Transmission

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Transmission
TransmissionBanner.png
Author(s) Mark Alexander Smith
Website
Update schedule Weekly (Fridays), Fortnightly (Mondays)
Launch date February 3, 2011[1]
End Date Ongoing
Genre Slice of life, Satire, Humour
Rating(s)
Censor PG button.png

Transmission is a webcomic series created by British cartoonist and animator, Mark Alexander Smith, known also by his persona, FreyFox, who did character artwork for the British children's sci-fi comedy radio and internet series, The Space Gypsy Adventures. It follows the lives of twin red squirrels, Russell and Reggie Harvey, who are English expats now living in Southern California and who make a living fixing up and restoring cars. One car, a bright red 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX named "Geraldine" belonging to Russell, is particularly prominent.

The comic was launched in 2011 and is currently being updated once a week on Fridays and fortnightly every other Monday.

The series' genre of humor is that of slice of life, satire on American and British culture and rare moments of slapstick and occasional dark comedy.

The main characters; Russell (right) and Reggie (left) Harvey

Premise[edit]

The series' revolves around anthropomorphic Eurasian red squirrels, Russell and Reggie Harvey, twin English mechanics from Stoke-on-Trent in the English midlands who move to Los Angeles, California after they inherited their deceased great uncle's car garage. The two brothers make a living restoring cars while going through many challenges in their daily lives such as adapting to American lifestyle, getting involved in risky misadventures and encountering new friends and sinister figures.

Characters[edit]

Main Protagonists[edit]

Russell Harvey: an English Eurasian red squirrel who is one of the main protagonists of the comic series and Reggie's identical twin brother. His signature colour is dark green. Russell is a mechanical genius who loves to restore classic cars and is usually somewhat easy going. He is an accomplished Rally racer and owns a 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX named "Geraldine". He is married to Linda.

Reggie Harvey: an English Eurasian red squirrel who is the other main protagonist of the comic series and is Russell's identical twin brother and co-owner of their Auto Shop. His signature colour is bright orange and since 2014 he also wears a black peaked cap. Reg isn't mechanically savvy but is skilled enough to mod cars. His car is a black Mitsubishi Evo X. Reg is the more outgoing of the twins, but has until recently struggled to hold down a relationship. In the Points of Vanishing arc, Reggie starts dating his former rival, Sasha Slater. But when she gets arrested, Reggie is dragged into relocating to Japan to continue Sasha's work as a career criminal. He finally gets to come out of hiding in "Way Out West".

Supporting Characters[edit]

Linda: a female ferret who is an inventive genius and Russell's girlfriend, later wife. She works as an electronics sales woman, and is a passionate model maker. In issue 442 of the British Vacation story arc, Russell proposed to Linda and the two married during the Hitched story arc. In "My Name Is Willow", she actually becomes pregnant, and gives birth to a hybrid named Amanda in "Baby Delivery".

Jason Glover: a reclusive silver fox who as a teenager was rescued by the twins, from the hands of his abusive Uncle Eddie. He lived with the twins for a couple of years afterwards, and began college initially unsuccessfully studying culinary before he then joined the college hockey team where he made new friends. In the story arc, Tenacious J and the Puck Of Destiny, Jason was spotted by a recruiting scout joining the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team. Since then Jason has only featured in the comic sporadically but still makes the occasional appearance. He does make a comeback in "The River Runs Wild" arc where he goes rafting with the twins and Howard. He doesn't appear again until a year later in "Enter the Vulpine", where he shows signs of being haunted by his uncle, to the point where he gets a hockey suspension, sending him on a downward spiral. Assisted by Nick, he gets his life back together and confronts his demons, entering a karate tournament to help Nick save his dojo from a takeover. He then decides to leave the hockey-life in favor of firefighting, and finally gets closure over his past. Jason has also been a favorite among the fan base.

Trevor Harvey: the twins' younger brother who still lives in England with their parents, Tony and Belinda. He is the frontman and bassist in the Alternative rock band, Zombie Korma. Trevor is shown to have a wild and reckless personality, just as a stereotypical rock star, but has matured considerably over time.

Jack Randall Jr: a slightly psychotic coyote whose a friend of Russell and Reggie. He is an ex-national guard sergeant who owns an outdoor retailer, and is a scout master of a local Cub Scout troop. He loves camping and blowing things up. He is also seen to be very violent, considering since his wife cheated on him with their Gym instructor and Randall castrated him for revenge. He has a teenage daughter called Jess. His army jacket previously belonged to his father Jack Randall Sr, and it is suggested that his father was also a national guard sergeant before him.

