2005 News

Dates arranged with most recent on top.


Merry Christmas, everybody.

I hoped to get strip #36 on line on 12/20, the anniversary of Anna's creation, but, due to working overtime and shopping for gifts, I didn't get an opportunity to work on my strip untiil Christmas Eve (or rather, very early Christmas morning). Nevertheless, #36 is now online. I plan to put "A Gouine's Story" on hiatus until late January -- the next strip's scheduled to show what Rafi got for Christmas. Then in early January, our family will be going to Michigan to see relatives. I also plan on visiting the city where Rafi lives, Ann Arbor -- no doubt an opportunity to gather material for my strip and provide a photo-op for my Rafi doll.

I have also removed my button for Project Comics -- apparently, that's site's gone for good. The URL could no longer be found, and I got no notification in regards to any changes.

Also, I revised my Megacon page. Plus, more links.


Now, I apologise for sounding like a broken record -- "I apologise for another delay... (click) I apologise for another delay ... (click)". With the lot of things going on, with work, the upcoming MegaCon and everything else that had to do with this strip and my life, the progress of this strip, #35 (the latest "Gouine's Story" installment) went very slowly. I finished this last night (12/14), but the writing and planning for this stared back in October.

The next "Gouine's Story" strip won't come until after the new year, as I have not one, but two special Christmas strips planned It'll return with strip #38, which will be the most special moment so far in the story -- the marriage of Hector, Nathalie and Hélène. For a little taste of things to come, check out Nathalie's picture in Rafi's Gallery. As for the Christmas strips -- hopefully I'll have the first one out by 12/20 -- the first anniversary of "The Mundane Circus".

Also, more links and a new Rafi sketch in the sketchbook.

Finally -- strip #34, Mini-Rafi's first appearance, is now part of the "Transgendered Day of Remembrance" exhibit at Jenn Dolari's website. Take a look at it -- through comics, it explains why transgenderism is very serious, and not at all fun. (And in case you don't read the Creator's Notes -- -- neither Rafi nor I are transgendered. We just have wide-open minds.)


I apologise once more for the delay -- I was busy doing a minor overhaul of my site, including a new main banner, plus banners for most characters in the sketchbook. I was going to let it go until much later, but since today's (11/20) a special day for some, that motivated me to release strip #34, on that particular subject.

And of course -- more links.


I apologise for another delay -- between other busy things in my life and worrying about Hurricane Wilma, I hardly got any strip work done. But finally, here it is -- strip #33, continuing "A Gouine's Story". I also added a special "bonus" strip -- recently, I bought a new software tool that will, among other functions, add hatching and shading. I experimented with this software using strip #9 as "guinea pig".

Added some more links.

Added more Rafi sketches in the sketchbook.

Added more pictures in the Rafi doll section, including a slight wardrobe change that makes Rafi look more like -- Rafi.

Added a new page about the upcoming Megacon show in February 2006.


Added more link graphics; they're made mainly to advertise my strip on other sites, but you're welcome to use them, as long as you put them on your server first.


Sorry for the delay, but I was on a business trip to Tallahassee last week, so I wasn't able to update my site. However, Rafi went along with me, and I've taken a couple of pictures in her hotel room -- see them on the Rafi doll section.

Continuing "A Gouine's Story" with strip #32.

Added some more links.

Disabled the "Project Comics" vote button (like anyone bothered to vote for me anyway) -- they're transferring to new facilities, and I'm having trouble signimng up for the new one. (Update: The error was since fixed. Currently, it's at #41 -- I want to see this number go up, not down.)


Effective immediately, the guestbook has been discontinued -- I have had it up for the last 2 months, and all I had was only one real entry and several crap entries from people pushing diet pills and sex sites. You abuse it, you lose it. If you want to reach me, e-mail me. If you can't e-mail me -- sorry, but the guestbook stays off.

In light of recent developments involving Hurricane Rita's strike on the Texas / Louisiana Gulf Coast, I created strip #31 based on the impending doom that the Gulf Coasters would have to face. "A Gouine's Story" will resume with strip #32 -- hopefully, strip #33 will not be a hurricane salute strip.

