My name is Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and everything you see here is my fault. I’m a comic creator and lecturer based out of Welwyn Garden City, England. E-merl.com is where I catalogue my experiments in fiction and the comics form. If that all sounds a little dry, don’t worry – I’m sure something horribly violent and amusing will happen if you stick around long enough.
Ghosts of the Great Mistake – 5/09/2017 onwards
Something went wrong and everybody died. For the unquiet spirits of the fallen kingdom, this much at least is certain. But what was the nature of the Great Mistake? Could it possibly have been avoided? And just whose fault was the whole thing anyway? Ghosts of the Great Mistake is E-merl’s new weekly webcomic series, updating with a new ghostly tale every Tuesday.
This is the final written thesis for my Doctorate in Design (Ddes) which I studied at the University of Hertfordshire between 2011 and 2017. Included with the thesis are links to the comics I created as practice-based elements of the study. Many of the published articles in E-merl’s Theory section went on to form the basis for chapters in my thesis. In general I’d recommend reading the version that appears in my thesis over the earlier (and often less polished) versions.
Dice With The Universe – 18/02/2014 to 31/5/2016
Dice With The Universe was a weekly webcomic serial charting the adventures of reluctant heroine, Beatrice Dice. Each week Beatrice’s fate was determined by the roll of the readers’ dice. Just what did the Universe (and the dice) have in store for Beatrice? Now you can discover the entire elephant-enriched answer in one epic read through.
The Empty Kingdom – 8/12/2014
Your kingdom lies empty before you; all your subjects fled; all their stories told. And yet you take up your sword. And yet you don your crown. Who will you fight when there is no one to fight? Who will you love when there is no one to love? The world ends at midnight. All hail The King.
Unfrequently Asked Questions
Q. What was you name again?
A. Daniel Merlin Goodbrey
Q. Is that your real name?
Q. You’re not just making that ‘Merlin’ bit up are you?
A. Nope. It’s inherited from my great-grandfather or some such. And I was born on Halloween, so I guess my folks figured it would be a good fit.
Q. What’s this site all about then?
A. It’s a place for me to tell my stories and show off my work. That’s it really.
Q. Do you make a living from doing this sort of stuff?
A. Much to my surprise, yes – I’m employed by The University of Hertfordshire as a senior lecturer in narrative and interaction design. In 2016 I also became the Joint Programme Leader for Hertfordshire’s Digital Animation and Games programme. When not doing lecturey stuff, I split the rest of my week between creating comics and doing comic-related research.
Q. So you’re available for hire?
A. Most definitely. Anyone interested should check out the Consulting page and drop me an e-mail to merlin (at) e-merl.com.
Q. Where are you based anyway?
A. I live in Welwyn Garden City, just a little bit above London.
Q. Been there long?
A. For a several years now. I’m originally from Suffolk but I moved to Hertfordshire for my degree and then decided to stay on once I was done. I lived in St Albans for nine years before making the move to Welwyn.
Q. You’ve got a degree?
A. I’m the proud owner of a first class honours degree in Software Systems for the Arts and Media and a distinction level master’s degree in the Digital Practices of Hyperfiction. Then in 2017 I earned a Doctorate in Design by studying The Impact of Digital Mediation and Hybridisation on the Form of Comics.
Q. Wow, that was a modest answer.
A. Is that sarcasm I’m detecting?
Q. I shouldn’t think so.
A. You’re just a voice in my head, you know. You can easily be replaced.
Q. Ahem. So, anyway, how long has E-merl.com been going?
A. E-merl.com has been around since 2000. Before E-merl there was Triple Distilled and before that there was Merl-Net. The design and focus of the site has really changed a lot over the years – the current version of E-merl is the eighth major redesign since I purchased the domain.
Q. So maybe it’s passed time to write a new FAQ rather than just repeatedly re-editing this conversation?
A. Clearly if I thought that I wouldn’t be typing this response.
Q. Good point.
Q. Sorry. It’s just, um, I’ve kind of run out of things to ask.
A. Fair enough. Fancy going for a drink then?
A. You can get the first round in.
Q. But I’m just a voice in your head.
A. We’ll explain that to the barman.
Q. You think he’ll understand?
A. If he knows what’s good for him.
Before I started a proper blog I kept an irregularly updating news page. Interested parties (probably just me to be honest) can read an archive of that material here. Real E-merl news complete-ists may also want to check out Brain Fist as each episode of the strip was accompanied by a weekly news post during its two year run.