The Brand Spanking New Forum!


Today's Cartoon



Email Me before it's too late!

Ye Officiale "Too Much Spare Time" Website


Click here for the most recent news!
Click hither for old news that's newer than this news!

15/07/01: Keen Web Comic!
What's new? My lastest web comic, Commander Keen in Copyright Infringement!
The computer game Commander Keen went through 7 episodes of a storyline leading up to a battle for the Universe between two kid geniuses, namely Billy Blaze (aka Commander Keen) and his evil nemesis, Mortimer McMire (aka The Grand Intellect or "Gannalech"). Unfortunately, the final showdown game was never produced, even though Keen's creators wanted to make it. The software company that they were working for, id Software, owned the rights for Keen and decided that they ought to move on and develop the game that we have come to know as "Wolfenstein 3D". So I have picked up the story from where it left off, and heavily dramatised it. (Warning: Contains potentially offensive language.)
Gahhhh!!!! This means less time to draw GCWs!

16/06/01: My name is Andrew and I have a "wait" problem...
Sorry for making y'all wait so long for this update, but progress at GCW has been complicated by the end-of-term blues here at uni coinciding with the temporary relocation of the scanner (AKA the "Scannerwocky"!) and my participation in the UC Comedy Club's first show for 2001, Bigger Brother. But now it's exam leave time; the time when procrastination takes hold and the cartoons start oozing out of my every pore. So to speak. Cartoons don't really come from pores -- actually, the stork brings them.
No, I'm just kidding. What really happens, is Walt Disney slides down the chimney in the night and leaves freshly-drawn cartoons in the stockings of all the good little cartoonists. Bad cartoonists, on the other hand, receive instructions on how to make web comix... oops I'm doing it again, insulting web cartoonists. No, what REALLY happens, is that while I, the cartoonist, sit back on my mountains of money and smoke cuban cigars that I light from burning cheques from Bill Gates, my empoverished minions work in the comic mines, digging for deposits of cartoons so that I can get even richer. And what do I pay them? A lousy tuppance! Bwahahahahhh! (Or is it really all just the other way around?)

02/05/01: *crackle* DON'T JUMP; YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR(for... 'or... 'r...)
Hee hee hee! Y'know how sometimes psychos like to stand on tall buildings and yell, "Don't make me do it! I'll do it, really! Here I go...!
... No, this is it! Okay, one, two, three...
and... four... five... six...
and... here goes!
Okay, this time -" (etc. etc. etc.)
in order to get attention? That's exactly what I've done in GCW over the past few episodes. I hope it works.
Only, sometimes, the attention-seeker will accidentally plunge to a painful demise; I hope my little publicity stunt doesn't drive viewers away.
'Cause if it does, then, well, I'll just have to jump off a really tall building! No, really, I will! I'm warning you - don't make me do it! I will jump, you know. No - here goes -

09/04/01: Holidaze Are Hither
Awrighty. The Bill Hanna tribute is finally up here, and now that I'm on holiday, I'm back in the business of cranking out a whole swag of new GCWs for after Easter. In the next exciting storyline, Leon incurs the wrath of God Himself, which grabs the attention of Satan Himself (no relation) while Noel ends up inside a new Martian Conspiracy involving the recently-launched Mars Odyssey. Eeg. If you think I'm giving too much away here, you obviously don't expect very much from web comics. And given what's out there, who can blame you?
Sinfest is given a C- this month. It's getting repetitive.

26/03/01: We're Ba-ack!
Yay, my computer is now functioning like a normal PC again - ie, crashing Win98 and deleting vital Word documents at random, while emitting farty noises from the speakers. But at least GCW can still be brought to you in full VGA colour; none of this messy hand-scrawled Crayola scribbling!

On a sombre note, William Hanna, of Hanna-Barbera fame, co-inventor of Tom & Jerry, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons etc etc, has passed away at the grand old age of 90. A solemn and dignified tribute will be made to his contribution to the world of cartooning, next week, here at GCW.

19/03/01: Technical Difficulties:
"When Andrew Kepple, ameteur web cartoonist decided to upgrade his computer so that he could continue drawing full-colour GCW comics, he had no idea of the whacky implications such a seemingly simple process could entail. Delayed shipments, hidden costs, hardware incompatibilities and more have all taken their toll and his computer won't be ready for quite a while yet! Stay tuned for more mayhem on the roller-coaster adventure that is Computer Upgrades!"

12/03/01: The Shape of Things to Come:
Well, what did you think of the grand finale? Surely its failings in quality were balanced by the extra quantity...? (-:>
Anyway, future GCW cartoons that are currently in the making include: "Martian Conspiracy: The Musical", the continuing adventures of God and friends and enemies (yes, you'll get to meet Satan soon enough), more animated episodes, more Keenspot/Big Panda parodies, a Matrix rip-off storyline, more celebrity appearances/assassinations, and the shocking comeback of a character whom we'd all thought had met her untimely demise... (uh-oh)... only in Goodbye, Cruel World!
More than just part of your complete breakfast.

