There’s going to be a break from the main story until next month in order to give our artist a break as well as time to recharge the buffer. Please continue to the end of this announcement for further details.

It goes without saying that among other things, the business of webcomics is fickle at best and with a high rate of attrition at the best of times. No-one is immune as evidenced by the sudden disappearance of the very popular and much loved webcomic Bloomin’ Faeries. After over a year and some quite definitive statements on the matter, we put up our Halloween tribute contemplating the impermanent nature of the medium and the departure of a webcomic that had been very good to us. Then less than three weeks later, it came back.

Well, that was awkward. It’s also a much rarer occurrence than webcomics going in the other direction and suffice to say, I don’t think any of us saw that coming. In terms of our Halloween Special … as far as we know, we were protected by the Fair use doctrine in US copyright law but here we are being on the safe side on top of acknowledging our tribute page has been overtaken by events in less than a month.

Seriously, though it is great to see a webcomic come back from the seeming dead precisely because so many times it seems to go in the other direction. So, welcome back Bloomin’ Faeries!

OK, as for the upcoming update schedule, Exiern is returning to a Tuesday update schedule at least until after New Year’s Day. So, our next page will be on Tuesday, the 18th of December, followed by Christmas and New Year’s Day. As per usual (well, usual since 2017), there’ll be some specials for those holidays. The 18th of December isn’t part of the ongoing story either but instead is addressing … another problem our Halloween Special from this year very unexpectedly raised. See you here Tuesday next week to see what that is.

A Brief History of the Exiern Halloween Special

Originally, last year’s Exiern Halloween Special was intended to be an entry in the Top Webcomics Halloween competition of 2017 (we came fourth in their Valentine’s Day competition and only the Top Three got prizes, of course). Marshall Reeves (Yesterday Bound) and Sean Harrington (Spying With Lana) put in an impressive effort to complete our entry at short notice and it was up to with about a mere ten days to go before entries closed to simply just email it in. I even made a joke about how not to assume anything even at the final relatively simple step compared to making the art (Marshall) and captioning it all (Sean).

Long story short, there’s a reason why my online money transfer service through which we pay most of the artists got to see that page long before almost everyone else. I could blame the auto-fill on gmail throwing up multiple emails with the same starting word but let’s face it, I really screwed up the easiest job by far and noticed far too late. Yes, I’m even more obviously hopeless

However, it worked out. There wasn’t any repeat competitions this year and now, this page is in the archives and led to Halloween being a yearly event. This year’s entry came about from being inspired by this part of a comment during last year’s detour from the main plot:

“I’ve been reading Exiern for a long while now and the main reason I visit the site these days is to use the link to Blooming Faeries. I confess I am coming here because I’m too lazy to change my bookmarks.”

Image result for i'm not even mad

(something something Fair use)

Seriously, that is amazing. I loved it. It helps keep us grounded for starters. It’s also actually what made me look into Bloomin’ Faeries – which was made just that bit harder by the fact that when I did not long after seeing that, it was already gone from its site.

We’re also saying don’t worry about the upcoming filler. We did need to do 31 pages of side story last year followed by even more non-story pages to take us through the holiday season and into the new year but I’m also here to let you know not only do we not need to do something anywhere near that extent again in the foreseeable future, we’re increasingly close to pulling off some further enhancements to Exiern which we hope you’ll all be able to see soon and some of it very soon.

So, bear with us just that bit longer. We’ve been working at improving the various facets of Exiern for years now and we’re almost at the point of making another series of quite big steps up relatively soon, we hope.

Finally, see how all those seemingly disparate elements being raised above ultimately tied together in the end?