Timothy Schouten: a raccoon LAPD detective and former traffic cop who is one of the Harvey Twins' friends. He is a relatively friendly and easy going police officer, more so than average LAPD officers, most likely because he's Canadian, but has stepped up to the mark when it is called for. He is married to Willow, a fellow raccoon, and father of their two children, Rebecca and Ralf. He and Willow were formerly the main characters of FreyFox's short-lived comic series, Willow and Timothy, and starring in a few animated videos about them, before becoming supporting characters on Transmission since they had a cameo in strip #99, though Timothy actually appeared earlier, in strip #80.

Willow Speed: Tim's wife and mother of their children, Rebecca and Ralf. She is a live wire and a total tomboy who was pulled over and arrested by Tim during a street race she was involved in, starting their relationship. Willow loves her children, but resents how family life has kept her from enjoying her old hobbies. Like her husband, she was one of the main characters of FreyFox's short-lived comic series, Willow and Timothy and starred in a few animated videos with him created by Frey.

Howard: a handsome, buff, surf instructor otter who taught Russell, Reggie and Linda during a trip to Santa Monica beach in The Otter Side of Reggie story arc. Reggie struggled with sexually attractive feelings for Howard due to his handsome physical appearance, leading to the two to have a one-time encounter in his beach hut. The two parted ways as friends. Howard returns in the story arc, Let's Go To War, joining Nick in Reggie's strip poker party which Reg wins. It is later said that, Reggie and Howard are considered "friends with benefits".

Villains[edit]

Edward "Eddie" Glover: Jason's uncle and the main antagonist of the Jason story arc. He had a short temper, was uncaring and physically abused his nephew when things went wrong for him, even if it was small or not Jason's fault. He ran a small gang of burglars who tried to rob the Harvey Twins' auto shop with Jason's forced assistance, but failed and left him behind. After being released from the police, due to Reggie's compassion, Jason was beaten with a baseball bat and got his face burned by his Uncle Ed with a grill, leading to Jason to finally leaving his uncle and live with the Harvey Twins. When Russell and Reggie tried to get Jason's belongings from his uncle's house, they got into a fight with Ed and his gang. Ed was soon afterwards shot dead by Tim and undercover LAPD officers when he opened fire on them after trying to shoot dead Jason and Reggie. His gang was arrested soon afterwards. The later arc Enter the Vulpine reveals he wasn't always bad and was genuinely kind to Jason, but Jason's parents becoming victims of a shooting in a mall Eddie worked at became the reason for Eddie's cruelty, as the grief consumed him so much it turned him into a monster.

Slater Siblings: Charley and Sasha Slater are two racer mice siblings who are the defending champions of the Mexican Rallycross race and the main antagonists of the Rallycross Rodents story arc. They go to extreme lengths of cheating in order for them to win, including tampering with other racers' maps, blowing up bridges, putting water in the other racers' gas tanks, etc. They had a duel with the Harvey Twins' during the second leg of the race, which lead to Sasha getting hit with a tire iron by Charley's chain, causing them to crash. The two lost the race and are later strip searched by the U.S. Border Patrol, along with the other racers for crossing an international border. Charley and Sasha returned as the main antagonists in the Let's Go To War story arc, entering as contestants in a Raging Robots competition in San Francisco. They play the competition without resorting to cheating this time as they are in with a good chance of winning, until the twins pull off a shock defeat in the final round. Sasha, impressed by their performance, gives Reggie her phone number after the event, as a mark of respect for him. In The Wild Mouse Cafe chapters, it is revealed that Charley is in prison and Sasha is now working in a run down diner. Sasha has since started dating Reggie. It was also revealed that, like Jason, Sasha and Charley didn't have a good childhood: their mother took to drugs and wound up in prison, their father became an alcoholic and later, sexually abusive, their older brother Adam, though more decent, perished in the military in Afghanistan, and their sister Ivy, mainly because of their father, all but abandoned them. As a result both Sasha and Charley turned to crime out of survival, with the first straw being when their father presumably tried to rape Sasha, which got him beaten up to death by Charley in retaliation.

Charley's personality is highly competitive and is determined to win at any cost, which was shaped by the siblings' past when they grew up in a broken family with an alcoholic father. While not as pushy nor as driven as her brother, Sasha is also quite competitive which sometimes gets her into trouble as well. They had two older siblings, Adam and Ivy.

