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In lieu of new information regarding our favorite masked friend, I think it’s best that we take into reference a small subplot that seems to be forming in the midsts of the story.

It’s very clear that the artist and writer of this series put effort into making this page comedic in nature, the “punchline” in the last frame, if only to distract us from the real information that’s being conveyed earlier on the page. This is an attempt made specifically to hide a plot element from us, while being able to reference back to this page at a later date to shock and awe our senses.

In the backseat, sitting with a warm, well-fitting, golden bubble-jacket is a character currently unnamed to us, not that I think he will be for long. On his hat is the number ’42’– which at first glance, is in reference to the unofficial annual marijuana smoking holiday, “four twenty” (as popularized by musical artists such as Snoop Dogg and other creative artists from within the slam-poetry (otherwise known as “rap”) musical genre. However, this is not the case. As we can clearly see, “42” is actually centered on Golden Bubble’s beanie– there was never a zero, it didn’t “come off”. This beanie was inherently designed to be based around the number forty-two, regardless of the red herring that is Golden Bubble’s t-shirt, bandana, and the color of the beanie overall.

Now, who else has an affection for the number forty-two in this series?

No one, actually. The number forty-two makes absolutely no appearance within this series whatsoever. But worry not, we’re not done here, because we do have two characters that take a liking to a very similar number, and I assure you, they’re all *very* related.

So, we’ve got Golden Bubble– a black haired (look at eyebrow color, as well as side of head), caucasian, a fan of the number ’42’, and heavily involved in a drug culture despite his young age. It’s unlikely at best that G.B. got into this culture on his own, so, we’re answering two questions here– who does this character remind us of, and who could’ve brought him into the world of drug use?

That’s right. Fixer242– a white, black-haired individual whose experience in Dreamspace almost certainly associates the two together. The association of numbers (242 & 42), similar genetics, and easy explanation for G.B.’s entrance into drug culture almost certainly tie these two characters together as *brothers*. Golden Bubble and Fixer242 aren’t just similar, they’re genetically related!

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking– a few numbers, some similar genetics, that could all be a coincidence, right? And normally, I would agree with you, if there wasn’t one other character who fit these tropes. One that’s not *in* the story, but *creating* it.

Caucasian, black-haired, and of course, the interest in both technology and drugs. Cryoclaire242, bearing the ever-so-tropic “242” numeric in her online handle, is the third member of this family. Together, we have three genetically similar persons, all within appropriate enough of an age range to potentially be siblings, similar interests, and of course, the numeric identifier that ties them all together.

But what does 242 mean? And why does Golden Bubble lack the “2” in front of his “242”? From a physical standpoint, you could assume that maybe Fixer242 and Cryoclaire242 are twice as old as Golden Bubble, hence the *two*, but I disagree with that theory– it seems all too unsubstantial to be considered symbolism, and overall, pointless when it comes to metaphors. So we stop thinking about the physical differences between Fixer/Cryo and Golden Bubble, and we start looking at the more metaphoric.

One theory that I think is very plausible is that this is actually a reference to another story, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, a comic science fiction (*JUST* like Drugs and Wires!) that references 42 as “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything”. It’s an answer to the question that refers to the meaning of life, a theme that Drugs & Wires writer IO Black explores frequently with references to nihilism (seriously, have you seen Dan’s Twitter?), which is essentially its own answer to the meaning of life. 42, however abstract, is an entirely different answer to what the meaning of life is, albeit a more abstract one.

So, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

Fixer242 and Cryoclaire242 have twice the amount of answers that Golden Bubble does. They, relative to Golden Bubble, have life somewhat more figured out. They have twice as many answers when it comes to defining their purpose here on earth, while Golden Bubble, stuck in his youth and childhood immaturity, has still yet to come to come to an answer as to his purpose– he’s lost, clueless, and alone. The answers he has and the conclusions that he’s come to in regards to the meaning of his life are only a fraction (one-half, specifically) of what the older and more matured characters have managed to reach.

And yes, this is why he’s portrayed as a clueless, or otherwise unintelligent character; because he is. At the end of the day, he’s still lacking answers that would give him that push into maturity, and thus rides around with Vitaly– not because he’s a bad person, but because he lacks the wisdom that would have him know better, and *do* better. And because of this, his life might just get ruined when Vitaly’s school-level empire inevitably comes crashing down upon him. It’s tragic, really, and that tragicness is something that the writers of this series seem to have an affection for.

I always assumed that the “242” in Fixer242 was a thinly veiled reference to the industrial band “Front242.”

