EPILOGUE FOUR. Rooftop of the Cydonian Towers, Amazonis Prime.

Happy Friday once again, Marsers. There’s no way getting around this- we have come to the last page of our little epilogue and, in doing so, dot the proverbial exclamation point. The last page. It’s a little tough for Nic and I to wrap our heads around it, to be honest. There’s a solid two years of work here on this site now. And I have it on good authority that all this will be available in print format next Wednesday, July 11th. I did get a notice from Amazon that the book was shipping early.

I’ve given this post a lot of thought, but I think I should follow our cinematic theme and roll some credits.

First, without Matthias Weeks, there would be no Adepticon and there would, likewise, be no Free Mars website. The guy knows WordPress and servers and all that sort of pseudo-magical stuff. This will probably prompt him to tell me that we need to update the site.

Similarly, without Chris Borer we’d have had no one admonishing us for not doing our best possible work, whether that meant one of Nic’s designs or one of my bits of dialogue. Chris is a perfectionist in the best possible sense. He makes other people actually want to be better (mostly through the aforementioned use of admonishment). Chris almost single-handedly formatted the pages for our self-published compilation and he did it again for Ape’s OGN. He also just showed me the 32mm sculpt he just did of one of our band mates and she looks amazing. Hope to show you that soon.

David Hedgecock and Brent Erwin at Ape Entertainment have given Free Mars the opportunity to become more than just a webcomic- not that there’s anything wrong with just being a webcomic. This is just my opinion, but any webcomic creator that tells you they don’t want to be published in the traditional sense is either lying or they’re so hip that they don’t actually want you to have heard of their comic (because it sounds better on vinyl anyway). Well, David and Brent made that a reality for us.

Brigid Alverson, with one brief “Start Reading Now” on Robot 6 did more for our self-esteem than anything else that happened early on. I gotta send her a copy of the OGN. Xaviar Xerexes, of ComixTALK, was also a very early supporter who helped us get rolling.

Finally, what can I say about my partner, Nicolas R Giacondino? The guy is amazing. I don’t really have a lot of experience writing comics, but I suspect that some writers and artists were just made to work together (just ask Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons- no, wait, I take that back). Nic, from the beginning, knew exactly what Free Mars should look like; it’s almost like he had seen Vikki, Sam, and Taryn already. He never missed an update. Never. No one loves the band and Free Mars as much as me, except for Nic, who sometimes loves them even more.

I know I said something about an End Credits cover-song contest. I think I’m gonna send Bryan Bullock a book for coming up with The Alarm. Great song. End Credits songs are SO important. I asked Nic what his choice would be. I think he’s waxing a little sentimental:

“This is a milestone and no mistake. We’ve come a long way since our first page back in the day and I still stand by my assertion that FREE MARS is the best comic I’ve ever illustrated. However, and even though we’ve come to an end of sorts, my musical pairing glimpses at what is both a hope and a certainty, should we keep track of the girls’ adventures on the newly liberated Mars. ‘The Best is Yet to Come’ by Frank Sinatra sounds to me as if Taryn had plugged an old record player on a nostalgic night; it’d be curious to know what the girls would each be thinking as they listen to the old ragged recording; though I’m fairly certain whom Vikki would be missing. So, relax, take it all in, and see you when we return.”

And since Nic is going full-on nostalgia, I’m picking a brand new song. From the new Metric album. ‘Youth Without Youth’. This, to me, sounds like everything a Free Mars song should sound like. I’m ending Riot Girls with that.

So, what’s next? We’ll talk again next week. Same Coordinated Mars Time….