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Dex Lives, fine online comics

by Bernadette Yarnot

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Q: Why is it named Dex Lives?
A: Okay, first of all, that’s the verb, not the noun. It’s not as in The Lives of Dex, it’s as in I Live, You Live, Dex Lives. The original strip was called Dex, and that got me through high school and college, and it was time for a change. It's an answer to everyone who has ever asked me, "Whatever happened to Dex?"  Dex is alive and well.

Q: What the heck are the characters, anyway?
A: They’re dragons. Horned, fire-breathing dragons. Horned, fire-breathing dragons who otherwise happen to look fairly human. I have been reliably informed that they could be considered a species of faerie dragons, which are smaller and more intelligent than their traditional gold-hoarding traditional counterparts, and are sometimes mammilian as well.

Q: So if they’re dragons, where are their wings/tails/claws/dorsal ridges?
A: Okay, we have to go way back in time to answer this one. When I was first asked to draw this comic way back in 1992, I was a sophomore in high school, with the expected level of artistic ability. Quite honestly, I couldn’t figure out how to make wings and tails workable, and since my characters were clothed, I figured that dorsal ridges were a moot point. Actually, the characters originally had claws, but as my drawing style evolved, so did they, and now they’ve got hands.

Q: So since they’re basically human-shaped, why didn’t you just make them human?
A: Shut up, she explained.

Q: What are those weird fan things on the backs of their heads?
A: Um, well... they’re weird fan things. Kinda dragonish fin thingys. Hey! Bruno the Bandit has them, why can’t I?

Q: Can I copy your strips and post them on my website?
A: Well... Okay, it works like this:

Actually, looking at it, it’s pretty straightforward. Remember that copyright is the law. The guidelines above are a very limited permission that I am granting. Individual exceptions have been made in the past, but remember that they include my mother and close friends, not acquaintances.

Q: Okay, then what about paper copies of the strips?
A: If you want to print up a couple of strips to hang in your cubicle or on your door, I am fine with that, providing that the aforementioned copyright information is intact and there is a clear URL printed or handwritten on the paper. Keep in mind that these strips are at web resolution— 72 dpi, as opposed to print quality, which is 300 dpi or better. I don’t have a computer with the memory to maintain the higher resolution and I will not scan them again just to make you happy. I just don’t have the time.

Q: What's with the "Donner Party" jokes?
A: The Donner Party was a disasterous wagon train that attempted the California trail in 1848.  Due to a late start and a shortcut that wasn't, they were stuck in the mountains at what is now called Donner Lake in the city of Truckee, CA.  The snow was fifteen to twenty feet deep-- there are still some high stumps from trees the pioneers cut for fuel-- and they did not have enough food.  A large portion of the wagon train starved to death, and it is fairly well accepted, though not proven, that some of the remaining members survived by cannibalism.

This particular story is very memorable to California schoolchildren, and there are a number of gruesome jokes surrounding it.

Q: You made a reference to something I didn't quite get.  Can I get an explanation from you?
A: Actually, there is a whole page devoted to the sources that I am citing in my comics.  It's sorted by date, so you can find out the book, movie, or popular reference that I am quoting or alluding to.

Got a question?  Email me.

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