“The Gnomestead Tapestry” cartoon “Siege” was written in 1998 and is the first cartoon I attempted. “The Hunt” and “Notinhood!” followed later — “A Nice Ring” and a shorter piece, “The South Cringle Archduchies” came next. “The Sky is Falling!” is likely the longest story that will be done with my focus now being on short comics. “Notinhood!” was intended to be published here in December 2013 but was inadvertently skipped. It’s now included with the other stories.“The Gnomestead Tapestry” stories are done with a “fabric” texture like a
“The Gnomestead Tapestry” stories are done with a “fabric” texture like a tapestry. “The Bayeux Tapestry” is an inspiration for the format of the story with a strip of images above and below the main story. I have changed the format a bit over the years. First I made the frames narrower, and then removed the bottom band of images to give more room for the cartoon.
I’ve done a few spin-offs from “The Gnomestead Tapestry”. There is a spin-off series of stories intended for children: “1, 2, 3, The Tapestry I See!” These stories feature characters from “The Gnomestead Tapestry.” The stories all have “1, 2, 3, The Tapestry I See!” in the title. The first of these stories is “1,2,3, The Tapestry I See!”
There are a number of stories that use “Gnorman’s Tavern” as a setting. These are a series of jokes told in the Pub Setting. I call them “Two Knights Walk Into a Bar”. Sometime you might even see Gnorman the Gnome behind the bar.
Another group of “The Gnomestead Tapestry” stories are set on a farm and tend to be jokes suitable to a rural, pastoral setting. I call them “Down on the Farm”. I’m working on making them easier to find.
One more collection is the “On Patrol” collection. These stories ae stories shared by the Kingdom knights while they are on patrol, with or without The King. There might also be some stories featuring the town guard.
The style of the “The Gnomestead Tapestry” is intended to be simple with geometric forms and simple colours for the characters. Male and female characters are both built on a trapezoid with simple rectangles for arms and legs and a circle for the head. They have two round eyes and the women have a red circle for a mouth. The men have the trapezoid wider at the shoulder than the hip and the women have the trapezoid wider at the hip. It really doesn’t have to do with women wearing dresses.
I overlay the entire frame with a woven linen type texture to give a slight impression that this is supposed to be a tapestry. I was inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry which is a long narrow tapestry telling the story of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
There are many characters and interesting sets and props. The animals also are drawn in a simple geometric form based loosely on their proportion and shape. There should always be some way to tell main characters apart, but there are also background characters who are a bit like they came out of the same mould.
I’m have a series of posts introducing characters from The Gnomestead. I am doing them as I have time, with Introducing the Characters being in the title.
While animals and people will tend to be in the simplest colours, props will have a greater variety of textures from hand-drawn to photo-realistic. For example, wood will have realistic wood grains; and trees and shrubs will have some texture too.
I am trying to keep the humour on a G-rated level. Some of the humour might go over the heads of the youngest readers and is intended for the older readers. Other light jokes are aimed at being intended for everyone. I was influenced somewhat by the great “Road Shows” with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the humour and style of the longer stories.
By-the-way, if you know why the knights are wearing white belts, you might get some visual bits that others won’t. But I am not saying anything. Please note that the figures in the comics do not represent anyone in particular unless for satirical purposes with regards to public figures.
Updated May 28, 2016