Due to my attempts to balance my commitment to a local musical production of "Chess" (by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus) with studying for a computer science degree, the first series of GCW will end this Friday. The second series, starting on Monday, will be "once-a-week" comics until I have too much spare time again. Every now and then I'll chuck in an extra comic or two, so, in the immortal words of Woody Woodpecker, "Don't go away - I'll be back soon with another cartoon!" (Hey - that rhymes! It MUST be true!)

02/03/01: Joy to Goodbye Cruel World!
There it was... just sitting in my e-mail inbox folder... "Your Keenspace account is ready."

Oh, joy of joys! Now I can say... something naughty... to Yahoo!Geocities and move on out of their evil clutches, and commence my Keenspace Odyssey!

Or so I thought. Apparently you need you need a working version of FTP in "Psychosoft's" Internet Explorer. Does anybody have an alternative method of FTP-ing?

21/02/01: Some Ominous News About The Future Of This Web-Comic...
My emergency supply of GCW episodes is being eroded away and I can't replace them, due to hardware cutbacks (I no longer have access to the decent drawing programs on my University's engineering computer network - wah! - And I have to use a cruddier-than-usual scanner)... This means that if I don't want to put GCW on hold for a few weeks while I sort out a graphics card for my clunky old home PC (which currently takes three minutes to change colour modes in Paint Shop Pro), then I'll hafta colour in my cartoons by hand... dunn-dunn-dunnnn.... This will cause a noticeable decrease in artwork quality, not only because colouring in by hand puts limitations on the colour range and effects, but because I SUCK AT COLOURING-IN.
Did you know that the colouring-in competitions that you entered when you were a kid (or what your kids are entering these days) are actually organised by a secret global organisation whose job it is to shape the minds of children to make them "stay between the lines"? It's true. They want to kill creativity in the minds of our children and replace it with a sense of obedience. If I stop producing GCWs after posting this conspiracy theory, it's because THEY CAME AND GOT ME. Don't ignore this. Don't be imprisoned by Them. Run while you still can. Value your individuality. Creativity shall triumph in the end. Wake up and take the - oh bugger, They're HERE!!!! Signnig off

15/02/01: Eep!
Well, production is going slowly these days since I'm adjusting to my new flatting situation, which explains why today's episode of GCW was uploaded at 2349 hrs (NZ) - cutting it a bit fine. Don't worry, I still have sufficient GCWs in reserve to last until next month, featuring NEW characters, parodies, celebrities and yet another Martian Conspiracy. And perhaps a belated Valentine's Day spesh. Stay tuned.

12/02/01: I am a Starving ArtisteTM!
Please, people - get me some more visitors to this site! If the popularity doesn't increase I'll be out of a job - and then I won't be able to update GCW any longer. The result of this is that without the little spark of happiness that GCW brings into your otherwise unbearably meaningless existences, you will wither and perish, as shall I.
And what will the world miss?
Remember - just a click a day can support a starving cartoonist- HEY!!!!! Inspiration for another GCW comic initiating! Gotta go - I have to draw this one before my (evil) landlord kicks me out of my flat tomorrow morning (I'm not kidding either).

10/02/01: Is there REALLY anybody out there?
Well, of all the NINE regular visitors of this site (Yes, you know who you are, AND you know where you live!), only ONE has bothered to gimme any feedback! As a result I am terminating the guestbook and replacing it with THIS:

The Brand Spanking New Forum!

Yes, folks, our very own "ezboard" forum! So get on there NOW if you know what's good for you! (It's also over on the menu to the left!)

01/02/01: A pinch and a punch...
...for not visiting this website enough! Nah, just kidding, I've almost had 200 visitors here in one month, which is about 10 times less that what I got in one month when I site-counter-ed The Pokemorons Zone at about the same time last year, but what can ya do?
Stay tuned, as next week has a few shockers in store for the big, nasty, POPULAR web comics (that SUCK).
28/01/01: Geocities SUX A***!!!
Please feel free to put this banner on your website
Well, Yahoo!Geocities has once again sprung a nasty surprise on us all, proving yet again that they are indeed "the fascist growing community on the web". (How ironic it is that "Yahoo!" are being extremely fascist through their act of banning Nazi memorabilia being traded through their company!)
My theory is that Geocities decided to reorganise itself this weekend, causing the storage efficiency of the files in certain websites to go downhill, effectively using up more memory than was there before. This would explain why the total memory used by the GCW website exceeded the maximum quota that Geocities allows, meaning that I've had to do a bit of salvaging as I move most of the files off to a reasonable server.
Don't worry - you'll still find GCW at the same Geocities address for now, but right now I'm off to apply for webhosting with Keenspace.
Oh yeah; also, Geocities is refusing to save my HTM file named "roknroll.htm", so I've replaced it with "geocities_sux_ass.htm" and now it saves perfectly. Problem solved.

