Last Saturday was the fourth anniversary of my science-fiction/comedy comic Moon Freight 3.  It was also the day that my good friend Brian Kozicki passed away, so you can understand why I didn’t talk about it then.  It’s been a crazy four years, full of ups, downs, laughs, serious stories, and a lot of learning and growth as a writer and artist.  And it is also time to make an announcement that has been a long time coming:

Moon Freight 3 will come to a close on November 16.

I’ve been working toward this end for a long time.  I’ve known HOW the story was going to end almost since the beginning, but I didn’t know WHEN that ending was going to be.  I only actually wrote it down for the first time earlier this year, so I could have it when I needed it.  Even then I could tell the end was upon us.  And as another month or so passed, I could sense even more that I was going to need it soon.  So I wrote every strip between where I was in the production process and the end so I could make sure a few small loose ends were tied up and a few other things were set up for the big finale.

Some of you may be asking why I’m choosing now to end the strip.  Honestly, it’s only about nine months earlier than I originally intended to end the strip.  For a long time I only saw Moon Freight 3 as having a life of about five years at most, so the fact that it will run four years and three months isn’t that far off the mark.  Could I have kept the strip going for another nine months, to get it to that point?  Sure, but when I made the decision to end the strip I felt that I had told all the stories that I wanted to tell.  I’m comfortable ending the story now, and I don’t feel it’s being dragged on unnecessarily or ended prematurely.

Did The Center of Somewhere have anything to do with this decision?  Yes and no, but mostly no.  As I always do, I was idly brainstorming one day as the ideas for CoS started coming to me.  I’ve had plenty of comics come to me like this, so I did what I always do: I took notes to save for a later day.  Maybe CoS would be the strip I did after MF3.  Maybe it would be one of the other ideas I had brewing.  But then the ideas kept coming. And kept coming. And kept coming.  And I knew that CoS wouldn’t be a strip that waited.  It wanted to be created, and it wanted to be created NOW.  So I started seriously scripting and fleshing out the characters more.  And then I started drawing it.  And then I realized I could potentially have a five-day-a-week comic on my hands.  And it was then that I knew that it was time.  It would be okay to end Moon Freight 3.  My cartooning career had a world beyond my Martian inspection station, and it was going to be fun.

So what happens next?  Besides Center of Somewhere, I have a few other comic ideas in various stages of production, but I’m only writing those.  I’m working with some very talented artists and I hope to be able to make some concrete announcements soon.  I also have to finish collecting Moon Freight 3 in book form.  “Messing With Heads” may not have been funded on Kickstarter, but I’m working on a Plan B now.  I still have to collect the final 15 months of the strip, too, and that book should be released in early 2013, if the Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise.

So that’s it.  The story of Larry, Bolts, X, Katie, May, Kim, and everyone else is coming to a close.  But the story of Fingullet, Nick, Oakland, and Turbo is only just beginning, and soon you’ll see some new friends make their way to their little corner of Middle America.  I have absolutely no regrets about my work on MF3, and I’m exceedingly happy that I was able to tell a story that long on a regular basis, learning so much along the way.  So stay tuned for the next few weeks, and be there Sept. 24, when the eight-week concluding epic begins, and the lives of our regular guys in space change forever…