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Not the Princess Leia fantasy. The Duo Damsel fantasy. Mmm... Luornu....

(From Melonpool. Click on the thumbnail for full sized fantasy!)

It's recently been brought to my attention I haven't mentioned Melonpool's return. Which shouldn't be much of a surprise. I've barely mentioned webcomics for the last couple of weeks. But it got me to thinking about Melonpool, and about hiatuses, and about 'retirement.'

Melonpool is... well, somewhat infamous in its long hiatuses. It's not the worst of the lot when it comes to that (one thinks of Hound's Home, just offhand). At the same time... well, this isn't Steve Troop's job, the way, say, PvP is Scott Kurtz's. And you should know by now that I believe firmly that if it's not the webcartoonist's job, we're lucky to get anything from them.

However... Melonpool has typically been good, and I think the hiatuses are part of why. I think Troop approaches the same state of burnout most artists hit, and then decides "you know what? I'm stepping back for a while." And then he finished his series up, tied up the loose ends, and -- and this is crucial -- ended the overall premise. The core premise of Melonpool has been "stranded aliens," be they stranded on Earth or on Melonpool's Rock or any number of other things. Finally, they were no longer stranded. Melonpool saw the last episode of Star Trek he had yet to see. Jaela's pop career went south and Jaela herself became female. Ralphie and Roberta ended up together.

It ended. Troop turned out the lights. And that was that.

So, I don't see the new "Melonpool" strips now being done since mid-November as a continuation. I see this as a whole new strip, with commonality of cast but new conflicts and premises. The Steel Duck is flying through space now, far from Earth (and hopefully not returning for a long time if ever -- that ground has been well trod). There is wackiness, but feels new. I think that's because Troop took a sabbatical (from Melonpool and webcomics in general), and let the series... well, end in his head. Now, we have sexual tension, depression, duplication, menage a trois....

...and freshness.

If Jeff Darlington had taken, say, three months off after Surreptitious Machinations and started anew with GPF, I'd probably still be reading it. Steve Troop's shown that to be true, by taking his own time away, giving himself a chance to recharge his creative batteries, and deciding that now that his story was done, there were new stories to tell.

I'm a big fan of this concept. And I'm looking forward to where Troop goes next with it.


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Thanks for the kudos! Suddenly, I feel so validated, ;)

Keep up the good work, and I'll try to do so as well.


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