0) Were there other Unlike Minerva comics?

Yes. Some strips were removed because I felt that they didn't properly represent the comic. There was a decent amount of bad writing in the early days and a few ideas that didn't go anywhere. So I've edited things a little in order to present things better. The removed strips are not available online anywhere.

1) Why the title Unlike Minerva?

Well, when I decided to start a strip, the for the first six days, I couldn't think of a decent idea.  The vaudeville theme was gradually built upon.  In Roman mythology, Minerva burst forth fully-grown from Jupiter's head.  This strip did rather the opposite.  The concept and all of the major storylines have developed slowly and erratically.

2) Why are you doing this?

I stumbled across internet comics by accident and started reading Kevin and Kell.  I read the entire archives.  I liked what he was doing, but I had a few ideas and figured I could either be an armchair cartoonist trying to cajole him into changing the strips to my liking, or I could do a strip the way I thought it could be done.

I decided that he's better off doing the strip his way, so started my own strip.  Now I colour his strip as well.

3) Who's Isabel?

My darling wife.  The love of my life.  This comic's artist.  And a damn good cartoonist in her own right.

She became those things, mind you, in the reverse order.  She first e-mailed me in September of 2000, offering to draw my comic, and asking my opinion of her's.  Shortly thereafter, I added her to my roster of artists and she periodically drew things for me.  Then on October 5, 2001, a mutual friend properly introduced us.  We started talking online.  Something clicked between us.  On December 27, we met in person for the first time; I flew to California and spent a week with her.  I did the same again a few months later.  Then in late April - just before my graduation -  I invited her over and she's stayed with me ever since.  Since that first trip, she had gradually taken over more and more of the artistic responsibility, and is now the official sole artist of Unlike Minerva.

4) Why don't you draw your own comic?

When I first started thinking about Unlike Minerva, it was obvious that it would require artistic ability far beyond my own.  I wanted the characters to be capable of complex expression.  I couldn't do that.  So I figured that I'd practice drawing and in the meantime, I'd pay talented artists to do it properly.

Now, two years later, and I still can't draw.  It all worked out though. ^_^

5) Why were there different artists in the past?

Firstly, I couldn't find anybody who could draw the strip full time until Isabel volunteered.  The rotating artist schema was originally born out of necessity.  So I periodically recruited new artists.  Then I met someone that I wanted to work with forever.

6) What about names?

6a) Brisbane Adams: After the city in Queensland, Australia.  There's one in North Dakota, also.  His name has nothing to do with moderately-famous newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane.  The last name was taken from the second and sixth presidents.

6b) Peter Nelson: Named after Peter Torkand Peter Noone.  His personality was originally modelled after Peter Tork's in The Monkees.  Nelson is an Americanized version of Nilsson.  I had planned on naming him either Peter Nelson or Peter Day (after Dennis Day, the singer for The Jack Benny Show) and Nelson won out for reasons that will become obvious in a year and a half, hopefully.  (Yes, I do plan that far ahead.  I had nearly a year to think of things before the strip started.)

6c) Caleb: In Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Maj. Major Major Major was supposed to be named Caleb Major.  When I was in high school, I decided that I'd be called "Caleb" for a week, inspired by the above.  I did strange things like that in high school.  There was also a band called Caleb in England in the late 60's.  They released a single called "Baby, your phrasing is bad", which is available on one of the Rubble compilations (vol 1, I think).  It's worth picking up if you like psychedelic music.  I figure any name like that which comes up three times in a person's life ought to have a comic-strip character named out of it.

6d) Kimberly: Named after Kimberley Rew of Katrina & The Waves and The Soft Boys.

7) Where is this strip set?

It's set in the Minerva Theatre in the city of Hippedown on the island of Hippedown.  The Minerva Theatre was built by and named after James K. Minerva.  Two thousand years ago, the island was conquered by the Romans and named Hypedon.  Four hundred years ago, it was conquered by the British and became the Township of Hippidunne.  It declared independance at some point and became the colony of Hippedown.  Hippedown is the capitol of Hippedown.  Things from the city or island are Hypedonian after the Latin root.

8) Gee, that's a lot.

Yes, but it's not terribly important right now and won't be for a good, long while.

9)Why set it in a vaudeville theater?

Well, I wanted to have a setting where I could introduce and remove characters as needed. Bloom County and Doonesbury were both set in places where characters could be added on a whim (a boarding house and college, respectively).  Then I stumbled on a good character dynamic, so while I plan on introducing a few minor characters, I'm going to be mostly ignoring my ability to make large cast changes.  Oddly, none of the new characters I've got planned will have any connection to vaudeville.

10)What's that thing that Brisbane wears?

It's an ascot.  As worn by Fred from Scooby Doo and various uniformed schoolgirls.  And American sailors during the second World War.  It was rather fashionable in England in the late 1960s.

11) What the heck does "Kiranga" mean?  Sounds very exotic.

It is!  Kiranga and Ryangombe are both names of a Bantu folk-hero/demi-god.  Kiranga is the name used in Burundi, and Ryangombe (or Lyangombe) is the name used in Rwanda and Uganda.  This isn't relevant to the series and will not be mentioned in the comic.  I like to put in in-jokes that I fully know nobody will ever get.

12) Does Brisbane love Kimberly?

"Maybe.  Who wants to know?  She  put you up to this, didn't she?  Whatever her plan is, I know exactly how to deal with it.  You can tell her that!
"Oh, and what did she tell you about me?  She didn't say anything bad, did she?"

Translation: Yes.

13) Does Kimberly love Brisbane?

"You don't think I'd go around flirting like that if I wasn't at least a little interested in him, do you?
Oh.  You do."

Translation: Maybe.

14) Does Caleb love Sofia?

"Of course I do.  I mean, look at all the things we've got in common: I'm male and she's female.  It's a perfect match.  I'm sure she's the girl for me.  Unless Kimberly is more likely to go for it."

Translation: No, but you'll never convince him of it.

15) Does Sofia love Caleb.


Translation: No.

16) You list another brother for Sofia and Brisbane, is he going to show up at the Minerva, or is he just there to make the details look nice?

There are no current plans.  Sydney Adams may show up at the Minerva Theatre, will not take up residence there, and will eventually appear in the strip.

17) Brisbane's early attempts at comedy didn't go so well.  Has he improved, or is there some other reason he's been allowed to stay at the Minerva Theatre?

He's gotten a bit better, but not much.  Peter carries the act.   The management hasn't exactly been on their toes.

19)  What, if anything, does Sofia do to justify her room and board at the Theatre?

Nothing.  She decided she'd stay for a while and she took over a room.  The management might not even know she's there.

20)  So what happened to Goliath? Did he leave Minerva Theater, or has he just conveniently disappeared from the setting? Will we ever see him again?

He's around.  He just tends not to show up unless there's something that urgently needs managing.

He doesn't do much and he doesn't say much, and as a result, he doesn't have a very big part anymore.  He's very difficult to write because he doesn't interact much.  If the strip needs him, he'll be around, otherwise he won't.

This page © 1998-2001 Terrence Marks