Happy Winter-een-mas! So, this story represents a couple of firsts that I want to take a moment to explain in detail.
Yes, you’re seeing this story start at page two. Page one was this month’s Patreon exclusive comic for the $5 tier.
The $5 Patron tier gets an exclusive Ethan and Lucas comic each month, and since it likely would have been Winter-een-mas themed anyway, and I was planning a Winter-een-mas story for the main site, it made sense just to connect them.
I want to be very clear, though: page one is supplementary. Anything relevant from page one is recapped in the first panels of page two. Page one is not required to follow/understand the story. I would never put anything behind a pay-gate that would be necessary to enjoy the main comics I create here on the website.
The monthly Analog and D-Pad/Ethan and Lucas strips for Patrons, though they take place in the same new continuity alongside the comic books, are never going to contain plot/information necessary to follow what happens in the Analog and D-Pad comics. They are mostly one-shots that fit in and around their heroic adventures, fleshing out more of their day-to-day lives.
This is the first time I’ve mixed the two entities (the main site and Patreon), and while it won’t happen often at all, if it does again in the future I hope that you will trust me when I say the Patreon bonus comics shall always remain just that: a bonus. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they have to pledge to our Patreon in order to keep up on what’s going on here on the main site. I will never start a story here and then say “for the rest, sign up for Patreon!” or any of that nonsense.
This Winter-een-mas story also, represents me fiddling with the Analog and D-Pad timing just a bit. When we last left Ethan and Lucas, they were just about to face their newest threat, Ezekiel. And when issue #5 starts, that’s where we’ll pick up. Obviously Ethan and Lucas did not stop mid-encounter to go celebrate Winter-een-mas.
So this story and where it falls in the Analog and D-Pad timeline will be cemented when the comics go to print and I slot these (and the Patreon one-shots) into place between their comic book adventures. I would love to keep things strictly in a linear release, but with such large gaps between the release issues of the comic books, stepping out of order a bit is a necessity if I’m going to have the freedom to use time-sensitive material (game releases, holidays) for additional comics like this. I hope that makes sense.