Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures (or DMFA, as it is usually referred to by fans) is a furry webcomic by Amber Williams (née Panyko). Currently (December 2011), it usually updates on Monday and Friday. Its roots can be found in the online game Furcadia, and many of the main characters are based on real people, especially players of Furcadia (even though they have taken a life of their own by now).
As can be deducted from the first arcs, DMFA originated in the online game/community Furcadia. The actual background story is slightly more complicated (and arguably weirder) than one would expect, though.
In 1998, Amber (using Furcadia with her Miss Mab name) promised a sort of online shrine to anyone who could find a particular song for her. The song was found by a friend who went by the name of Daniel Ti'Fiona, and Amber made good on her promise. As a joke, she added a sign proclaiming "Coming soon: the Misadventures of Daniel Ti'Fiona, the comic!". Though she never intended to start a comic, Dan kept on asking her for it, having taken the sign seriously. The first comic was posted on the website in 1999.
Initially featuring Dan and Miss Mab, the cast of the comic soon expanded, including both friends of Amber's on Furcadia and characters of her own creation. Later on in 2000, the comic fell into a hiatus for about a year. Since the end of the hiatus in 2001, the comic has been updated (more or less) steadily and quickly switched to a full-color style.
Around September 21, 2005 the DMFA site had received a design and coding update, switching to a PHP-based system. Since the update process would lead to an inevitable downtime of the site, Amber's brother Mike (who created and implemented the update) put up a splash page saying that the site had been hacked. The title was replaced with "Some Stupid Webcomic" and most of the homepage links were redirected to Castlevania RPG.
On October 22nd, 2006, Amber M. Panyko married Mason Williams, author of Tailsteak.com, and now goes by Amber M. Williams.
Story setting and style
DMFA takes place in the land/world of Furrae. The present-day setting is a mix between the Middle Ages and modern times - sword-fighting and magic co-exist with technology like computers.
Generally speaking, the story arcs of DMFA revolve around the (mis-)adventures of the cast. The overall style is usually humorous, except for certain moments that simply can't be turned into a punchline (though not for lack of trying, as strip #594 shows).
Main article: Abel's Story
Abel's Story is the first spin-off arc of DMFA and shows the life of Abel, from birth to (presumably) present day. Unlike the main comic, it has a higher rating and a generally darker mood. While there are still humorous moments, few comics end with a punchline. The arc contains important information about Abel and his relationship to other main characters (like Kria or Fa'Lina) and will most likely explain some of Abel's odd reactions especially during the SAIA arc.
Usage rights of characters
While most of the more recently introduced (non-cameo) characters (like Abel) and many of the characters that worked their way up from minor appearances (like Lorenda) were created by Amber, all major characters of the first arcs are based on real people (or rather: their appearance in Furcadia).
The question of usage rights became more interesting when Amber started to develop characters past certain boundaries in the SAIA arc (Dan turned out to be a Cubi, Jyrras was revealed to have a crush on Dan). Amber answered this question (along with related issues) on the old forum:
John (Dan's old player) actually doesn't read DMFA and hasnt for a couple years. As far as he's concerned Dan is my character...though if I ever make it rich and sell off the rights to a show, I'm suppose to give him a cut.
I haven't heard from Jyrras' old player in years. More or less I've taken Jyrras as my own character as well.
In terms of who is: Wildy, Azlan, Merlitz, and Aaryanna, and Aliyka have real people backing them that I have been in contact with and occasionally I discuss with. If I was to do anything extreme with these characters, I'd throw it past them first.
Dan, Jyrras, Pyroduck, and Biggs once had human counterparts but I've lost touch with them so long ago or they've given full permission rights so they more or less are mine. (Mwhahahah)
Alexsi is a particularly difficult exception in that her original player passed away. Which while I suppose that gives me full rights to Alexsi(I highly doubt her family is involved or interested), it also means I don't feel necessarily comfortable doing whatever. (mweh...)
Mab, Pip, Lorenda, Kria, Basement Rats, Matilda, Abel, Regina, Dark Pegasus, myself and Fluffy are mine 100%.
- 2005 Results, Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards (Nomation: Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic)
- The Webcomic List listing, with several readers' reviews
- Tangents review, May 15, 2005.
- Tangents review of Abel's Story, February 8, 2006.
- Female Comic Collective review, September 26 2006.
- 2007 Results, Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards (Nomation: Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic)
- DMFA forum
- Mab's Land The site where Amber hosts her non-DMFA related artwork.
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures on WikiFur