I have also added a new section to this site -- the "Museum", which will feature discarded material and other items of interest that is associated with this site.

Added some more links.

Added another Rafi sketch in the sketchbook.


Continuing "A Gouine's Story" with strip #30, introducing Hélène.

Added a new sketch of Hélène to Rafi's Gallery.

Added a new picture of the Rafi doll.

Added some more links.


In light of recent developments in the days following Hurricane Katrina's strike on New Orleans, I created strip #29 based on the misery in New Orleans. "A Gouine's Story" will resume with strip #30.

I have also submitted my site to four voting lists -- if you like "the Circus", please vote.


On 8/29/2005, Hurricane Katrina, a Category-4 storm, made landfall east of New Orleans, causing an undue catastrophe between New Orleans and Mobile. In light of this, I have prepared a special salute from Rafi for the victims of Katrina. To see it, click here.


Added strip #28, continuing "A Gouine's Story".

Added some more links.

Added another Rafi sketch in the sketchbook.


First, a little rant -- "The Mundane Circus" has been online since January and it's been lasted at three comics-specific sites since July. I've been getting a healthy amount of hits each day -- and still no one's talking to me about it. A couple of people did comment to me about it, but that's all. Really.

Why are all of you clamming up? Is my strip that bad? Is the content too controversial? Do I bore you?

Or do you like my strip? In that case, how do you like it?

I want to know what you really think about "The Circus". I know my artwork's nowhere near Batman, Peanuts or even Dilbert, and my writing seems a little pedestrian, but still that's no excuse for not talking to me about it.

When you visit my site, take a few minutes to look at my pages. Then, e-mail me at:

azumanga(@)tampabay.rr.com (remove the parentheses around the "@")

Or, leave a message in my guestbook.

As I mentioned several times before, I have some reader-participation plans coming up. But they're not going to happen without you and your comments.

I know my strip's not the greatest in the world, but with your help, I can at least try to make it the greatest.

I need people to spread my site around, and the people I need are actual readers, not casino and drug spammers casing my site.

Now, for some really big news -- coming in February 2006, I plan on making my first comic show appearance as an appearing artist, rather than a comic book dealer or spectator -- I am renting space in Artist Alley at the next MegaCon in Orlando, which, of course, will use to push "The Circus" on other guests and spectators. Will meeting prospective fans face-to-face and drawing sketches be more effective than leaving flyers on the freebie table? Will selling full-color sketches turn a profit, and be a bigger (and lighter) moneymaker than selling comics (which I lug out of storage every few months for the Tampa show)? Will there be more pictures of me and Rafi with other artists? Will I get over the fact that MegaCon is much, much smaller than the San Diego show I attended last month? The answers to these questions will come next February. More details will come in the coming months.

As a matter of fact, the sketchbook includes a picture of Rafi that I have submitted for the MegaCon program book.

Added strip #27, continuing "A Gouine's Story".

Added some more links; also splitted the page up into several pages, for easier navigating.

8/4/2005: Added strip #26, introducing Hector. Hopefully, I'll resume the weekly strips from this point on, instead of roughly monthly.

Added a Rafi sketch in the sketchbook.

Added some more links.

Redesigned the guestbook, with new banner graphics, plus buttons on the main page.

7/27/2005: Added guestbook. Hopefully some people will use it.

7/24/2005: Returned from San Diego this past Tuesday (7/19), after having a ball at Comic Con International. Too bad I never had time to see what the rest of the city had to offer; the city's really nice. When I go back to Comic Con in a couple of years, I'll try to arrange for a vacation that's longer than 6 days.

I have included some pictures from Comic Con, including some from comic book authors you may already know. Also, you get to see me for the first time.

Introduced Rafi's father, Hector, in the sketchbook and in Rafi's Gallery.

I've also added some more links.

Hopefully, I'll resume the strip next week, and continue on a weekly basis, now that the 2005 Comic Con is now history.

