Plans, Schemes, Vague Ideations

I have several (too many!!) things in train, and in the spirit of full transparency, A Little List:

1. Print

For my own satisfaction I need to get the existing comics cleaned up and on paper in some way. Question: Should I do these in instalments, or do the whole opus at once? Bearing in mind that The Organist isn’t cleaned up and is 120 pages without notes

I quite like the idea of doing an Annual, a very Victorian concept.  I’d have to scramble like the very dickens to get even The Client out for the traditional Christmas Annual release, given that I’ve just today opened up my 30-day trial of In Design and I’m still trying to figure out how to get the pictures in. Would there be interest in something like that? with Fancy Typography? Or would you rather wait however long and get The Complete Lovelace and Babbage?

2. User Experience!

A few months ago, there was a Wild And Crazy Hack Day Weekend up at Agant iPad Wizard Labs, wherin I drawed and Dave Addey coded and other folks did other things… The Lovelace and Babbage App is the firstborn, but User Experience is the adorable mutant embryo product of that weekend. It’s a slooooooow gestation on that one but it IS pretty darn cool, so in spite of all reason I’m going to keep plugging away.

3. Lovelace and Babbage The Opera! The Breakfast Cereal! The Bafflingly Complex Mortgage Product!

Sundry and assorted Things, ranging in breadth of ambition from another tshirt, to the enchanting vision of a radio play, which I’m madly in love with. Should these notions become other than chimerical at any point I will keep you posted.

4. Freakin’ Comics Already!

Speaking of mediums, I read with great interest this piece by Warren Ellis, which pinged with some stuff that’s being on my mind what with the iPad app coming out and all. This in particular:

Also, it’s a hell of a lot easier to take your time telling a story when you’re not charging people.

…this is harder to make sense of, perhaps?  It may just be a weird personal tic masquerading as a concern, that is meaningless to everyone else?  But I always saw webcomics as the place where people could do huge, sprawling picaresques..

It may be a personal tic, but it’s one I share in my own small way. The real gift of this comic to me has been the way I can be an amateur – one who does out of love. It’s a very playful space here. I draw entirely to please myself, make jokes entirely to please myself.  So over and above all the Very Serious Plans outlined above, I think I need to go back to roots and just draw a freakin’ comic here.

2dgoggles began as a list of joke comics I still have on a piece of paper from March 2008, which is the comics that must naturally follow from the idea of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage fighting crime. The joke comics were:

– the Orgainst! (DONE!!)

– Sir Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Hat (does this count as done? I have drawn his hat!)

Cyborg Napoleon! (I have a few sketches for this, it’s a lot of giant war machines which are very hard to draw)

Vampire Poets

So, ladies and gentlemens, IN TWO WEEKS..


  1. Amanda on April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I can’t wait for the print version, because this comic would be an excellent addition to my bookshelf. But I’m happy to tide myself over waiting and reading these online. :P
    Seriously, though lady, take as long as you need to get all this done. It builds the suspense.

  2. Sarah Bynum on October 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I can’t believe it. Vampire Poets. I am SO EXCITED.

  3. Pete Arundel on October 25, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Looking forward to tomorrow . . .
    Assuming you’re on schedule . . . ;-)

  4. Sparks on October 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Vampires are all well and good, but… poets? Such a horrible fate to face!

    (After all, I’m fairly sure it’s not the vampires that have put such a panicked look on Lovelace’s face in the cover illustration…)

  5. elizabeth on October 20, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Unless you REALLY want to learn print layout for some reason, I’d hand that off to a Willing Minion and focus on MOAR COMICS! :D

    (BTW, I’m a willing minion. With appropriate software.)

  6. Bella Green on October 19, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Another vote for a January annual from me, but seriously, Most Amazing One, whatever works best for you is just fine with your humble readers. We are all aware, I think, how lucky we are that you have thus far shared so much of your talent and imagination and time with us, and without asking for financial renumeration; and your gifts have brought us most unique and near-peerless amusement and enlightenment. Any demands we might make would be churlish! I and my daughter (who is making an A in AP Algebra!) are delighted to look forward to The Vampire Poets!!! Yay!

  7. Kaazz on October 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    1. SQUEEEE! *
    2, SQUEEEE! **
    3. SQUEEEE! ***
    4. SQUEEEE! ****

    * I will buy anything you have printed! An annual sounds wonderful, but would not want it to become a Big Scary Deadline and Yet Another Thing To Do, and thereby become a burden.
    ** Got the app, bought the story. Can only say: “More! More!”
    *** Radio play sounds wonderful, and one can only hope that those of us on this (far) side of the pond would be able to get it post-air, via the miracles of modern technology.
    **** I am nearly swooning at the thought of L&B and VAMPIRES!!

