About 13 Seconds

13 Seconds is a comic strip that I developed while attending Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada around 1993. It features anthropomorphic characters whose personalities determine their outward appearance as animals. At least, that was the original concept for the strip.

I wrote 13 Seconds for several years in an attempt to produce something that could be marketed to the syndicates and eventually land me a full-time career drawing comics. As I was producing this comic at the same time I was attending University, I found my available time to write and draw new comics dwindled to almost nothing. Eventually, I realised that I had stopped writing them altogether.

One thing that didn't change, however, was my desire to write the comic and make people laugh. Now, several years after having penned my last comic for The Gazette (The daily student newspaper of the Univerity of Western Ontario) I have rediscovered my muse, it seems.

The characters remain essentially the same although some of their relationships have changed and, of course, the character's concerns reflect those that I have presently. Check out the cast page to see what's new in the lives of Wally, Basil, Duncan, Marsha, and Sheila.

13 Seconds is all hand drawn in pencil at about 14 3/4" x 5", traced in ink using a light table, and finally imported into Photoshop for colouring and lettering. I use the Lint McCree BB font from Blambot! for normal speech lettering.

About the Author

Peter Venables is all grown up now. He can no longer deny this fact as he is now over the age of thirty, married, and has two lovely children of his own. He's constantly amazed that he is someone's Dad now! This does not prevent him, however, from behaving like someone much younger than he really is.

Peter and his family live in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) where he works as a software developer for an international consumer electronics firm. Peter one day hopes to be able to draw funny pictures full-time but for now he's doing this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you update 13 Seconds

13 Seconds is published weekly on Mondays.

Where does the title 13 Seconds come from?

I've had a number of excuses for this over the years but the one that is simplest and most accurate is that it takes about 13 Seconds to read a single strip.

What the heck is Basil anyway?

Basil is a hard-working, intelligent, and passionate individual whose world is rooted in the intellectual realm.

No. Really. I'm not kidding, is he some kind of pig with fur?

Basil has a number of features that are common to bats. Seriously, "pig with fur" indeed.

This comic looks suspiciously like a furry comic...

Well... yes, it IS a comic that features anthropomorphic characters or furries of a sort. Some people don't appreciate this sort of comic as though all art can be typified by an association to a visually similar example. To those people I suggest you discard your prejudices and consider that you cannot judge a book by its cover or a comic by its genre.

Ok, I'm cool that they are animal/people, so what are they?

Wally is a ram, Basil is a bat, Duncan is a porcupine, Marsha is a panda, and Sheila is a poodle. Of course, none of them have any idea that they are anything but individuals living in this world. The resemblance to animals is meant to be a starting point to understanding their personalities.

Why does Marsha look different everytime we see her?

Marsha is a character that has given me a lot of technological challenges in terms of how to draw her consistently. She has these dark portions that could be inked pure black but when I do certain details are lost in the black. Then I draw her with dark grey shades and it doesn't look right or I forget to use the grey around her eyes and just use black instead. And don't get me started on whether I should be drawing her with makeup on or not. :)

Also, I enjoy drawing Marsha so much that I often forget to check with how I've drawn her in the past. She's getting more consistent as time goes by, however.

Are they students or professionals? Sometimes they are in school but then they are working...

In all of the strips dated prior to the year 2000 the cast of the comic should be considered to be University students attending the prestigious Runcible University. Well, except for Duncan and Marsha who attended Wickworth College persuing diplomas in their particular trades. Following that, they all joined the workforce as people tend to do when the school won't have them anymore.