Stolen Pixels #48:
2008 Awards, Part 2

By Shamus
on Dec 23, 2008
Filed under:
Column

Part 2 of Travis’ year-end awards is now up. For some behind-the-scenes droning, read on:

To clear up some misconceptions:

1) I did not draw Travis.

I can’t always tell what’s going on inside of The Escapist. I deal almost exclusively through Susan Arendt. She is euphemistically referred to as my “editor”, but in reality she’s more my handler, in much the same way that you might hire an expert to handle a wild monkey. Beyond her and the hints offered by the office twitter feed, I know almost nothing of the goings-on within the walls of The Escapist. But beyond that dark veil I can occasionally discern and infer activity. If I’m reading the signs right, then Travis was brought to life by one Jessica Fielhauer, one of hundreds of artists they have working in The Escapist labor camps in the labyrinth beneath their monolithic Durham office tower.

2) Travis is not named after Travis Grady of Silent Hill Origins.

Travis has been in the works for months, since long before I got my hands on Origins. The strip needed a recurring character, someone who could serve as an icon of sorts. (In much the same way that the little pointy-armed gremlin is the icon for Zero Punctuation.)

The EA Guy is a decent recurring character, but I can tell he’s got a limited lifespan. There are a finite number of pictures of him, and I didn’t want Stolen Pixels to become known as “the anti-EA comic”. I like to take a broader, more inclusive approach to fomenting antipathy and resentment. More than just “anti-EA”, I want to be “anti-videogame industry” and, eventually, “anti-everybody”. It’s a big goal, but it’s part of my ongoing efforts to never be satisfied with anyone’s efforts to amuse me, ever.

Anyway, we needed a character. I came up with Travis. The idea was given to Jess, who nailed it. If you don’t like the look of him, blame me. If you like how he looks, give credit to Jess.

3) Yes, I know we should sell the freaking teabag shirt.

Travis’ shirt will change often. Some versions will be sales-worthy. Some (like today’s) won’t be, for reasons of lameness or copyright. It’s been discussed. Nothing’s decided yet. I would like to have had this settled before Christmas, but I can only screw up so many things at one time.

4) I don’t know how often Travis will show up.

Like the EA Guy, he’ll appear when I need him. He’s not the new focus of the strip, just another aspect of it.

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