THE HUNDRED CLASSIC EPISODES

 

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Yamara

Halfling Apocrypha
First published: June, 2003. Posted Online: May 15, 2006.
 

The subject matter and timing of this strip are kind of apocryphal, actually, but ancestral legends and myth are good for that. More on this after a few paragraphs.
 
Some important housekeeping notes.
 
One benefit of announcing the previous episode as the final one of the original series is that we can use this space to explain some transitions.
 
Beginning May 18, 2006, Yamara will run weekly on Thursdays. The first episode is actually already online ("Yamara's Dreme") but the site will be sporting a somewhat different look, to compliment the new online style, so feel free to vote and comment on what you think.
 
A note to various comic lists and encyclopedias: These are chapters of the same comic, not different comics. We request you not retroctively disqualify us for having fewer than ten strips or some such. The location of our archive page remains unchanged, and that should say it all.
 
For the curious, we have some 'splainin' to do: It is in the nature of php to be so seamlessly interactive that one can overlook potential applications and modifications, since it's supposedly easy to code them in later. Unfortunately, we are neither php coders, nor do we wish to spend the time or money on creating the perfect webcomic delivery engine. Walrus is plenty great, thank you.
 
Still, we wanted to do something that Walrus, and the other engines we looked at, couldn't do out of the box: Change the background and format at a certain date, but leave the previous dates with the old layout. Chris has devised a workaround: The Hundred Classic Episodes are moving to a new directory, yamara.com/yamaraclassic/, while the new strips will keep the yamara.com/yamara/ directory, so that links around the web don't suddenly become obsolete.
 
We're trying to make this as easy on fans as possible:

  • The Working Title War and The Hundred Classic Episodes will be thoroughly linked together onsite through the archive, the "Scrolls of Plegh" menu, and even special rewind/fast forward buttons.
  • All the old strips, images, and even the news will be duplicated into the ongoing /yamara/ directory, so if you've been bad and remotely linked one of our strips, then the hour of facing your rightful Day of Reckoning has been postponed.
  • A link to http://www.yamara.com/yamara/ will still reach the latest strip. However, any addresses before May 18, 2006 linked to a specific date (index.php?date=) will fail– we can't forward them with out #2¢%ing up our engine or layout– and you'll have to update those links to the /yamaraclassic/ directory, assuming you really care.
  • We expect the RSS feeds to update normally, but we will be watching.
  • A lot of this info will be repeated in the rant for May 18, 2006, since this is the switching point.
 
 
And now, about this episode.
 
This episode has had considerable cleaning up and some modifications, and it still isn't our greatest work. Sorry 'bout that. As 2003 bumbled violently along, it became clear that the visions of Yamara going to war that Chris had driving home from GenCon 2000 were another one of those annoying prescient things we weren't going to escape, so we decided a step into this wider story arc was a good idea.
 
In the end, it's cute, but a bit of a muddle. We've always known that the halflings throughout modern fantasy only exist because of one Oxford professor's creation, and we're just fooling ourselves to pretend otherwise. Seriously, dwarves, elves, goblins, gnomes– these are all ancient folk tales. "Orcs" are pushing it, but evil monster armies have been around for centuries. But halflings? No, no, no: they come from just the one hole in the ground. So we figured there must have been some Great Halfling Diaspora from Middle-Earth at some point, plopping these fat boggies down all over the bloody multiverse.
 
They never did find out what happened to Smeagol's clan, after all.
 
Plus, spreading the blame for halflings around to all the cultures of Earth is upending their invention as part of a "mythology for England". Still, the entire incident portrayed above shouldn't be treated as strictly canonical. For instance, as we will reveal in the coming weeks, there is a Tooke family gathering planned, but Arky wouldn't be flaunting her cyber-swizzlestick at it... The last character to appear above, Kafira, is a member of Arky's band, Alcott Squad, and was (theoretically) known to Valkyrie readers as a character from the strip that they rejected, hence her dismissal by Stress. Kaf is a freedom fighter from Space, and will actually appear in subsequent episodes of Yamara. Though she'll probably meet Stress before a moment like this at the party, so this never really happened. Like we said, apocryphal, non-canonical. Time travel's likely involved. Make of it what you will.
 
Meanwhile, back on real Earth, Valkyrie was continuing its uneven publishing schedule. It certainly wasn't coming out quarterly. The nature of much of Dave Ryan's business was in wargaming, rather than paper and pencil RPG, so we were sympathetic; prioritizing is difficult when you have so many things you want to say and do. But we stopped expecting having to really get a strip together every three months; hence our surprise when we were told an actual deadline loomed for the next issue.
 
Chris called the UK to confirm that this strip arrived okay. Apparently it had, and editor Jay Forster commented on the positive reactions Yamara was getting, and looked forward to running the strip well into the future. He concluded by saying, "You guys are family."
 
We never heard from them again.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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