A) Oh, sod off.
Q) No, seriously. I don't get it. What IS this?
A) If you mean this particular page, then it's the mandatory FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions section - A place where Those Responsible (that would be me) can field questions that commonly come up regarding the content of the rest of the site, regardless of whether or not questions are ever actually received, ever, at all.
Alternatively, if you refer to the comic known as "Turing's Folly II - The Adventures Of Phil", it's a comic strip. Well, more accurately it's a facsimile of a comic strip about a young man, his talking animal companions and their weird and wonderful misadventures, as patched together by an individual of dubious talent by means of MS Paint. It updates (in theory) four times weekly and has something resembling continuity, if no real overriding plotline.
Finally, if you mean this comicgenesis niche in general, it was founded four and a half years ago by an aspiring young attention whore. At the time, and even for years before this, this fellow starry-eyedly dreamed of clawing his way to the top of the internet comic world with clever, well-drawn epics, but in truth he has yet to get off his lazy ass and even learn to draw competently. Oh well.
Q) What's the design process for TFII?
A) I sit down, usually at the last minute, and fire up MS Paint, right? Then I take the first cheap gag that comes to mind, and paste the characters into place enacting it. Any immediately derivative corny puns, jests or groaners that occur to me are likewise transcribed. If I feel I've packed the equivalent of 2-3 punchlines into the bulky, six-panel format of TFII, I save it as a shiny, non-pixellated png and earmark it for the correct date. I repeat as necessary, or rather, as absolutely necessary. Very rarely will I ever attempt to prepare even the vaguest plot ahead of time, and many times I'll actively NOT do that.
Q) ...But why? What possesses you to waste your time DOING this?
A) Back in '01, I suppose I must have caught a serious case of the giggles. I was fresh from a heavy dose of Bob And George and Triangle And Robert, and thus utterly convinced that I could produce a comic strip, even with my limited talents. I began to talk to myself. And I said: "Hehehe. It'd be funny if there was a guy who had a talking dog. Hehehe. And the dog would be called Barky Dog, even though he talked like a human, 'cuz it'd be ironic! Heeheehee! And the guy would be dumb and the dog would be smart! Heehee! And there'd have to be Cthulu! And he'd give out ice cream! WAHAHAHA! Oh, somebody STOP me! I gotta write this down!" And I did. I should mention that this was one of only three times that Turing's Folly was ever held to even the most vestigial script.
That set the pattern for the script. I packed as much comedy as I could into the format, and always drew/wrote by gut feeling and gut feeling alone. I didn't expect it to last it two weeks, but to my utter shock, people LIKED it. I drew GOOD REVIEWS from ACTUAL ARTISTS. I was utterly blindsided; Was this, indeed, a viable form of humour I had stumbled across? It appeared so. And so it's my labour of love of sorts. It salves my ego with the occasional compliment I get from talented people, and I feel good knowing that a few people are actually laughing at my antics - Even if most of them are friends I begged to humour me.
Q) And why did you name it "Turing's Folly"?
A) Well, back in the middle of the last century or so, there was a famous computer programmer named Alan Turing. Among other things, he devised the "Turing Test" which would determine if a computer was intelligent or not. In a nutshell, they put the computer in a booth, and a person in another, and the two are left to converse over a phone-line or something like that. And if after several hours, the human is unable to say for sure that whether the entity in the other booth is a computer or another human, the machine has passed the test and is declared a true AI.
At the time, there was another strip that contributed to my foray into strippery by the name of Karva Komix. It was a stickman comic, and it was the foulest thing you can't even imagine. A detractor informed the artist that his comic had failed the Turing Test - In other words, that such a horrible, poorly-drawn strip must surely be the product of a computer program and not an actual human being. I considered my own nascent work, and saw that while the randomness of its insanity was almost formulaic, the formula itself was liable to change at any given moment and any attempt to categorize it would surely spiral out of control at the outset. It would be folly to try and classify it. And thus, Turing's Folly.
Q) I notice you have a tendency to refer to this site as "Protean Comics" rather than "Turing's Folly". Can I infer from this that you plan to feature other comics either alongside or in place of TFII at some point in the future?
A) Well, I plan to, but my track record should put those plans into perspective, n'est-ce pas? In truth I DO have a whole lot of (I think) good ideas, epic stuff, fantastical stuff, the sort of thing that could very well make me a luminary of the interweb. But I just don't feel I'm good enough at drawing to do implement any of these yet. I'm afraid to put pencil to paper and produce something because I know it'll suck, yet I stand no chance of improving if I don't reach out. A vicious cycle I don't see being broken any time soon, and the fact that I'm a sessile prat doesn't help matters at all.
As for TFII itself, I have to admit I've grown rather fond of the bastard lil' creation. Chances are I'll keep it going a while yet, even running concurrently with a handdrawn work. After all, it's relatively easy to produce, and besides I still owe a few folk a crossover. At the very least, I'd like to formally put the strip to rest before I move on to anything else, something I didn't get around to doing pre-Schlockloss.
Q) Anything else of interest going to show up here anytime soon?
A) In terms of artwork, perhaps, perhaps not. I've already harped about my neglible artistic skills and my less-than-stellar work ethic, so time will only tell if I'll beef that up and continue same on a regular basis, as I have been meaning to do, in theory, for so long. As for the usual goodies succesful webcomics have floating about, such as forums, quizzes, downloads, derivative works, etc etc...Well, we'll just have to see how things shake out, won't we?
Q) Just who do you think you are?
A) I think, therefore I am, Robin P. Armstrong. I am 22 years old, a UK-born citizen of Canada, and a cashier at Fortino's. I'm a caucasian with manly and flowing brown locks, green eyes and glasses, weigh around 67.5kg (~150 lbs) on a good day, and am just shy of six feet tall. I'm not an artist, nor am I much of an author, but I play both roles on the internet. Pleased to meetcha.
Q) Does the P stand for Philip, by any chance?
A) Guilty as charged. Or did you think that handsome fellow in the main role of TFII is a picture of somebody else?
(You Seek Answers...But Find Only More Questions)