#111: Police Scanner

Publication Date: September 24, 2012

Storyline: Book 2, Chapter 1 - The Hobbyist

Characters: Basil Flint, Deputy Dan

Location: Four Winds Park

Now, what we have here is what we in the biz call a "soft reboot." Its purpose is to provide a clean, fresh start while simultaneously allowing previous material to exist and be canon. It's now five years later, and I assume that lots of stuff happened. Perhaps you'll learn about some of it soon.

Why, you may ask, did I decide to leapfrog several years of comic history. The answer is a bit convoluted, but basically, this is how I should've started MESS to begin with but didn't. The past nine months of comics are, in many ways, like the Star Wars prequels: often entertaining, but ultimately unnecessary. As I wrote about Basil meeting Mary Elizabeth and starting his career, I realized that it wasn't anything we needed to see, or even anything particularly interesting at times. So I've left their past in the past. No more prequelitis.

I also needed to refocus the comic something fierce. Jumping around to different characters in seemingly unrelated stories was leaving the comic somewhat fractured and disjointed, full of characters and situations the audience didn't particularly need to see. It was really a case of "character bloat." Now, mind you, this new story will have a ton of new characters, but they'll be secondary characters or just background cameos: the number of people vying to be the star of this comic has decreased dramatically.

Finally, believe it or not, I've been writing the script for this storyline since 2009. Why did I never draw it before now? I was scared. I figured that I needed to establish Basil and other characters first, hence the prequel strips. Last week I realized that this was folly: there's nothing about any of these characters you need to know that you can't learn from this story as it goes along.

So yeah, the "soft reboot." Let's see how this goes. I know I'm pretty psyched for it. So psyched, in fact, that the comic is a daily strip again, Monday through Friday. And lest you're concerned, your old favorite characters will all show up eventually, though it may take a little time. Thanks for the support.

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