Today marks the last page of the last complete story of Jump Leads for the foreseeable future. To say this is an emotional day for me is... well, even by British standards that something of an understatement.
Thank you for reading, and for your support and love over the last six years. Even when that love was expressed by leaving angry comments about our sporadic update schedule. I know even that anger came from a place of love, and I am sorry we weren't able to keep this train rolling.
I imagine some of you might be a tad disappointed with how this story ends. Let me tell you the story of how this ending came to be.
"The Voyage Home" was supposed to have finished months ago. Years
ago. This issue was really supposed to be the end of a chapter - our season finale, if you will. It would have been followed by a four-issue arc that would have continued directly from where TVH left off, and after that... well, exciting new things were afoot.
The scripts were mostly written. Much of the development was done. We know where Straub is going, what he's doing, why he's doing it. Not being able to share that with you is life a knife to the gut.
When JjAR first told me way back in, I think, 2009, that his freelance schedule was starting to pile up and new pages would slow down, I understood entirely. Jump Leads is a labor of love, and we make next to no money telling this story. JjAR had to think first and foremost about putting food on his table. That we were able to hold on to him for so long - that he was interested in Jump Leads at all
- is remarkable in itself.
For a while we eased JjAR's workload by bringing on an additional colorist, the phenomenally talented Kris Carter (colorist for a number of IDW titles including Doctor Who
, as well as one of the minds behind indie scifi-comedy comic series Lou Scannon
). Kris had already contributed the entirety of our eighth issue, "Waterworld", essentially a fan-comic that we enjoyed so much we made it canon.
But JjAR still didn't have time to make the comic. It seemed like things would end before the issue would even be completed.
That's when Mr. Phillby stepped in and offered to help us finish the story. His approach and art style differed from JjAR's, but he was crucially offering to help us finish the story. Which he did. It took a while - like JjAR, Mr. Phillby is a busy guy - but we got there in the end. That, to me, was more important than anything else. Giving you guys closure.
Except I haven't done that, have I?
I could have rewritten the ending. Some of the other writers actually suggested I do that - tie things up, have Llewellyn and Meaney make it off the ship together, and show them either getting home, or jumping off to new adventures. I could have done either of those things, I suppose. It would have been so easy.
But it's not what happens next, and it wouldn't have been true to the characters - Meaney wanted to get home, sure, but Llewellyn? Getting home is not a satisfactory ending for him. That's not where he's heading. I could argue it's not where Meaney is heading either, but it'd be a one-sided argument because I know
where they're heading. I know what happens next. I kept the ending as is, although I did extend the ending a little, incorporating elements of Andrew's script for the first issue of the next arc.
So you get this ending, in the hopes that it turns out not to be an ending at all. In the hopes that somehow, one way or another, I get to show you what happens next.