23/01/01: Where did they all go?
Aw, come on people! Only 17 visitors this week? How many people are regularly visiting this website anyway? Two? (Sob!) That's it, I'm off to jump off a bridge UNLESS we hit 150 by next week. And remember, it's weekdaily from now on!

16/01/01: 98 Hits and Counting
Barely a week has elapsed since I started advertising this site on BigPanda, and the "thisweek.htm" page has been visited almost 100 times! This does indeed bode well. And remember, this week is the cartoon-a-day Goodbye-Cruel-World-A-Thon. After that, I'll load up a new cartoon every weekday until supplies start running thin (which hopefully won't happen).
Tell all your friends and enemies about GCW - "" and y'all come back now, y'hear?
12/01/01: WOW!
WOW! It's been, what? Just over a week since GCW opened on the 4th, and we've already had over 60 visitors! Such a response certainly warrants an increase in the number of cartoons being posted per week, methinks. So Tuesday the 16th shall herald the week-long "Goodbye-Cruel-World-A-Thon", which will see a new GCW episode EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK to promote the site.

Oo, and also, we now have a banner:
Ooh, ahh! A Banner!
Please feel welcome to stick this banner on your site, with a link to GCW... and if you tell me about this, then I can do the same for your website. Yay.

Where and How it all began...

04/01/01 - Okay, so I told everybody that it would be running by 01/01/01, but it's funny how things don't always work out the way you'd predicted, isn't it?...

Are you comfortable? Good.

In 1995, I created and developed many cartoon characters, ranging from mad scientists and evil-vanquishing school janitors through to goofy animals (such as insane hedgehogs and get-rich-quick-scheming frogs). One of the latter characters was a lemming named Noel Lemming. Why "Noel" instead of say, "Larry" or "Lance" or "Lucky"? Because there's this "home electrical" chain of stores called "Noel Leeming" here in NZ, and it is oft-misspelled "Noel Lemming". Oh, you'd be surprised. Go and type "Noel Lemming" on Google and see how many links it returns.
ANYway; as one would expect from cartoon lemmings, Noel wanted to jump off a cliff and die. Such an end was denied of him, of course, which was the running gag - no matter what fiendish suicide methods Noel subjected himself to, he would always survive.

While "The Suicidal Adventures of Noel Lemming" probably had the most potential of any of my animal-based cartoons, I only produced one such cartoon in 1995, entitled "Rock & Roll", and it was drawn entirely on computer. (Mmmm yummy.) (Click HERE to view it.) In 1996 I hand-drew a "Noel Lemming" cartoon (which I'll also put on this website when I eventually find the mislaid cartoon) which was to be the last adventure of Noel as I knew him then. I decided that "The Suicidal Adventures of Noel Lemming" was a bit of a one-gag comic. Yeah, yeah, so he can't kill himself. We get it. Ha. Ha. End of comic.

"After his brief stint in the one-off comic strip "The Suicidal Adventures Of Noel Lemming", Noel's career spiralled. He made brief appearances as "background characters" in other Tony The Toenail cartoons, such as Fluffy and Kipper's "Sidekick Day" and the epic "Night Of The Toenail". The magic was over. Noel's life descended into a dark blur of alcoholism, divorce cases, drug addiction and other stuff that usually happens to once-famous people." - "Noel Lemming: Behind the suicidal tendencies" - A "famous people's downfall" documentary.

Noel Lemming, back in those early days, was a totally brown, non-gothic critter (see Fig. 1), with blue trousers, and he looked more fox-like than rodent-like. Although he did say "yarp" back then as well (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

But anyway, he was a bit of a dead-end character and was laid to rest.

Until now. Bom-bom-boom! [Ominous music]

Because Noel Lemming can't DIE! That was the whole POINT! Sorry, Noel, but you're not getting out of it that easily!

While surfing on the internet, looking for good comics to read, I was disappointed to find that - with the exception of one or two websites -

I reckoned that Web Comics seem to fall into two categories:

1) The Cut-n-Paste Category: The artist has drawn about two different pictures of each of his/her characters and creates comics by cutting and pasting them onto the frames in the comic. Then speech balloons are added. That is all. No action. Just words.

