beware the underdose

A Fine Example, an introduction ( November, 2006)

My name is Brian.  I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.  In fact, longer than that.  I have drawings, which I'm told I made, of things which are completely outside of my memory; off-color renditions of trees and birds; dispeptic human forms; impossible pets; Italians.  Only recently, however, have I decided to make these things public, in the form of a website.  A Fine Example is that website.    

 A Fine Example, an FAQ

Who is this guy with the fake eyepatch?

The Free Pirate Stiles is based on a real person.  In fact, everyone in this comic is based on real people, all of whom are dead.  While I will dedicate strips to the other characters in this comic, John Stiles is the main character.  He has a son, a boat, a crew of other pirates, a mutant, a parrot, a drinking problem, a small armory and a large fortune.  His adventures are varied and decidedly not whacky.  At the moment, Stiles is recovering from his last business trip, as well as the death of his wife.  That was nearly a year ago though, so I think he is ready to 'pick up the pieces' and 'go out and steal some things'.  Hopefully, in the course of his wanderings he will meet some new people and creatures and animals, some of whom may have speaking roles!  Not the animals though.  Animals can't talk.

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What about parrots?

Parrots can parrot, which is, they can remember and repeat what they hear.  They can't create novel sentences or expressions.  Some kinds of parrots can live seven or eight decades.  Some are capable of a vocabulary of tens of thousands of words, often produced as a perfect imitation of the original speaker.  The name for Stiles' parrot is stolen from Neal Cassady.  Neal had a parrot named Rubiaco when he went to Mexico in the late 60’s.  After Neal’s death, his friends Ken and Faye Kesey took the parrot to their home in Oregon.  It’s reported that the couple were often awakened in the middle of the night by pitch-perfect renditions of Cassady's musings.  Can you imagine hearing the clear voice of a close friend ring out in the middle of the night 20 years after his death?  That's tough to swallow even if you didn't spend a decade on acid. 

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Is that you talking when the giant pencil comes in, or when a character is talking to someone out-of-panel?


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Isn’t that kind of, you know, crazy?

It’s about as crazy as it is original.  I’m completely seperate from the characters in-panel.  Plus I can have a conversation between two participants and only have to draw one.  It is lazy, but it might also be… something. 

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How can I get in touch with you?

You can write me emails.  Send emails to   I will certainly read them.  I may also respond to them, post them, ignore them or accept the invitation.  Which leads me to your next question…

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Can I send you things?

Yes.  Send me funny pictures.  Send me music.  If you can figure out how to send me cash through the internet, do not hesitate for worry that I won’t accept it.  Because I will.  Send me the numbers on mom and dad’s credit card.  Send me an invitation to your 45th wedding anniversary.  I appreciate things like that.  If I’m in the area, I’ll probably show up.  I’ll toast to your health.  My friends might swing by and drink all of your booze.  Anytime anyone has ever offered something free, my answer is "I'll take two".  I learned that from my attorney. 

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Aren’t you worried that a federal officer might stumble across your site, get inside your head and eventually “connect the dots…”?

No.  I buried all of those hookers myself.  I buried them good and deep.

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Aren’t you worried that your site will offend people?

Well, that really requires a two part answer: 
First, to be offended, it requires that you have an opinion, and that that opinion be affronted.  Identical content can be percieved as benign or inflammatory by different audiences.  For instance, if someone says “Look at that blimp!” while pointing to a giant dirigible, there is no apparent malice.  Suppose, however, that a morbidly obese man is nearby the shouter, unseen.  Further suppose that the morbidly obese man’s fat, sweaty neck lacks the range of motion to allow him to see the shouter or the airship.  Greater investigation might reveal that the battery on the morbidly obese man’s Rascal® has failed, reducing him to uninformed motionlessness.  He is stuck, humiliated and helpless as the crowd “oohs” and “aahs” at the blimp.  Through sheer coincidence and bad luck, the shouter has caused the death-by-choking of one of nature’s few motorized man-walruses.  If you have crippled yourself through gluttony, you are probably now offended yourself.  Maybe you earn a living working at the Rascal® plant.  Maybe your great uncle burnt to a crisp on the Hindenburg.  I don’t know what to tell you.  Some things deserve criticism and debate.  Furthermore, this is primarily a humour site.  There cannot be humour without cruelty.  You can’t do it.  Try and think of a joke that isn’t cruel to someone or something.  Ellen Degeneris is as close as it gets.  Anybody remember that show she had, on TV?  Me either.  I don’t mean to offend so much as I mean to offer perspective.  Primarily, that perspective will come from a bigoted 18th century privateer, his crew, a bunch of mutants and whatever else I want.  In summation, lose weight, America.
Secondly, no, I’m not worried.

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Lose weight America?  Is that where Big Corn comes in?

Well, let's not confuse the man Big Corn with the big corn industry.  Stiles has no problem with the industry, although he doesn't like to admit it.  After all, the more people eat, the more people brush their teeth.  Plus, corn grows really well in Latin America, and the livestock love it.  John Stiles hates the man Big Corn for a number of reasons, going back to middle school and the prettiest girl in town.  Also, BC's parents were from France.

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Say, why does he hate the French?

He is a racist.

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Why a pirate?

Please submit better ideas to

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Are you a pirate?

No, although I have tried sailing.  My sister* is a sailor and she can curse the paint off walls. (*edit - My younger sister learned how to sail now, too. She already knew how to cuss good.)

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Do you think of the pirate as your alter-ego, an extension of yourself?

I am asked this a lot.  No.  I don't like the idea of deliberate facial hair and I'm quite a bit taller.

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What about YOU?  What about the author?

I have only been making comix since early 2006.  I do the bulk of the content on paper, which I scan into a laptop.  There are probably easier ways to make digital comix but I like having paper originals.  I have other comic and non-comic art posted as well, which may come up for sale if I get hungry or desperate.
I like to travel, listen to music, give elaborate presents, ride a bicycle, hit on your sister, horse whisper, whatever’s playing.  I recently graduated McGill University in Montreal.  I am currently working two jobs there, which I wouldn't mind quitting.  Someday I am going to own a summer camp, or a cross country ski resort, or both, or become a government liason to Tahiti.  This last is not because I’m patriotic, but because someone has to liase with Tahiti.

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O Boy!  Thanks a lot, now I feel like I’m ‘in the know’!

That is not a question.  Enjoy the funnies, thanks for your time, tell your friends and come back real soon!

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