Dela The Hooda
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Dela The Hooda is an online comic strip that is part science fiction and part slice-of-life, albeit set in unusual circumstances by mixing anthropomorphic and human characters in a domestic setting. The comic features Dela Aldershaw, a vixen character from a parallel universe where magic and science mix freely who finds herself stranded on Earth and attempts to restart her life in the Canadian town of Peabow. The comic began in 1997 and while it has moved from URL to URL and has an irregular posting schedule it is slated to continue until its story conclusion (expected to come in 2008). As of 2005, two treasuries have been published and it has a German translation. The comic is created and drawn by two Canadian artists Style Wager and Greg Older who are currently starting on a fantasy comic entitled DragonQuest currently being published in Furrlough by Radio Comix.
Dela Aldershaw: The main character of the strip, Dela is a “hooda”, a humanoid vixen native to Mhâr, a fantasy world that in Dela’s time has achieved interstellar space-flight and other advanced technologies. In her reality humanity has learned to live along side other races that makes up the world of Mhâr (halflings, dwarves, goblins, etc.) so Dela has great difficulty sometimes avoiding interactions with the humans she meets in Peabow, creating all sorts of surreal situations (such as one her neighbors thinking she is a recurring hallucination). Dela is torn between her desire to return to her home reality and the relationships she has with those she has befriended in Peabow.
Sue Chan: Dela’s housemate, Sue is a Chinese-Canadian grad student from nearby Trout University. Sue is stoic and largely unflappable, quickly thinking on her feet even in the face of chaos. Her one major weak spot is her relationship with her traditionalist parents who frown on her liberal views and her lesbian relationship with another student at the University. Her other Achilles heel is her love/hate relationship with Jake McRoss and his relationship with Edith.
Jake McRoss: One of Dela and Sue’s neighbors, Jake is privy to Dela’s existence and is a constant influence in their lives. A photographer and former rock star, Jake is a mixture of geek, lounge lizard, and agony aunt. Although initially attracted to Sue (much to her chagrin), he has recently found a partner in Edith; this has sparked some jealousy in Sue whose feelings towards Jake is ambiguous at best.
Frank Dunn: Dela’s current “significant other”, Frank is a computer guru at Trout University that keeps the institutions networks running. Fank and Dela genuinely love one another but their relationship is rocky at time because of “interracial issues”.
Edith Piccadilly: Edith is a GELF (genetically engineered life form), specifically a four-foot high anthropomorphic mouse. Edith is attracted to both Jake and to Sue and is currently playing matchmaker to both, much to Sue’s annoyance. Edith’s introduction to the cast has alerted Dela that an entire underground community of anthropomorphs exists on Earth, castaways from other realities. Their existence suggests both hope and potential disaster as to the future as Dela gets drawn into their secret circle.
A couple of fan-based stories exist of Dela and company as does various amounts of fan art. The largest fan-based project comes from Germany by a number of fans in that country to translate the comic into their native language as Dela die Hooda, making it one of the largest fan demographics for the strip.