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04.05.2020 - New Page (062) is Up!

03.04.2020 - New Page (061) is Up!

01.28.2020 - New Page (060) is Up!

01.01.2020 - New Page (059) is Up!

09.26.2018 - New Page (058) is Up!

09.12.2018 - New Page (057) is Up!



It's fitting that the image above to take you to the final page of this Episode is Ensign Merry raising a toast of sorts. As Vivyan from the Young Ones famously said "You took your time, ya b*stard!" Hard to believe we've been at this for about four or five years now. Thanks for sticking with us.

How can I say with such authority that this is the final page? Simple...I've seen the first page of the next one. :)

We're going to try to get a decent buffer of pages together before we begin releasing them - if you've ever tried building a webcomic, you know the importance of a buffer, and lord knows we've had them and lost them along the way with this episode, but that's living and learning, right?

Episode Two - The Enemy Within Her - is going to focus on Zaruva's story. There'll be a bit more action, a whole lot of Merry trying to make sense of just what happened on that planetoid, and a huge change in the dynamic of the squad before the story completes.

I won't promise there won't be hiccups along the way, but we hope you'll join us on the trip. I think it'll be worth it.

(Side Note: If you're reading this, I hope you're doing okay. If ever there was a time I wish I could get on a starship and go off-planet for a bit, I think this'd be it.)

04/05/2020 - Al


As we're at the penultimate page to wind up Episode I, we're gearing up to head into Episode II. This one will focus more on Zaruva, and just what was up with that crazy gun thing she used to save Ensign Merry at the end of this story. Clearly our pint-sized blonde is much more than she seems.

Then again, as this page reveals...so is Ensign Merry. :)

03/04/2020 - Al


Not much to add this time around except that we're bringing back the Sho'Vann. They were supposed to be one shot baddies but honestly, I enjoyed writing them too much not to bring them back for the epilogue. And chapter 3. And probably chapter 4. You get the idea...

01/28/2020 - Al


Okay, so we took 2019 off. It was still a great year all-told, and we hope it was for you guys as well. The epilogue we planned to save for the print edition we decided belongs online or the next story arc really won't make much sense. Yes, there is a next story arc. Yes, it's gonna be fun. We hope you'll join us. Hell, you've stuck around this long. Or I hope you have. If you haven't, I don't blame you, but if you want to come back, now is a good time.

Look for more Red Skirts goodness including work on a possible film (!) in the coming year. Just because we haven't been posting the funnies doesn't mean Dave and I haven't been busy, after all. :)

HOUSEKEEPING: Gonna keep all these missives up until the next post in a couple weeks. Then I'm taking them all down. It's been fun reading what we were up to a year ago. Even if most of it was trying to convince you all we're not done with this! ^:^

01/01/2020 - Al


Every good story deserves a nice epilogue...or two...and we're not about to leave what happened with Zaruva on Arcturus unaddressed. But who is that she's talking to? And what does that mean for Ensign Merry? And how cute is Sheva in pigtails? Honestly!

I'm looking forward to this next story - Zaruva is an absolute joy to write and I think you're all going to see where we go with her story. It's a bit darker than this first one, but in my totally biased view it's a sequel that's going to surpass the first story. You guys will have to let us know when you read it.

9/12/2018 - Al


Don't worry...this is far from the end, but holy moley! We did it!

Three years may seem like an eternity to put out a mere 57 pages, but throw in the setbacks and real-world hassles that plague pretty much every comic creator from time to time, and Dave and I are both pretty happy with it. I think I can speak for both of us when I say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has stuck with us, bought a book, dressed up as a Red Skirt (still floors me that people do that), and in general showed support however you could.

There'll be a few epilogue pages added here (and even more added to the forthcoming print edition (check here for updates!), so we're hardly going to rest on our laurels. Then there's the dive into Episode II - The Enemy Within Her.

The ending here is only the beginning...

9/12/2018 - Al


Wow...the second the final page! Okay, we're gonna throw an epilogue or two in, but the main storyline is drawing to a close.

So what now?

Well, first Dave and I, drinks in hand, sit down and determine what, if anything we want to touch up, add, take out, clean up, etc., etc., for the eventual print collection of this book.

Then we create that printed edition. Most likely via Kickstarter or Indiegogo or some other crowdsourcing platform. We hope you'll join us for that when we get to it. We plan to add enough extras (and the aforementioned touch-ups) to make picking up a copy worth your while even if you have this version of it available for free at this website. Which you always will as long as I'm able to afford the hosting fees.

And while that's going on? Yeah...Episode II : The Enemy Within Her has already been written. If you enjoyed what we did with this first foray into the lives of Unit 3-80, we think you'll really like what happens next.

So stick with us...we're just getting started! :)

8/29/2018 - Al


Or maybe you did. It's not like we didn't drop enough hints - subtle and not-so - about Zaruva's true nature. And hey, you're sci-fi fans...you're already a cut above, am I right?!?

But if you think you've got her all figured out...join us for Episode II when we cover HER story!

8/08/2018 - Al


I think I may very well be one of the five people on the planet who actually LIKED Star Trek V - The Final Frontier. Or, as my friend Dave put it "The one where they meet God and kill him."