7/12/2005: Added strip #25, where Nathalie now becomes involved in the strip. This will be the last strip until late-July (at the earliest), as I'll be in San Diego for Comic Con (just look for me with the Rafi doll). You can see Rafi's original artwork from the last panel in Rafi's Gallery.

I've also added some more links in the BD section.

Also -- flyers and Google didn't work, but banners, directories and webrings did -- in the past few days, I've now started getting regular traffic visiting my site, thanks to said services (which you can see at the bottom of my main page). But now, it's your turn -- please, by all means, e-mail me, if you have any comments, questions, praise, anything to contribute. I have some more things planned that will involve you, the reader, but they aren't going to happen until I hear some chatter out there.

7/8/2005: I have now been officially added to OnlineComics.net's directory, in the "Gay / Lesbian" and "Humor" sections.

7/6/2005: I've opened up my new section on my custom-made Rafi doll. She'll be making her first public appearance at next week's Comic Con International in San Diego.

7/5/2005: I have overhauled my main page again -- this time, I placed the menu on the left side of the page, using graphic buttons instead of mere links.

Speaking of which, I have also added a links page.

Originally, I planned on putting my promo booklet on the web after the San Diego show, but I have decided to put it on now. I hope you enjoy it.

In addition, I have added an new feature about Rafi's sandal collection, "The Feet of a Gouine". This is in addition to new sketchbook stuff.

As for my comic strip -- no new strip this week. I hope to put a new one out before I leave for San Diego, but no promises. (I have doubts myself.)

6/4/2005: I apologise again for the lateness; in addition to work and other personal stuff, I was also getting ready for the main part of "A Gouine's Story" (which continues in strips 23 and 24); this includes doing sketches of Rafi at various points of her life, which you can see in the sketchbook. You'll also find pictures of a younger Nathalie there, as well as a pic of another new character -- Rafi's psychiatrist, Dr. Lisa Snyder.

Speaking of lateness, I'll probably be late with the next strip, as I am planning on preparing a special booklet about Rafi and "The Mundane Circus", which I intend on passing out at Comicon International in San Diego this July. If you're going, find wherever they have the flyer and freebie table -- chances are they'll be there. For those who won't be there, I plan on putting the contents of the booklet on the site after I get back.

As for Sharon, my "sister" -- she's only make-believe. See the sketchbook to find out why.

Finally, my site's finally listed on Google -- hopefully I'll get a few more hits as a result.

5/16/2005: I apologise for the lateness, as I was busy with other stuff, plus I wasn't feeling well.

In the sketchbook, I have added a drawing of my sister, Sharon, who will help me co-author the strip. I will try to get some photos of her in the future.

Speaking of which, the strip continues with strip #22, featuring more of "A Gouine's Story".

Also added more Rafi sketches in the sketchbook. Due to the large number of them now available, Rafil sketches will now be presented on multiple pages arranged by date drawn, instead of one page.

4/23/2005: My computer is working again (knock on wood) -- its chassis was dirty, and causing a component to overheat.

Introduced Aoi and added more Rafi drawings in the sketchbook.

Continued "A Gouine's Story", with strip #21.

Added Lesson 3 in Sister Adèle's Art School.

4/16/2005: Since I was busy this past week (plus the fact that I'm experiencing computer problems), no new strip this week.

Added a new section about "The Universal Order of Sisterhood". As you can see, it's still a work in progress.

Added sketches of Rafi, Anna and Sister Adèle, and introduced Sister Rosie, in the sketchbook.

Added Lesson 2 in Sister Adèle's Art School.

4/11/2005: Added strips #19 and #20, continuing "A Gouine's Story".

Added more info on Adèle in the sketchbook, who will now be referred to in her afterlife as "Sister Adèle" -- after Rafi, Sister Adèle is one of the best characters I have ever created (for now, at least). Rafi's late friend, Charlene, will also become an Order member, as "Sister Charlene".

Also in the sketchbook is another new character, Adèle's best friend, Lanie.

Rafi's interpretation of Sister Adèle can also be found in Rafi's Gallery.