Imelda and Troy: a geology major tabby cat and black horse who are a couple, and students at Jason's college and the main antagonists of The Rusty Chef story arc. The two discovered what they believed to be an oil well underneath the Harvey Twins' auto shop and tried to get their hands on it by Imelda seducing Reggie and pretending to be his girlfriend. After many attempts, leading to her getting injured, she reveals her plan to Reggie out of anger, leaving him heartbroken. She and her boyfriend were later arrested for their scheme. After being released, she sends an apology letter to Reggie when she and Troy left town.

Gordo and T-Bone: a warthog and alligator who are a pair of wanted carjackers and scrapyard owners who are the main antagonists of the Kidnapped story arc. They stole and took apart Reggie's blue BMW 3-series convertible, leading to him trying to get revenge, but left when threatened with guns. Reggie accidentally damages Gordo's Harley bike by throwing a cricket bat over the fence, leading to the two to plot revenge by kidnapping Linda, when mistaking Russell for Reggie, demanding a $100,000 ransom. Linda was rescued by the twins with the help of Randall when about to be crushed by a car crusher. T-Bone was knocked out by Reggie wielding a briefcase, while Gordo was hit in the head by Linda with a muffler and later blown up on his motorcycle by Randall when attempting to escape. The two were arrested by Tim and tortured, twice, when listening to a Jedward album. Reggie receives a black Mitsubishi Evo X, one of the cars Gordo and T-Bone had stolen, as a reward when no one claimed ownership. They later returned in the Randall's Ransom arc as Brett Hudson's hired goons. At one point they got revenge on the Harvey-twins by demolishing their garage in the "Points Of Vanishing - Part One" arc (it is unknown if the twins found this out later), then focus on helping Brett get back at Randall. They kidnap his daughter Jessica (initially aiming for Randall Sr.) to ransom for Randall's business. Randall though refused and along with his father went to confront the villains. T-Bone and some other goon named Keller confronted Randall outside after the coyotes had accidentally damaged the Hudson's pool and other property, Randall also recognizing T-Bone, but before they could have a rematch, the pool-water made contact with speakers that were used to torture Jess with One-Direction music, electrocuting T-Bone and Keller to a crisp. Gordo meanwhile, helped move Jess up-stairs, but when Lyle went to confront Randall, Gordo disobeyed the Hudsons and tried to strip Jess, possibly to rape her, but this provoked Brett into killing him as he had the same intentions himself.

Crazed Trucker: a homicidal trucker who tried to run down Russell and Reggie during their return trip from San Francisco and the main antagonist of the Duel story arc. When stubbornly refusing the Twins to pass him, Reggie mooned him, making him angry enough to run them off the road and kill them. After evading him multiple times on the road, the trucker drove off a cliff with the Twins' car, after they bailed, killing him. The story arc he appears in is heavily based on the Steven Spielberg movie Duel.

Eddie's Henchmen: Eddie's two goons from the "Jason" story arc, that consist of a Doberman and a Bulldog. Who assisted Edward in his robberies and schemes (and possibly bullied Jason). During the "Geraldine" story arc, they were released from prison and plotted revenge against the Harvey twins for Glover's death. But, they had met their timely demise when attacked by Russell's possessed car.

Brett Hudson: A buff, athletic and spoiled black panther from a very wealthy family, who appears in the story arc "Jason on Ice". He was on the hockey team in Jason's college which caused him to develop the "dumb jock" ego. Brett picked on Jason, and when it gets to a point of sexual harassment, the coach intervenes and Brett is expelled from the team. The twins later have Randall kidnap Brett, and leave him stranded and tied up in the desert in just his underwear. Brett later returned to exact his revenge in the Randall's Ransom arc with Gordo and T-Bone as his henchmen. He had Randall's daughter Jessica kidnapped to spite Randall, but in the end was defeated again, with his father and goons dead, and Randall made sure he wouldn't return again by tying him up and leaving him on train-tracks to be run over by a train.

Blanco Zapka: a harsh and arrogant white tiger who leads a troop known as the "Iron Dragons". He gets introduced in the "Enter the Vulpine" arc, where he wants to buy Nick's dojo due to its sudden decline in finance, even though he already has his own dojo. He and his team face off against Nick, Jason and Jess in a tournament, but when scheduled to fight Nick, he gets cocky and blindfolds himself in the hopes to be unbeatable, which doesn't work. He's an all around jerk to just about everybody, even his own teammates, who promptly desert him after the tournament in favor of Nick. He also, rather hilariously, eats too many pizzas and fattens up so much that he gets stuck through a doorway, and Jason comes to rescue him!

