Thursday, August 31, 2006

And awaaay we go!

I'm off to the wilds of DragonCon, which I'm sure will be its usual exhilarating/exhausting/exciting self, and I'll be back to report the fun next week! (...assuming I survive...)

For anyone going, I'll be the dude that is indistinguishable from the billion other people at the con. So wave if ya see me.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Also? Errant Story, as a name, is really, really cool. Layers of meaning, dude, that's what I'm talking 'bout!

Continuing with looking at some lesser recognized webcomics, today seemed like a good day to talk about Errant Story.

But wait. Wait just one moment, you say. Errant Story is pretty well known! It's by Michael Poe, who did Exploitation Now. It's been around for almost four years now. It has two print collections out!

Well, ok. Fair enough.

But while I know of plenty of people who read the comic... it isn't something I see discussed all that often.

So here I am, discussing it. Ta-da!

Errant Story, like Girly, is a comic that I discovered due to reading a previous work of the author. And as such, as a comic that I can remember starting, I am sometimes startled by the fact that it is now several years later, and chock-full of plot, and happenings, and all manner of assorted hijinks.

Now, there are good and bad things about Errant Story. It is a well-crafted story set in a complicated fantasy world, and generally follows more than one plot arc at a time. We have elves, we have assassins, we have time monks.

It is fortunate that the strip has it's own Wiki, because otherwise I wouldn't have the slightest idea what was going on. I mean, a few things are obvious - the little girl and the cat are annoying. The dude in black is a bad-ass. The elves are mysterious. But beyond that? Well, it's a lot about mysterious conspiracies manipulating things behind the scenes, and various factions plotting and planning against each other.

Being confusing is downright mandatory.

But, you know, being lost doesn't bother me all that much. Because while the story is a good one (and don't get me wrong, it is), it is the more personal aspects that are best put together. The characters. Their interaction. Their development. (Even of the scary little devil girls.)

And, beyond that, the sense of humor in the story. I know a lot of people were put off by Poe switching from the sensationalist fanservice of Exploitation Now to the detailed drama of Errant Story - but it is not, by any means, a strip lacking in a sense of humor. I don't think Poe could write something totally serious if his life depended on it. The man has a gift, and it makes itself known more often than not.

Boo. Today's strip is a good one.

... I'll have you know I just spent quite a while writing it about it, before realizing that the character at hand in the strip wasn't who I thought it was.

So I'll save myself the embarassment of giving you my most assuredly brilliant thoughts on a plot development that isn't actually there.

Instead, I'll emphasize the point I would be getting at anyway - this strip, like much of Errant Story, is filled with layers. Yes, layers, like unto an onion.

As mentioned before, the comic is a complex one. The day to day strips aren't much different - namely due to the fact that they are usually hitting up both the story and the funny at the same time.

Take a look at today's strip. We have serious, intense moments for the first three panels, and then a character hilariously starting to plummet to his death. We also have the unexpected reunion of two of the more interesting characters in the strip - and we get to see that, for all the harshness of her entrance, Sarine might care about Jon more than she wants to let on.

That is a good deal to pack into a strip with barely more than a handful of words. Now, admittedly that is also a rarity - one of Errant Story's biggest weaknesses is the tendency to use quite a bit of text.

But I couldn't really claim the high ground to complain about that too much, now can I?

In any case, the intricacies of the story are far too complex for me to do them justice here (read: I've get myself lost in about five minutes.) But for all the uproar raised when Poe left Exploitation Now behind to start this, I think it is the superior strip by far. It suffers from the common ailments of any heavily plot-driven story: sometimes it engages in over-exposition, and sometimes the story takes a while to get off the ground.

But it is well done, with incredible art, a clean layout, and engaging characters. It has a guide to help the readers that do get lost. It has an archive page that... ok, the archive page isn't actually all that functional. Ah well, one mark against it - don't let that deter you from checking it out if you haven't already.

We aren't in the business of giving out biscuits around these here parts - but today's strip made me simultaneously laugh out loud, shout with glee, and shudder in anticipation. That sure as hell has to earn something, so as soon as I can figure out what we do give out around here, Mr. Poe has damn well earned one.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's eletric! Boogie woogie, woogie~

Don't worry - even after reading the comic, this scene doesn't make much more sense. Yet. Kagerou is a very pretty comic.

