The good news is that I actually have 18 strips drawn, and the problem was that I was behind on coloring them. By mid-morning on Friday I had the November 2nd update uploaded, and by midday I had a full week in place.
The bad news is that while grilling the family dinner Friday night I burned my left ring-finger, and even though that hand never holds the pen, it put a stop to me doing any more drawing on Friday. Hopefully the finger will stop annoying me tomorrow, and I can get my game back on.
The forums (and my mailbox) have been awash with messages of woe, consternation, and heartbreak over the conclusion of Schlocktoberfest 2002. I'd like to state, for the record, that I feel the same way. I refuse to be held responsible for the direction the story takes, however, because (as I've said a number of times before) I'm not actually writing this stuff. The characters are. For me to NOT let Petey do what he's been bent on doing for as long as we've known him would have been dishonest, and I'm not sure I could have actually stopped him had I tried. I just write what the Voices In My Head tell me to write, and while I DO make an effort to string the bits together into a more entertaining story, I'm not going to force-map a happy ending where one doesn't belong.
Frankly, I'm flattered that so many of you care so much for these characters. Please understand, though, that I love them FAR more than I think any of you do, and so I have to give them a bit more agency than maybe we're all comfortable with. Hopefully that will make for a more engaging, more "real" story. After all, since Schlock Mercenary is 'just' a comic strip, it needs all the help it can get.
Speaking of help, Schlock Mercenary is the featured strip over at Online Comics, a handy little link-collection. Having hubs like this plug my work (or at least prominently feature the link for a little while) is nice. If any of you feel inclined to help in this way, by all means get out there and encourage any popular hubs you are aware of to post a nice link to schlockmercenary.com. Or at least tell me about those hubs so I can submit the URL. Thanks!