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 "Powree" Andini. 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 6 November 2018, 1031 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 strip archive during this time. The 1000th Sandra and Woo strip was posted on 1 July 2018. A Kickstarter was announced on 7 November 2018 for a printed anthology of the first 1031 strips published already, and a second book containing art based on the comic.
The main characters of the comic strip are the 13-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 Woo in the webcomic 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. In strip #718 it was revealed that 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 webcomic's tagline, "a webcomic about friendship, life and the art of (not) eating squirrels", it is a running gag in the webcomic 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 2010, 2011, and 2012 Ursa Major Awards, for the category “Best Black and White Art” at 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. The German version of the strip Test Of Friendship was included in Freiräume – Evangelisches Religionsbuch für Mittelschulen, a Protestant religious schoolbook for German middle schools.
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 presented 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. 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 Book of Woo was also discussed on several pages of Craig P. Bauer's book Unsolved! about the history of famous ciphers. As part of the lead-up to the 1000th strip, Knörzer posted the original English text on 28 June 2018. The crucial obfuscation step was the translation of the English plain text into the constructed language Toki Poni by Matthew Martin.
Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure
In summer 2012, the German PC game developer 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 to the webcomic's website. The game was eventually released on Steam on 5 May 2017 to mixed reviews from video game critics. In his review for Adventure Gamers (3.5/5 stars), Peter Mattsson was fond of the likeable characters and the interesting story, but criticized the design of some of the puzzles and minigames. Susanne Lang-Vorhofer from the German website Adventure Corner also liked the characters and the story, but had a very negative opinion about the German voice-over, giving the game a score of 68% in the end.
Since 19 November 2011, the Sandra and Woo website also hosts Knörzer and Andini's fantasy webcomic 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 Feline Fuelled Games for a cancelled campaign mod for the PC game Neverwinter Nights 2. Gaia is updated twice a week with full color pages. As of 12 July 2018, 673 pages have been published, including 7 cover pages.
- 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.
- Knörzer, Oliver. "Sandra und Woo auf Deutsch »  Test der Freundschaft". www.sandraandwoo.com (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- Freiräume 5 Evangelisches Religionsbuch für Mittelschulen. Steinkühler, Martina, Claudius-Verlag München (1. Auflage ed.). München. ISBN 9783532701607. OCLC 964675740.
- 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.
- P.,, Bauer, Craig. Unsolved! : the history and mystery of the world's greatest ciphers from ancient Egypt to online secret societies. Princeton. ISBN 9780691167671. OCLC 963914459.
- Knörzer, Oliver. "Sandra and Woo »  The Book of Woo in English | The comedy webcomic". www.sandraandwoo.com. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "First screenshots from the Sandra and Woo adventure game". Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure. 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- "Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure Review". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "Sandra and Woo in The Cursed Adventure - Adventure Corner". www.adventurecorner.de. Retrieved 2018-07-14.