May 23 to May 27
In the beginning, Elf Only Inn was loaded frame by frame. For simplicity, I combined them in to one big frame when I began using Keenspace's auto-update system. Up to Celtic Not, the comics all came packaged on hideous paintshop textures, a distracting eye-sore I didn't drop soon enough.
Nimoy's Secret I
May 28 to May 29
Nimoy was originally created to be Lord Elf's unwilling assistant, forced to participate in the elvish atrocities while keeping his true nature "in the closet". But Lord Elf just couldn't keep him down for long.
Goku666's Roleplaying 101
Goku666's inability to emote in words combined with his ridiculous expression created this joke. Even if I re-drew it today, it would look pretty much the same. I originally planned for a recurring theme of Goku666's roleplaying lessons, but it wasn't that funny.
Nimoy's Secret II
Nimoy isn't a very good Trekkie.
well i guess i feel better now
Goku666 still doesn't understand why people ignore him.
M'Lady is knowledgeable in the ways of Wicca, even if she can't spell it.
June 3 to June 6
The original conclusion to Dorkness' introduction featured cameos from a popular webcomic, this was the first of many crude newbie mistakes that I look back on sadly. Not surprisingly, the author of said webcomic did not bother replying to my request to use his characters, so I never ran the strip that featured them. Instead, I rewrote the punchline of that comic in "Only a SYSOP", sans unauthorized use of someone else's success.
June 17 to June 18
Perhaps the only example of Lord Elf doing the right thing.
Only a SYSOP
IMC, incidentally, is the worst chat site ever. They take a few direct knocks in EOI, and much of Lord Elf's foolishness was inspired by their administrative attitude.
We are your Father
June 25 to July 3
I really rather liked the Young Anikin Skywalker picture made for this series, but I only found cause to use it once.
The legacy of Bill Watterson
I know the tasteless and prolific car window stickers of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes peeing on everything are not authorized by Bill Watterson. If he hadn't been so high and mighty about merchandising, his greedy, evil, money-grubbing syndicate might have done something about it. This marks the day I realized some people set their monitor resolution at 800x600
It'd be fun to do this in real life.
What Goths Do All Day
I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to. I seriously walked in on this once while I was cruising chatrooms looking for an open game. Well, okay, there wasn't a DISCO involved, but come on, people! Get some sun! All this Internet is screwing with your gothic minds!
You'd think I was some crazy Star Wars or Star Trek fan for how often they came up in the early days, but this was by accident and not design.
Better job than Lucas
The Elf Only Inn players accurately recreate the worst scene ever filmed in the history of cinema.
Megan versus McDonald's
July 15 to July 27
Megan Ayrwyn was originally introduced to fill the gap Nimoy left at Lord Elf's side and to be the butt of many jokes about self-righteous college-age crusaders, but she also broke the mold rather quickly and turned in to one of my favorite characters. She was supposed to be my polar opposite in politics, so that I could use her both as a foil for my point of view and as a way to force myself to think outside my own beliefs. I quickly remembered, though, that people read the comic because it's funny, not because I have opinions. And, honestly, some of the things people believe today are so far from reality I can't even make Megan connect with them.
On Free Speech, Wasted
The First Amendment, the last line of defense for people who don't have anything to say.
The second and final knock on the IMC chat site, after this I got it out of my system. This was the most read comic on the site up to September, despite that it was a total in-joke. It was probably real popular back on IMC.
August 2 to August 12
Slave reads some bad teenage poetry, and an anonymous representative from the Music Industry steals his words to write songs for today's Hot Teen Angst Bands. I thought I had heard it all until I heard Papa Roach screaming "Life's not fair" over and over again.
August 14 to August 20
When server costs threaten to pull the plug on Elf Only Inn, Lord Elf schemes for money and ultimately sells the room out to foreign investors.
Anime Only Inn
August 22 to September 5
Sometime during this run, Elf Only Inn began to pick up some steam in terms of readership. I love this series, but unfortunately it set me on a path of taking cheap shots at my pet peeves instead of writing a comic about a chatroom.
Looking back over the comics I did during this month, I'm not too proud. While some of these gags brought laughs, they were pretty poorly done. Except for "lol, i fell!!!1" this month is a mostly collection of breaking the "4th Wall" and other amateur drivel that didn't actually fit with the EOI's theme.
Goku666 wants to make a webcomic, but he needs to find an easy angle to exploit. . .
A Comic about a Comic about Movies
At one point this strip made it to the front page of Movie Comics itself, but without any credits. Apparently a version I showed off before putting it in EOI wandered the internet for awhile. It has absolutely nothing to do with Elf Only Inn anyway, it was just one more bad grumble of webcomic angst, which is neither funny nor original in retrospect.
