The Glass Urchin is an autobiographical comic about love, life, and being lost in the modern world. Sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, The Glass Urchin delves into the life of family, friends, school, and work of a wistful and wanderlust-filled city girl. It’s all true events, thoughts, and experiences I’ve had, except shorter, chubbier, and more spiky. I used to play games and make toys for a living, then I switched to making art, then I thought I’d try to actually learn how to design, and all the while I’ve been making comics. From New York, I’ve blasted over the seas to a distant and strange land called Scotland to study in a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh University. Who knows where this ride will take us, but let’s try to have some fun while we’re here, alright? Questions, comments, and encouragement can be directed to auilix at gmail.
The Glass Urchin is a proud member of Nerd Comics, and is hosted by the wonderful Bree!
About the Artist
Our spiky protagonist, Ami is a hedgehog of many talents… Or so she thinks. She quit making toys in New York and moved to Scotland to study design in a postgraduate programme in Edinburgh. She’s still finding her footing in the world, but then again, who isn’t? She loves traveling, reading, drawing, playing video games, and eating. Don’t call her a porcupine.
See Ami’s wet paint obsession.
Fellow bourbon-ite Bree is a Yorkie in more ways than one. Current writer/artist/main character of Sex, Drugs, and June Cleaver, she’s also the forerunner for Nerdcomics. She’s finishing up graduate school and is mostly occupied with created art for the web. On her off time, she enjoys burlesque shows, drinks, and good romps in the sack. She leads a healthy life, having not yet been eaten by an escalator (don’t worry, she’s got a close eye on them!).
See Bree’s room.
A sonic artist from the wilds of Romania, Ana has Disney-like enthusiasm and unwavering loyalty. Unless you cross her, in which case she will definitely Balkan punch you.
See Ana and Ami’s group project.
Mom is not your ordinary mom – she knows that technology exists, and isn’t afraid to use it! Well, maybe a little but that doesn’t hold her back from using Facebook, mainly to destroy others in the Scrabble online game,
Scrabulous Wordscraper Lexulous Words With Friends! She enjoys independent movies, chocolate, and the liberal agenda. She also is the mama of two little annoying kitties who pop into the strip from time to time.
See Mom’s Christmas story.
Mel spends most of her time with me pretending she doesn’t give two craps about anything Ami does. I kid. But she is awfully good at being an aloof/suave/generally fashionable little sister half of the time, and the other half being a crazy obsessive Disney-movie-watching “which would you rather?” playing kid. You can’t tell her and Ami apart? She’s got eyelashes to the max and cute curled ears. Currently Mel works at 30 Rock (the building, not the show, but close enough!)
See Mel’s wisdom teeth problem.
Dad is one of those riddle-wrapped-in-an-enigma kinds of people. Par example- he was born and raised in gay Paris, and yet is a die hard Republican who boycotts French wine. His favorite holiday is April Fool’s Day, and has been playing pranks on people ever since he was a young lad in the French Army. He enjoys security, traveling, and Anne Coulter books.
See Dad’s Army pranks.
Vasilis is the first flatmate Ami had when she moved to Scotland, and also in running for one of the best also for tolerating her student habits. Quintessentially owned by his cats, Triskal and Boris, Vasilis also loves drama, champagne, Eurovision and other delicacies in life.
See Vasilis’ bathroom cleanliness tolerance.
Friends since the 3rd grade, Tara is the longest running non-family member to tolerate Ami-ness. She’s an original zombie afficianado, and has an interest in the gross and weird. She is engaged to her long-term boyfriend, Alex!
See Tara’s terrible video game guidance.
Bree’s boyfriend Colin is uber polite and uber Canadian (and yes, that’s probably redundant). He’s an actor trying to make it in the big city and is always up for drunken meanderings around cities of note, but especially their town of residence, Manhattan.
See Colin’s true feelings about NYC.
Ami met Ray while she worked at Pokemon and life has been kookier ever since. She is pretty sure he must be partially from the moon or something. Super talented and artistic, he’s got the energy and attitude akin to a Looney Tunes character.
See Ray’s special stapler.
Everyone loves Shivi! An irresistibly short chick with a cute butt, Shivi has traveled long and far with Ami into territories unknown. Somehow they survived the experience and long to travel again together. She can make anyone smile and her secret superpower is being able to detect anyone’s nipples, no matter how many layers they are wearing. Her one and only cereal is Cocoa Pebbles.
See Shivi’s lack of American pop culture knowledge.
