The comic featured a unique art style in that rendered 3D models were posed and then captured to make shots which were then formatted with text or any other non-3D effects into a comic panel. Tim had tried a few times to do a number of short rendered animations but found this quite an overly long process.
A few times throughout the series, Tim illustrated and used 2D drawings. These were sometimes used for flashbacks or inner thoughts, or in captions and diagrams such as Bluey's Science Explained. However for one whole story arc lasting a number of months, the entire comic was done in 2D for what in effect was a giant 'out of character' story line where each of the dragons and a number of the secondary characters were Marvel-style super heroes.
Storylines & characters
Despite the comic being humor-based with most strips featuring a punchline, the characters were detailed with on going personal story lines, and individual story arcs and running jokes were frequent.
The major characters are eight young western-style brother dragons, along with the other 'residents' of the forest they inhabit. They are:
- Bluey - Blue dragon and the most.. enthusiastic of the brothers. He has a passion for video games and technology, though his attempts at the later often end with disaster or dismemberment. Often both. He is the twin brother of Goldy.
- Abijar - Light green dragon and the music lover of the family. Abijar often enjoys conversing with his twin Cornelius and day dreaming about life. While getting the occasional bout of paranoia, he's most fun to be about.
- Brainy - Red dragon and quite a culinary expert, Brainy's favourite past time is definitely cooking. According to the final comic, he was supposed of been killed off years ago by tetanus. But this is considered debatable.
- Corlis - Dark Green dragon, Coris prefers to watch rather than act. His claim to fame is that he is an attempted stand up comedian, this however has had only slightly success. He is the technical owner of Moppy and also enjoys the highly sarcastic comment.
- Lemuel - White Dragon, Lemuel is as pacifist as they come. However, having met the rather interesting Firewing, who he is now pen-pals with, he has started to feel a less like.. a doormat. The thoughts of her chasing around Europe with some French gargoyle giving him mixed feelings.
- Goldy - Gold dragon and tormented artist, Goldy does unfortunately too often submit to Bluey in to helping him with his experiments. Interesting like Enigma, Goldy does indeed have a metallic gold hide and claws. While this is yet to be referred to directly, it is suggested this could lead to a future attack on himself, should the comic ever be resumed.
- Cornelius - Purple dragon and keen debater, he is often found sitting on Bob the rock, talking with his twin Abijar. Often the most clear thinker, he often actually is able to think of the most sensible solution to the majority of problems that his brothers face. Unfortunately, most of these solutions involve lots and lots of fire.
- Enigma - Black dragon with silver metallic hide and claws. Enigma is a little older than his brothers and is the only one of them that can so far use the full power of his dragon breath. While being the best fighter and often having to look after his younger siblings, Engima prefers to sit on the rock in his lake and read, rather than chasing around after the trouble caused by the rest of his family.
Posting history and demise
From 26 June 1999 the comic ran non-stop till 23 October 2004 when the the artist announced he would take what he called an "indefinite hiatus" with the possibility of him returning to do the comic at some future point. He again began updating daily on 13 December 2005 with a special 'Dragon Tails Twelve Days of Christmas'. On 1 January 2006, he began updating weekly on Sundays, with a new story arc featuring the characters in a 3-D console RPG style scenario, often poking fun at many console RPG clichés.
From February 2010, the Dragon Tails website remains up for over three years without an update. Tim explained in a forum post:
|As for the larger question of what happened to Dragon Tails, that's where things get a little trickier. The short answer was I struggled to maintain Dragon Tails, and when I faltered I ran away instead of owning up to what was going on. I felt embarrassed and would tell myself that if I just waited longer I'd have something to update with, and it seemed more appealing to apologise for a late update than announce that nothing was coming.
Unfortunately the result was to burn the trust I spent years building with everyone who visited the site or posted on these forums and for the site to have gone years without an update and without explanation. My behaviour was inexcusable, and disrespectful to Dragon Tails for it to end with a whimper instead of wrapping it up on a high.
The final indignity is that I no longer have access to the website, I actually can't change anything at the moment. I am looking into migrating hosts, my plan is for Dragon-Tails.com to continue to be an archive for the strips.
As of June 2014, the comic's main website was down.
- Reply to Tim's dead, isn't he? - Tim Dawson, Dragon Tails forum (24 March 2013)