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View Full Version : "The halfway point of OOTS is in the rearview mirror"



Joe22c
2012-01-13, 04:58 AM
How do you feel about the fact that the story is now more than halfway complete?

I find it quite sobering. I suppose a part of me had implicitly assumed the strip would run on forever, or at the very least for an extraordinarily longer amount of time.

I suppose it has been running for a while; god I find it hard to believe that it's been 5+ years since I first stumbled across this comic!

Good times indeed. I will really miss OOTS when it is gone.

Manga Shoggoth
2012-01-13, 05:20 AM
I'm quite excited, but not especially surprised. After all, to a large extent the plot revolves around the gates, and we are starting to run out of them...

Fale
2012-01-13, 05:30 AM
All good things come to an end.

With that said, Rich has mentioned that he has plans to begin another comic story once it's over. I expect it to be just as good.

Sunken Valley
2012-01-13, 05:47 AM
The big question is, where is the halfway point?

RMS Oceanic
2012-01-13, 06:15 AM
The big question is, where is the halfway point?

Figuratively (as in #599 doesn't mean the very last strip will be #1198), I'd say it was Vaarsuvius abandoning Durkon and Elan. That's when the Order was at its lowest point: Its leader dead, the team split and isolated and weakened, the team is fragmenting further and any allies they have access to are ultimately helpless. The next 70 strips is the turning point, with the Order reuniting and starting to take the offensive once again, but the other factions in play for the gates also start to make their move. With the Order heading for Windy Valley, the Linear Guild Mark 4 forming and Xykon's Phylactery recovered and (barring a sudden twist in #827) back in Team Evil's hands, I reckon we are truly on the road to the Climax now. There will be lulls and sidetracks, but they won't be as long as previous ones have been.

Yora
2012-01-13, 06:31 AM
It could also go up to 1650, really not much information there.

Cizak
2012-01-13, 07:20 AM
The halfpoint was DStP. In the commentary, Rich tells us there will be less compilations to come than has already been released (including DStP).

factotum
2012-01-13, 08:32 AM
The halfpoint was DStP. In the commentary, Rich tells us there will be less compilations to come than has already been released (including DStP).

Well, he said there was less *story* to come, I think...he does have a tendency to run long, though, so we can't be sure there won't be more strips after DStP than were before it.

Cizak
2012-01-13, 11:03 AM
Well, he said there was less *story* to come, I think...he does have a tendency to run long, though, so we can't be sure there won't be more strips after DStP than were before it.

I checked, and he says there might be more strips but definately less compilation books.

Gullintanni
2012-01-13, 12:19 PM
Yeah I don't think this is a surprise. Rich has been talking about the halfway point of the the story for a while. See DSTP above.

Frankly, I've always been happy that OotS had a definite end point in mind. I hate when great stories/tv series etc. meander on longer than the author had planned out for...quality almost always suffers.

I'd much prefer to have a well-defined, finite story than one that struggles to persist beyond it's logical expiration date.

Peelee
2012-01-13, 05:24 PM
I'm rather happy - well, not happy, but much happier than if he had said "the end is in sight." He's telling a story, and all stories must end. That said, I was all set to comment on how much I hope he does another when this one is done when lo and behold, I read...


All good things come to an end.

With that said, Rich has mentioned that he has plans to begin another comic story once it's over. I expect it to be just as good.

Must have been announced before my time. Do you remember if he said it would be in the same style as OotS? Same world, different story, maybe? Not hoping for cameos or tie-ins or anything, I just love the universe that came out, how it works, that everyone knows it's a strip and knows they have stats and spell levels, but still completely live in their own little world.

Caractacus
2012-01-13, 05:44 PM
As the later books are longer, if this current one wraps up at about the two hundred page mark, and so does the next, then it's still a LOT of pages for two compilations. Thus, even counting in compilations, we may still have a lot of strips ahead of us.

In addition, I think Rich's trawling for opinion regarding preferred bonus books, etc indicates that there is more to come in that department, too - ones which don't count in the compilation total. (If they DO, that's even better news as we have had three of those already and can thus raise the maximum number of possible forthcoming books based upon the 'we are over half-way' statement...)

In any case, I hope Rich manages to keep us entertained one way or another for the next five or so years, too... :smallcool:

kracken
2012-01-13, 07:01 PM
I am bittersweet about passing the halfway point. Yes, Rich probably has a good couple years to go telling this story and that is exciting. However, I can't bear to think what I will do when there is no more OOTS! (I am generally a cup half empty kinda guy.)

