Friday, December 4, 2015

The Classic: Not Quite Over

Trying to define a classic is difficult because it does vary between people.  For me, Errant Story is the Classic of webcomics, but that's because it changed how I viewed what webcomics were and what I was looking for in them.  Before, I was looking for more Sluggy Freelance, and it stuck for a long time afterwards.  Schlock Mercenary, GPF and College Roomies from Hell all fit that mold, but as Errant Story kept going, I found myself craving something similar.  Now my read list is full of comics like it, Gunnerkrigg Court, Derelict, Stand Still, Stay Silent, among so many others.

Errant Story took on the role of a Classic as it finished up.  During it's run, Lord of Rings made it's way to the theaters and show the classic version of the fantasy tropes, with it's clear divisions of good and evil and all that.  Errant Story, on the other hand, is the modern version of fantasy.  There is not strictly good or evil characters.  Hell, three of the comic's heroes, Sarine, Jon and Sara, are all basically assassins of one sort or another.  Ian himself isn't strictly evil, but someone whose motives are understandable, even if his actions aren't good in any sense.  Meji's goal is to gain the godlike powers so she can pass her class, possibly by beating her teachers in a magic fight.  It's a selfish group that becomes the heroes because, well, everyone else seems worse.

But they're not.  It's a political world that they live in, where there really isn't much of a line between good and evil.  They're all doing the best they can for their interests, which vary and conflict.  It's complex, and trying to navigate it is frustrating and difficult.  Even in the epilogue, the complexities don't go away even as Meji tries to use her godlike powers to help the world, things don't go as she intended.

And it didn't really end, nor was it intended to end.  Errant Tales was to continue the story, probably into the distant future.  The white room scene in Volume Seven was the first hints of this, giving the reader a glimpse as to what was to come.  It never happened though, the stress of readying Errant Story for a full publication as well as the many health and personal issues that plagued Poe and his wife ground the entire thing, both the commentary and Errant Tales itself, to a halt.  Will we see it in the future?  I don't know, I hope so.

The good news is that we have Errant Story as a whole, and complete.  It's a great read, wordy sometimes, especially early on, but it builds a wonderful world.  From there it creates a tragic story of vengeance, redemption and hope.  It's not perfect, nothing is, but it shows the way for other comics to follow, and that makes it a classic, THE Classic webcomic, and one everyone should read at least once.

And so after 7 MONTHS I'm finally done with this series, at least until Errant Tales begins, but for now I can move on to other things.  Assuming my work schedule isn't a complete terror.  Until then kiddies, and thanks for reading.

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