Darkly pretty, more often than not, sure. But you can't deny the power of the art. It started out a tad more humble, but you can quickly see the evolution of the artist - and even early on, the elaborate use of color made for a pleasurable reading experience.

Don't get me wrong - art alone doesn't make a strip. But trust me - if a comic is actively painful for me to read, I'm damn well not going to read it. And when the art is strong enough to carry the reader - sometimes forcefully - through the story?

That is definitely a good thing.

So, Kagerou is an epic fantasy tale, of a hero from Earth drawn into an amazing realm of gods and demons and faeries. He becomes the bearer of an ancient blade of magic, and must help overthrow the dark overlord seeking to claim the power of the gods.

Only... wait, no. Sure, thats the story. And it is there, and important, and home to a fantastic cast of characters.

But it isn't the story I care about.

You see, our hero from Earth isn't normal by any means. He has his share of issues - enough to have him checked into a mental hospital, back when he was on Earth. He has a whole 'nother crew of characters packed within his head. He is haunted by a past that is more mysterious, more horrific, and more engaging than anything going on in the fantasy world he's been summoned into.

That right there? When the epic fantasy story becomes just a footnote in the tale itself? When the true demons are the ones within the hero himself?

Oh yeah. That's the good stuff.

By no means is the above the entirety of the story - I've simplified it, in order to avoid giving anything away. But there is a story there, and it is a good one.

Of course, nothing's perfect - and this strip, most likely due to its complexity, has proven a challenging one to keep track of as it updates. It is one of those that works best when read in sizable doses, chapters at a time. But what else can one expect from a strip that hops between the present and the past, between Earth, a fantasy world, and the own internal madness of the protaganist?

So go. Read Kagerou. It's worth it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

And now for something completely different.

I feel as though I should be talking about all the Big Stuff going on with some of the heavy hitters of the webcomics world.

Sluggy has brought Oasis back, and she's no longer completely adrift from reality - though certainly not altogether there yet. There is a whole slew of words just waiting to be let loose in light of what it may mean to have Oasis as a character, and not just a prop.

The Penny Arcade Expo just wrapped up, they just ran one hell of a cameo laden storyline, and word has hit the street about their upcoming video game. It is official - they have won the internets.

And over at PvP, it looks quite possible that Brent, fueled by the spirit of competition, may be proposing to Jade. I see no possible way that could end poorly.

Oh, and Narbonic continues with things going from bad to worse, and it looks like soon we'll have all the important cast members gathered together for one last hurrah. With all our favorite gerbil-people, too!

So lets somberly take note of all those crazy shenanigans, and set them aside, and think happy thoughts about birds, flowers, and other peaceful, ordinary things.

So while the big movers and shakers are rumbling, I'm going to spend the week (or what I have left of it prior to DragonCon) focusing on lesser known strips.

When I get back next week, never fear, I'll be back to the usual pandering with the big boys - or, more specifically, will succumb to the urge to discuss these grand happenings. Mostly likely at length. With diagrams.

You've been warned.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Obligatory Snakes on a Plane Post!

Absolutely nothing, sing it again.
Actually, that's a lie, as I didn't actually see any muthafuckin' snakes on any muthafuckin' planes, and so I'll be talking about another movie entirely.

I was going to see it. Really, I was. I'd heard it was fun, and crazy, and all that it was promised to be.

But it didn't happen. My friends and I thought about going out to see it... and instead stayed at home and played video games. Personally I'd like to think that, deep down inside, just knowing that a movie named "Snakes on a Plane" exists is enough.

Anyway,what I did recently see was "V for Vendetta."

I know, I know, it came out months ago. But, given my usual lackadaisical nature, it took me this long to get around to watching it.

And, having done so, I must confess to being extremely glad I never read the comic book.

Not because I think the comic would be bad, no. Nor because I thought the movie was bad - the opposite, rather.

I liked the movie a hell of a lot. I thought it was fantastic. And I am grateful that I didn't have any preconceived notions that would have detracted from the experience.

I know that it is a different story than the graphic novel of the same name. I know that, from what I've heard, it manages to capture some elements of the original while betraying others. I think it is safe to say that both of them are exceptional works, but also fundamentally different ones.

