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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    I'm new to this forum, but I've been following OOTS since way back in 2004. It's been bittersweet these last months, watching clear signs that Burlew is moving toward wrapping up the story at some point in the near future ("near" in this case probably being several months, or maybe even a year or two, but, you get what I mean.)

    At the same time, it occurred to me how remarkable an accomplishment that is.

    I've watched dozens, if not hundreds, of serialized web comics I loved end suddenly and unceremoniously (often without any explanation), or putter out into banal shark-jumping nonsense, or give up on the serialized story entirely and shift to weekly one liners (again, often with no explanation at all). It's amazing how Burlew has sustained an engaging (and still funny) story over eighteen years. And it's clear that soon this story will come to a thought-out, and well executed conclusion.

    I won't lie and say that every page has been a winner. There have been some that fell flat. But, I've checked for an update once a week, every week, for almost two decades, and I've never done it out of a sense of obligation. I've never, thought "Boy, I remember when this comic was good. What happened?" And that question is almost inevitable for any series (web-comic, tv, or otherwise) that stays in the game more than six or seven years or so.

    Burlew got us to care about these characters, and this story. And he managed to sustain that interest for eighteen years, while still delivering reliable laughs. Which is amazing.

    And this all started with awkwardly rendered stick figures (they have since become quite elegant) taking weekly pot-shots at a money-grabbing "half-edition revision" on the clunkiest rule set Dungeon's and Dragons ever produced. It was a concept that seemed destined to date itself. I liked the comic back then, but I gave it a year or two, at most. Well, that rule set has been out of print for 14 years. And OOTS is still going strong.

    It's wholly remarkable. And I'm sure other folk on the boards have said all this before, but as I read the current page, I just wanted to put it out there, before this all comes to a satisfying, and hard won, conclusion. There will come a Thursday, when I'll check giantitp for an update, and as I read the last panel, I will know this story is over. And I will be sad. Which itself is a testament to what Burlew has accomplished.
    Last edited by PeterJS; 2021-04-01 at 10:42 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Well done to The Giant alright - hopefully Order Stickier* is just as good.

    As a note 8-Bit Theater (another great comic) did complete also.

    *or whatever project The Giant wishes to do (should he decide to have another project).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Table Titans: I hope it comes back some day, it's a different look at D&D play and players, but one I certainly enjoy.

    Rich has let us in on "how to do a good job in writing a graphic novel" (well, seven of them in a series, with some prequels etc) one strip at a time. And he's pretty good at setting up a joke and delivering it. That's what kept me coming back.

    All in all, that's a pretty neat accomplishment.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-04-01 at 10:50 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Bit Theater (another great comic) did complete also.

    *or whatever project The Giant wishes to do (should he decide to have another project).
    True. I remembered 8 bit Theater just a couple seconds after I hit post. That was a good one. There are a couple other examples, here and there. But they're few and far between.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    OOTS is not over yet, and will not be over for at least a couple of years more. I will restrain my accolades until the end happens.

    While Mr. Burlew has shown a willingness and a resolve to end his story that is rarely seen on web authors, he has not finished the job yet. He may - God forbids - suffer from an author block or some radical change in his life that forces him to stop. When you are one step from the goal, it's usually when the ground crumbles from under your feet.

    Take heart, Giant! We believe in you!

    EDIT:
    Regarding Mr. Burlew's style, his skill to deliver a joke and still advance the story in each single panel is admirable, and one of his signature moves. He was already praised for it by the author of DM of the Rings more than a decade ago (which is how I ended up here). And he keeps doing it, even though sometimes Elan or Belkar need to stretch it.

    Another of his great knacks, in my oppinion, is his capacity to deliver a foreseeable outcome, and still manage to achieve a great effect. The scene of Tarquin revealing himself as Elan's father is a masterful example of that. Everyone saw that one coming, yet the scene was memorable nonetheless. I like that he doesn't needs to resort to cheap shots or forced plot twists to amuse his audience, and that definitely makes him an unique and remarkable author these days.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2021-04-01 at 11:29 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Don't hex it. Save this kind of praise until the story is actually over. That might take a few years from now.
    There must be some sense of order - personal, political or dramatic - and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.

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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Schroeswald's Avatar

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Bold to say it’ll end in “several months or maybe even a year or two”, last two books took five years each what makes you think this one will be less than half that, two years is a very short amount of time for how much story Rich has got left, it’s gonna end but it’s on a very slow path to ending.
    Arrrgh, here be me extended sig!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    I recognize that Conservation of Detail is Overrated, but I find the event that I am using as evidence for my theory above important enough/given enough focus to qualify for what I call Elan’s Exception, “Who wastes perfectly good foreshadowing like that?”. Also I have never correctly predicted any event in any piece of media so take this theory with a grain of salt (I call this Peelee’s Ye Old Reminder).

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Well done to The Giant alright - hopefully Order Stickier* is just as good.

    As a note 8-Bit Theater (another great comic) did complete also.

