Sandra and Woo
|Sandra and Woo|
|Author(s)||Oliver "Novil" Knörzer, Puri "Powree" Andini|
|Current status / schedule||Updates Mondays and Thursdays|
|Launch date||19 October 2008|
Sandra and Woo is a comedy webcomic written by a German author, Oliver Knörzer, and drawn by an Indonesian artist, Puri Andini, under the name Powree. It is published in English and German. The first strip was put online on 19 October 2008 and the black-and-white comic strip has been updated twice a week since then. As of 4 May 2017, 883 strips have been published. From strip #307, published on 12 September 2011, to strip #398, published on 30 July 2012, the comic was colored by the American artist Lisa Moore. She also colored selected strips from the comic archive during this time.
In summer 2012, Feline Fuelled Games began the development of an adventure game called Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure featuring all the main characters from Sandra and Woo. On 30 April 2015, the first screenshots of the game were uploaded on the webcomic site. The game's official website opened in July 2015. In September 2015, voting for the game opened of Steam Greenlight. The game was released on 5 May 2017.
The main characters of the comic strip are the 12-year-old girl Sandra North and her pet raccoon Woo. Sandra lives together with her single father Richard in an unnamed town in the north of the United States. Woo is able to speak, but only talks with Sandra since he’s afraid to end up in a laboratory otherwise. Woo is a quite mischievous raccoon, so Sandra occasionally gets in trouble as a result of Woo’s misbehavior.
Sandra’s boyfriend Cloud Williams and Sandra’s best friend Larisa Korolev have appeared almost as often as Sandra and Woo in the comic since 2010. Cloud is the son of two fanatic Final Fantasy fans, David and Ye Thuza, who named him after Final Fantasy VII’s hero Cloud Strife. They also have a younger daughter, named Yuna after the Final Fantasy X protagonist. Cloud gets trained in sword-fighting and combat by his Burmese mother Ye Thuza, who was a rebel in her home country before coming to America. Larisa is a free spirit who doesn’t think too much about the consequences of her actions. She’s a casual pyromaniac and the only thing she loves more than fire is probably smooching with boys. She was born with Wolfram syndrome, which means she has a lifespan of about 30 years, giving us some insight of her aggressive determination to live while she can.
Other recurring characters include Woo’s love interest Lily, the fox Shadow and the red squirrel Sid, who live in the large forest near Sandra’s house. Shadow and Sid met as kits when they were raised by the same wildlife rehabber. As indicated by the comic's tagline, “a webcomic about friendship, life and the art of (not) eating squirrels”, it is a running gag in the comic that Woo, Shadow and other carnivores regularly try to eat Sid, but fail in the end.
Sandra and Woo received positive reviews from most critics. Brigid Alverson from Comic Book Resources noted that “it includes a bit of bad language and a few references to serious subjects, but the cute animals and the clean artwork have plenty of kid-appeal.” In issue 06/2010 of the Russian game magazine Game Land, the reviewer pointed out that comic readers would enjoy the references to other comics found in Sandra and Woo. Jaron Hataway of The Dallas Morning News' Pop Culture Blog found that Andini's art style makes it easy to understand the course of action and that Knörzer understands the "interwoven feelings of tween-aged girls." Criticising that the dialog "can sometimes be a little off," he gave it a rating of 9/10 and concluded that "the characters are wonderfully crafted and the art is delightful." Other critics were reminded of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, which is also given as the main influence by the webcomic author, because of the similar style of humor.
Sandra and Woo was nominated three times for the category “Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip” at the Ursa Major Awards 2010, 2011 and 2012, for the category “Best Black and White Art” at the The Webcomic List Awards 2010, and was given a Webcomic Beaky Award as one of the three best new webcomics of 2008. In March 2013, Sandra and Woo reached the final round of the ComicMix Webcomic Tournament 2013, a single-elimination tournament based on votes and donations between 128 of the most popular webcomics.
