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Boxing Day

Yesterday (Why, it’s Christmas Day, sir!) a friend was surprised by my lack of distress on the Twitters in re: the announcement from Chris Onstad of Achewood’s newest hiatus. Rather than see this as the latest piece of suck in a year just rife with it, I think that it’s an idea that Onstad has eased us into — there have been hiatii before, and a mostly-weekly schedule for the past year has felt like an extended present more than a full-bore return to form. Reading of the toll that Achewood takes on Onstad:

Achewood takes a huge give from its producer. It’s so slippery, so complex, so vast, so old, and I hold it to such a high standard, it becomes all-encompassing. When I do Achewood, I can’t focus on or give enough time to the securities I need to build for later in life, or to my human relationships. [emphasis original]

left me with a feeling approaching a regretful realization of something that had been in front of me all along, but hadn’t realized it. The highs and lows of the characters — all of them in their own rhythms — obviously take a great deal of effort to bring to fruition. I have always known intuitively that to inhabit the brainspace of Cassandra “Roast Beef” Kazenzakis is to flirt with melancholy the likes of which only our most advanced and depressed poets are equipped to confront, but that is not to say that I ever appreciated consciously the sacrifices that Onstad made in sharing that creation with us. And Beef is but one Dude from a single set of Cirucmstances¹.

And after all, Achewood has gone nowhere — an archive of some of the most brilliant characterization of the past two decades still exists; printed copies of the formative years of the strip and its most famous storyline will live on my bookshelf for as long as I draw breath. Need I add that my purchase from the gallery glares down at me as I write this, and that I regularly make Perfect Oven Fries Every Time?

Thank you for the ride so far Mr Onstad; those who read and understand Achewood and those who would begrudge this stepping-awy … well, let’s say that the Venn diagram of those two groups hell of looks like an eight. When the novel is written, when the syrup line extends, when you have no choice but to return to Achewood Court and The Underground, we’ll be here to welcome you with much crispy Stellas.

Oh, and some other things happened, too.

Okay, that’s it for today; catch you next time something happens, or possibly in the new year.

Spam of the day:

Marissa Cooper (Gmail Team) sent you a message

Because when Gmail’s message team sends me an email on Gmail about my Gmail account they always mark it this message may attempt to steal your identity.

¹ Although I suspect that inhabiting other characters was likely a tonic — Cornelius, say, or Ramses Luther Smuckles.

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