About | Characters | The author

I. About the strip

Snail Dust follows the exploits of several young adults, their families, their friends, and the voices in their heads. The author sucks at characterization, and still isn't sure exactly what she WANTS to be doing with this thing, but who knows what the future holds in the way of new scripting and character development? (Adee do...)

A lot of what Snail Dust is relies on in-jokes, and so it may make a notable lack of sense at times. It is posted publicly nonetheless for those few who do identify with it; I apologize to those who read, then go away scratching their heads in confusion over what they have seen. Might I suggest a strip somewhat more geared towards the masses?

II. Characters

Ondine Ondine Gianti

Age: 20

She's the main character, because she's based upon the all-powerful author and because I just plain say so.  She's as close to your average female geek as she can get, considering she's written by someone who a) doesn't want to get too gender-political and 'girl-power'ish (it's spelled GIRL, not grrl or gurl or aardvark, thank you) and b) doesn't have the money to be a proper geek herself, and thus doesn't have much 'insider' knowledge to go on.  'Dine's quite very easily amused, and prone to random acts of insanity.  And yes, she is fat. Hate her, love her, or tolerate her, in spite of, because of, or for reasons completely ignorant of that reality.  It's up to you.

Percy Percy Train

Age: 19

Percy has been Ondine's best friend since the two of them were quite young. They tend to rub off on each other quite a bit, but they are still different (really!) in that Percy is much more intelligent (a supergenius, even), slightly more sane (at least ostensibly so), and an utter and complete wimp when it comes to anything remotely scary.  

Cassie Cassie Train

Age: 18

Cassie is Percy's little sister, and is friends with Ondine and Andy.  Not a terrible lot is known about her at the moment except that she's recently started "being gothy".

Andromeda Andromeda Calliope Montgomery-Sloan

Age: 22

Most often known as Andy, though she does have any other number of nicknames.  She and Ondine met in high school, and still hang out verra often, even though Andy's gone on to a job, and Ondine to college. She doesn't really have much of a distinct personality, though, now that I think of it -- mainly because I suck. Ah, well.

Mav Mav

Age: 20

Mav's been a good friend of Ondine's for quite some time, and she likes him quite a bit. He's been acting a bit weird lately, though, and she really can't tell why... he's also disappeared for a bit, 'cause I can't figure out how to write for him at the moment.

Josh Joshua Hawk

Age: Won't tell exactly, but somewhere vaguely around 20.

A fellow who's paranoid through and through. No one's even sure if "Joshua Hawk" is his real name, but it's the one he responds to, so it's the one they use.  Seems to have an... interesting... handle on the English language.

The snail The snail

Age: 2

A creature with origins too surreal to describe. Plus he can apparently change his form at will.

Ro Ro

Age: 22

Ro's in interestingly demented person.  She regularly dresses up like something she's not, not because she wants to impress or fit in, but because she gets a kick out of watching how much people's perceptions of her change just because of what she looks like.  She is a bit cynical and sarcastic, but in a loveable way (honest!).

Corey Corey

Age: 22

Corey is Ro's boyfriend.  Not much is known about him as of yet, other than he appears to be simultaneously capable of soaring insights into the human character and acts of sheer moronocity.  Neat trick, that.

The Me Girl The Me Girl

Age: Unknown; presumably somewhere around 20.

The Me Girl only appears in one strip. She appears to be of the opinion that if something doesn't amuse her personally, it doesn't deserve to exist. It's unknown just what makes her so sure of her own self-importance.

image coming at some future point of less laziness Steve

Age: 19

More a friend of Andy's than Ondine's, but he and the latter are not averse to each other.  He appears to be good for giving rides in times of need.

Craig Craig Gianti

Age: 17

Ondine's brother.  He appears to have a death wish of some sort.

image coming at some future point of less laziness Mrs. Gianti

Age: the author does not want to get killed for revealing it; let's call it "late 30s"

Ondine's mommy.  Evidence suggests that she tends to get a bit exasperated by her daughter's eccentricies, but she's quite ready to admit that 'Dine is, for all her insanity, a good kid.

III. The author and the making of the strip

Hi. I (Jenny Rowland, author-at-large, posing with another copy of herself) am Jenny Rowland (often referred to as 'Napoleon'), and I'll be your comic strip creator today. If you don't feel like reading about me here, I'll give you the gist of it: I'm a college sophomore who likes frolicking merrily, both on the internet and in real life. One of the ways I frolic merrily is by drawing these strips. I hope to keep them going for a long while yet, but I make no guarantees. Especially what with all the madness that insists on cropping up in my life.

If you're curious as to how I draw these things (a few people have asked), I shall explain it here.  It's gotten pretty lengthy and confusing to describe, though.

I work in a Strathmore sketchbook, lightly textured.  Drawing utensils and sundry accessories have come and gone, but I've never done a strip on anything else (except for the art bits from the first few weeks, which were before I got my mom to buy me a sketchbook that hadn't been salvaged from the art class I used to aide for).  I draw the art for the strip with a Sanford Turquoise B pencil, without bothering to maintain anything like a strip format, since it's just too hard and that's what copy/paste is for.  Then once I'm done pencilling I ink on tracing paper (a method I was too stupid to use till Barry Smith clued me in by his example) with a finepoint Sharpie. I scan at about 200dpi, open the results in Paint Shop Pro, edit each panel so my inking mistakes are less visible, then copy/paste them into a strip-shaped dealie, resizing when needed.  After I have everything the right relative size, I can do any coloring or pasting in of textures.  Once the fill stage is done, I resize the image, text on a new layer, add speech bubble things on another new layer, move everything around so it's good, and merge the layers.  Final step in Paint Shop Pro is to add the panel borders.  Then I save the image, open it in a dinky little program called PhotoStudio, paste it onto a slightly bigger image with room for the copyright and such at bottom, add said copyright and such, save, and I'm done.  The finished comic is exported as a gif in PSP and uploaded.