It is a dilemma. It is hard to appreciate something derivative in its own right when one has familiarity with the original. I've had it happen to me before - even with Batman Begins, a phenomenal movie, somewhere deep inside there was a tiny fanboy nitpicking over the pettiest little details.

I can't think of any easy solution. In the case of V, I saw the derivation without seeing the original - but does that mean I should now avoid the original work itself? And if I read it, will that experience be itself affected by expectations from the movie?

I could, similarly, avoid any adaptations of books and comics and other things I am a fan of - but doesn't that defeat the entire point of their creation? That they are created for the fans? If I do watch them, how do I toggle off that switch that obsesses over changes, and if I do so, should I truly be trying to turn off my previous appreciation for the series in order to adequately enjoy the adaptation?

Well, I seem to have a lot of questions, and a significant dearth of answers. Maybe, as usual, I'm overthinking things.

Maybe I should leave such philosophical film questions to the masters of the art, and stick with watching planes, and the snakes perched quite merrily upon them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Some quick thoughts

And... I'm back, and mostly recovered.

I had the good fortune to have my Narbonic books arrive (the mail package had a gerbil drawn on it! How cool is that?), but since my last post was on Narbonic, I'll refrain from excessive exaltation of them.

I'll likely spend tomorrow catching up with all the things on my mind - for now, I noticed that Modern Tales had added a few new names to its roster. Some are new to me, but look intriguing - but the two I currently read (Anywhere but Here and Irregular Webcomic) leave me with mixed feelings.

I think it's a good move for Irregular Webcomic, mainly because he is also staying at his old site. Giving the complexity of his archives, and the need for something more robust than the less-then-accessible system MT uses, I think losing the readability it previously had would have been a mistake. But by preserving it, and potentially attracting new readership via MT, everyone comes out ahead.

I'm less sure for Anywhere but Here, but aside from the similar downsides of a weaker archiving system, I don't think it is a bad move. Now that I ponder it for a bit, it does feel like a strip that is certainly at home in the MT community. It will certainly be nice to see some familiar faces on Modern Tales, and I wonder if they have some more such strips up their sleave.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Continuing with the brevity...

I really need to get me one of those hats.Bad News: I am sick. (Fortunately, this is only really bad news... to me.)

Good News (for everyone!): You can now cleanse your immortal soul, you dirty heathen, with Cigarro & Cerveja!

So go - immerse yourself in the bizarre little world (which happens to be a lot like ours) of these wacky characters. I'd indulge in more exuberant recountings of the strip, but... yeah, kinda sick. Which was surprising, as while I've had some ups and downs, I haven't had a standard old cold in several years now, and now was not the best time for it.

Bah. As long as it is gone by DragonCon, I won't be angry. If it should not, however... well, I'll probably rail in impotent anger against forces beyond my control. Oh well.

Anyway! Cigarro & Cerveja! Go! Read! Buy! Exclamation Points!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Short Announcement

So Scott Kurtz is currently running a beta site of his new PvP webpage.

Now, see, that's pro.

A quick rundown on my first impressions of it:

It feels a bit more busy than the previous page, but nothing feels outright unnecessary - and the clutter is below the strip, so doesn't get in the way of plain and simple comic viewing.

The navigation of the archives looks like it will take a bit of getting used to - but seems insanely more powerful. No easy link to the first strip, sadly, though any half-motivated user can find their way to it without much trouble.

The tag feature? Awesome. Prone to abuse, but hopefully fans will be able to keep themselves in check.

Big ol' cast page, and a little guide for new users. That's a nice touch.

A few downsides, but overall it seems very impressive. Props to his team for a kick-ass new site!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Phoenix Rising Prologue: Slice of Evil

"Also, yes, this is the start of the next Oasis story."

Don't have much time to chat today, but thought this was worth pointing out. I am 96% confident that this upcoming storyline will rock my socks off, if only because an Oasis story likely means a Torg story, and that's what the readership has been waiting for since That Which Redeems.

Abrams is a clever man. The announcement is enough to make me forgive him - this time - for subjugating us to two weeks of stick-figure torment.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Five things that merit mention on a friday.

