Friends of Lizzie Smithson('s creator, Godahl), in no particular order (descriptions coming whenever I get around to it)
Some Books that Might Be Relevant to your Enjoyment of my site
I used to read a lot of books, until my brain stopped working good. Here are a few of them that happen to be free to read--you can think of these as inspirations behind my characters and universe.
An African Millionaire: Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay
If you're not familiar with Colonel Clay, I heavily recommend you fix that--historians declare that this book is the origin of the "gentleman thief" trope, which I and many others have enjoyed playing in. The plot involves the gentleman con artist and master of disguise, Colonel Clay, repeatedly robbing the same guy over and over (Sir Charles Vandrift, diamond mine baron and the title millionaire). A lot of the fun of the book comes from watching Charles grow increasingly paranoid as Colonel Clay gets away with theft after theft, until... oh, I won't spoil it. See for yourself if you want a good time. (My character Mark Fifty is partially based on Charles Vandrift! Also noticably based on Elmer Fudd lol)
Raffles Book 1
Raffles Book 2
Raffles Book 3
Raffles Book 4
And here's the complete A J Raffles series, which I read ten years ago while flailing and failing in college. I didn't really like the stories at the time, but the characters have never totally left my brain, and thinking through the books, I've decided today that the series is actually really good. Raffles himself was actually one of the biggest influences on how I ended up writing Lizzie Smithson, although I have no idea if that actually comes through in my comics. I'm hoping to do some direct Raffles homages in 2024, so stay tuned for that!
Arsene Lupin is probably the most famous "gentleman thief" character from this era--his stories are much more mystery like than Raffles, consisting mainly of tight puzzle plots--this makes Lupin a bit of an easier read to most people, including myself, but I don't know, I kind of like Raffles more? Like, the Lupin stories are always trying to trick you, Whereas Raffles is more of a straight adventure series where you just get to hang out with the characters. The first three stories in this collection, however, are ace and absolutely worth reading. I'm not as invested in Arsene Lupin as I am those other characters, but when it's good, it's excellent. One book on my reading list that I haven't gotten to yet is "Arsene Lupin vs Herlock Sholmes" (HERE) which sure sounds fun! I know fans of the great detective aren't into it though. Oh yeah, I should also mention Lupin the Third, the Japanese grandson of the character who appears in some famous animes. Consider it mentioned.
Get Rich Quick Wallingford
This one has nothing to do with my series and was not a particular influence, but I recommend this book anyway--of all the classic Victorian era thief characters, I actually think Wallingford is the one most in need of a modern revival. Can you imagine this guy trying to hock NFTs? Seems like the stories would write themselves, lol. Anyway, book's okay.
The Infallible Godahl, the book, by Frederick Irving Anderson
I stole my internet handle from the title character! Also, it's an archive dot org link because Project Gutenberg didn't seem to have it despite me being pretty sure it's in the public domain. Anyway, good fun book. Main character is a thief. Lot of puzzle plots. The author apparently retired the character after just a few stories because he found it so hard to write them. (I've sampled Anderson's other work--his character Armiston (from the first story in this collection) actually appears in some of his other short fiction, as sort of a cop who solves crimes by writing mystery novels about them. So he sucks, maybe I shouldn'ta taken my name from his character).
Some Other Useful (Hopefully) Stuff
The actual Eliza chatbot by Joseph Weizenbaum!
The character in my webcomic "Eliza" is partially based on this chatbot from the mid-1960s (Wikipedia lists it as having been developed from 1964 to 1966) that was meant as sort of a parody of a particular type of therapist strategy and also to sort of highlight the means by which a computer might create the illusion of having human intelligence--classically, in this case, the illusion proved too great for many people and a lot of thinker types assumed Eliza's very simple programming could spark a revolution in artificial intelligence, ultimately driving the program's creator away from the tech world. I specifically use the version of the chatbot linked here to generate some of Eliza's dialog, so I guess Lizzie Smithson is partly an AI comic now? Sorry everyone, I'm a hack and fraud :(
Here's a little more info on how the Eliza program actually works.
Most useful on this page is a list of keywords the program looks for when preparing it's response--you can see here that it is not at all an intelligent device--it basically just listens to what you say and paraphrases it back to you in a manner dependent on how you said it. Joseph Weizenbaum was really disillusioned by how easily people were fooled by this thing, and in later years apparently became something of a crank about it. And who can blame him?
Obligatory link to W3 Schools
If you didn't know about this page already, now you do.
Classic webcomic resource for formatting your site for webcomic purposes--I actually don't use this myself, but I've heard enough people vouch for it that I'm okay with just assuming it's good. I meant to use it when I was setting up my webcomic, but, I dunno, I ended up just doing my own thing instead.
Become a Great Artist in 10 Seconds!
Absolutely essential glitch art tool that I use all the time for textures--you basically generate the images by pressing keys on the keyboard, and each key does a different (but consistent!) thing. This version specifically works in browser, and also has a mode where an RNG basically presses keys at random, so I guess this also qualifies as AI generated stuff? Ugh, I am such a hack. To be fair, you get better results by pressing the keys yourself and exploring, which is what I did.
Some examples of textures I use a lot in my art (some more than others) that I made with the above program:
Another absolutely essential resource--Wave checks your site for accessibility errors. I use it to catch stuff I missed in my regular design process--you'd be surprised how much there is to this stuff! Worth looking into, though.