YHM. It stands for “Youth Hostel Mae” (lit. “in front of the Youth Hostel”), which is the bus stop in front of our dorm when we lived in Japan. A hive mind of sorts, although the boys of YHM are split throughout the world, I’m sure they’re all thinking the same thoughts at any given time. Loyal to the end, these guys enjoy whatever obsession is currently at hand, wherever they may be. Core members of YHM include Dylan, Harrison, Stuart, and Bryan; Keir, and Tim haven’t yet shown their faces on GU. Shivi and Ami are the “outer senshi” types of that group.
See Dylan’s God Mode.
Ami’s ex-boyfriend and previously a main character in the story until page 215. Hailing from the unknown territories of the Midwest, Mike is as white as the freshly fallen snow of his homeland. He likes mustaches, 80s music, unhealthy amounts of drinking, and profuse napping. He can also beat certain 8-bit games with one hand. Mike considers himself not part of the dork subculture, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
See Mike’s weakness.
Omar was roommates with Mike when Ami was roommates with Shivi… Was previously going out with Shivi during The New Brunswick Saga, but they have long since broken up. Omar likes teasing people, flirting with girls, and the Boston Red Sox.
See Omar’s Policy.
Have questions/comments/milkshakes? You can e-mail me at auilix (at!) gmail (dot!) com! If you have milkshakes or bourbon for me, seriously. E-mail me.
Q: Are these comics true?
A: All are real or based on real-life experiences. Some (like video game related ones) are quite obviously not (as in, no I don’t actually roll katamari balls full of toys to get my job done). The ones where you’d ask “did this really happen?” I’d say are true.
Q: No way!
A: Yes way.
Q: What about the places, are they real?
A:All the places are real, and I hope I convey them well. In the beginning of the story, I lived in Jersey City, then I lived in Manhattan, and now I live in Edinburgh, UK. A sense of place is really important to me, so I try to capture them all well enough.
Q: How is The Glass Urchin made?
A: I start with a really tiny thumbnail sketch and notes on the dialogue that no one can read but me. Then I pencil in the page and ink it. I used to colour it on the computer, but for the most part I colour it with markers now for the bluescale pages. For the full-colour pages and animated pages, I colour them in Photoshop. After this, I add dialogue in Photoshop with my own handwriting font (which is a slightly more readable format than my actual handwriting).
Q: I love that bunny guy, he’s so cute!
A: Firstly, I am a girl! And in the comics, I am still a girl! And in the comics, I mostly draw myself as a hedgehog, but sometimes we’re human-shaped.
Q: So is it with an “I”? Or is it with a “Y”???
A: Either or works for me, I’m easy.
Q: What does “Glass Urchin” mean?
A: Really people, whatever you want it to mean!
Huh? Don’t like that for an answer? Fine!
“Urchin” is actually an old English term for hedgehog, the creature upon which this webcomic is based (sorta). Hedgehogs are a prickly bunch and hard to easily get to know – I have a hedgehog pet in real life and I can attest to that. But they’re all soft tummies and teeny clumsy paws underneath, and I find I can kind of relate to them well. “Glass” meaning that hedgehogs (and me too) are more bark than bite. I think a lot of my friends have gotten used to it, but I’m a bit rough sometimes but I’m just the same underneath as everyone else.
Q: Should I read this in order?
A: You can mostly read The Glass Urchin in any order, although it’s mostly a progression keeping up with my current life. There are several mini-sagas of varying lengths in The Glass Urchin which should be read from start to finish and currently they are:
- The New Brunswick Saga A tale of romance and how I met my ex
- Quitting Hour My choice to quit my job for Uni
- Never Easy I Know What it feels like to get my heart broken
- Scotch Up About moving to Scotland
- Tournament You know you work in a strange company when you have mandatory Pokemon tournaments…
- Ewan McGregor A precious moment when I met the hottest man alive
- Group Project I worked with the best of students and the worst of students
Q: Where else can I find information/articles about you/The Glass Urchin?
A: You can hear an interview with me by 515 Radio here: http://515comics.com/515radio/episodes/Episode24.mp3 . You can read an article about a local book fair I did here. There’s a neat review by Hexaditidom here. I’ll post more stuff as I find it!
Q: I love it! Where can I buy the book?
A: Please support me and buy a copy here! You can also check out some other great NERD Comics apparel and cool items.
Q: How else can I contact you?
A: Please feel free to contact me on my e-mail (auilix (at!) gmail (dot!) com) if you have further questions/would like to interview me/give me fanart/use my comics somewhere else/make me milkshakes.
About the Artist
To find out more about the artist, please check out my art portfolio site, Auilix.com!
Wallpapers- For your desktop enjoyment. These come in 1024×768 and 1280×800.