But the punchline still makes me giggle.
A petty reflection on comics about comics
I was absolutely determined NOT to make an Elf Only Inn comic about September 11th on September 11th (I did make a comic for the occasion, but it wasn't related to Elf Only Inn). I've always hated cruising the archives of other comics, knowing there was likely going to be some melencholy burst of emotion on That Day, which is not a subject I turn to comics to understand. The punchline was sloppy and rushed (I wish I had switched the order of some of Duke and Nimoy's dialogue for better effect), and looking at this comic now, I realize 9-11 was not the day to tease Elftor, a comic which took a lot of flak for making comics about September 11th that had... eh... less than the public's expected level of fuzzy-feel-goods on the issue. While I don't agree with the political themes of Elftor, I can appreciate that his ludicrously over-the-top elfy brutality is always meant to be taken with a grain of salt. I'm actually more inclined to give the points of view expressed in Elftor a chance over, say, a self-important hack like Ted Rall. So at any rate, Elftor's mention on 9-11 had nothing to do with his 9-11 comics.
If anything, Elftor deserves props for establishing elves as fiending little drug addicts with machine guns instead of the usual Tolkien-ism.
lol, i fell!!!1
September 13 to September 17
I was worried that I was running this joke into the ground, no pun intended.
Anubis versus Edgar Cayce
Ancient Egypt is my secret passion, and Anubis is actually one of my online characters. After watching an anti-climatic National Geographic live TV special where a previously unknown hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid was opened, I wrote a comic that combined my love for Egyptian history, my fondness for studying their mythology, and my disdain for psychics.
... I'm a nerd. Just walk away, or I'll start elaborating on my great admiration for Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Director of the Giza Pyramids Excavation.
The fate of artists
September 21 to September 25
The Artist of the comic appears from the sky and talks in bold font. Ugh. Another cliche I should not have done. It's even cliche to joke about it being cliche. The pinata angle was nice, though.
Eating Your Soul
September 27- October 9
This is the first part of a long storyline that made up for September's choppy run by putting things back on track for the comic. Trying to fill the empty void in his life, the Lord of Dorkness tries to go on an attention grabbing rampage and learns an important life lesson.
The Sweeper Awakens
October 11 to October 29
When Dorkness flatters his way into Lord Elf's favor, he finally gets the edge he needs to exert his will over the other characters in the Inn. Duke and Nimoy set out to Demon Citadel Chat to recruit a demon of their own to do battle with the Big Red Dork, and no one seems to agree on how to spell the word "demon".
Dressing it up a notch
I guess it is a little silly for people who spend all day pretending to be someone else to dress that someone else up for Halloween, but Goku666 made a perfect Emeril.
I sold out for votes on the Top Webcomics List.
A good rule
This rule has been followed ever since, on pain of Woot's Broom.
Another lame Penny Arcade Rip-Off
This one belongs with the rest of that crap from September. I'm sorry.
November 6 to November 10
Such fantastic animation!!! So exciting!!! I should do my own anime!!! The last comic in this series was an experiment that I wasn't too happy with at the time, and it didn't receive a warm reception. It would be another few months before I was ready to drop the copy/paste completely.
No reason to bite my head off
November 13 to November 25
The tension between Megan and Woot grows.
Hentai Dating Sim
November 26 to November 27
Uh, I've never played one of these, so I don't really know what they are like, but I hear you're supposed to try and seduce anime chicks by plying them with enough fake conversation and presents to ... you know. I hear this sort of stuff doesn't work in real life.
What I'm thankful for
The only thing that keeps me sane.
I don't usually get this crude. At least, I can usually fool myself into thinking that by thrying to make the comics subtle enough that they could be mistaken for innocent. But this is not one of those comics.
December 4 to December 16
The copy/paste format was wearing me out, but luckily the break gave me the time to gather my wits, plan my next stories, do new art, and ... uh ... burn myself out in another month or so.
Elf Only Inn, ver2
Having finished new character artwork, I tried to do more with Elf Only Inn's format instead of churning out quick and visually uninteresting comics. This only lasted a short time, since in the end it was easier to just draw the darn thing.
December 18 to December 25
New Artwork! But Nimoy's new head only lasted one strip before I surgically attached his old noggin to his new body. Megan throws a Winter Solstice party and nobody comes, and King Herman gets his hands on the One Ring. In the end, everyone gathers around a pizza pie and remembers that the true spirit of the season is making Lord Elf suffer.
mloard i am a vampyre (half)
I almost drew this comic.
How to shut a vampire up
I wish I had drawn this one.
