About & FCaQ

Story Synopsis

The story so far:

Three anthropomorphic rabbits -- Dittany, Larch and Sorrel -- move into their new hole, in the middle of a run-down garden. They quickly find that the garden is home to sentient plants that don't like the newcomers.

They meet their neighbour, Vetiver, who is a magician of sorts and happens to own a spellbook which repels the plants and also contains spells to control them. The spell they seek requires supplies they don't have, so they set out on the long walk to town, defended by Vetiver and his book.

Unfortunately, Vetiver has enemies who plot against him and they separate him from the others. The three protagonists split up, thinking Vetiver has had an accident and seeking to help him. Vetiver escapes from his enemies, but loses the book. Sorrel stumbles into the enemy plot and is captured.

Hoping to help, Larch finds some local policemen who are investigating an incident of grave robbing and convinces them that Vetiver is in danger. Eager to show off her skills, police magician Burdock summons three river fairies to tell her what has happened to Vetiver. They are more than a match for her, though, and the group has to give up some of their precious possessions to avoid being enslaved. All is for naught, of course, because Vetiver is alive and well and has managed to save himself.

Vetiver convinces Dittany, who used to be a student of magic, to help defend him from his enemies. They rejoin Larch and the police, where Dittany and Larch discover that Sorrel is missing. Larch decides to ask the fairies for help. That turns out to be a mistake. The fairies put him under a spell. Dittany sets off to Vetiver's house to see if the spell can be broken.

Meanwhile, Vetiver's enemies -- the magicians Castus and Honesty -- concoct a plan to use Sorrel as an unwitting weapon in their revenge against Vetiver. Honesty goes off to play her part in the plan while Castus plants an item on Sorrel that will enable them to get past Vetiver's protective spells.

And now, Dittany attempts to break the spell on Larch...

About...

I've had some people suggest that I should give a little background on Gothbunnies -- how it started, why it started, what's with the furry animals... so I thought I'd pull out all that stuff I BS about in interviews and put it here in one spot.

The Bad Beginning

Gothbunnies started out as a small project. I used to do comics in University, but my work ethic was terrible (as was reflected by my grades, which is why I say they'll give just about any monkey a degree). I had a web-page that came with my computing account, so I threw up all the comics and art I did on there... but there was never all that much to put up. This was when webcomics were just getting started, and I read Penny Arcade and PVP and Mac Hall and Sluggy Freelance, and thought "I'll be up there with those guys soon." Except I had that degree to finish and friends to hang out with and I didn't know what the hell I was doing anyway, so I'd make a few comics and then go play Quake 2 for three months.

Eventually I graduated and got a job and realized that University is the very last time in your life that you're ever going to have free time to just fart around. I kept making real-life roommate comics, and at the time I was dealing with some semi-heavy stuff. I made all the people in the comic into anthropomorphic animals, so it wouldn't seem quite as close to my life. But I still didn't get much comicking done, I broke up with my fiancee, my job sucked and I played a lot of video games.

Then one day several years later, after reading Pam Bliss's minicomics column on Sequential Tart I said "Screw it! I'm going to do something short. And stupid. I'll print it out as a minicomic." By this time, I'd read just about every competent webcomic there was, and plenty that weren't. I was tired of wacky roommate videogame comics, and I was tired of journal-type stuff, especially since I didn't want to share my gory personal details with the Internet. This was shortly after my not-yet-husband and I had bought our house and were in the process of discovering why we're never going to be any good at gardening. I was staring at our disaster area out back and said "I'm going to do a comic, goddamn it. What should it be about?" And my not-yet-husband, knowing that I am a giant raving nutter mildly (yet platonically) obsessed with lagomorphs, said "Rabbits."

I had some furry characters sitting around from the old roommate comic, and a terrible garden, and more web-space than I knew what to do with. At the time, I also had a collection of goth-y comics I was going through (Lenore, Courtney Crumrin and Boneyard) and I thought "I should do something gothy. Like... goth... bunnies..." I made up three characters -- a perky goth (Dittany) and a mopey goth (Sorrel) and I ran out of goths so Larch was his own thing which I called the ambiguously-gendered gothboy. I sketched some character designs out, threw together a fast script involving evil weeds, and proceeded to discover how the best-laid plans go astray.

The Bad Middle

So, I'm about as goth as banana pudding. Maybe less, because at least banana pudding is pasty. It's difficult to be goth when you're 30 and have a horror of people looking at you funny. I can't even wear black all the time because I get bored... although I haven't yet met a goth band whose music I didn't like, so maybe it's all okay. In any case, I discovered that I just can't write reams of depressing crap, and it's hard to appreciate the lyrical lure of the night when your husband wants to go to bed at 11. This is why Gothbunnies isn't actually goth. I worried about this for ages, but then decided I didn't care. Most people who review my comic tell me it's not very goth, and I can only say "You caught me."

Anyway. The next thing I discovered is that comics take a long time to make. By the time I got to the end of the piece of script I had cobbled together in one weekend, it was months later and I had a serious plot infestation. Luckily, I get to think about every plot point for ages before I use it, so my ideas (hopefully) get better. Still, this is how my 24-page mini-comic has turned into a 150-page monstrosity that has been limping along since 2004.

Somewhere in the middle there, I got married, gained and lost a pet (allergies), and contracted a bad case of World of Warcraft. I ended up having to take a year-and-a-half sabbatical to refresh myself by shooting shadowbolts at unsuspecting dinosaurs five days a week, with a break in Molten Core on Tuesdays and Sundays. This would probably still be going on, except that WoW gave me repetitive stress injury and I got tired of my husband asking me whether I was going to finish my comic. I also gave up on the idea of grad studies, which has finally freed up a lot of time and obsessive brain power, and I plan to finish this damn thing before some other distraction comes ...oooh, shiny!

So, there is the history of Gothbunnies. Where is Gothbunnies going? At this point, I have one self-contained story to tell. Unless I think of a second adventure to happen after the first, once this story is spun out I will move on to the next project. In the meantime, I've started redrawing the early pages, and hope to maybe separate it into issues and print it up in minicomic format. I don't plan on quitting my day job anytime soon. For one thing, the amount of comic work I do is limited by my wrists. For another thing, I probably shouldn't be left home alone for long periods of time, since I just bum around in pajamas all day and think that biking to Ontario would be a great idea.

Also, Gothbunnies has been mirrored on Modern Tales since September 2007. There is a comments section there if that's your thing.

Frequent Criticisms and Questions

C: Gothbunnies isn't very goth at all!
A: You caught me. I have no excuses, except that "Gothbunnies" is a snappy title.


C: I can't tell whether characters X, Y and Z are boys or girls.
A: Larch is an androgynous guy. He's supposed to be that way. Everyone else is just poorly drawn/designed and I plan to change that as I re-do the early pages. For now, check the cast page if you really need to know.

The Cleverly Hidden Biography

Really, there's not much to say. My name is Joanne Wojtysiak. I live in Canada. I have a degree in Computing Science, but my life revolves around cartooning. I'm married to one man and two bicycles, and I think video games are a legitimate hobby.

I've been art-ing all my life, pretty much. I'm almost entirely self-taught as an artist. My past influences include Alan Davis, Wendy Pini, Tony Di Terlizzi and Masamune Shirow, but these days I've gotten much better at stealing other people's art and I cart away whatever isn't nailed down. Remember, kids -- it's harder to get caught if you steal from 20 people at once. I like trying new things, and the nice thing about doing comics is that I can call everything "research".