The last few pages of the entire comic! I'll let it speak for itself, this time.
I'm not sure what to say about all this. It's been years in the making, and over a year to full completion from the very first page, and I'm pretty sure it's obvious how much I improved over the entire run, haha. I actually started this just a bit after my father passed away at the end of 2020, and there's a reason for that.
A lot of the ideas for this comic came from my talks with him. He always wanted to be a cartoonist, he had extreme amounts of skill, to the point where Disney character designers told him they had nothing they could teach him, but he chose to not pursue that career. There's a number of reasons for that, but it was always something he regretted, but was never fully upset about; he chose a family with a "more stable" job over his dream. He drew in his free time, and produced some amazing things over the years. In his last years we spent a lot of time talking and coming up with goofy ideas, everything from silly spacemen, to talking, time-traveling dinosaurs, to quite a few ideas around a silly, holiday themed world.
"Why are elves always little white guys? Why can't they be as varied as everyone else on Earth?"
"Hey, what if Santa is like this eldritch being that no one fully understands, but they still let him deliver presents anyway?"
"...What if elfs are like those kebler elfs, and they turn into those Lord of the Ring elves later?"
"Reindeer! There's gotta be a lot of those, like in those claymation movies, right? They should treat each other better than Rudolph..."
"What if there were yetis like in those "Messing with Sasquatch" commercials...?"
I could keep going, but I hope that shows what I mean. I took some liberties with the idea of course, but the basis for it came from my talks with him. About a silly, holiday themed world with any number of quirky characters, but the potential for magic, adventure, and fun. He knew about my "furry" work (my mom still has a glass that I designed for Confuzzle in the glass cabinet with the good china, on full display), and was amazed at some of the things I came up with, stating that he "could never come up with things like that". He even wanted me to draw him a black panther lady at one point, I just remembered that I never got around to doing that, or at least never thought he was serious, haha...He was a goofball for sure.
Anyway! This one was for you, dad. I hope it's something that would've made you smile, you always did love seeing how creative I could get. Also I'm sorry for drawing Noel so curvy! XD I just couldn't help myself when I designed him, lol. I think you'd understand though!
I do need to thank a few folks. First of all, I'm thankful to all my fans and supporters, who seem so on board with any old silly idea I have, and look so forward to seeing it come to completion. I'm very grateful and blessed to have you supporting me. Thank you. ❤
Also to my friends, for just letting me take time away from...Well, darn near everything, so I could focus on doing my absolute best on this whole thing. I did all I could to pour everything I knew (and didn't know) about comics into this, and I hope it shows. Thanks everyone.
I also almost gave up on this comic after page 15, where I took over half a year's break from it. I just ran up against a wall in my skills and felt incredibly discouraged, and the longer it took, the more I felt like I'd let people down by not continuing. I almost scraped it. But I've gotta thank Maventreecat for their encouragement, and I hope the excitement they helped ignite in me for the project shows in these last few pages. I literally would not have finished without their help, and I'm more grateful for that than I can really show. Thank you. ❤
I think that's everything. I hope the message in the last few pages, although more brief than I would have liked, still shown through. I had tears welling up while writing it out, because I'd written those words years ago, and it was like hearing a message from the past for future me. I know I had a few people in mind when working on it, and I hope that others reading it's never too late to have another dream, and to find your "gift".
Thank you everyone, stay safe out there. ❤