Astute readers of this comic who are also up on their Trek know that the title of this "season" and the ensuing overall plot is loosely based on the popular OS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". It made a real impact on me when I first saw it because...hey...if you offer me Godhood? I'm not saying no.

That's part of the fun of making these funnybooks (or funnypages as the case is right now)...you get to play God for a bit and create worlds, people, and plotlines...then destroy, kill, and deviate from them, respectively. Who wouldn't want a piece of that action?

We're dangerously close to the end, though, folks. I think we've saved the best for last.

7/25/2018 - Al


No, you're not seeing things, nor is there anything wrong with the site.

I know, I know...it seems like a copout to re-use a page like this, but we'd pretty much planned to do that from the get-go. If you've been with us from the start, you know Ensign Merry has been attempting to start at the beginning (and has failed several times) with her story. Well, we're now BACK to that BEGINNING. It only makes sense to go with what we started with.

It only took her 53 pages to get there.

And hey...the WORDS are all new! :D

7/11/2018 - Al


Generally, when I write, I try to leave as much up to the artist as possible. Not that I don't try to be descriptive, or offer ideas, but for the most part I leave the artist up to their own devices as far as layout and character positioning and all that good stuff, both on this comic and others I work on, like Thugs! with Stephen Reid.

Today's page is a rare exception. I knew pretty much exactly how I wanted it to look and of course Dave delivered on all cylinders. It's the only page in this story I had a clear idea of how it needed to be. Yeah, I know: "Listen to the prima donna". I get it.

Every page is my favorite when it comes out, of course, but this one is cool because there was a bit more collaboration between Dave and me to produce a really good looking page.

Of course that last part is up to you guys, but we're pretty pleased with it. :)

6/27/2018 - Al


Woo-hoo! FIFTY pages! Yeah, we're taking our sweet time. Most comics would probably be on their two-hundred and fiftieth page by now, but we make no excuses and offer no apologies. We're doing this the way WE want to do it...and you know what's great? You know what the best part of it is?


Seriously! You guys don't care how long it takes us to work on a page...as long as we KEEP working on it! And we will!

Dave and I dedicate this page to all of you who have stuck with us through side-projects, delays, sickness, and everything else because you like what we're doing and want us to keep doing it. I promise you we're only getting started, and while we may all be reading the final page in the retirement home, we hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy making it.

( Thanks to our Command Crew Cosplayer, Laura, for stopping by our table at the Verde Valley Comic Expo. )

4/4/2018 - Al


Today I'm posting up page 49 of this comic. Took us a while to get here...side projects, minor catastrophes, etc...but here we are! One of the nice things about working with Dave on this comic is that I get to see the pages before anyone else. So I've seen page #50, which you'd think would be a milestone (and we *did* make it something 50-page-worthy), but as cool as it is, there's something I'm more proud about...

Page Fifty-One.

While it's great to acknowledge your accomplishments, even if they're only for goals you set for yourself, it's more important to keep moving on past them, and that's what that fifty-first page means to me. Don't worry, you'll see it soon. I think it's the best page Dave has done.

Yet. :)

3/14/2018 - Al


Last update I posted the songs that informed and inspired the crew of the Audacity while I was writing them. This time around, Yeoman Dave chimes in with the songs running through his head or his speakers while he worked on the artistic elements of the comic:

RED SKIRTS THEME - Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd)

GGC Audacity Theme - Dragonfly (Blondie) - It makes no sense if you listen to the lyrics, but for some reason it always comes to mind because it was playing when I was building the ship in CGI.

BAR SCENE - How Soon Is Now (Love Spit Love version)

COMMODORE KIRBY'S THEME - Abacab (Genesis) - Even though I have no idea what it's supposed to mean, lyric wise!

MERRY'S THEME - Launch Adrift (Starcrash Soundtrack (John Barry))

SHEVA'S THEME - The Kiss (Queen) (Flash Gordon Soundtrack)

Mash up his list with mine and I think that's a pretty cool soundtrack. And of course if you come to us next year we'll probably have a bunch of different tunes to share with you.

2/28/2018 - Al


It's Valentine's Day here on Earth as we find ourselves inching ever closer to that 50th comic page, and I've been talking and thinking about the "music" of Red Skirts. When Dave and I first started plotting out this crazy endeavor, he actually found some theme music to use in a promotional video we were going to make (and may still make when it's crowdfunding time!) that was suitably part Sousa march and part John Williams at his finest. I'm still thinking in terms of what would pass for background music for each of the women - their "theme music", if you will - and I came up with the following:

Camari - has to be something from the Pretenders. I always envision a lot of Chrissie Hynde and her "take no flark" attitude when it comes to writing her. A lot of her scenes get written to the strains of Pretenders II and Learning to Crawl. I don't know if "Bad Boys Get Spanked" is too obscure but it's probably pretty appropriate. Given her backstory (which will get revealed in time) "My City Was Gone" might also be a good choice.

