What exactly is Steampunk?

Steampunk is awesome. But more than that, it's taking current technology and powering it with older power sources, i.e. steam or clockwork. It's also a re-envisioning of the past, showing what we could've done. I think it's cool, because it gives me a chance to play with alternate history.

Why is it called Empty Space?
I was doing some sketches based around the vague idea of a steampunk story, and had some space left over on the side, but not enough to draw anything. So I wrote EMPTY SPACE in big letters on it. I took a look and thought, "Hey, now! I could make a story off of those two words! Let's do it." And I did. The empty space story-thing is coming soon.

Why do you like steampunk so much?
I like the 1800s a lot. I like the 1800s with robots more. And I also like drawing gears and whatnot.

Who has two thumbs and draws this comic?
This guy, right here. Chris Downey.

Who has two thumbs and writes this comic?
That guy, right there. Chris Downey.

What medium is this done in?
Li'l bit of ink, li'l bit of Photoshop 7.

Why aren't you updating?
Because power surges have fried my computer, and Photoshop no longer works unless I restart it 17.5 times over.

Will you draw something for me?
Sure, just give me a description and wait until I have time. Oh, and telling me how you want it drawn can help (y'know, what medium you want, how you want whatever's in it to look... stuff like that).

Why is his name Jeffries?
I dunno, Nancy, why is your name Magill? And why do you call yourself Lil?

What's with Jeffries' arm?
It's mechanical. He lost it when he was a kid, and now he's got a prosthetic more advanced than today's.

Waldo?
Can you find him? But yes, his name is Waldo. Go read some Heinlein.

Why did you start this comic?
I had an idea in my head, and I had to start putting it down on paper before I lost it. I also wanted to do something other than the sword-and-sorcery of Trials in the Light. As much as I like what I've done there, I have to follow a story that was set down before I started the comic (although, I have taken some liberties). I wanted to have something that wasn't dark fantasy, and, strangely enough, something without a ton of swords and superpowers. I wanted to involve the everyday people in a world that wasn't corny, and also wasn't Tolkien-esque.

How long does a page take to do?
Well, lessee... I have to do a sketch to get the layout and write the dialogue... That can take up to an hour... Then I have to pencil it... that's about an hour and a half... Then comes ink, which is another hour... Then color, which can be as short as half an hour if I'm in the zone. So, about... 4 hours? Sometimes more. It depends on how many panels I do. 'Course, I might just start skipping the whole color phase, as Photoshop no longer really works for me.

Do you enjoy doing this?
Good lord, yes. Why else would I draw it?

Why do you hand-letter it? Your handwriting is terrible.
I like going through the finished inks and being able to read it right there, instead of having to look at it on a computer. Besides, my penmanship is improving. It's legible; don't complain.

I've got a character for you. Put him in the comic.
If you want to put a character in a comic, make a comic yourself. I have my own feel for the characters I use, and I have no need to convolute the story because you feel like you've got someone you want to see in it. I know it's mean, but sometimes the characters I hear about suck. I like my own people just fine, thanks.

Can I use your characters?
Depends. Send me an e-mail telling me what you intend to use them in, and ask for my okay. If you get it, be sure to credit me (linking to my page does this nicely), and give me a link to what you've done. I'll want to read it.

Link exchange?
If I like your site. Don't be afraid to ask.

Can I dance if I want to?
You can leave your friends behind.

But my friends don't dance!
If they don't dance, then they're no friends of mine.

Do you do any other comics?
Yes, actually. I write and draw Trials in the Light, a fantasy epic based off of the original Final Fantasy. I also have a comic called Monster, which has been shelved for now. I plan to one day revisit it, but I need to have the whole thing written out first.

Wanna illustrate a comic for me?
I promise nothing, but send me a script sample.

Are you single?
I thought these were frequenty asked questions.


All images, characters, and awesomeness copyright 2007-08 Chris Downey. Empty Space is hosted on ComicGenesis, a free comic-hosting service.