    PS Do I get extra credit for having footnotes in my comments? ;-)

  8. the doodler on October 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    By all means, annuals! (Or whatever you like, really. Comics like this need to be supported.)
    The poses! And the improvised cross! * dissolves on the floor in laughter* :D

  9. Janeite42 on October 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    A complete Lovelace & Babbage is very good but I love the idea of an annual. I am all agog for the Vampire Poets!

  10. palenoue on October 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I got the app the day it was announced, along with the full story, and have already shown parts of it to dozens of people, most of whom rushed home to read the comics and notes on their own computer. So definitely keep up with that!

    As for InDesign, and any Adobe product, I always point people to and most of the time they return knowledgable and ready to tackle any creative project.

    As for publishing, I’d recommend you do it in parts as it will be quicker, easier and a better learning experience. Once you have all the parts printed separately you can then combine them into a huge colossal omnibus. Of course, the fact that most of us here will buy each part as they come out as well as the collected set won’t play an important role in your deliberations, will it?

    As for a radio show, oh, yes please!

  11. Lance on October 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    New content will always win over new format, for me. Having said that, I’d definitely buy any hardcopy going…. :-)

    It’s a very un-Babbage concept, and I geniunely have no idea (having no serious knowledge of arts and visual media), but could you delegate this in any way? Especially 1) perhaps, but then I imagine it’s all just too precious to hand over… Either way, I suspect you’d have no shortage of skilled volunteers should you send up a flare.

    All the best! Can’t wait for the Vampires :-)

  12. Mary Ellen on October 15, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I write from the eastern seaboard of the Western Wilderness, so (like Mr. Whatsis in “Christmas Carol”) I am, alas, a wretched outcast with no right to an opinion on such a tender, delicate subject … but I think a radio play sounds wonderful. Not that we’d get it over here, but there is such a thing as podcasts, or so I understand.

    Sydney, I’m right behind ya on the general philosophical slant of what you say above. Amateurism rules. Play is the best. Screw money and profit and people vampirizing off your genius, dear, and then trying to formularize it and control it as if it were an industrial product. If I could total up all the examples I personally have seen of excellent creations that were spoiled by that process, I’d get very depressed! So I won’t.

    Not to be a partypooper, but I’d prefer the Annual approach. Basically because I couldn’t afford a Massive and (Temporarily) Complete Compendium. Also, the Victorian touch is so sweetly apropos.

    Could Brunel’s hat conceal a secret power source? (Other than Brunel’s brain, that is.)

    Is Ada holding a compass (drafting type) and a folded blueprint – or is it a straightedge – up to ward off the approaching Undead?

  13. E-wit on October 15, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Yes, yes, yes–keep at the comic–that’s the foundation of it all!

  14. AndyG1066 on October 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

    My dear Sydney – All of the above please… pretty please

  15. Adam on October 14, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I’d be happy to purchase a print version. The Annual sounds like a reasonable approach, but I’d jump on either. Looking forward to vs The Vampire Poets, thank you!

  16. Anon, a Mouse on October 14, 2011 at 3:38 am


    An Annual would be a brilliant beginning, but please DO NOT crash through your first foray into the world of Print. Especially if you are only just now opening InDesign… (to place your images, draw a frame, then go to… ok, stick with the Help menu). The run-up to Christmas is crazy enough, so you can always publish the “Christmas Annual” in time for the Chinese new year or Easter, and we will all go completely bananas pre-ordering and ordering and re-ordering.

    And then you can release the next “Annual,” and we will all go completely bananas again.

    And then you can release a compendium, or even an omnibus, and…

  17. Joe on October 14, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I would be delighted to purchase an annual volume.

  18. Kay on October 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Can I edit my typos? nooo, never mind.
    The Organist was 120 pp.? O.o. I was so enthralled I didn’t even notice.

  19. Kay on October 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    A new comic soon! YAAAAAAAY! This has completely made my rather cruddy day.
    Ahem. I don’t care what format the print comic comes in. I’d prefer a massive Complete Works, but however you want to do it is really fine by me. I do liek the idea of an Annual.
    Also, I love how terrified Lovelace looks in the teaser. :P

  20. Sam Atkins on October 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Cyborg Napoleon! Vampire poets! Yessssssssssssssssss!

    Re: printed editions, I would buy them regardless of how large or regular they are. I’m happy to wait if you think a larger volume would be better. :D

  21. fidelio on October 13, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    An annual, oh yes, an annual…and a separate volume for The Organist.

    It appears that Babbage was born on Decenmer 26, and Lady Lovelace’s December 10, not that this should mean anything for someone planning publication release dates.

  22. Andrés on October 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I would buy an annual. Please, include in i “Lovelace and Babagge VS the economy”!! :)

  23. Ignacio on October 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Tho’ I wouldn’t mind acquiring fascicles + any later-produced collected volumes, the idea of an annual is very appealing! I am looking forward to the new comics!

  24. Brian on October 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Can’t wait for print! Any format you decide would be great. Whatever works for you.

