Now I'll answer any questions you may have. Yes, you at the back.
Do I have to have read the regular Airbury series to understand it?
–– No. But it helps if you have, since the strip doesn't have any exposition at the beginning, or description of the setting.
Do you mean 'epics' in that lame overused internet sense?
–– Thankfully, no. Nor do I mean it in its true definition. There's a tone of nostalgia to the whole Airbury thing (a lot of it is based on my own school days, after all), so it's only 'epic' in the sense that each little story can be recounted as something bigger, years later.
Where did you get the idea to do this?
–– In a Seattle bookshop on January 1, 2012. Believe it or not, I wrote out a rationale for it. Originally, I was going to do one strip every day for all of 2012 (I tend to get crazy ideas like this on New Year's Day).
Why will the panels be arranged vertically instead of horizontally?
––Because it will be easier to read on a computer screen. Hey, it wasn't me who decided to make websites scroll down instead of to the right.
Is it a standard 'gag' strip, like in the newspapers?
–– No. It doesn't follow the old 'punchline at the end' format, so you may not find it funny. Up to you.
Is there continuity from one strip to the next?
–– Not as planned, but there will be if I say so. It will also keep continuity with everything that's already happened.
Are all the same characters in it?
–– This is the most important question. There is one more character that has not been seen up until now. Here goes...
Back in 2000, when I was a uni student, I drew a comic called Submerged World, a.k.a. Metalheads 3, as it was the third comic I did in a series called Metalheads (which several Airbury characters first appeared in). It featured a new character called Sugar Robinson. She was a genius who designed a spacecraft to rescue her inventor father who had been abducted by a gang of criminals. She does rescue him, but the criminals kill her at the end of the story, to the dismay of Psyche and her other school friends.
Some of my classmates at uni read the comic, and each of them liked it, but told me they wished I had not let Sugar die. They said she had a fun personality and could have appeared in other comics. But by then, she'd been killed off, so she never did appear again.
Until 12 years later, when I decided to bring her back for the regular Airbury series. Some people think that introducing new characters mid-series is a sign you're running out of ideas, but in my case, I felt bad that Sugar would not get to graduate high school and attend the Academy with her friends. Thus, the story has been retconned so that she didn't die after all, but was abducted by the crime gang and held hostage for almost two years before being rescued – although everyone thought she was dead all this time.
All of this plays out in a new story called "Rebirth", which is the opening story of Volume IV. But since Mini Epics will appear on this blog first, this is where Sugar will make her first appearance in 12 years (minus the emotional reunion with her father and friends, which you'll only see in "Rebirth"). Don't be confused, just read the comic when I start running it on this blog!