Now, admittedly, I didn't see that coming. 1) After my lament yesterday that AMD hadn't yet returned, we now discover it will be starting back up on Monday. Awesome. Also, Squidi plans to make his place on the internet on a clean slate, with the past left behind - that's a motive I can definitely get on board with!

2) Gaming Guardians has dropped a big old plot twist on us, and is now going on hiatus for a month! Agony!

The plot twist itself really turned me off at first. We have what appears to be Radical, our heroine, turning into Tartarus, a crazy, and extremely powerful, villain.

Some hunting in the forums revealed that it is likely that Tartarus is merely possessing Radical. This is good. That other plot twist? That Radical, having been driven insane by her inability to save the life of her friends from the villains, has now become that very force which drove her to the brink?

That is a plenty fantastic plot twist, and was quite awesome when it was used last time.

So, I've got my fingers crossed on there being some other explanation at work here. Only time will tell - lots of time, in fact, given the hiatus coming up.

3) Penny Arcade again features the dread spectre of continuity - and this time, the normal cast and crew seem likely to be bit players in the scene. That's kinda nifty.

4) Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has been cranking out two comics a day. Damn. The man's a machine.

5) Finally, Gisèle Lagacé over at P&A steered us towards No Rest for the Wicked. Given that I'm still on the fairy tale kick from the last few months, I devoured it pretty rapidly, and recommend others do the same.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lessons Learned

Sean Howard, producer of a variety of pixelated webcomics, has recently returned to the field.

He left the webcomics field just over a year ago, due both to having a little one enter the family - and, of course, the fact that his webcomics career was plagued by dramadramadrama. I won't go into the who, hows, or whats, since I'm sure everyone and their kid sister can dig them up from the archives of the interweb.

Instead, I'll state that I was sad when he left, because drama aside, he produced a damn fine strip. Enjoyable and entertaining plot, combined with pixel art that wasn't incomprehensible, made for a charmingly good strip, if not one of the web's heavy hitters.

As such, when he announced his return, I was pretty cheered by the news. Unfortunately, A Modest Destiny hasn't quite yet resumed - instead, we've been treated to the Athiest, the Agnostic and the Asshole.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not commenting on the quality of these strips. (As a matter of fact, I found quite a bit of amusement in his latest one, largely due to pondering how the Heisenberg uncertainty principle applied to Wikipedia.)

So it isn't that they are bad comics, persay. The problem for me, rather, is that they are political comics.

I don't know why it is, but the fact remains - I have quite a bit of trouble reading comics with heavy opinions. It doesn't matter if I agree with the opinions or not - Sore Thumbs turns me off as much as Winger.

Is it that I can't stand listening to an artist's opinions? I don't think that's it - there have been plenty of strips I've seen influenced by some measure of personal interest that haven't driven me away. It may just be that when the strip focused on a topic that I've seen a hundred times before, it just isn't able to trigger any function other than disdain, no matter how valid the point or how well it is presented.

In any case, it leaves me all the more eagerly awaiting the return of AMD - and the sincere hope that he will be able to simply re-enter the webcomics world, update his strips and do his thing, and avoid any drama (real or imagined) taking away from the joy of it all.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Recognition

All things should be so simple. I lost track of Sylvan Migdal after he wrapped up Ascent, and only recently stumbled upon his current works.

Spork is just a collection of, well, random stories, and while some of them are a bit less focused, they tend to have his usual charm.

Which is to say, they have that element he is supremely good at - blending the slightly surreal with aspects we all recognize in our daily lives.

For myself? The multi-colored eating algorithm, and the acute agony of trying to ride a bus, are so damn true I couldn't believe it.

That's how you connect with an audience. If you want to draw them into your world, nothing does it quite so well as making them realize it is their world too.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Public Service Announcement

I think Irregular Webcomic may be in the running for the coolest webcomics auction ever.

Morgan-Mar is auctioning off a notebook in which he has recorded the scripts and planning of hundreds of strips, including some never actually seen.

It's not a shiny piece of art you can stick on your wall. It's not a neat little t-shirt with a slogan that may or may not be connected to the comic.

But it is a connection directly to the artist. A direct line into the thoughts that go into his work. You can't buy that kind of connection...

...oh wait. I guess you can.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Also, Girly has a freaking awesome archive system. That's a cause for a happy ending right there, in my book.