Megan's idea to play out scenes from Harry Potter goes horribly awry.
Slow pouring gourmet ketchup
Nobody pours ketchup on the Duke!
January 6 to January 15
Possibly the most shocking and absurd EOI storyline ever. And, like all the other really crazy EOI stories, it is firmly rooted in chatroom reality. This is a good starting point for people who are new to EOI.
Woot's Funny Shape
It was bound to happen. People had finally pointed out what I had realized too late after designing his character... Woot looks like... eh... I like to use the euphamism that he "Looks like Celine Dion", which John Daiker coined for me. Finding a picture of Celine Dion with a green jacket, white scarf and sunglasses to match Woot was a sweet bonus. Yes, I know I spelled her name wrong in the comic.
January 20 to February 14
Upset that Lady had borne a child for every man (and somehow, woman) in EOI, Lord Elf asks Megan to marry his character to make Lady jealous. Megan jumps at the chance for a "real" round of roleplaying to the chargin of her Non-Elf friends and her inevitable disappointment.
From here on out the comic begins to really play on the interactions of the main characters instead of purely leaning on chatroom silliness. The comic was still about a bunch of dysfunctional people in a roleplaying chatroom, but Elf Only Inn changed forever during this storyline and finally became the comic I always hoped it would be. Many of the loyal readers who had been with the comic from the beginning and had carried it into the top ten at TWC took awhile to adjust to the new sitcom-y atmosphere, but the new angle turned out to be a big hit and made EOI one of the top comics on Keenspace.
And finally, sick to death of spending hours hunched over a mouse picking at the same pixels over and over, I broke the mold and started using a pen on the last strip of the wedding. It took awhile to get the rust out of my drawing hand, but it was worth it.
No more copy/paste from here on out!
Megan and Woot
February 17 to March 7
Megan tries to turn the tables on Lord Elf by hooking up with the guy in the Inn who was least like her--Woot. Even though Lord Elf could care less, Megan is delighted with the discovery that all of her guy friends have a crush on her. Megan and Woot play up a happy internet couple storm, despite that Woot can't seem to catch any of Megan's signals that he needs to stop being a big slimy squid-demon if they're going to take their relationship any further.
A very pretty man
March 10 to March 17
Megan's a bonnie lass, but she was originally modelled after a certain smooth cheeked Tolkien elf, as revealed in this series that also brought Ben and the Vaders back. Megan thinks the new Legolas knockoff in the Inn is Woot's new character, but everyone else mistakes him for Megan herself. In the end, Megan resigns herself to loving a great gaudy eyeball monster.
The reader who demanded to see more of Gothgirl turned out to be a bit too much like the EOI Goths, in all the wrong ways.
Vampyr or Bust
March 21 to March 26
The Goths refuse to let M'Lady join their Gothy games because she's too bubbly, bouncy, and only a vampire(half). The guys in EOI all step forward to demonstrate how sensitive they are with long droning conversations about how boobs don't matter.
True love, true colors
March 28 to April 11
As Woot and Megan begin to get closer outside their characters, she confesses that her original intent was to use Woot to make Lord Elf jealous. But it turns out Woot was in the know the whole time and was playing games of his own. The two lovers find new passion in their shared manipulation and deceit. It's touching, really.
Birthday Suit Day
Mom, I'm sorry. Megan, I'm sorry. Duke, you're welcome.
April 14 to April 16
Like so many Internet couples before them, everything came crashing to a halt the moment Woot and Megan met in real life. What exactly happened offline is unclear, but rumor has it that Megan was horrified to learn that Woot lives out of a van in New York and Woot found out that Megan was a Liberal Arts student. . .
All Ages Chatrooms, what is acceptable in:
This really happens--more than homoerotic disco werewolf sex. Trying to visualize it was totally wacky, though.
King of Trolls
April 23 to April 25
Goku666 faces his greatest challenge evar! Duke has a chilling epiphany!
Funny Fantasy Joke
Ha ha ha, that old gag. The D&D nerd version of the Chicken Crossing The Road.
When it comes down to it, EOI is all about abusing Lord Elf.
Guest Comic from Pop Culture Isn't Safe
The only example of Lord Elf moving. Brought to you by the fine fellows (Sketch and Rick) from PCIS, who understand that it's all about abusing Lord Elf.
May 2 to May 23
I wrote this story arc back in the crazy days before I started drawing the comic. It originally leaned on visual gags that were better suited to the old copy/paste style and a concept that made absolutely NO sense in regards to the setting of the comic. The original storyline relied heavily on the classic ninja TCHING TCHING sound effect, which, really, couldn't happen in a chatroom. I spent a lot of time re-writing it, but the end result was worth it.