini-comics although I do enjoy them.

  12. Reluctant DM says:

    Thanks for the good time CB!

  13. Oleyo says:

    I agree with others that you shouldn’t necessarily force the game comics to be a regular feature, unless you are planning on making a full blown feature out of it (in which case go nuts!)

    However, it might be a nice idea to give them a category of their own and a little place to reside on the site, just so they can be revisited and re-enjoyed with ease. I know I enjoy them immensely.

    As an aside, its interesting how the media of games and movies both seem to provide the same resource for you to extract funny from. I would be interested to know; do you find the games easier or harder than the movies to create comics from? Is it the same? How does the ability to “set up” screen-caps with a game alter the process? I would love to hear your thoughts!

    edit: Oh, you did put them in a place, how embarrassing for me. Ignore middle paragraph and my ignorance, if you please.

  14. Avaz says:

    Shamus, your wife is urging people to give you games.

    Let me repeat this to help sink it in: YOUR WIFE IS URGING PEOPLE TO GIVE YOU GAMES!

    A special lady indeed, given that most other wives are trying to get their hubbies to STOP playing games.

    As they say in the serious business called teh internets: srsly, wtf

  15. Rats says:

    Same as Mari, i was introduced to your site via DMotR, and read all of the walls of text i could find. The comics are nice as a distraction, but the ad hoc nature is what makes them for me. I am looking forward to whatever your next project is though.

  16. Blackbird71 says:

    Well, I can’t say I’m surprised about CB, it always seemed to have a rough road. I’m afraid I’m not really sad to see it go either. I’ve made no secret of my feelings for the comic on the FtB forums. While I absolutely loved DMotR, I only ever found CB mildly amusing at best, and I had to stop reading some time after the start of the second act. Maybe now that it’s over I’ll go back and see what I missed.

    I don’t mean any offense Shamus, as I know what you’re capable of, but CB honestly just wasn’t that good, and I felt it was a waste of your talent. I’m glad you enjoyed doing it, but here’s hoping your next project is one worthy of your abilities.

    For the record, your “mini-comics”? Easily several times better than CB ever was. Please, keep them simple, keep them random and spontaneous, and keep them coming! :)

  17. Aaron says:

    Shamus: Can you talk to your wife and ask her to talk to my wife?

    “…but think someone needs to start giving him games…”

    Heather I beseech you. Tell my wife of the goodness of video games and why I need more of them. I implore you in the name of all things holy (my crappy computer, the Nvidia 8800, my PS3 and Wii, plus all my other numerous geek holy relics).

    As for CB: No worries. When the comic becomes more of a job than the one you go to daily, then why bother? Life is meant to be enjoyed :)

  18. Old_Geek says:

    I’ll keep this simple. You have talent. I’ve been into gaming (video and role-playing) for 25 years, and your stuff is some of the funniest things I’ve ever read. DM of the Rings had me laughing outloud, and so did CB, though less frequently. Decide what you want to do, how often you want to do it and where you plan on publishing. I’ll follow.

  19. Hal says:

    Well, I’m rooting for another FtB sponsored project. It seemed like a good partnership.

    Whatever ends up happening, I always liked your sense of humor and will read whatever you put out.

  20. Christian Groff says:

    I’m thinking of making mini-comics for my blog, but I can’t invest any more money. How did you make those, Shamus?

  21. Mark says:

    I really love the “mini comics” you’ve been doing and I share the general sentiment that they don’t need to be formally named or come out on a formal release schedule. I read all your stuff anyway, but the comics are a nice bonus:)

  22. Cybron says:

    Keep ’em informal. They make a nice surprise, but I read whether they’re there or not.

  23. Blurr says:

    I pretty much expected the death of the comic. Usually when you have two people working together things don’t work out.

    I enjoyed CB, but not nearly as much as I did DMotR.

    Good luck on whatever other ventures you choose!

  24. Ganon42 says:

    I never read CB, other than an archive binge now to see what it was like. I agree with others that it wasn’t very good. Honestly, it felt as if it was a retread of DM of the Rings, but with slightly different characters.

  25. Harvey says:

    Listen to what your comic-making itch tells you. If it’s satisfied with occasional & informal, that’s fine. But if it’s telling you “it might be a fun challenge to make it a formal daily feature”, don’t be afraid to try it just because you’re afraid of hurting people’s feelings if your itch later tells you “it’s time to pull the plug and move on”. The good core of your readership likes your blog for YOU, and not just for what you write. They’ll understand.

    Remember, it’s YOUR blog, and you can ALWAYS do whatever the hell you want with it.

  26. Miral says:

    It’s be good to tag the posts that include the mini-comics with a specific tag or category (posts can be in multiple categories, after all) so that people who come in late can find them all, but other than that I don’t think you should commit to anything more formal.

    I mean, I’d like to see them whenever you make a game-review-type post (because they’re really good and fit in well), but you don’t do those on a schedule so why should the mini-comics be scheduled independently?

    But heck, do whatever makes you happy. There’s no point in trying to force yourself to do something to please your amorphous “readership” — that invariably leads to poor-quality stuff and everyone loses.

  27. Lena says:

    Sorry to hear about Chainmail Bikini. I enjoyed it as did my husband.

    It is a lot of work. I know first hand, as my husband writes, draws, inks, and colors “Heroes of Lesser Earth” -another D&D based strip. It is pretty much his full-time job when he’s not doing other illustration jobs. But, to his credit, he’s been doing it for 3 years now I think, posting 3 times a week now and just moved to full-color. I don’t know how he does it.

    Anyway, he’s always up for new readers (read: begging. LOL). He really liked Chain Mail Bikini – so maybe some of you would like his too. I put the link in on my name.

    It must be easier when there is only one person. More work, but a least you don’t have to coordinate as much. That’s gotta be tough.

    Looking forward to seeing any new projects. (:

  28. Aragorn says:

    QQ /cry :'( WHY WAS IT FREAKING TAKEN DOWN?!!?!!?!?!?!??!??!!?!!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!!!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?!?!!??!?!?!?!!?!!?!??!!?!?!!?!??!?!!?!?!!?!?@?!@!@!?@!?!??!@?!?!?@?!@#!@#!$?!@#?!@?!?@#!?$$?!%!?%!#@%?!@#%^#^!%^?!#R%$!?@?!$!?$!$!#?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!!

  29. Aerronn says:

    I would, too, like to cast my vote in having at least the archives up to read. This was a great strip and it was always fun to go back and re-read.

    Any chance of adding this to the archives???


  30. The Beerslayer says:

    Awww… I missed it too! :(

    Is there a mirror of CB out there anywhere, for the benefit of those of us who are just now finding out about it? If not, I’d urge the author to post it somewhere, somehow, even if it’s only one big .zip or .pdf containing all the strips without the comments.

    DMotR is so awesome that if CB is only 70% as good, it would still beat most of the webcomics out there!

  31. Amit Singh says:

    I am parent . Thank you.

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