I actually didn't notice on my first glance. Girly is, at heart, a fantasy.

It isn't your standard fantasy with the magic swords and the flying dragons and the epic quests, no.

But it is about a world of adventure, whimsy, wonder, and above all, love.

This is part of what makes it so appealing. So often in stories the main love interests take forever to get together. Countless hours of angst, and misccomunication, and endless hijinks keep the tension on, and keep the reader desperately strung along.

Girly actually doesn't spend all that long - it takes a few chapters, but the main leads accept their feelings for each other pretty darn quickly.

I think it says a lot that the story doesn't end there.

There has continued to be all manner of crazy adventures and ongoing zaniness. It's great fun.

But for myself, I'm in it for the side characters. Officer Policeguy. El Chupacabre and Autumn. And all the others.

You're rooting for all of them to end up happy. And all of them, even the ones that might be founded in cliches - Lesnick manages to make them all interesting.

Fortunately, it seems pretty likely that, in this magical world of his, people do end up with happy endings. Coincidence is on the side of the heroes, so to speak, and things have a tendency to... come together.

Now, I think the ending of the comic is a long, long way off. And I suspect we're heading toward some tough times, giving the many warnings of a coming time of chaos - and given the normal state of affairs, something that passes for chaos must be dire indeed.

Still, that is then, and this is now. And things are looking up for Chuy and Autumn, and thats a pretty rad thing indeed.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's late, it's hot, it's friday, and I'm rambling. My apologies in advance.

There is a pizza and sub joint I often frequent after my weekly game of Anachronism. Now, they often have a half-price pizza special, so accordingly I have not often given much attention to the subs available.

This last week, I was not so much in a pizza mood (I know, I know, blasphemy), and was perusing their other delectables. As such, I discovered they had a sub called... The Ultimate.

This would have been more impressive had there not been two other subs that were even more grandiose. (I believe they were known as The Fat Daddy and The Beast.)

The Ultimate sub was not, in fact, Ultimate. It was not even penultimate. Truly, we live in sad times.

What does this story have to do with webcomics? Absolutely nothing. I just thought you should know. Moving on to what matters in this crazy world - small pixels on computer screens!

More like a clown, less like a naked guy. Got it!8-Bit Theatre ran a guest strip this week that was exceptionally cool. The best part about it? Now I actually know what the hell black mage's new costume is supposed to look like!

Seriously, while I'm still somewhat digging 8-Bit Theatre, there are definitely times when the limitation of the artform are felt more than others. And it isn't even just the artform - I've seen good-looking pixel art. Sometime's 8-Bit just... isn't up to par, as far as, you know. Being able to make heads or tails of what the pixels are supposed to represent.

In other news, despite not actually having the time to do so, I managed to read back through the complete Narbonic archives. Did I accomplish this through clever manipulation of the properties of space and time, or merely by poor decisions in my own time-management? Only time will tell...

Yadda yadda yadda, the strip is just as good as I remember it, and I especially enjoyed the Dave in Slumberland strips, which are pretty much anything a lover of foreshadowing could ask for.

I've been tempted to go and read up on the many and sundry chronicles of King Arthur. You see, I've been reading A:KoTaS, and it has struck me that I could make much more sense of the many complications if I just boned up on my history (so to speak.)

However, to do so would no doubt also mean that I would know in much more detail (rather than the generally vague forbodings I have now) about what is to come. Is a greater understanding of events worth risking the 'spoiling' of the story? Even for a story that has passed the statute of limitations.

I believe my final decision was that the point is moot, as there are so many variation and retellings of the story as to render any information gleaned useless.

Also, I'm lazy.

Going into my collection of 'fightin' words that will get my ass kicked.'Final thought for the day: I enjoy Diesel Sweeties more often than not, but it rarely blows me out of the water. However, I have now resolved that, sometime before I die, I must use this line from Metal Steve.

This I so swear.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

All things must end in time... even endings.

Small beginnings... Mark Shallow's ADVENTURERS! may be the longest-running console RPG comic on the interweb, and it is coming to an end.

This... probably isn't news to anyone. Anywhere.

See, it has been coming to an end for some... oh, two and a half years now. Webrunner announced in February, 2003, that the strip would be coming to an ending. At the time, he did state that the ending wasn't right around the corner, but I don't imagine he realized how long it would truly take to bring things to the story's appropriate conclusion.

