I'd like to interrupt our current article series with the previous article series. Because I can.
So Sluggy Freelance did something I don't think it's done in years. It made a reference to Oceans Unmoving.
Two references, actually. The first was the appearance of Uncle Time, who was last seen sending Bun Bun to and back to the prime Sluggy timeline/universe/whatnot (no, that wasn't a grammar error, BTW, go read the story). It wasn't highlighted as a reference, something Abrams has gotten in the habit of doing as his comic is just a touch long if you hadn't noticed. Easy to forget Uncle Time was even in Oceans Unmoving, especially as he was just a floating head there.
Then this happened. A direct, and clear reference to Oceans Unmoving, one that fully tied this story back into the Sluggy canon. So after so long, why now? Well, I'm pretty sure Abrams didn't forget Oceans Unmoving happened, nor did he want to pretend it didn't happen. No, it did, it was important, and eventually it would have to come back.
The reason why now is simple though, back in May, he concluded that Sluggy had entered it's final act. The drawing together of the various storylines left hanging had to happen. References to past stories abound at this point. From the big ones like K'Z'K and why he's the vowelless to the even the Deus Ex Ovum, though not quite in the same form (wonder how many fans caught that one, I only just now realized it). Referencing Oceans Unmoving was bound to happen eventually. Tying it in as deeply as he's done, that wasn't expected.
While I said Abrams likely wouldn't have forgotten Oceans Unmoving, there does appear to be a trend to avoid it as much as possible. I suspect that the deceleration of the final act is what prompted him to stop avoiding it and start looking at how to use it. Either that or he read my article about how it didn't actually suck, but that would be me stroking my own ego.
Way, WAY back, I divided my comics up into 4 categories, with Sluggy Freelance representing the “Adventure Comic” group. Of course, I also laid out that adventure comics can evolve into “Epic Comics,” and by finally bringing all these pieces together, I think Abrams is well on his way to converting Sluggy over. Oceans Unmoving, for all it's faults, is the perfect connector between the various storylines he has laid out, a kind of neutral ground that can give all this nonsense elbow room. I doubt, however, we'll see the pirates from Oceans Unmoving make an appearance. The story probably isn't of much use in the comic as a whole. It does, however, give Abrams room to possibly resurrect them outside of Sluggy Freelance, where they belong.
And it's not over. There's still various little storyline bits floating around that need to be linked up and merged into the larger story. Though one that I'm not exactly thrilled with is the term “Sluggy” being used as Bun Bun's original name. It does fit, but I don't think it does any good for it to exist in this way. It's not bad, just unnecessary.
We'll see how it goes, especially as the comic has, temporarily at least, switched to a M-W-F format (it's staying on my Daily list, BTW) to help Abrams handle the pressure from it, and from real life a bit better. The comic has certainly drawn me back in, and as long as he keeps us updated on the status, I'm fine with that. Oceans Unmoving's influence is still felt, as he probably would have pushed himself to keep updating, even if wasn't a wise move before it.
Next week, back to Going Critical. Later kiddies.