It’s More Fun When You’re Not Allowed, by Isabel Marks – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

599841-1Fred writes: three or four reviews of furry books that I wrote in 2003 or 2004 have vanished from the Internet.  I wrote them for the first version of Watts Martin’s Claw & Quill site, which he has apparently taken down. Here they are back online.

It’s More Fun When You’re Not Allowed: Namir Deiter, Year One, by Isabel Marks. Fredericksburg, VA, Fuzzy Kitten Comics/Studio Ironcat, September 2004, trade paperback $11.95 (128 pages,.

This tidy little package presents the first year’s worth of Isabel Marks’ online Namir Deiter comic strip (November 28, 1999 through January 5, 2001), plus a lot of bonus goodies: biographies of 21 main and minor characters, an original ten-page story, a Fantasy Gallery showing the main gang in s-f and fantasy settings, a foreword by Bill Holbrook, and more. Almost as good as the strips themselves are Marks’ notes on practically each one describing the conditions under which it was written and/or drawn.

Basic advice for writers is “Write what you know about.” Marks appears to have done this to excellent effect. As she explains in her notes, she was a high school senior with some spare time in computer class. She had recently discovered on-line comics and wanted to try one of her own.   What about? High school dating! The first strip introduces four high school gals and a guy. The guy, Devlin, is just present to start the action (he asks Tipper out on her first date). The main cast is the girls: sisters Snickers and Tipper Namir, Blue Deiter, and Joy Satu. Snickers and Joy are relatively demure; Tipper, the youngest, is tomboyish; and Blue, who was neglected as a child and raised herself by watching TV, is self-centered and apparently attention-seeking. As Namir Deiter advances during its first year, Marks points out in her marginal asides the ways in which it begins to evolve. The art style shows her experiments with different computer drawing tools and techniques. The story starts with individual gag strips, and gains depth as her characters develop individual personalities and become involved in more serious human-interest situations.

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