Tisa - It'd be cliche to attribute something soulful or African-based to her. Truth is, she's based loosely on a friend of mine who was really into Steely Dan and Meatloaf (our workplace readings of 'You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth' needed to be seen to be believed). Pretty much the entirety of the "Aja" album embodies a lot of her spirit. I'll go with "Deacon Blues" off that one, which is my favorite track. Not to say there isn't room for a good soul tune like "100 Yard Dash" by Raphael Saadiq to help define what she's all about.

Sheva - "The Full Bug" off Van Halen's Diver Down album was the spiritual precursor to the more well-recieved "Hot for Teacher" off 1984, and it pretty much embodies what I think her character embodies. Pure, unadulterated, throw-your-politics-in-the-trash lust. Sheva is the moment the exotic dancer walks on stage and grabs everyone's attention. She's that woman in the restaurant you can't take your eyes off of even if you're with someone else. She is everything you want and everything you probably shouldn't have. She will utterly destroy you. Nothing embodied that better than Van Halen with David Lee Roth at the helm in the late 70s to early 80s. Nothing.

Merry - I first saw Berlin (led by the amazing Terri Nunn) on a show called Solid Gold back in the early 80s. It was one of those rare ways you could see music on TV if you didn't have cable, and they played a song called "Masquerade" where Nunn was essentially dressed up like a scientist (frizzy hair aside) and you had the "hint" that under that lab coat and those glasses was an absolute sexual tyrannosaurus. I never looked back, and I've been a fan ever since. Given that Merry is genetically designed to be intelligent, athletic, AND beautiful, and attempts to be a number of things all at once, "Sex (I'm A...)" wouldn't be too out of line for her intro music, I don't think.

Zaruva - Once Dave told me he based her look on Debbie Harry from Blondie, that pretty much nailed the character for me. That cool little opening run on "Heart of Glass" works really well for her. I can also envision an animated version of her walking through the halls of the Audacity doing the rap section from "Rapture". Totally deadpan, of course. She's a no-nonsense character, and Debbie Harry always seemed to have that kind of presence about her. Understimate the shortest member of Unite 3-80 at your peril, in other words.

Now, come to me next year and ask me this same question about theme music for each character, and I might have completely different answers for you. Characters evolve, of course, and we don't always listen to the same music at one point in time that we do at another. Still...these are some of the influences that helped define these characters at least from the writing standpoint in their early days. I may be the only one that finds such things interesting, but if you do too, hopefully this provided a little insight for you.

2/14/2018 - Al


As the strains of "Learn How to Live" off Billy Squier's Emotions in Motion album blast over the speakers hooked into my turntable, I proudly present the next page in the ongoing saga of Red Skirts.

Music plays a pretty big role in the creation of this comic. Dave's talked online about how Ensign Zaruva was modelled after Debbie Harry from Blondie. While I tend to write in silence, I almost always have to have something - of late it's been the Pretenders and Thompson Twins - playing while I letter or work on the website. Guaranteed an actual Red Skirts soundtrack would be some kind of marriage of John Williams and Nobuo Uematsu, maybe with a song or two by Queen thrown in there. I could totally see the battle currently going on between Langdon and Camari done to the strains of "Gimmie the Prize" off A Kind of Magic (and from the Highlander Soundtrack).

I'll get with Dave at some point and maybe we'll create the "Unofficial" Red Skirts soundtrack and posts some links for you.

1/31/2018 - Al


Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show that has influenced me more more than I probably should have let it, famously said of his approach to humor: "We never worried that everyone would get every joke. We knew the right people would get the right jokes." That's kind of how I am with my own work. I know I can't write things that I find fun and humorous to me and expect every single person to "get" it. Sure, as a writer and a comedian you want to reach a wide audience, but not at the cost of the people whom you're already reaching.

So with that in mind, I'm going to start offering "The Annotated Red Skirts" where every now and then, I'll "explain the joke" so to speak. I even have a good first candidate.

Q: How the heck do you pronounce what Zaruva's race is?

Zaruva is a Hephaestian. Heff-ACE-tee-ann. Most of you have probably figured out by now she's our Spock/Data/Pinocchio character...heavy on facts and logic, low on emotion. Trekkers out there know that Spock's home planet is Vulcan, who is also the Roman god of the forge. Vulcan's Greek counterpart is Hephaestus, hence the name of Zaruva's home planet - Hephaestia. I loved mythology as a kid. Still do as an adult.

Q: Fine. How about Camari? We get you're riffing on Andorians from Trek.

The Andrea Doria was an Italian Ocean liner, at the time the largest in Italy's fleet, which was sunk in a collision with a Swedish ship during heavy fog in 1956. Amazingly, only 46 people lost their lives, with more than 1600 rescued (Use your earthan Google to find out more! It's good historical reading!). Even still it remains one of the worst maritime disasters on record. A bit morbid for a reference, sure, but seatime disasters are another thing I find interesting. From the Edmund Fitzgerald to the Japanese Mutsu, I'm somehow drawn to this grim piece of history. Anyhow it seemed an easy stretch to expand Andorian to Andreadorian.

More fun "Behind the Scenes" references will be found here in the future. Keep reading! And thanks!

Give yourself some bonus geek points if you caught the geeky reference in today's page!

10/11/2017 - Al




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