The sound accompanying the last panel is “DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!”
Welcome to the Grand Opening of Miskatonic U (the webcomic; the university has been around a bit longer)! It’s the story of Winston Coward, a panphobic freshman (Class of 1915) who worries about every mundane aspect of college: classes, learning to socialize, surviving hazing rituals.
But Winston has no clue how much he actually has to worry about, because as many fans of H.P. Lovecraft know, Miskatonic University is home to forbidden books of arcane lore about (and therefore potential interdimensional gateways for) blasphemous gods and otherworldly beings. It’s kind of like living on a Hellmouth, except there’s no Buffy.
What Lovecraft fans may not know is that Miskatonic University’s campus extends into additional dimensions and is a place of learning for young members of the Great Race of Yith, a race so inquisitive about the nature of the cosmos that throughout time and space they swap minds with the lesser races they study. So there’s that.
I hope you find Miskatonic U insightful, mind-bending, and of course, funny.
Until recently I worked a comfortable job as a graphics and multimedia designer for a government contractor. I have nothing at all bad to say about that job. Booz Allen Hamilton treated me very well and I found a lot of the work rewarding.
But comfort started getting more important than living my dreams. It tends to when a mortgage and family is involved. I considered quitting the job and pursuing an entertainment career for a long time, but fear got in the way.
If I can credit any one person with stoking the fire under my butt enough to take the giant leap of quitting, it would have to be Jonathan Coulton. He semi-famously quit his job as a programmer to pursue songwriting full time. He did it so well that he inspired a themed cruise called JoCo Cruise Crazy.* This “con on a boat” brought kindred spirits (self-styled “Sea Monkeys”) out of the woodwork. Trapped on a cruise ship for a week with intensely creative people, I became ready to face my fears and make the big quit. My wife Renée and I made the cross-country trek from Adelphi Maryland to Burbank, California, and now I’m pursuing full-time work in animation, with a little extra commitment to the project you are reading right now.
Miskatonic U is mainly Lovecraftian comedy, but deep down it is really about facing fears. The everyday little fears that, if allowed to accumulate unchecked, will add up to missing out on life.
* I made this “Superfriends” animation for a video contest on that cruise, and fell in love with cel animation.