    *or whatever project The Giant wishes to do (should he decide to have another project).
    I think Rich himself has stated he does plan to do another project "if only because I expect food to continue to cost money". Not sure what'd it'd be though....I feel like it'd be another dramady, given his wheelhouse, but i'm pretty sure it won't be D&D, or maybe even fantasy: I feel like, no offense to him, Rich has maybe wrung all the humor one CAN out of fantasy tropes. It'll still probably be parodic in some fashion, i'm not sure of what.
    Last edited by woweedd; 2021-04-02 at 10:25 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    hroțila's Avatar

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    If we're talking webcomics, I don't think the ending of The Order of the Stick will be more remarkable, memorable or spectacular than the ending of Pictures for Sad Children.
    ungelic is us

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Another webcomics nearing completion is Gaia, from the author of Sandra and Woo.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Cool to see someone else whose been following forever. I've been tagging along since strip ~30, when i read about OoTS in a forum discussing Sluggy.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterJS View Post

    I've watched dozens, if not hundreds, of serialized web comics I loved end suddenly and unceremoniously (often without any explanation), or putter out into banal shark-jumping nonsense, or give up on the serialized story entirely and shift to weekly one liners (again, often with no explanation at all). It's amazing how Burlew has sustained an engaging (and still funny) story over eighteen years. And it's clear that soon this story will come to a thought-out, and well executed conclusion.
    Just wanna address this. I have some comics i absolutely adore that have completed.

    Digger is super good and finished ages ago. Wombat digs in to another world while under the influence. You can blast through it in a couple long evenings, and the story is very tight and cohesive.

    Narbonic starts pretty slow, but the 2nd half is a page-turner. It's about mad scientists. Read it at your leisure, but block off a day once the storylines start getting compelling.

    Evan Dahm has made several stories in his surreal world. Vattu is still ongoing, but it's pretty epic and i'm sure he'll finish it.

    These are pretty different from OOTS (and not as funny), but they're all tightly written, take place in other worlds, and their story arc was planned well in advance of the day-to-day writing. Quality.

    Hope to make some new fans.
    Last edited by Scottzg; 2021-04-06 at 11:57 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Another completed webcomic:
    Schlock Mercenary ended last summer after 20 years.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Errant Story is complete and still up.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Another great completed webcomic:
    The Adventures of Dr. Mcninja wrapped up in 2017 after a 13-year run. One of my all-time favorites.
    Last edited by rgrekejin; 2021-04-07 at 06:09 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Werbaer View Post
    Another completed webcomic:
    Schlock Mercenary ended last summer after 20 years.
    I've taken a couple stabs at schlock and never got in to it. I've heard it's better to start at chapter 10, your thoughts?

    Read through Freefall last year. It was great. I mention it cuz it's a similar comic, albeit still ongoing. (now is a good time to read it because the 2nd! story arc recently finished.)

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    Another great completed webcomic:
    The Adventures of Dr. Mcninja wrapped up in 2017 after a 13-year run. One of my all-time favorites.
    Can't believe i forgot dr mcninja! Awesome strip.
    Last edited by Scottzg; 2021-04-07 at 01:02 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
    knag's Avatar

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Drowtales seems to be wrapping up after something like 20 years. I've really enjoyed that one.
    You found the secret message! Don't forget to edit the wiki!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    Errant Story is complete and still up.
    Enjoying this so far. Thank you!

    (it reads like a version of Looking For Group that isn't destined for the bad webcomics wiki)
    Last edited by Scottzg; 2021-04-07 at 09:27 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterJS View Post
    I've watched dozens, if not hundreds, of serialized web comics I loved end suddenly and unceremoniously (often without any explanation), or putter out into banal shark-jumping nonsense, or give up on the serialized story entirely and shift to weekly one liners (again, often with no explanation at all). It's amazing how Burlew has sustained an engaging (and still funny) story over eighteen years. And it's clear that soon this story will come to a thought-out, and well executed conclusion.
    Well, if you're looking for other good, funny webcomics that also seem likely to complete their stories, there's Freefall and Girl Genius. Granted, both are ongoing at this point

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottzg View Post
    I've taken a couple stabs at schlock and never got in to it. I've heard it's better to start at chapter 10, your thoughts?

    Read through Freefall last year. It was great. I mention it cuz it's a similar comic, albeit still ongoing. (now is a good time to read it because the 2nd! story arc recently finished.)



    Can't believe i forgot dr mcninja! Awesome strip.
    Didn't notice Freefall was already mentioned but glad to mention it again. For the record, in regards to the comment about its second arc currently finishing, Freefall started in 1998.
    Last edited by WanderingMist; 2021-04-08 at 08:25 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottzg View Post
    I've taken a couple stabs at schlock and never got in to it. I've heard it's better to start at chapter 10, your thoughts?
    I'm not Werbaer, but I am in the middle of rereading Schlock Mercenary, so I figure I'm qualified to answer this question: Starting at book 10 would be a mistake, especially for a new reader. There's a lot of good stuff in the first nine books, and while it's not the most continuity-heavy comic (at least, until the last few books) it does have some ongoing elements and recurring characters that you might not fully understand if you start in the middle. If anything, I'd give the opposite advice - stop reading after any of books 13 through 16, because the comic gets significantly less good as it moves to its conclusion.
    I'm making a webcomic, featuring absurdity, terrible art, and alleged morals.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottzg View Post
    Digger is super good and finished ages ago. Wombat digs in to another world while under the influence. You can blast through it in a couple long evenings, and the story is very tight and cohesive.

