MusteLines 56 (1-1998)

MusteLines for Rowerbrazzle Fifty-six                      January 1998


Mark Sylys Merlino                                          (800) 234-8237 Lantana/ConFurence

                                                            PO Box 1958, Garden Grove, CA 92842-1958


Who lives down in deepest, darkest Africa?

ConFurence 9 is drawing closer, as I try to complete a communication / computer network system for one of my best clients… a job that was supposed to be finished by early December. Ah, but there were construction delays, etc. Oh well, same story, different year.

Some of you might remember my contribution some issues back where I explained my discovery of Multi-user interactive role-playing environments (like FurryMuck) My furry alter-egos typically reside on FurryMuck, but last year I was invited by a good friend to try a themed Muck, based on The Lion King. As I have a great love of that particular Disney feature (and wished, as many do, I had somehow been involved in the production), I decided to give it a try. I found, not too surprisingly, that the muck was created by some rather more obsessive fans that likened TLK to some modern Shakespearean tragedy and even believed they were writing the sequel. I was disappointed, but I managed to find some players who liked the film for it’s many aspects, and wished to enjoy a virtual life in the Disney-Africa of the pridelands. Being a weasel type, I opted to play a noble African mustelid, the Ratel, or Honey Badger. What transpired, as a result of this is quite amazing. To say it changed my life would be an understatement! I won’t go into all the details, but instead I will focus on the one aspect of interest to the Brazzle crowd. I had been invited by Carole and Mike Curtis to submit a story for a furry comic anthology. When they called to actually give me a deadline (gee, they really meant it!), I was at a loss for inspiration. It was Mike who suggested I work some of my TLK on-line experiences into a short story. He said that they would arrange an artist, inker and letterer to complete the comic. The artist they found, Shawntae Howard is incredible! Not only is he fast and versatile, he seems to be on my “wavelength”, and is able to “see” exactly what I have in my head from just reading my simple scripts. The inkers and letterers did a great job, too. I am very grateful to the Curtis’, and the other players in our “pride” for the chance to make a part of the virtual life I share with my friends accessible to other furries.

The story I am including is actually the second First Light pride tale. The first story appeared in New Horizons number one. “The One Lioness” is a love story for Zahara, the lioness, told to the pride by Sega, the Honey Badger (my character). It serves to explain, only briefly, how a Honey Badger came to be the mate of a lioness, who was the founder of the First Light pride. The story I am showcasing here was written by Changa (my “virtual” adopted son, who is a lion) and myself. Like the first comic, it started as a log of the actual role-play from TLK Muck. Bob wrote the story and I did the panel breakdowns and layout. Shawntae did the wonderful art, as before. It will appear in the third issue of New Horizons, which should be available at ConFurence. In future contributions I intend to show the various steps involved in the process of creating a comic through team effort. I hope you enjoy this furry Father’s Day fable, and I hope to see a lot of you at ConFurence 9!