I was rather upset when I found out Queen of Wands was ending. I suppose I have issues with my favorite comics ending. I mean… I knew that Avalon was ending, and I couldn’t see why it had to end. Why not slow down the story? There was plenty to work on for years to come. (And of course, when Josh just lost the will to draw or finish the comic… well, quite a few fans were unhappy with that.) Queen of Wands was another in that line. I didn’t see why it should end. I didn’t want it to end.
There is a bit of irony there, as at one time I was planning on writing a comic book series, and had figured out the perfect solution to keep the comic book from entering into the doldrums of “filler comics” between storylines or having it start to suck. Each story was going to have a specific beginning, middle, and end. And then the comic book would end there, and I’d start up a new comic book, with the same characters, but with a different storyline. (I eventually gave that up and started writing a novel on the characters instead, due to my inability to find an artist for the storylines.)
Every story has an ending. We might not want to realize that. We might want the series to continue on and on (and we’ve seen what happens when that happens, as with the Wheel of Time series), but eventually… it has to come to an end.
This is the sad truth with webcomics in general. All of our favorite strips, from Melonpool to Sluggy Freelance to College Roomies… all of these will end. (Hell, Melonpool did end… but Steve Troop found he couldn’t just let the series end and restarted it. No doubt 200 years from now, Zombie Troop will be continuing the strip while asking for brains to feed upon because not even death could keep him down…)
Queen of Wands ended… with friends parting ways, and our heroine (Kestrel) going to Boston to start a new life with a new job and finding new friends. This happens every day… friendships end or get put on hold as people go off and have a life. We might not like to think of our friendships ending… but they do. And that’s part of why QoW’s ending was so bittersweet. But Aeire did something different. She decided to reprint each comic, on a daily basis… and with commentary from her on what inspired the comic or little background snippets or what have you.
Each day… we get a little piece of Aeire’s mind, glancing into her artistic soul, and into the life she lives while we relive the adventures of Kestrel and crew, as they grow older, wiser, and sometimes sadder. In the meantime, she is working on a new project, probably building up a backlog of updates and figuring out just how it goes together so it will truly rock.
So… Queen of Wands has ended. But it’s not so bittersweet now… because Aeire has sweetened that ending with a glimpse into the mind of who and what she is… and how that influenced this comic. In a way… it’s even more fun than if she’d just continued QoW with Kestrel’s adventures, either with her old friends or elsewhere.
And I agree with her: Chutes and Ladders was way more fun than Candyland.
Addendum note: While QoW has ended, Kestrel’s adventures continue from time to time in Randy Milholland’s own webcomic Something Positive, as he kind of kidnapped the character and integrated her into his massive secondary character cast.