The Webcomicker

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Fare well?

An unsatisfying ending from Poppycock Circus
I hate it when this happens. And I mean HATE IT. To me there is no greater tragedy in this world than an unfinished story. I'm one of those people who hates those movies where the ending is just a cliff-hanger or leading to a sequel that doesn't get made. I have trouble picking up new TV shows because of a deep-seated fear that the network will decide to cancel the show mid-season or something and leave everything COMPLETELY hanging in mid-air. My current version of the end of the world is that the collective weight of untold stories from cancelled television shows clogging the transcendental ether will cause the universe to come crashing down around NBC studios in a comsic inverse of the Big Bang. but I digress...
Poppycock Circus was never one of my favorite webcomics, but it was a comic which I enjoyed and followed on a consistent basis. Mike Poppycock himself was always my favorite character, the wheeler-dealer trying desperately to keep a sinking ship from going belly-up (way too many hackneyed sayings in that last sentence, but in a way, that fits Mike as well). Behind the humor, I always got a melancholy feel from reading Poppycock Circus. I mean, who does go to circuses anymore? It used to be when the circus came to town it was a major event, with posters and fliers and announcements in the paper. Now I never hear about it anymore, and while I assume that circuses must still exist, I haven't seen nor heard of one near me for almost a decade. There's just no way that a rag-tag cadre of performers, freaks, and unusual animals can compete with all the hip new forms of entertainment available on the market these days. And this sort of fading was communicated quite well by Steve Carey in Poppycock Circus. Sure, the gang had a lot of wacky adventures and crazy cahoots, but did you ever actually see a legitimate audience in any of the strips? It was always one or two people either being led around the place or sitting and watching, but never a crowd.
So, in a way, this is a somewhat fitting end to the strip. It just sort of... ends... No fanfare, no official finishing storyline, no last strip with the characters waving goodbye. Just like society has broken away from circuses, it feels almost as if the strip is simply breaking away from the story of Poppycock Circus. The characters are still the same, performing the same tricks, having the same interactions, doing what they always do, but the strip simply isn't going to follow them anymore. It's finished.
But that doesn't make it any less frustrating for me. I need closure!!!
Ah, well. Goodbye, Poppycock Circus, and good luck on any future endeavors, Steve Carey.


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