For crying out loud, people! You could save yourself (not to mention the rest of us) so much time and webspace by simply writing your cartoons as "play scripts" and posting them up! Your pictures are ENTIRELY REDUNDANT!
Pentasmal - In fact, this one's two main characters are so superficial that they are actually random shapes with mouths! What's funny about it is the fact that rated it NUMBER ONE in its list of FUNNY web comics! D
Modern Evil - Cut-n-pasted pix of people saying stuff which might have been funny if you'd been there at the time. I think this particular comic is just an ego thing for its creators. D
"?" - The Slightly Demented Comic Strip The only thing comical about this comic is the fact that it features on Web Comic sites and even has a sponsor! Now THAT'S laughable! E

2) The Microsoft Paintbrush Category: These types of web comics are drawn by people who aren't actually cartoonists at all - they're just cashing in on ignorant website sponsors who pay to advertise on these numbskulls' websites. The numbskulls in question draw a few stick figures or blocky faces composed of lines and rectangles and maybe, just MAYBE, if they're feeling REEEEALLY daring, they might just use the occasional circle! Wow! (Excuse me, I'm going to have to go and lie down for a bit now, what with all the excitement of using a circle instead of just straight lines.) Then the stick figures get to say something that the "artist" has copied from another cartoon website (probably a Cut-n-Paste one). Okay, so maybe it's art, but that doesn't make it comic (which means "humourous").
Exploding Dog - This artist can't even come up with any original ideas. D-
Diesel Sweeties - I think this one's lameness HAS to be intentional. D
Hotendoty - A perfect example of a "Paintbrush"-er that tries to make up for what it lacks with toilet humour. Dear oh dear. D+

So, after sifting through megs and megs of rancid, putrid, vile web comic pollution, I decided that the proportion of "decent" web comics to "embarrassing insults to cartoonists" web comics is disturbingly low. Not being one to simply stop at destructive criticism, I decided to do something about it by adding my bit to web comics. All I needed was a character...
Enter Noel Lemming, again. I decided that Noel would need to have a makeover, and a more depressed personality. Thus I made him a "goth", taking the mickey out of the whole teenage "my life sucks" thing. And, to make things more interesting, why not give him a sidekick, or contrasting counterpart?

Enter Leon (whose name, as you probably have noticed, is "Noel" spelled backwards) Lemming. Together, the two morbidly mismatched rodents could supply audiences with endless hilarity for a minimum amount of actual humour; what I had created, in fact, was the cartoon equivalent of a trashy TV sitcom. Cool.

Such a style of cartoon is one that I have normally tried to avoid, because of the chringeworthy cheesiness that is generally associated with sitcoms, but hey - it's a web comic - it doesn't have to be anything spectacular!

Because Noel and Leon are equals, rather than Noel being the central character, I changed the name from "The Suicidal Adventures of Noel Lemming" to "Goodbye Cruel World", since this phrase could apply to both characters. Noel would say "Goodbye, Cruel World!" because he wants to kill himself. Leon would say "Goodbye, Cruel World!" because he looks around his world and sees everyone killing themselves. (-:

It was a real headache trying to figure out whether or not Noel and Leon lived in a world of lemmings where everyone but our gruesome twosome would be committing suicide in some bizarre parody of a rat race society, or if they would live among humans. I initially went with the first scenario up to "Caught On Camera" (episode two), after which I decided that a world of humans would make more sense, especially since Noel and Leon would be cast out of their lemming society (see the INTRO - my fourth GCW cartoon).
So, um, Andrew - how come you're not posting your GCW cartoons AS you draw them?
Well, I've got a huge stack of GCW's that are waiting to be posted in future weeks. That's to keep me ahead of schedule for times of real-world-busy-ness. I won't necessarily post them in any particular order unless they follow on in a multi-episode thread. So the next GCW might be weeks old - or it might have been drawn in a rush last night because it relates to a topical current event.

And finally, in case you're wondering if Noel Lemming is some kind of metaphor for my existence, (as is the connection between many cartoonists and their characters), I'm not even going to dignify that with a straight answer. Remember - William Shakespeare maintained that the views and ideals expressed by his characters were not necessarily his own.
Lighten up. Go and read Post-Ironic Pig.

Just to show that I don't hink that all web comics suck, here's MY very opinionated list of web comics that DON'T SUCK:

1: Bob The Angry Flower
- Brilliant. Surreal. Unpredictable. May I be so impudent as to say that BTAF cartoons are in a similar style to mine? (No! I'm not worthy!) A

2: Zebra Girl
- So very corny, but so very well-drawn that this can be a good combination. A-

3: Living In Greytown
- Bizarre, naughty, occasionally funny... but the characters are amusing and the storylines are somewhat addictive. The first few episodes were much better than the current 2-framer strips. B-

4: Glop
- This isn't so much your traditional "web comic", as such, more of a "comic that has been put on the web" - but it's the most ingenious and surreal superhero-comic parody... ever. Go. Now. Read. Laugh (not that you'll need to be told to). A

If you don't agree with my judgement, then for cryssakes TELL ME ABOUT THE GOOD WEB COMICS!