    It's a great story.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Mariele's Avatar

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Damn it, now you've gone and jinxed it! Now Burlew's going to go and drop the comic.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Thirding the mention of Digger. Still one of my all-time favourites, and I also enjoyed all of Ursula's novels. Summer in Orcus is beautifully whimsical.
    Among completed comics, another one I liked a lot was Kaspall.
    There were not many comics that I read that died on the vine, actually. One I really regret not seeing finished is No rest for the wicked.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    I only hope for a proper ending, the one the creator intends.

    I hope we don't end up with Rich being forced, by time, circumstances, finances, or whatever, to change his plans, but put out some kind of ending in some form just because he would feel disappointed if he himself never got to finish the story. I want him and us to have all the time in the world to see it done as intended, not something like what happened to Joss Whedon.

    It still burns me that Firefly was cancelled by Fox after a mere half-season, and it took an entirely other studio to pick it up as a film and give us some kind of ending, a 2-year story arc crammed into a 2-hour movie.

    Friends tell me to let it go. No. It still burns me.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Corian View Post
    Thirding the mention of Digger.
    I'll never forget that Digger actually came to a conclusion... due to the fact I took a several month hiatus starting from the penultimate strip expecting to come back to a satisfying archive binge. I never even considered the possibility the strip might be ending!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottzg View Post
    I've taken a couple stabs at schlock and never got in to it. I've heard it's better to start at chapter 10, your thoughts?
    I'm a mayor mayor big big fan of Schlock Mercenary. On my latest readthrough I paid some attention to where I would start. As I wrote in the Schlock Mercenary thread at the time: I figure a good place to start is Book 5, Part III: Handle With Care, 31st of May 2004. (Yes, in the middle of a book. Trust me. Book six is where the longer arcs become the most important part of the plot, and the second half of book five functions as basically a prologue to that, showing what the world is like before the events of book six.) Book ten is one of the best books, and book eleven is quite possibly the best book. But books six through nine are good too, and starting at this point builds up a lot of the context and characters that may make the reading more enjoyable.

    I personally also really like the very early bits, but I understand it's not for everybody. They're very pun based, among other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrekejin View Post
    Another great completed webcomic:
    The Adventures of Dr. Mcninja wrapped up in 2017 after a 13-year run. One of my all-time favorites.
    The other one I'm a mayor mayor big big fan of. I'm still swerving about around webcomics trying to find something that will fill the "two awesome comics to compulsively check all the time"-shaped hole in my life these two left.

    I actually think I got to know both of them from the same single blogpost. I think it was a post on Explosm.net (Cyanide and Happiness), although if it was the post doesn't seem to exist anymore. Must have been close to 15 years ago by now.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2021-04-19 at 04:32 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Sorcery 101 ended. Good urban fantasy comic. She also has another (much shorter) completed urban fantasy comic (different setting) on the same website.
    Spoiler: spoiler for ending, sorta
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    I didn't care for the ending, but it was a legitimate ending.
    I also felt it to leave a few loose ends, but I guess the author is still writing in that universe (just the future of it), so maybe it's reasonable some stuff stays untold.


    Weregeek (hard to place in a genre) is close to ending, and the author basically said its main story has sorta has already ended, but she wanted to give it another year-ish of comics to tie up some loose ends in character arcs and give it a proper ending.

    But, yeah, I agree with the sentiment. I still feel we have several years to go, though, so I don't feel it strongly, but I like seeing this comic's updates.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    I thought Darths & Droids had ended very satisfactorily, but then every time it did, a new movie came out...
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    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Weregeek (hard to place in a genre) is close to ending, and the author basically said its main story has sorta has already ended, but she wanted to give it another year-ish of comics to tie up some loose ends in character arcs and give it a proper ending.

    But, yeah, I agree with the sentiment. I still feel we have several years to go, though, so I don't feel it strongly, but I like seeing this comic's updates.
    Huh, I thought the author had just changed her mind about what kind of comic she wanted it to be, at least two times.

    I learn something new every day.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Just don't announce the Giant is going to retire tomorrow, okay? (^_~)
    "Just a Sec Mate" avatar courtesy of Gengy. I'm often somewhere between it, and this gif. (^_~)

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: I Never Thought I'd See A Webcomic Complete Its Story Arc

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    Friends tell me to let it go. No. It still burns me.
    Good thing that our brown coats are made with Nomex, since it burns me too.
    *Sigh*
    What could have been ...
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