My Dear Readers,

Regrettably, I am unable to work on Draconis Wicked for awhile, so I am taking my winter break a little early. Expect the comics to return in January.

That’s the short version.

The long version is a little more complicated and significantly sadder. If you are the kind of person who visits comic sites for a little levity and a break from the stress of everyday life, then feel free to move on to other sites. I won’t think any less of you. But if you’re like me, then you read a warning like this, strap on your metaphorical aviator goggles, and tell the feels, “Come at me, bro!”

So, here it is.

Back in November, I had a plan. I was going to finish all my work for Aria Kart (the new Nintendo Opera), get all my holiday shopping done, prepare my students’ January art show, and never miss a comic update until Christmas day. Naturally, I started early and got lots of work done ahead of time. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was ahead of schedule on all my projects.

Then my aunt got sick. I few weeks later, she was in the hospital. In less then two weeks she was gone. And all the time I had carefully stored away was spent on hospital visits, babysitting her grandkids, attending funeral services, and consoling relatives. Normally, when someone close passes, I want to tell people that it’s alright. I want to say that they lived a full life or they had been struggling. But my aunt had not been sick for long and she should have had many productive years left. This isn’t alright, but tragedies like this are like getting hit with shrapnel bombs. You might never remove all the jagged pieces, but you learn to carry them without getting stabbed by them. We are learning to carry the pieces, but we will learn and carry on.

I’m grateful that I had time saved up to spend with my loved ones. I’m grateful that I have the ability to put these comics down for a while.  I can’t give my pages the time and energy that they deserve just now, but the comics will be better when I can come back to them.

If you miss me, please feel free to check in on Super Smash Opera Presents Aria Kart, which debuts on January 6.

All of you to have a happy, safe, and blessed holiday. I’ll see you in 2018.