By Mistress Elska á Fjárfelli of the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn

“I’m not reading the documentation…”

An interview with the creator of Coffee and Cartoons, featuring SCAdian Shelley and her pet bunny, Mister Fluffers.

Talented Grainne Rudha – formerly of Sterlynge Vayle, now of Delftwood — has entertained a selected few via numerous Book of Faces posts with her early morning marginalia (cartoons), holding up a mirror to our Current Middle Ages. Even though her hands are troubled by extensive nerve damage, resulting in debilitating carpal tunnel, her urge to draw is as strong as ever and her joy to share boundless.

For those gentles not familiar with these magical marginalia, here follows a short account of the Life and Works of Lady Grainne.

The Coffee & Cartoons regulars (left to right: Beelzebubble, Shelley, Mister Fluffers, Nick McStabity, Auntie, and Dough the DM).

How did you get started in cartooning?

Coffee and Cartoons started as me drawing silly cartoons to amuse my friends on Facebook. As I posted people, asked me for more and more cartoons and most of the ones people like are related to my most favorite hobby: the Society for Creative Anachronism.

How does the SCA feature in your cartoons?

The SCA is important aspect of my life as it is the family I chose. Just as I have a cast of people in my life, the strip also has a cast. Shelley is a kid whose parents accept her love of the SCA but don’t participate. She is fortunate in that they trust and love Auntie, who is essentially everyone’s SCA Aunt. Shelly loves all aspects of the SCA and is the straight man to a funny rabbit, Mister Fluffers.

How would you describe your recurring characters?

  • Mister Fluffers. He’s an American Lop (he refuses to be a French Lop) and is very vain. He loves his human Shelley but has low tolerance for linen-look fabric or sari draping and is often seen in the company of Nick McStabbity, Unicorn for Justice.
  • Nick McStabity. He is a unicorn and freelance server of justice. He and his horn live to write wrongs and point out any BS he encounters along the way.
  • Auntie, the countess. She was made a countess way back in the day and while her beloved Eddie has passed on, Auntie celebrates the time she had with Eddie while still missing him a lot. She and her coronet offer advice, encouragement, and tough love as needed to the younguns.
  • Doug the DM. Doug is dungeon master of a Dungeons & Dragons game and is very shy. From behind his DM screen, he is the commanding deity of his world. Shelley drags him out from behind his screen to SCA events.
  • Lady T. She is Shelley’s BFF. Her parents also don’t play SCA but that is due to them opening a restaurant diner called “May the Fork be With You.”

What supporting characters do you enjoy playing with?

“I broke her mother… I will break this one too!”

The Devil and the Hell Machine 3000. Mister Fluffers used a spell book he got from Ebay to summon the devil to buy him a sewing machine for making the perfect garb. The Hell Machine, however, is evil and refuses to work with anything but 100% natural fabrics and authentic patterns. Beelzebubba was re-summoned to take back his horrible machine but then refused to leave. Occasionally you’ll see him at events, strictly monitored by Auntie.

What else would you like the reader to know?

I could draw long before I could read! I just like art and drawing; when I make other people smile that’s a bonus! I have an ongoing fundraiser  to help me buy a drawing tablet. That technology would help me create art much more easily and frequently in spite of the nerve damage and carpel tunnel that affects my hands. When I do illustrations for papers, class handouts, articles etc., I can use the tablet to make my work look better; digital editing would be built-in instead of taking hours.  (Note: she’s halfway to her goal.)

Are you intrigued? Would you like to see more?

Meet Shelley and Mister Fluffers here and follow them on their newest adventures.