Sandra and Woo was also the topic of two journal articles by linguist Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Preußer from the University of Duisburg-Essen published in German teaching magazines. Taking an in-depth look at the German versions of the strips A Sly Raccoon and The Forbidden Fruit, Preußer discusses how teachers can use comic strips such as those to generate literary interest in grade schoolers. Sandra and Woo was also featured in two scientific papers written by the computer scientists Philip Buchanan, Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Michael Doggett, Associate Professor at Lund University, and Ramakrishnan Mukundan, Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury. Using artwork from various Sandra and Woo strips, they present a new automatic algorithm for extracting properties of an individual artist’s style and applying those properties to other drawings.
For the 500th strip, entitled The Book of Woo and published on 29 July 2013, Knörzer and Andini created four illustrated pages inspired by the Voynich manuscript. All four pages show strange illustrations next to a cipher text which has not yet been deciphered (as of May 2015). The strip was mentioned in MTV Geek and discussed in the Cipher Mysteries blog of cryptology expert Nick Pelling as well as Klausis Krypto Kolumne of cryptology expert Klaus Schmeh.
The Sandra and Woo website also hosts Knörzer and Andini's fantasy comic Gaia, which follows the adventures of several graduates of an elite academy after a deadly attack during graduation ball. Gaia is based on a story which was originally developed by the mod group Feline Fuelled Games for a cancelled campaign for the PC game Neverwinter Nights 2.
- "First screenshots from the Sandra and Woo adventure game". Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure. 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2008-11-17). " Negotiating Methods". Sandra and Woo. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2012-05-30). "About / FAQ". Sandra and Woo. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2012-01-01). "Character appearance 2008 to 2011". Sandra and Woo. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2010-04-15). " Rebel Heart". Sandra and Woo. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2011-01-24). " Runaway". Sandra and Woo. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Alverson, Brigid (2009-06-23). "Unbound: Hey, kids’ comics!". Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Sandra and Woo" (PDF). Game Land (6): 98. 2010. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Hataway, Jaron (2012-06-18). "Webcomics Are Awesome". Pop Culture Blog. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Shepherd, Simon (2009-08-17). "Review: Sandra and Woo". Comical Musings.
- "Award Winners 2010". Ursa Major Awards. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Award Winners 2011". Ursa Major Awards. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Award Winners 2012". Ursa Major Awards. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Wood, Wendy; Jessica Ottowell (2011). "Best Black and White". The Webcomic List Awards 2010. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Works, Fes (2009-04-01). "The 2008 Beaky Awards!". The Webcast Beacon Network. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Hauman, Glenn (2013-03-28). "The 2013 Mix March Madness Webcomics Tournament Finals: Sandra and Woo vs. Bittersweet Candy Bowl!". ComicMix. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Preußer, Ulrike (2013). "Literarisches Lernen am Comic – Zur Visualisierung literarischer Verfahren". kjl&m forschung.schule.bibliothek (in German). München: kopaed verlagsgmbh (3).
- Preußer, Ulrike (2014). "Das war ein Schock, das mit der Schlange!". Grundschulunterricht Deutsch. München: Oldenbourg Schulbuchverlag (2): 16–22.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2008-10-19). " Ein ausgefuchster Waschbär". Sandra und Woo. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2008-12-18). " Die verbotene Frucht". Sandra und Woo. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- Buchanan, Philip; Michael Dogget (12–15 June 2012). "Transferring Characteristic Proportions to Modify the Artistic Style of Cartoons". Proc. Computer Graphics International. Bournemouth, UK.
- Buchanan, Philip; Michael Dogget; Ramakrishnan Mukundan (26–28 Nov 2012). "Structural Vectorization of Raster Images". Proc. Image and Vision Computing New Zealand IVCNZ-2012. Dunedin, New Zealand: 319–324.
- Knörzer, Oliver (2013-07-29). " The Book Of Woo". Sandra and Woo. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Kleefeld, Sean (2013-08-03). "Top 5 Webcomics That You Missed This Week: 'xkcd,' 'A Softer World' And More". MTV Geek. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Pelling, Nick (2013-07-29). "Sandra And Woo do the Voynich… The Book of Woo!". Cipher Mysteries. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Schmeh, Klaus (2013-08-11). "Verschlüsselungsrätsel als Kunst: Das Buch des Woo". Klausis Krypto Kolumne. Retrieved 2013-08-11.