    Looking forward to L&B vs Vampire Poets. Would love to see the Cyborg Napoleon too! Any chance for a preview, even if it is a rough sketch?

  25. Brian on October 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I look forward to more Lovelace and Babbage fun in whatever medium you decide to deliver it — online, print, small installments, giant compeniums, etc (well, except for iOS apps, since I don’t have or plan to acquire anything running that platform). Thank you for the comics! They are wonderful. I will happily exchange money for L&B hardcopy or trinkets.

  26. ninjakitties on October 13, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I am super excited for some vampire poets!
    I love complete collections of anything (the Complete Works of Shakespeare! The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes!) and I am so pumped for the general future (books? comics? RADIO PLAY) that I am using exclamation marks, which I almost never do.

  27. Ceridwen on October 13, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Vampire poets! *squeeeeeee!*

    Radio play. Radio play. You know, there just aren’t enough of those going around these days. There’s something about needing to listen to what the actors are saying that helps to focus the mind…

    *eyes fedora*

    Pending publications: really looking forward to whatever concept you end up embracing. I’d even be all right with companion volumes of footnotes and other notes, or a CD or downloadable app that has the live links to the hurdy-gurdy and other videos. But, oh, my! To curl up on the sofa with Lovelace and Babbage in glorious B&W, right there in my hands… Heaven!

  28. Morris Keesan on October 13, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Ook! Ook!
    Radio play!

    (and, by the way, I love Ada’s improvised cross.)

    [and, Victorian tradition notwithstanding, and Annual doesn’t need to be a Christmas Annual]

  29. Karl on October 13, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I would be immensely happy to give you inordinate amounts of money for an annual “Babbage and Lovelace.”

  30. Kat on October 13, 2011 at 1:47 am

    How very Splendid!
    My Anticipation of the Pending Publication is quite keen.
    (and how Appropriate for Halloween!)

    I also very much like the idea of the Annual Print Version – but is it a Requirement to come out at the calendar year end?

  31. Tealin on October 13, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I would be plenty happy with a ~100pg annual (80 one year, 120 the next, it evens out) but I don’t want to make you have to scramble in any way. You’ve been doing enough of that this year! Maybe a January release to fight the post-holiday blues? Because that is excellent business sense. (Do not listen to the artist!) Whatever you end up doing, don’t put it off too long – I mean, we’d have to wait 30+ years for a technically Complete Lovelace & Babbage, no?

    It still boggles the mind that The Organist was 120 pages. I was clearly too enthralled to notice page breaks.

    And also: RADIO PLAY RADIO PLAY RADIO PLAY!! Make it nice and long for all us animation professionals who need audio narratives to stay focused. :D

    So excited for Vampire Poets as well, oo boy yes. Two weeks, you say? What, really??

    • Elena Dent on October 13, 2011 at 2:30 am

      I agree; you’ve said everything so nicely I can only add a hearty “Here-Here!” Especially to the January release date. Everything is so rushed at the end of the year and there’s so much to do by January we’re ready to pay attention to things again.

  32. Brian on October 13, 2011 at 12:02 am

    1. Of course we’d prefer to get everything at once, as long as that once was NOW (or RSN, anyway). Installments would be better than nothing, which seems entirely possible if the whole thing was too much to complete. (Also, which option would leave more time for other activities in the long run? Would one big burst ultimately be more efficient?)

    2. George demands you keep plugging!

    3. Those sound like great fun, though I myself care first and foremost about the inky pictures.

    4. First, I totally agree with Warren Ellis. Second, YAY FREAKIN’ COMICS!

  33. John on October 13, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Eek! Almost forgot to make some sort of inappropriately girly squealing sound at the vampire poets, and timed to preempt the inferior Halloween celebrations, no less.

  34. John on October 13, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Well, first, I hope to all good things that might have input (including, but not limited to deities, quasi-deities, angels, friendly ghosts, aliens posing and/or mistaken as deities, unfed Mogwai, and parallel fictionalized historical figures of interest) that there may never be any such thing as “The Complete Lovelace and Babbage.” I fully expect my hypothetical grandchildren’s hypothetical grandchildren to wait impatiently (but not so impatiently as to be creepy about it) for the next installment or footnote or sketch of an artist not art…ing. You know, to pass the time until the Bafflingly Complex Mortgage Product is paid off.

    That’s to say, as far as print goes, “whatever works.” I’m not an iPad kind of guy (though I really, really want to see the App…) and rarely wear t-shirts or hats, so I’ll buy it page-by-page if I need to, just to have Lovelace and Babbage on the shelf in proper 2D form.

    I’m also absolutely on board for a radio play–such a fun idea!

  35. Louise on October 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Hurrah! A new comic in a fortnight! I shall dust my reading spectacles and polish my monitor in eager anticpation of this momentous event.

    You know, I almost want an iPad now, just to experience the Lovelace and Babbage iPad App.