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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Holy...what the...? No! Not Casey!


Dear Readers:

I think you will all immediately understand what a difficult decision I had to make here. I agonised over this strip for nearly half a year before I finally drew it; it was, in many ways, inevitable, but I really wished it hadn't been. I actually had to force myself to draw that final panel. Now, however, I just want to get this plot twist over with so I can move on in the radical new direction the strip is obviously going to have to take now. I have therefore chosen to publish the comic a day early. The next one will follow immediately on Wednesday.

Though West of Bathursthas been a combination gag/story strip from the beginning, it is now clearly going to have to undergo some changes. Starting next Monday, I will be moving to a full-page, comic-book-style format. The artwork will become more detailed and closer to manga in its provenance, and there will be a great deal of exposition and no jokes. I feel that the "comical" aspects of the strip, as well as the bits involving grad school, have had their day. They were fun while they lasted, but I need to get serious about this whole comic-strip thing so that I can be discovered accidentally by some prestigious reviewer who happens upon the strip by googling "manga," "breasts," and "sci-fi plot involving immortals with blue hair." I am aiming to make several thousand dollars via merchandising in the first year alone.

As will be evident from the strip above, the focus of the comic is about to shift from Marie and her friends to Frankie and hers. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that I am rather excited about a coming plot-line focusing on Frankie's alien ancestry and her connection to the hereditary gatekeepers of a mystic portal called Zoog. I like Marie, but in the end, Frankie is simply a more dynamic character with far more potential for fan service. I have already designed several new outfits for her and mulled over the creation of a sequence in which she is tastefully nude for at least seven pages in a row.

I trust that you will stick with WoBduring this difficult transitional phase. If the new direction upsets you, I apologise. Unfortunately, the public has spoken, and the public wants scantily clad aliens, huge explosions, characters with improbably huge eyes, and the sort of dialogue that would make George Lucas wet his pants with entirely unfounded excitement. Quirky comics about grad colleges are just not the thing any more.

I won't see you in the funny papers, but I will, with luck, see you in my store, which will soon feature a round of new products involving Pokemon rip-offs and characters screaming, "LOL!"

Sincerely yours,

Kari.


Comics copyright Kari Maaren 2006-2008