Also, I think “42” boy is just an idiot who doesn’t quite get drug culture references. He likely doesn’t understand that 42 is not the same thing as 420 just like he apparently doesn’t understand that his “blaze it” t-shirt has a maple leaf instead of weed on it.

Throbbing Gristle! Dan is no doubt missing out on “Hamburger Lady.”

That song always reminds of the time I was trying to find a copy of Seven Churches by Possessed in the early 90’s. The records store I happened to be in put on Throbbing Gristle and basically ran most of their patrons out of the store before Hamburger Lady was even over. It was the first time I had heard it and it definitely left an impression (nope, I was not one of those who left, nor did I ever get a copy of Seven Churches on vinyl.)

Also, Dan needs to “accidentally” kill Vitaly quickly.

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Blue Pill Arcade – Side Comic Launch

Blue Pill Arcade – Side Comic Launch published on 2 Comments on Blue Pill Arcade – Side Comic Launch

ohnoooo1

Good news – after many months of writing scripts and thumbnails, Blue Pill Arcade is finally getting drawn! First 5 pages are already up on Patreon.

Blue Pill Arcade is a prequel set 2 years before the events of the main comic. While Dreamspace (our original prequel series) focuses on Dan’s last moments in VR, BPA is all about the early days of Dreamspace and its users. Expect it to be a little more light-hearted than the main series (light-hearted by D&W standards, anyway…)

We’ll update the comic  in monthly installments of 6 to 8 pages (depending on Cryo’s workload) and keep it as a Patreon exclusive until the story is finished.  Once it’s done, we’ll see how to go about publishing it, but it’d most likely be available for purchase online.

Anyway, here’s a sneak peak of people’s typical reaction to Fixer:

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Extra D&W Pages for July!

Extra D&W Pages for July! published on No Comments on Extra D&W Pages for July!

Good news, ‘Wireheads – thanks to ongoing support from our Patreon backers, we’ll be publishing another five pages of D&W this month! Slightly less good news: next Monday’s page will unfortunately be bumped, as Claire’s on the road with only the barest of bare-bone art-ing tools at her disposal.

The projected update schedule for this month is:

10/07 – Chapter 4, Page 10 & 11
17/07 – Chapter 4, Page 12
24/07 – Chapter 4, Page 13
31/07 – Chapter 4, Page 14
02/08 – Chapter 4, Page 15

Hearty thanks are due to all of our July patrons:

Diceman, Laura Hutton, Ben Sebastian, Vloshko, Tori Hansen, Matt K, samieperv, Aleksander Ratzloff, Aaron Clark, HD Moore, Tarl Armstrong, Pavel Penev, Adrenaline, Matt Tarky, Richard E. Gropp, stroggo, Xemobiz, Jess Waldrip, Dustrial, Katheudo, grimmware, Minno, Carryl, littledot63, Franck Yvonnet, bryce, raine ko, Jesse Edmund Juniper, Alazavrus Bakanovic, Dmitry Mamchur, Ben Ireland, Pet Rock, Skynix Samson, Lacey, Jeff Couturier, Jay Fabares, Jennifer, cstone, Oscar Aamu, GhostlyPI, Mighterbump, Dm3 C, Anton, Lee, vex, Escher Null, Patty Brehm, Marco Antonio Assfalk de Oliveira, rockjar, Mitch Bigelow, nerveblot, Dylan Evans, Michael Hartog, BitVictim, toherrys, RISING SΛND, M D Penman, MercenaryElf, Weird Montgomery, EdZ, Ethel Morgan, Matt Zweig, meskio, Giuliano Di Pasquale, Matthew Hathaway, Waxhead Jed, tekniklr, Shobana ‘Bob’ Appavu, Корявый Почерк, snowdogermine, Thylacinx, Dan Testerman, neid buell, Kalia, Daniel Joelsson, Austin Bookheimer, and Carl.

Extra D&W Pages Coming This Month!

Extra D&W Pages Coming This Month! published on No Comments on Extra D&W Pages Coming This Month!

With the generous help of our Patreon supporters, we’ve reached our first major stretch goal: an extra page of Drugs & Wires each month!