Sister Adèle will also play host to a series of drawing lessons, starting with Lesson 1.

4/5/2005: Added strip #18, the second installment of "A Gouine's Story". Also introduced Adèle in the sketchbook.

3/27/2005: Yet another new character to our repertoire -- gloom-and-doomer Julie. You can find her in the sketchbook (where a couple of new Rafi sketches is also available) and in Rafi's Gallery.

The sketchbook and Rafi's Gallery also each have a new section strictly for adults.

Added strip #16, which is the last strip in the Quebec vacation sequence. Read the strip to find out why.

Also, with strip #17, started the long-awaited life story of Rafi -- "A Gouine's Story". As you may know, I originally planned on calling it "Rafi's History", but I thought up a better name.

3/20/2005: Here we grow again on Rafi's side of the strip -- she and Noée now have a youngest sister, Augusta. I have also added a new friend of Rafi's -- Laurie. See them both in the sketchbook and in Rafi's Gallery.

I have also placed a group picture of the women on the front page (does not include Laurie, which I created after the picture was created and uploaded).

No strip this week, though I'm thinking of cutting the Quebec trip short, since it's already taking too long, and there are other stories (especially "Rafi's History") that I wanted to get to. The next strip will have Anna and Rafi in Quebec City, then a few strips in Montreal, where I'll officially introduce Noée, before they go home.

3/17/2005: Restructured the main page a little bit, with the main links on the right side of Anna and Rafi, instead of the bottom. This, of course, is subject to change, as I'm thinking of adding a new picture with all the women.

Also added a new feature, "Rafi's Gallery", where I present the drawings that I have drawn, in Rafi's "vision". (After all, she likes to do art.)

3/13/2005: Added strip #15; added Rafi's mother, Nathalie, and godmother, Hélène, to the sketchbook. Nathalie will also be involved in an audience participation segment; see the "Previews".

3/7/2005: In the sketchbook, a preview of Rafi's little sister, who will be called "Noée".

3/1/2005: At last, here are the first two strips (#13 & 14) in my vacation sequence. I hope you like them.

And even though my vacation is over, the development continues -- I now plan on giving Rafi a sister, which I plan on introducing during the vacation sequence. Also, in "Rafi's History", I plan on introducing her parents. And to believe I originally planned on this strip to be a one-character strip, featuring a character who's not Rafi. For more details, see the "Previews".

I am also strarting to spread the word around at the comic book conventions, though in a meagre fashion. This past weekend (2/26), I left some flyers behing at Megacon in Orlando, where I'm a spectator. I plan on doing the same at Tampa Comic Show on 4/17, where I actually have a stand at the show -- selling comics. And in July, I plan on doing another flyer drop at ComicCon International in San Diego, where I plan on being spectator. Someday, I plan on attending these shows as part of an "Artist's Alley" sort of thing, depending on interest.

I got more big things planned for this strip, but not only will I still have to be interested, but I need to know you're interested too. So don't be afraid to write with comments, suggestions, etc. (see the main page for e-mail).

2/21/2005: On my trip to Quebec, I've spent all day driving, walking, sightseeing and/or shopping. By the time evening rolled around, my "get up and go" got up and went. As a result, I only completed one strip (and that wasn't even the first strip) and did the script for that first strip, plus did two drawings for my sketchbook. Hopefully, I'll start presenting the vacation strips later this week. I plan on presnting two new strips a week, as I'm anxious to get the ball rolling on the "Rafi's History" saga.

Also, I've divided my sketchbook into four sections, for easier viewing.

2/10/2005: Added strip #12; added "Previews" page. This will also be the last revision until the last week of February, as I will be on vacation. See the "Previews" page for more details.

2/3/2005: Added strip #11; strip will now be "published" in color.

1/31/2005: Added strip #10.

1/28/2005: Changed the name of the strip to "The Mundane Circus" -- see this page for details.

1/27/2005: Added strip #9; changed front graphic to one of Anna and Rafaela.

1/23/2005: Opened site.

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