Weimann
2012-01-13, 08:09 PM
This just in: time moves forward. I'm not surprised. The comic has run for quite some time, and it has escalated to the point where a conclusion feels natural. It could be pushed further without diminished quality, but personally, I see no inherent value in that from a story perspective.

I do hope we'll get 1000+ pages, however.

ti'esar
2012-01-13, 08:17 PM
I'm actually kind of happy to hear this. On the one hand, there's a part of me that never wants to see OOTS end, but on the other hand, I'm really looking forward to the climax that things are building to, and it's nice to know we're closer to it then to the beginning.

enflmdslhtt
2012-01-13, 08:47 PM
I'm sad it'll be ending soon, but I'm quit excited to finally see what the Monster in the Darkness is.

Gorgon_Heap
2012-01-14, 12:23 AM
I agree with, well, more or less everyone, in the bittersweet feeling.

At times, and I have been considering since his initial announcement of having passed the halfway point, I am most melancholy. But we aren't near the end yet, and Rich has given us a remarkable story and some fantastic art to ruminate on.

Consider: Normal comic books or strips continue indefinately and suffer a sort of warp and inability to reach any conclusion. By deciding a specific end, Rich, like the creator of the popular Scott Pilgrim series, provides what other creators have not: Closure.

As much as we might desire a continuation, we can at least be happy that the story we have has ended as it was supposed to, without prolonging and distorting the characters involved.

I say cheers for Rich having acted so decisively, and hold out hope he'll continue to share his talent in so entertaining a way once this OotS adventure in complete.

Flame of Anor
2012-01-14, 12:52 AM
I'm sad it'll be ending soon, but I'm quit excited to finally see what the Monster in the Darkness is.

Has Rich ever guaranteed that we'll find out?

Emanick
2012-01-14, 12:58 AM
Has Rich ever guaranteed that we'll find out?

Yes. He said so in the WaX commentary.

kracken
2012-01-14, 02:17 AM
I agree with, well, more or less everyone, in the bittersweet feeling.

At times, and I have been considering since his initial announcement of having passed the halfway point, I am most melancholy. But we aren't near the end yet, and Rich has given us a remarkable story and some fantastic art to ruminate on.

Consider: Normal comic books or strips continue indefinately and suffer a sort of warp and inability to reach any conclusion. By deciding a specific end, Rich, like the creator of the popular Scott Pilgrim series, provides what other creators have not: Closure.

As much as we might desire a continuation, we can at least be happy that the story we have has ended as it was supposed to, without prolonging and distorting the characters involved.

I say cheers for Rich having acted so decisively, and hold out hope he'll continue to share his talent in so entertaining a way once this OotS adventure in complete.


Wow, that is exactly how I feel and I am happy you wrote that out. Very insightful.

SteveDJ
2012-01-14, 10:18 AM
I am bittersweet about passing the halfway point. Yes, Rich probably has a good couple years to go telling this story and that is exciting. However, I can't bear to think what I will do when there is no more OOTS! (I am generally a cup half empty kinda guy.)

"Probably"? I'd make that "definitely" -- he did say that the story will still be going a year and a half from now.

What would be fun is if he could somehow include a reference to not-upgrading in the strip... Maybe encounter some enemy/opponent/random-monster just as it upgrades, only to become worse off such that they easily defeat it or some such. And then comment how it is a good thing they aren't upgrading...

Or -- Intermission Time!!! :smallbiggrin:

Aricandor
2012-01-14, 10:26 AM
Every creator that loves their own creation knows when it's time to let it go. There's no doubt to me that Rich knows exactly when that time comes and is perfectly right, and this makes me happy. :smallsmile:

Ancalagon
2012-01-15, 05:45 AM
Wow, that is exactly how I feel and I am happy you wrote that out. Very insightful.

It's basic knowledge about how a story works.

It needs a good beginning, a long middle part where all the problems start to grow, and a good closure where the problems are dealt with in a final, dramatic matter.
The evil guys die or othervise get sent to prison is one thing, but the victory should also come with a price, so the good guys also cannot return to the status quo, because some of them have changed as well (to death, to realising what is important to them and what not, etc).

A good ending must mean: Something comes to an end. This simply means stuff cannot go on as it always did because something changed in such a dramatic way that we can call it an "end". Someone died, someone changed his personality because he realised something, something important is destroyed.
This of course means you cannot milk your franchise forever, because Batman, at one point, simply realises he is too old, it was all pointless, he has done enough, etc and settles down. The story is at an end, but this also means you cannot go on as you did (i.e. the way you told your good story).