The projected update schedule for this month is:

05/06 – Chapter 4, Page 5
12/06 – Chapter 4, Page 6
19/06 – Chapter 4, Page 7
26/06 – Chapter 4, Page 8
28/06 – Chapter 4, Page 9

A big “thank you” to all of June patrons:

Diceman, Laura Hutton, Ben Sebastian, Matt K, samieperv, Aleksander Ratzloff, Aaron Clark, HD Moore, Tarl Armstrong, Pavel Penev, Adrenaline, Matt Tarky, Richard E. Gropp, Eric, stroggo, Xemobiz, Jess Waldrip, Carryl, Rift, littledot63, Franck Yvonnet, bryce, raine ko, Jesse Edmund Juniper, Alazavrus Bakanovic, Dmitry Mamchur, Ben Ireland, Pet Rock, Skynix Samson, Jennifer, cstone, Oscar Aamu, GhostlyPI, Mighterbump, Dm3 C, Anton, Lee, vex, Escher Null, Patty Brehm, Marco Antonio Assfalk de Oliveira, rockjar, Mitch Bigelow, nerveblot, Dylan Evans, Michael Hartog, BitVictim, toherrys, RISING SΛND, M D Penman, MercenaryElf, Weird Montgomery, snowdogermine, EdZ, Ethel Morgan, Matthew Carroll, Matt Zweig, meskio, Grim, Giuliano Di Pasquale, Matthew Hathaway, Waxhead Jed, tekniklr, Emanuel, Shobana ‘Bob’ Appavu, Dan Testerman, neid buell, Kalia, Daniel Joelsson, Austin Bookheimer, Geovanna Ramirez, and Carl.

Your support helps keep this comic rolling, and we’re immensely grateful for it!

Drugs & Wires #3 & Convention Schedule

Drugs & Wires #3 & Convention Schedule published on No Comments on Drugs & Wires #3 & Convention Schedule

Hey everyone, haven’t posted here in a while! Actually, I’m pretty sure this is my first time writing a news post on here – normally Io’s much better at it, but I’ve got way more free time on my hands these days, so it’s only fair I start updating more often.

chapter3coverfinal2So, the big news: Issue #3, “Rock Bottom” is ready to be sent off to the printers – we’re currently taking pre-orders to help us with the printing costs! You can order a copy (and limited edition sketch) in D&W Tictail store. For those of you supporting us on Patreon, you can grab a 20% discount code in the latest post.

If you’d rather pick it up from Cryoclaire in person, here’s a list of our convention appearances confirmed so far:

  • Em-con, Nottingham, 29-30th April
  • TCAF, Toronto,  13-14th May (First time in Canada! Exciting times)
  • MCM London 26-29th May
  • Thought Bubble, Leeds, 23-24th September
  • Nottingham Comic Con, Nottingham, 14th October.

Hope to see some of you there!
If you’re ever in Nottingham but can’t make it to the conventions, Drugs & Wires is now stocked at thte Page45 comic shop – they even said some nice things about us in their review!
We  got some very positive and in-depth review from Loser-City and got to be a Pick Of The Week over at ComicBookHour all in the past couple of weeks.
And since I’m just showing off now, we also got interviewed by Jon Erik Christianson over at Comics Alliance which was great. Sadly we’ve heard sad news of the website getting shut down – so go read the thing while it’s still available! There are many more interviews with indie/webcomic creators including our comic buddies Rising Sand.

All in all it’s been a good year for D&W so far and we can’t wait to come back with Chapter 4!  And with that I’ll stop typing and go get some actual work done. Eloquent news post is definitely more of Io’s thing.

-Cryo

 

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Happy New Year (Again!)

Happy New Year (Again!) published on No Comments on Happy New Year (Again!)

And welcome to 2017! For most of us, last year wobbled wildly between “kind of OK” and “five-alarm blaze at the local fireworks factory that’s also somehow an orphanage”, so if we can hope for one thing, it’s that this new year will bring some good news with it, too.

As far as the comic went, however, 2016 actually wasn’t all that shabby:

  • We celebrated our first anniversary with a big fanart contest, which honestly yielded more amazing submissions than it had any right to.
  • D&W more than doubled its subscriber base on Tapastic, rocketing from around 1,200 followers in January 2016 to comfortably over 3,000 by year’s end.
  • After months of hemming, we finally Did The Thing and launched our Patreon with a range of new art and behind-the-scenes commentary.
  • With new translator Alex on board, we rebooted the Russian-language version of D&W with a vengeance and finally caught up to the English comic.
  • We also picked up a bit of additional coverage, with mentions on ReverseMeltdown, Canned Air, Pretty Cool Webcomics, and The Awesome Comics Podcast, as well as an in-depth interview with Tom Mortimer over at Dirty Rotten Comics.
  • On top of that, D&W was recognized for Excellence in Writing and Science Fiction by the folks at StArt Faire.
  • D&W was present at almost every major comic con in the UK last year, but one event was particularly special: our first combined showing at the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, which mostly proved I can’t maintain a consistent signature for more than 10 minutes at a stretch.
  • And elsewhere, Dan clocked in cameo appearances in HeLL(P) and Rising Sand, plus a very special guest slot in the most recent episode of Void & Meddler.