Minor Characters[edit]

Nick Knox: an accident prone skunk who is also a black belt in martial arts and friend of the Harvey twins. He owns his own dojo and likes to dabble in philosophy. In strip #303 his abscence in more recent strips was explained as him being on a sabbatical in Nepal. He returns for a brief appearance at the end of the 'Let's Go To War' story. His first big role comes in "Enter the Vulpine" where his gym is lacking in finance and its custody is being threatened by a tiger named Blanco. While helping a miserable Jason lose weight, he finds the money he needs to pay off his finance in a martial-arts tournament. Jason though wasn't pleased as he was having flashbacks about his evil uncle, which Nick knew about, but not how Eddie came to be the lowlife. Nick was stunned, but sympathetic, though Jason believed Nick would just use for his own gain and almost abandoned him, but stays at the last minute. Both Nick, Jason and Jessica compete under the name "Black Thunder", and when Blanco tries to enhance his senses by blindfolding himself, Nick easily beats him and wins the money, and Blanco's servants.

It should be noted that Nick didn't have a last-name, but "Enter the Vulpine" reveals it to be "Knox".

Jessica “Jess” Randall: Randall’s estranged yet rebellious metal head teenage daughter. They have an OK relationship despite rarely interacting due to her parents divorce. She gets a big role in "Randall's Ransom" where she gets kidnapped by Brett Hudson and his cronies, who have a grudge against her father and the Harvey-twins. Brett had been meaning to rape her, and she almost killed him for it, but was talked out of it by Randall. At the end of the story, she receives Randall's jacket from her granddad. In "Enter the Vulpine", her ordeal with Brett has made her take up karate from Nick so to better take care of herself, and she joins Nick and Jason in the martial-arts tournament to win the money for Nick's dojo.

Zombie Korma: Trevor's psychedelic/Alternative rock band. The band's original lineup consisted of Trevor Harvey (lead vocals, bass), Simon Todd (keyboards), Graham Bond (guitar, backing vocals) and Christian Thom (drums). Having scored several top 40 hits in their native UK, Zombie Korma released their debut album Zombified in 2014 and embarked on a tour of North America in an attempt to draw fans stateside. Afterwards, Christian was replaced on drums by Leeroy Evans and the band released their second album Psychopathic Curry Man in 2016 before embarking on a European Tour to promote the album. Graham later leaves the band and is replaced on guitar by Zara McCluskey. Zombie Korma's sound has been considered a fusion of Space and Kula Shaker.

Tiffany: a wolf girl who was Russell's long-distance girlfriend whom he met during the Twins' trip to San Fransisco in issue #105, during the Summer Break In San Francisco story arc. She and her brother are from Minneapolis, she's skilled with the guitar and a dedicated environmentalist. She and Russell broke up in issue #158 during an online chat, where he spat out tea onto his computer causing it to explode when he found out she's dating a grey squirrel, which ultimately led to Russell to meet his next girlfriend, Linda.

Jeanette: Linda's younger sister who appears in the "Hitched" arc, and since then has been making cameos.

Amanda Regina Harvey: Russell and Linda's daughter, introduced in the "Baby Delivery" arc. She is a squerret (squirrel-ferret-hybrid).

Legacy[edit]

The comic has been one of the main inspirations for Lookin' Bright by Jacob Elmer as well as Daily Needs by Seth Fox.

Books[edit]

A series of books containing strips from the comics with bonus artwork have been published and sold by Lulu.com.[2]

  • Transmission (2013), comic strips #1 to #115
  • Transmission 2.0: Deserts and Duels (2014), comic strips #116 to #235
  • Transmission Evo III: Crazy Welcomes Careful Drivers (2015), comic strips #236 to #356
  • Transmission Evo IV: Painting The Town Red (2017), comic strips #357 to #472
  • Transmission Evo V: Points Of Vanishing (2019), comic strips #473 to #615
  • Transmission Evo VI: Separate Ways Far Away (2020), comic strips #616 to #740

See also[edit]

  • Kat-Venture (a graphic novel series also created by FreyFox)

References[edit]

  1. Transmission Page #1, Retrieved Jun. 21, 2017.
  2. FreyFox's Book Store, Retrieved Jun. 21, 2017.

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]