Look at Miko: She had an awesome end that is what made her story worth telling. Or Darth Vader, he reliases his mistakes and redeems himself in a dramatic ending, then dies. That is fitting.
Of course they could have kept him around to make movie over movie with the "Redeemed Jedi Knight Vader" but how lame would that have been?

That stories in fiction often have no real ending (for the characters) means they are around and around and around, simply because someone has to go on making money from them. We are getting used to it because the producers want to make just another Jack Sparrow movie.

The worst thing that can happen to any drama (like Assassin's Creed) is to end without a real conclusion but a "This is a trilogy, we will tell you how it ends in the next game. Or the one after that. To be Continued". The story this piece (book, game, etc) was about has to end in that book, it is the overaching arc that can go on.
But if you are looking at a supposedly stand-alone work of fiction and the end does not seem to have burned all bridges, something went wrong and it is very likely people complain "that the ending sucked".

suszterpatt
2012-01-15, 09:45 AM
Figuratively (as in #599 doesn't mean the very last strip will be #1198), I'd say it was Vaarsuvius abandoning Durkon and Elan. That's when the Order was at its lowest point: Its leader dead, the team split and isolated and weakened, the team is fragmenting further and any allies they have access to are ultimately helpless. The next 70 strips is the turning point, with the Order reuniting and starting to take the offensive once again, but the other factions in play for the gates also start to make their move. With the Order heading for Windy Valley, the Linear Guild Mark 4 forming and Xykon's Phylactery recovered and (barring a sudden twist in #827) back in Team Evil's hands, I reckon we are truly on the road to the Climax now. There will be lulls and sidetracks, but they won't be as long as previous ones have been.
This.

I'm assuming OotS follows the classic three-part story arc (and let's face it, if OotS didn't adhere to storytelling conventions, Elan would be out of a job). Part 1 introduces the main characters and establishes the story, part 2 has things go south for the heroes to create tension, and in part 3 the protagonists make their magnificent comeback and defeat the villains. It's fairly obvious that things have never looked so grim for the Order than towards the middle of Don't Split the Party, and the Darth V section marks the beginning of the comeback (Xykon loses phylactery, O-Chul rescued, V starts taking advice from Blackwing, Roy is raised, etc).

Ancalagon
2012-01-15, 10:25 AM
Actually, OotS in the sub-arcs seems to follow three acts.

First, we get introduced into a new setup with new characters or what the existing characters do at the moment.
Second, we face problems of all kinds and the heroes face a situation that really looks bad.
Third, the problems are overcome.

A new arc begins and follows the same basic pattern.

Over all this lies the big meta-story, where we see longer-lasting character development or how the story in general progresses (gates are destroyed in the sub arc and thus the drama increases in the following).

Flame of Anor
2012-01-15, 01:39 PM
First, we get introduced into a new setup with new characters or what the existing characters do at the moment.
Second, we face problems of all kinds and the heroes face a situation that really looks bad.
Third, the problems are overcome.

That's pretty much every story ever.

Ancalagon
2012-01-15, 02:35 PM
That's pretty much every story ever.

Yes, and there is a reason for that that good stories work that way.

Bad stories have no ending and you notice it. Take The X-Files. They should have ended after Seasons 3, 4 or 5 with a big climatic finale. Instead it dragged on and on and one. That is why it did not really end in any satisfactory way.

Take Babylon 5 on the other hand, it was a fully planned story that ended sometime. That is why it was good.

The point is not that there is some point at which the storyteller stops talking, the point is that that point where the storyteller stops talking actually is where something ends, finally and climatically. Othervise, it's lame.

veti
2012-01-15, 04:59 PM
Bad stories have no ending and you notice it. Take The X-Files. They should have ended after Seasons 3, 4 or 5 with a big climatic finale. Instead it dragged on and on and one. That is why it did not really end in any satisfactory way.

Too right.

OOTS will end. That fact is what makes the story meaningful. Without it, we're just looking at a few chapters in the lives of some nonexistent people, which is about as meaningful as watching '90210'.

I would hate to see OOTS morph into some lame fantasy soap-opera that drags on and on forever, such as happens to - ooh, just about every successful TV series. I'm delighted to know it's working towards a planned, and I hope final, conclusion.

Mephit
2012-01-15, 05:10 PM
I'm happy about it in a weird sort of way, because the comic nearing its end means so many things getting wrapped up - Belkar Dying, Revealing MitD, etc etc.

Compare: Lost. Except the quality of the strip increases as the story continues.

LtNOWIS
2012-01-15, 10:23 PM
I checked, and he says there might be more strips but definately less compilation books.
Yeah, he plots out where the books will begin and end. So if it takes longer to get there, it just means a longer book rather than more books.