Now, I'm quite the fan of the strip. It is an extreme example of a strip with rather humble beginnings that has matured and developed into something very impressive. And while some of the jokes it makes about RPGs have become cliche over time, that is in part due to its own use of them.

The ending of the strip has dragged on a bit, I think it is safe to say. Not to the extent that it isn't worth reading, or doesn't still hit some good notes - but I think the length of the ending has cost the strip something.

...unfathomable endings. When I first learned the strip was coming to an end, it starts a process of... resignation, I suppose. Detachment. Embracing the end, and accepting that this is one story that will be wrapping up.

But when the story did not wrap up... it merely meant that I lost some level of investment in the tale. I think it finally is winding down to a close -
Webrunner has temporarily closed production of his other strip, Antihero for Hire (a great strip, by the by, and one that shows lessons learned from his first comic - it is a much stronger, much tighter story.) He has moved to fully updating just Adventurers until it is complete, which certainly implies to me that it won't be long now.

But while I'll enjoy the conclusions and seeing what happens to all the characters, in a lot of ways, Adventurers already has ended for me. I went through the mourning process already, as it were. So no matter how much the finale might dazzle and amaze me - there will be something personal missing from it.

Now, I'm not sure what could have been done to avoid this. I am rather confident the length of the ending was unintended. The fact that the final battle took a year and a half to conclude, and the ending sequence itself has been running for seven months... well, sometimes the story has its own demands. But somewhere along the way, amidst the long, drawn out, eternal ending... something was lost.

I suspect Webrunner is as aware of this as any fan. As I mentioned above, his other comic Antihero for Hire is a much more well-crafted strip. I'm not even 100% sure on what the lesson is - I certainly don't believe that it is requisite for one to plot out the entirety of their strip before embarking upon it.

But while one might not need the strip to be fully fleshed out in advance, I think that an awareness of pacing is a skill that is very easy to pass by when one is starting out. Each strip can remain as golden as the one before it - but it is all too easy to be four-hundred strips later, and have a reader who has lost interest in the comic without even noticing.

In any case, let's see that ending, Mr. Webrunner. It might be too late to have the fullest impact, but I'm sure it will still do the strip proud.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We could all use a little change...

I feel like I should talk about the changes of editors at Modern Tales and Graphic Smash - but I'm not really sure what to say.

My opinions of the collectives themselves remain the same - GS seems to be doing well as far as content, and MT still remains barren as far as new material. They have a nice redesign (well, it looks nice, even if navigation isn't anything exceptional.) Hopefully a new editor will help things take off again.

As far as the editors taking over, I don't think anyone can complain - Tim Demeter does one of the most professional looking webcomics out there, and Shaenon Garrity has always been a heavy hitter on the web.

Those stepping down? Well, no one can deny the impact Eric Burns has had in the last few years (case in point - I wouldn't be writing this blog without his inspiration.) Sometimes life steps things up a few levels too high, and there isn't anything one can do about it. He certainly owes the webcommunity nothing, and hopefully he won't have been so burnt out as to leave it entirely behind - the updates on Websnark these days aren't the onslaught of yesteryear, but remain full of quality whenever they arrive. That, I think, is more than enough for us.

And T Campbell? Man. From his recent musings on his blog, he seems to be pondering a lot of personal changes. He seems to have been through rough times of late, and I really feel for him - this is the man who, more than any other, has represented webcomics in my mind. He has been involved in so many projects designed to expand the medium. He was the writer of one of my favorite strips of all time. So I hope that whatever changes may come, things work out well in the end for him.

I don't know how much these changes will really be felt, by and large - much of what the people in those positions do goes on behind the scenes. Still, it strikes me as... well, worthy of note, I suppose, that two such transitions are happening at the same time.

I'm not sure if I am really able to draw conclusions about what it means - and, to be honest, I don't know if it means anything more than some people moving on to different things in their lives.

Still, I'm going to go with the best approach I think I can take with anything along these lines - see it as a chance for new editors to help Modern Tales (and friends) reach their full potential, and wish the best to those leaving it behind, and hope that wherever their path takes them next, they have a good time of it.

Change, after all, isn't always a bad thing.