Did We Mention We Hate Car Ads?
First Posted Online: December 30, 1996. Reposted: April 06, 2006.
Of course, any commercial break is unwelcome in the middle of a story's climax... But an ad for a car
one of the rarest of all purchases a thing you couldn't possibly want or need a new one of in the next twelve
Well, that just makes the pain all the more exquisite, doesn't it?
In 1996, we were no longer in Dragon; but
HOB was starting in d8 magazine, and by
1997, Yamara spinoffs would appear in both Shadis and
Troll magazines. But while we crept forward with our plan to appear in all remaining
RPG periodicals, another avenue was opening for those who didn't mind not getting paid for drawing comics.
Our friend, Peter "Daaq" Kantor mentioned a fellow named Pete Abrams,
and this amusing strip he was publishing online called
Sluggy Freelance, and suggested that that might be a
way to go with Yamara. We were seriously considering it. Vinny Salzillo of Double Exposure, having witnessed our
initial bumping from the October 1995 issue over the phone while we were at his convention, magnanimously offered us
space on his site at io.com. Our main enemies were, of course, time and money.
Weeks stretched into months. Feeling pressured by the new venue for comics, and realizing he hadn't drawn
Yamara all year, Chris wanted to put together a quick strip over the holiday season.
Infiniti's new obfuscative ad series, again starring
Jonathan Pryce, came to our rescue, and the above episode is the result, posting just before New Year's Eve, 1996.
So, technically, Yamara is one of the earliest webcomics. But don't even buy into the
thought that we're angling for a place in the Halls of the Ancestral Online we only ever produced five episodes
over the course of a year, though it did help win us an invitation to the second
You want the real Old WebSchool? Here are a few who have genuinely paid their dues:
...Chris didn't have the speed for a daily, we doubted the wisdom of webcomics in an era of crappy baud rates, and
we still liked the idea of being paid. So from 1996 - 1998, we sought out dead tree venues and the dead tree checks
that came with them.
Of course, we weren't in Dragon for lack of trying. In an attempt to reach a compromise, and continue the
strip, we offered, early in 1996, to return Yamara to its four-panel roots; in theory this
would allow it to fit onto different pages, and what-not, and not cost TSR, now struggling with competition from
Wizards of the Coast, as much in artist fees.
Some of the editors agreed to give it a look, but we suspected a few just didn't want Yam around any more. In the
spirit of this, we killed her off. Not that that ever meant the end of existence to a player character...
(Of course the "temporal displacement ray" made sense if this had run after a mere 4-month hiatus in the same
We had a good deal of dead character jokes and Planescape malarkey building up, including some sketched out
scenes of Stress, Yamara & Ralph's "return" to the living... but some of that we might still use. Heh heh. The
above strip, of course, has been superceded by the online cliffhager resolution, and so it stands as the final "Lost
Episode", rejected by TSR sometime in February or March of 1996.
As a last note, starting Monday, we'll be spending the next two weeks reformatting the
four online pages from 1997, here into the main
"Hundred Classic" battery.
"But wait," we hear the rhetorical you say aloud, to your monitor, while alone in a quiet room, "that still don't
add up to no hundred."
To which we say, "Your rhetorical self has terrible grammar, we win!" And we add, "The
Yamaras published in the UK magazine Valkyrie will begin posting April 24, and
these will put us over the top."