All this, of course, wouldn’t be possible without our readers and supporters, so wherever you may be: thank you, and all the best for the year ahead. We’re glad to have you with us.

– Io

D&W Patreon Launches!

D&W Patreon Launches! published on 1 Comment on D&W Patreon Launches!

That’s right: it’s official. If you follow us on social media, you’ll probably know that we’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a Patreon for quite a while now – all the cool webcomics artists are doing it, so why not us? But we always hit a bit of a hurdle when it came to content: we’re not quite in a position where we can offer things like more frequent comic updates, but still want to give people something substantial for their support.

Over the last couple of weeks, though, we’ve finally had the time to put together a little grab bag of fan goodies: comics, production art, original script pages, and behind-the-scenes insights. It’s a list that’ll probably expand a bit in the months ahead; it’s important to us that backers get a proper bang-for-buck ratio, and we’re kinda figuring out this whole Patreon lark as we go along. So if you’ve got a suggestion about how we can improve our offerings, let us know! Our metaphorical door is always open.

As for D&W itself, you’ll be happy to know that our summer hiatus is almost over – in fact, the cover for Chapter 3 is being sketched out as we speak. Watch this space…

New Neon Shudder Album!

New Neon Shudder Album! published on 1 Comment on New Neon Shudder Album!

Cadence Album Cover by Neon ShudderIn other non-comic news, D&W friend/occasional collaborator/unstoppable music factory Neon Shudder released his first full-length LP, Cadence, on Bandcamp earlier this month. This cyberpunk concept album-slash-multimedia experiment builds on last year’s O​-​8015 EP with 20 fresh tracks, and includes an illustrated digital novella authored by Mr. Shudder himself.

Longtime followers will discover that Cadence marks a big artistic push forward for Yung Shud – a release that doesn’t just play with presentation and storytelling, but also offers a broader palette of sounds than previous Neon Shudder EPs.

D&W Store Updated With Issue #2, Dreamspace & Tattoos!

D&W Store Updated With Issue #2, Dreamspace & Tattoos! published on No Comments on D&W Store Updated With Issue #2, Dreamspace & Tattoos!

Drugs & Wires Store Update

Didn’t get a chance to come out to see us at the MCM London Comic Con? Have no fear: the Drugs & Wires store now carries Drugs & Wires: Issue #2, the newly-reprinted Dreamspace: Analogue Edition, and our stylin’ transfer tattoo sheets. Orders can be personalized on request – just make sure to include it in the notes when checking out!

(Reminder: we also have clothing and prints available!)

MCM London Comic Con is Almost Here!

MCM London Comic Con is Almost Here! published on No Comments on MCM London Comic Con is Almost Here!

MCM 2016 Location Map

It’s that time again: MCM London Comic Con is almost upon us! As in years past, Cryoclaire will be setting up shop in the Comic Village with all the trimmings, including:

  • Dreamspace: Analogue Edition – Ever since the initial run of Dreamspace: Analogue Edition sold out, we’ve been peppered with requests for a reprint, so here it is. We took the opportunities to make some tweaks to the story and clean up the continuity a touch; consider this Analogue Edition 1.01. Fair warning, though: this’ll probably be the last time we make AE available to the general public, so get your copy while the going’s good.
  • Drugs & Wires: Issue 2 – Fresh off the presses, it’s the entirely of D.D.F.H. in future-proof dead-tree format, complete with highly collectible variant cover! (Hey, it’s the ’90s.)
  • D&W Temporary Tattoos – If you follow Cryoclaire on social media, chances are you’ve already seen these, but we’re still very, very excited about them.

We’ll also be selling D&W: Issue 1, the Daily Struggles of a Cyberjunkie one-shot collection, prints, postcards, buttons, and more, more, more. Look for Claire at Table CL2, conveniently located within a stone’s throw of the Kids Zone, a decision the organizers may yet regret. (And if you can’t make it to London, just watch this space – we’ll be updating our store shortly after the event!)

Meet Our Fanart Contest Winners!

Meet Our Fanart Contest Winners! published on 3 Comments on Meet Our Fanart Contest Winners!

We had a fantastic selection of entries for our first anniversary fanart contest – more, honestly, than either of us were expecting. But after a lot of soul-searching and some valuable input from our significant others and cyber-pals, we finally picked our three four lucky winners!

You can find full-size version of these images (and all of the other great submissions!) on our fanart page. A big “thank you” to everybody who participated!
Drugs and Wires Fanart ContestDrugs and Wires Fanart ContestDrugs and Wires Fanart ContestDrugs and Wires Fanart Contest

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