I'm Rich, the guy who draws the strip. . I'm a storyboard artist working in Halifax, Nova Scotia on children's television shows, including Lunar Jim, Animal Mechanicals and Bo On The Go. I've got some personal projects happening as well, including YAFGC, a music video, and a few other webcomics that update less frequently.
And I'm Hilary, the gal who built and runs the site; I'm the one to blame if the website goes blooey at any point. I TA and write curriculum by day, play tech geek by night, and work on my MA in all the spare seconds in between. Rich insisted that I add something about myself into the FAQ, so there you go.
I come up with the basic situation (Beholder is checking out a Goblin girl), and then a punchline comes to me. In the case of comic #1, it was purely visual since I think visually and tend to pace these comics like my storyboards, even thinking out the stories animated or as though they were live action. Then I plug in the buildup to the punchline.
So, for another example... Lewie the Lich. A powerful undead. It amuses me that he'd be sort of henpecked by a matronly orc - that he's reduced to using his MAGNIFICENT SUPERNATURAL POWERS to do something mundane, like clean up her garden. So, where is Gren going to meet this character? At her lairwarming party as Mrs. Bloodhand introduces her to the neighbors. Then I just have to steer the dialogue towards the punchline and know I have 1, 2 or 3 panels to do it in.
Once I start drawing them, the characters take over. I don't know what they're going to say exactly before hand, nor exactly how they're going to react until I scribble them into the situation. In the Lewie the Lich intro comic, I didn't know if Gren was going to be amused, afraid, or disgusted with him until I was actually drawing the panel and SHE told me how she would react. It seems that Gren isn't scared of much. At least, not at this point.
On one or two occasions, my punchline changed as I was drawing the comic. I thought it would be funny if Nike the Harpy described how they hauled the peeping previous tenant out of the hole and tore him to bits and ate him, all giggly and innocent, and Bob would then say a polite "well, see ya' later, then!" and get the hell out. But Nike changed her mind while I was drawing her and became all lascivious!
The story is rather organic this way. The next bunch of gags depend heavily on what's going on in the current one. Although, sometimes I need to do buildup comics to get to a punchline. Arachne needed to haul Gren out of the lair after the party so I could have her gone while Bob went to check out the Harpys. That was a gag borne of necessity. And once Chimera showed up, I didn't know how to get rid of him! He just got funnier and funnier and I nearly forgot about Gren and Bob!
So, no script. No thumbnails. No basic planning. I let the characters act through my pencil and they tend to tell me where they're going and what they're up to. And I must say, sometimes I'm a little shocked by their behaviour!
The short answer is, I have no plans to. The comic is done for my own recreation during slow points at work, on pieces of copy paper with whatever pencil I happen to have in my hand when inspiration strikes. If I were to try to sit down in front of Photoshop and clean and retype every panel, it would suddenly become a chore and wouldn't be any fun for me anymore... consequently, it would probably stop.
At some point I may pick up a few of them or a couple of my favorites and ink and colour them, but it's got to be fun. I started a comic that was carefully rendered and typed in FLASH, but since I don't have continuous 24 hour access to a computer, and they're time consuming to create, it too has stumbled to a halt.
As long as YAFGC stays scribbly, I can grind 'em out faster than you can read 'em!
Hm... While it's obvious that I have no compunctions about nudity (or at least, partial nudity) in the comic, there are no plans to have any comics where Arachne winds up showing the goodies. In most cases, the characters that appear that way in the strips are that way for natural reasons - ie. Gren is bathing, and the Harpys always go nude since they don't wear clothes.
That being said, however, I don't have any plans for ANYTHING in this comic. It pretty much writes itself and I follow along with the characters from strip to strip to see where it's going. It is a distinct possibility that someday there will be a joke or a story arc that requires Arachne to be seen with nothing on at some point. But it hasn't happened yet.
And to be perfectly honest, the fact that so many people have shown an interest in her above the other characters makes me want to handle the subject with a lot more care! Arachne is strong and independant; she's not going to flash herself to anyone for fun (Charlotte, might, but that's another story). If she flashes anyone, there'll be a darn good reason for it and it'll be to her advantage.
The format of the story and jokes is fairly fluid. They tend to form themselves based on what has come before and where they're going; also, and most importantly, these things come from my brain and my own experiences. So while something 'so and so's' character 'such and such' said when some monster or other made whatever threat might make so and so laugh his butt off, you really had to be there. And until Gren, Arachne, Bob or whoever is in that particular situation and that particular circumstance, don't expect to see it.
At the time of this writing, the comics have been drawn two months in advance of their scheduled posting dates, so I'm afraid even if I did take your suggestions about what would make a funny character or a funny situation, it wouldn't appear for some time to come anyway. Sorry!
The short and simple answer to this is always 'no.' The more complicated one is 'sort of.' When I create characters for this comic, I usually think of a hole that needs to be filled and come up with something that serves that purpose; eg: A suitor for Gren who is ridiculously repugnant... an Otyugh! They're gross to look at and they eat poo! An older character who's got some clout in the caverns and can introduce Gren around to other important characters... an Orc noblewoman, Mrs. Bloodhand! It's only natural for these characters to be born of my own experiences, and so naturally some icons will appear from RL. But they happen somewhat subconciously.
Turns out that Gren Razortooth does have my wife's figure; we noticed after someone asked this very question. So if there's anyone else out there who sees themselves in my comics, I didn't do it on purpose, honestly! Well, except Lewie the Lich's name. See above question.
The characters and situations in YAFGC come from the famous and classic RPG "Dungeons & Dragons" and similar products. While this is irrelevant for most of the jokes, the capitalized attributes refer to rules of the old 1st and 2nd editions of the game that required the player to choose an "alignment" for their character - a category that dictated their moral and social behaviour. The lines were drawn pretty sharply too, and so you had a choice of playing a "Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic" character on a scale ranging from "Good to Neutral to Evil".
Lawful characters lived by a code of law, written or otherwise and adhered to it at all costs. Chaotic characters were carefree, choosing their actions randomly with no interest in a social structure of any kind. Neutral, naturally, was the grey area between the two.
Good and Evil characters need no explanation, I'm sure. All the monsters in the published game were given an alignment too, to help the referee (the Dungeon Master!) decide how they would react and behave. And so as it turns out, Goblins and Beholders are Lawful Evil: they have a code that they adhere to that serves to drive their evil/selfish ambitions or intents.
In Gren's case, vengeance is a social obligation. She doesn't really WANT to cheat on Bob, but Goblin law dictates that she must: An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth, etc.
Beholders have telekinesis as an innate racial ability. He does it all WITH THE POWER OF HIS MIND!
Sorry, but no. Or rather, yes, but for my usual freelance professional rates (e-mail beholderking [at] yafgc [dot] net for a quote), and if I have space in my work schedule. My comic websites are for my own stories, and I have more concepts in the queue already than I have time to get to.
We don't get out much, but we have done a few cons in the last couple of years. Our current plans are this year are just Hal-Con, here in Nova Scotia, and our 2011 schedule is entirely undecided as of yet.