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It's been a little while. We're due to look in on Something Positive again. Right? Right?

(From Something Positive. Click on the thumbnail for full sized slashfic wrongness!)

Randy Milholland is guilty! Guilty of having built up a sizable cast, that is. He's good at making them distinctive and giving them depth, while still bringing the Funny even when he brings the Story. This is a good thing. I've really loved the evolution of Monette, started as a one-note joke idiot pseudo-Lesbian character and now one of the sweetest, if still stupid, characters, slowly crawling into the light of full evolution. I've liked how he's been gradually doing the same with Mike. If we reach a point where Jesus Mickey becomes a well fleshed out character, I'll be forced to pay Milholland's beer bills for a month.

But the cost of that is the gradual loss of the core relationships -- namely, the friendship between Davan and Aubrey and Peejee. Each has had their own plots, and each has their own supporting casts, which often don't cross over at all (Wednesday White's latest Comixpedia Article touches on webcomics that have the same core cast involved in all things, from saving the world to sleeping with each other to going to movies, and her love of /usr/bin/w00t/ for giving Sarah a life where her coworkers != her romantic interests != her gaming partners. And I agree. And Something Positive has delivered in that department. Every major character (and most minor characters) has developed a supporting cast of their own, plotlines of their own, interests of their own and relationships of their own.

But there is a cost to that. When Aubrey was feeling the pain of Branwen and Davan's soon-to-end relationship, there was something evocative involved... as well as a sense of gulf. Aubrey didn't know what was going on, and she added stress to Davan's life, and it made her pretty old depressed. And we the reader could empathize. It makes sense that Aubrey isn't plugged into Davan's life and moods right now -- there's a lot of other stuff going on in both of their lives. And now, we see Davan and Peejee today, with Peejee being drawn into the play Davan is directing.

There is that sense of gulf, again -- two years ago, Jason and Aubrey and Peejee would have been involved with the Shock Treatment production from the beginning. As with Nailed the extended cast would have been involved in all aspects, there would have been several injuries, and Claire would be both in the play and almost naked by now. Now... it's not a given that Peejee will be involved... but it's nice to see this connection being reopened.

And if you look at the progression, the pacing, and every step Millholland has taken to get from there to here, you won't see any sudden moment of now we are sophisticated. He's let it grow, naturally... and let this reconnection occur just as naturally.

Millholland gets a biscuit. A tasty, tasty biscuit.

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