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Identifying too strongly with Dan makes me nostalgic for reading Neuromancer, where I identified too strongly with Case <_< Incidentally, I do so love the trope of misanthropic self-destructive drug addict as cyberpunk protagonist.

I don’t mean this nearly as rude as it sounds via text, but: It’s really easy to identify with a blank slate.

I like Case, I really do, but he feels more like a narrator at times than an actual actor in his own world. He’s so removed from things. He’s very easy to impress ideas upon, because we know so little about him. The only concrete things about him are that he likes computers, hacking, amphetamines, being cynical, and sometimes he’s okay with sex. He’s very swept up in what’s going on, maintaining but just following. Sometimes it feels almost like he dissociates from what’s going on, but that’s just my impression and probably influenced by my personal experiences.

I feel like Dan is a different sort of character, a little more relatable than Case. I think the most obvious thing about him would be his sardonic sense of humor. He can be a sharp wit at times, but he also feels a little, I dunno, more vulnerable? Like he’s uncertain about the world. Case always seemed like he had a plan, even when he didn’t. Dan seems genuinely lost. A very vital part of him has been torn out, and it doesn’t seem like he’s getting it back any time soon. He’s selfish, too, feeling he doesn’t really owe anything to others. For example, that same vital part of himself that he lost was (part of) the reason his girlfriend left. I feel she was justified, actually, as unpopular an opinion as that might turn out to be. She needed to do the most healthy thing for herself. He’s just a really flawed character, and I’m interested to see where he goes.

… Uhh, did I really write all that…? Sorry for the dissertation, lol!

I’m going to partially disagree, but only partially. What’s going on with Case was more subtle, I felt… present at the start of the story, gone for most of the middle as he became the lens for the reader, but then resurfaces in the climax and carries through to the end.

When I was young and stupid, I used to think Case was cool. It wasn’t until I re-read the series and got to the line in Mona Lisa Overdrive where he was described as “a man who was too scared to feel anything” that all the pieces clicked for me. Without getting too personal, I felt the combination of his cynicism, his quiet but determined self-harm, his masochistic denial of his own physical and emotional well-being, and the constant thread of his suicidal ideation lurking just beneath the surface really resonated with me.

Dan is his own character, very much so, but born from the same trope and I feel a lot of the same things following his story.

I feel a little sick watching this character do this to himself. I’ve seen people do this irl.

I know Dan isn’t real, but it’s actually kind of a hard thing for me to look at. Things probably get worse from here.

…Dat sun, tho.

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Happy New Year (Again!)

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

One Year of Drugs & Wires!

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Yep, it’s true. On March 22nd, 2015, we officially launched this wild, weird little enterprise into the World Wide Web, making this our first official anniversary.

The last 12 months have been a bit of a blur, but in the best way possible: we’ve published 44 pages of comics, met a lot of talented creators in the process, and – best of all – discovered that there’s actually a surprisingly substantial audience for our cyberpunk-flavored brand of post-Soviet misery. So to all our comment section regulars, Tapastic subscribers, and everyone who’s read, purchased, shared, reviewed our comic, and visited us at conventions… Thank you for making this happen!

We’ll be posting the results of our fanart contest on the 24th once we’ve had a chance to go over all of the entries – harder than it sounds, since we’ve been literally snowed in with great stuff these past couple of weeks! In the meantime, you might also be interested in this little behind-the-scenes look at the comic’s production.

Drugs & Wires Anniversary Contest!

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First Anniversary GiveawayHey, everyone! Drugs & Wires celebrates its first anniversary on March 22nd, 2016, and we’d like to mark the occasion by saying “thank you” to our awesome readers with not one, but two giveaway contests!

The LOW EFFORT Giveaway!

Have a Tumblr account and hate putting effort into winning things? We’ve got just the contest for you, friend! The rules couldn’t be simpler: all you have to do is reblog this post and add your favorite D&W character(s) in the tags. (This helps us to filter out spammers and giveaway-only blogs!)

The Prizes

Two rebloggers will be chosen at random on March 22nd to receive a copy of D&W #1 and a D&W postcard!

The HIGH STAKES Fanart Contest!

It’s not secret that we here at D&W love fanart, so we’re using our anniversary as a shameless excuse to solicit more. The rules run as follows:

  • Draw any character from D&W.
  • Keep it PG-13 so we can put it on our website!
  • Post it on social media with the hashtag #DrugsAndWires or e-mail it to cryoclaire(( A T ))
  •  You can enter as many times as you want, but you can’t win more than once.
  • Deadline for submissions is 23:59 GMT on March 22nd 23rd.

The Prizes

FIRST PLACE: One original Cryoclaire sketch of your choice, copies of Drugs & Wires #1 and Daily Struggles of a Cyberjunkie, plus a grab bag of D&W badges, postcards, prints.

SECOND PLACE (if there’s 6+ entries): One original Cryoclaire sketch of your choice, copies of Drugs & Wires #1 and Daily Struggles of a Cyberjunkie, plus D&W postcards.

THIRD PLACE (if there’s 6+ entries): One original Cryoclaire sketch of your choice, Drugs & Wires #1, and D&W postcards.

Thanks for being a part of our first year, and good luck!

Livestream Updates and D&W on Reddit!

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Radical Livestream 3.03We’ve been experimenting with art livestreams since the earliest days of the comic, and after a couple of venue and scheduling changes, we’ve finally settled into a new home and time slot. You can now watch Cryoclaire assemble new pages on Twitch Saturdays and Sundays – exact start times are announced on her Twitter or Tumblr. Our streams usually run for a few hours; art aside, you’ll get a chance to chat with other fans and creators, sample Claire’s industrial/witchhouse/vaporwave playlists, and take in a sterling selection of random crap we’ve unearthed on YouTube.

D&W also recently gained its very own subreddit on, so if you’ve got an account and are looking for an all-new venue to chat about everybody’s favorite depressed-Slav-in-cyberpunk-’90s-hell webseries, swing on by!

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