When I started putting together this year’s Winter-een-mas story arc, I began to envision this huge tournament that would take place to determine who deserved to wear the Winter-een-mas crown. Not just sitting around playing video games, but an ultimate competition in the vein of Battle Royale/The Running Man/The Hunger Games that would push the gamers to their limits.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got about writing it. However I started to realize that if I tried to do it in comic-strip form, we’d still be in the middle of it come March. The Scott/Ted storyline last year took a long time, and while I’m happy with the way it turned out, and I think that had to be told visually, I didn’t want to do that again so soon.
So instead I started working with the idea of telling the story in a more traditional format: prose. Writing a short story would both allow me to tell you the story I wanted to, without it needing to take up months and months of comic updates.
I can already hear some of you saying “What? You expect me to read?! What is this, school?!” To which I would respond, ‘Look at it this way: If you don’t want to read it, at least it isn’t also dominating the next couple of months of the comic.’
This story counts as the Winter-een-mas update. It’s available in its entirety, right now for you to read or not read. After Winter-een-mas is over, we’ll return to regular, good ol’ comic strips.
Now, the reason that this will count for the next three updates (something I hadn’t intended) is because when I first set out to write this project, I expected it to be a short story. Five or six pages, I figured. What I ended up with is a veritable novella. Nearly fifty pages. Nine chapters. Twenty-five thousand words. The story I wanted to tell was much bigger than I intitially expected, so much so that of the last ninety-six hours, fifty of those have been spent on my laptop writing, trying to get this finished for today.
I started this weeks ago, and if I’m being honest, I still wish I had another week to spend work on it. I admit that I was caught completely by surprise regarding how much I wanted to fit into this tale. I haven’t written a short story for a while, and I misjudged how long it would take me. As such I have little doubt that you guys will find a spelling or grammatical error (or twenty) as you read through the story. Please do email me any such errors or suggestions that you find.
So if you end up reading this story, I do hope you find it entertaining. I had a lot of fun writing it, it’s extremely satisfying to be able to tell a total story like this and not have it take months and months.
Currently the story is in PDF format. I need to find some other options for making it available to people, as my website isn’t exactly designed to easily host something like this in an easily-readable format. I’m definitely open to suggestions for different file formats I can offer you guys so that you can read this on the computer, or print it out and take it with you, whatever. Let me know.
Now also available in .epub and .mobi formats for reading on phones/tablets and the kindle!