And that’s the end of the longest story arc I’ve ever written. If you’ve stayed with us through all of it, thank you.

I actually hadn’t planned on writing this story. I had finished the character introductions and I was ready to start putting these guys in new situations and sending them on little adventures. But there was a problem. These characters, who were all very interesting and dynamic in my head, were coming off dull and flat on paper. (Of course, everything’s flat on paper! Get it? Sorry.) Sure, there were always glimmers of personality coming through, but it was only a fraction of how great they were supposed to be.

So why weren’t the characters working? Late last fall, the problem became clear to me: I myself knew too many things about them that I hadn’t told the rest of you yet. I knew why the house was build and why everyone moved in and what their jobs were, but until I explained all of that stuff, you wouldn’t understand these people. And then you’d have a hard time caring about them or their new adventures.

I knew that telling this story would be a bit of a risk. It would have to be at least as long as the first story arc. It would involve juggling a lot of characters at once. It would have to contain more introductions and explanations. Worst of all, Dynamite and Detonator could hardly be in it. But Urban Underbrush could not move forward until this story was finished. I needed a good foundation in place so that everything else would make sense. We needed to know the rules first.

But I wanted to make this a good story too. I didn’t want this to be the medicine you’d have to take so that the rest of the comics would be more fun. So I experimented with pushing the jokes a little further and making the characters more expressive. True, not every single comic strip is gold, but there are some genuinely good moments in there.

I’m pretty pleased with the way this batch of comics turned out. I hope you enjoyed it too. Next week, we are going to do some shorter, more light-hearted stuff, which will be a nice change of pace.