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See, now this I'd want in my local paper.

(From Basil Flint Click on the thumbnail for full sized spork action!)

John Troutman did something not too long ago that webcartoonists need a lot of courage to do, and which I'm of mixed feelings at best about, generally. Namely, he found he was working on a plotline, discovered he had no real direction he wanted to take it in, and he pulled the plug. Said plotline, for those of you who don't follow Basil Flint along (and if you don't, then why not?) featured Amanda, continually jealous of series supporting character Andie's tremendous rack, waking up in a Twilight Zone episode a weird amalgam of Amanda and Andie, huge rack and all, and discovering that enormous breasts aren't really all that fun. It wasn't a plotline that could easily be... er... fleshed out, but I give Troutman credit for hitting the real life high points of having large breasts (which went beyond the 'everyone drools' thing any webcomic would do and went into the subsections of 'they get in the way and it hurts when shit smacks into them' and 'you need to own stock in Ben Gay to balance out the backaches you get with those things.') Unfortunately, those high points couldn't last hugely long, especially since without Andie, a lot of the strip tension was gone. So I can definitely understand Troutman deciding "I've played this out as far as I can, and it's time to find something new." At the same time, I'm not a huge fan of the Reset Button. I'll take a comedically implausible in-strip plotline abort over simply throwing up guest art one day and saying "I'm not going to do this any more" any day of the week. (For an example of the former, have a look at Wigu -- Rowland hits a point where he doesn't like where his plot's going, and he'll suddenly have Hugo jump off a building and escape with his parachute pants and get the police, so he can end it. Which kind of works in my book. For an example of the latter which seems to be getting back on track now, there's the "El Pollo de la Muerte" plotline in Suburban Jungle, which Robey discovered was uncomfortably close to another comic strip's plotline (involving crazed, murderous chickens killing off carnivorous anthropomorphic characters -- which I guess conclusively proves there is nothing new under the sun) and punched out, recycling the starting strip a week later and then moving on into new territory. Territory I'll admit I like better, though I would have preferred having Leonard wake up on the floor of the Watering Hole covered in foamy milkshake, having hit his head and passed out and had a temporary 'death chicken' delusion based on a webcomic he used to read. But I digress.)

So, Troutman having aborted his plotline, he decided to take a little break. However, rather than doing the fan art or guest art cha cha, he decided to put up the series of comical strips he'd written and drawn for the Keenspot Comics Page. These go back to Troutman's late, lamented Sporkman character, and are drawn in a chibiesque style.

I love them.

Seriously. I am totally in love with this comic strip. I'm going to be sad when it goes away and Basil returns, even though I like Basil.

Troutman said the reason these didn't run on the Keenspot Comics Page is they're too sequential and serialized for a twice a week comic strip. Well, I've read and reread what we've seen so far, and to be blunt, I don't buy it. There is solid, daily funny whether you're following the serial or not. If there is solid, daily funny, no one is going to care if they're missing the last strip or not. And, having looked at the samples of what is running, there are definitely a couple of strips I'd bump for Sporkman in a New York Minute.

Excuse me?

No, I'm not going to say which ones. Jesus, why make someone feel bad for no good reason?

Anyway, today's strip was clearly drawn after Troutman knew he wouldn't be getting the newspaper strip gig, and he wanted to wrap the storyline up. Which I heartily approve of, because I'm enjoying this storyline a great deal. And, as you know, I'm of mixed feelings on the whole "reset button" thing. But this also saddens me, because I know this probably means the backlog of strips is gone and Sporkman's adventures are about to end.

It'll be nice to have Basil, Andrea and Andie back, but I'm going to miss Sporky when he's gone. And in the end, isn't that exactly how Troutman wants me to feel?


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It'll be nice to have Basil, Andrea and Andie back,

Andrea? You sure you don't mean Amanda? ;p

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