Coming to a Close (Edits and more)

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So, the comic is coming to an end, and it seems we’ve left quite a few people with a sense of incompletion, so I wanted to take a few moments to talk about it.

Leaving the comic incomplete wasn’t our intention, and this ending is the ending we’ve always had planned. But we also planned this comic to be very open in regards to where the story can go in between all of the “important” pieces. This is mainly due to the fact that when I started this comic 8 years ago I thought it would be a SUPER GREAT idea to be able to do ANYTHING with it, not realizing it needed way more structure than I gave it. I wanted to be able to continue the comic indefinitely and wrap it up at any time I wanted to. This sounded great at the time, but I know better now. As a result of this, we ended up with half-formed ideas that would have been better left out, or ideas and characters that were not able to be properly expanded upon. Unless we keep going indefinitely, which just isn’t possible.

I make no excuses for any of this other than I didn’t know better. I admit I made mistakes with the story and writing, but I have learned so much from this project so I’m glad that I did it. And I hope you guys can still enjoy it for what it is. A lot of you have the feeling that there is so much more to be told in this world and with these characters, and you’re right. There is so much potential. But we are going to have to leave that potential up to your imaginations.

THE EPILOGUE

Regarding the “open” ending, this is how we wanted it, but we know you guys want at least a taste of the future of our beloved gang for a greater sense of closure. We are planning to host a Kickstarter to fund the final book very soon, and the most important stretch goal will be an eight page epilogue set 3 years in the future. I have already scripted it out and I think you guys will love it. We hope with your support we can make it a reality!

If funded, we will complete the epilogue for the book and will release it online sometime after the Kickstarter is fulfilled.

THE EDITS

Finally, there is one major loose end in this story that has always bothered me – and bothered you readers as well. This is in regards to the very first mission that Meela and Feral did together back in Chapter 3, involving an older gentleman and his mysterious knowledge of Meela when she was younger. This is one of those half-formed ideas I was talking about before. I thought it would be fun to tease the readers a little and left the burden of explaining this event up to Future Me, who eventually realized Past Me was an idiot and I had no decent way to do it.

In order to round out the story and get rid of that loose end, we have decided to change it. We have made edits to the following pages: Page 62, Page 81, Page 82 and Page 89. I know some of you may not like the change, but I’m much happier with it this way, so I hope you can accept it.

And the original explanation of this event? (SPOILERS – DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE COMIC YET) The gentleman and his wife were known for harboring fugitives in the form of half demons like Meela and her brother, who found their way to his doorstep shortly after their father was killed. They stayed with them for a little bit before an anti-demon group randomly made an attack on the house, setting it aflame. Meela and her brother fled into the night, the wife perished in the fire, and the husband was left with no option but to escape into solitude or likely be killed himself. Feral was the last of many bounty hunters hired by the anti-demon group trying to get at him.

A rather pointless tie-in in retrospect, and something we were never able to explain, so it’s better off just being changed to expand upon Meela’s idealisms and character growth instead. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to ask!

THANK YOU

And lastly, I just want to say thank you to everybody that has read the comic, whether you’ve been reading for years or just now found it. Creating a full-color comic isn’t easy and if it weren’t for the support and love of the readers we might have dropped it a long time ago.

We know you’re sad to see it end, especially when there’s so much more that can be done with it, but it’s time for us to move on to new endeavors and we hope you can understand. Rest assured that we have wrapped up (or at least explained) the most important pieces of the story, so anything left open is intended to be that way. We will also be hosting a Q&A after the last page of the comic next week, so we fully intend to explain almost anything you all are left wondering about.

Both Algy and I have plans for new stories to tell in the future, so we hope you’ll keep an eye out if you want to see more from us, even if it’s not related to Strays ;)

75 thoughts on “Coming to a Close (Edits and more)

  1. I’ve been with this comic since 2013 and now everything seems… bittersweet, somehow.

  2. Been with you guys a while as well, I wanna say since 2010? Time gets a little hazy on me sometimes… Anyway, it’s been a pleasure to watch this story unfold, and personally I’ll be sticking around to see what else you guys come up with. Can’t wait for that book :) I just took the other two out today actually.

  3. I was with you guys when I was in middle school in 2007, now I’m a year away from graduating college. Thanks for the ride you guys :’)

  4. Um…question….is there anyway for people who bought volume one before you made those changes to get an updated version? o.o;

    I have both volume one and two and I bought them both quite a while ago so they still have all of the original text….

    Anyway, will totally be getting be volume 3 when it comes out and REALLY looking forward to the ending, but also really wishing it could keep going… ;3; This comic was like a roller coaster of feels. Feels were just all over the place and I’m so glad I was able to watch it grow and progress! ^-^

    Heres to a great and bright future for you guys! ^-^

    1. That’s a bit of a tricky question. To get the print version of Volume 1 updated we would have to get it reprinted, and we need help just getting Volume 3 paid for.

      Which might be possible depending on how well the Kickstarter does. If it goes over the original goal we might have enough money to reprint V1 too!

      And while we unfortunately can’t afford to replace all of the copies we’ve already sold, we could probably offer a discount on the reprinted book to anybody that has the original :)

      1. What about just adding in the updated pages to volume 3 in the back or something? I do very much so plan on picking up volume 3 comes out, but my problem lies on the fact that I’ll probably ONLY be able to pick up one book. (unless of course I get a new job by then which is what I’m hoping for)

        I personally wouldn’t mind having the new pages in the back of volume 3, sort of like a “directors” cut or something. At least that way I can also keep the original text as well. ^-^

        But hey, whatever works best for you guys. I have VERY much enjoyed the story so far and will certainly miss seeing an update every Friday. :’C

        But thanks again for the reply! I’m sure I’ll be happy with whatever you choose to do. ^-^

        1. I’m afraid adding the updated pages to the back of Volume 3 would be a little too strange for us ^^; The pages were barely edited in art, it was mostly dialogue changes, so it seems weird to add such minor changes as a director’s cut.

          Perhaps we could do prints of the edited pages? Then you can slip them into the book in the proper spots? Not ideal, I know, but it might work? ^^;

        2. I don’t mind that much having the Volume 1 with the unedited pages. It strangely feel like having a first edition or a collector or something like that. :D
          And it isn’t like you’ve change the whole story.

  5. It’s been a fun ride. Thanks guys for sharing such a dynamic and beautiful story.

  6. I’ve been here since chapter 1 or 2-ish. It’s been a long time since then and I loved every page of it. You can count on me for that kickstarter :)

  7. God. It’s finally over. A webcomic is finally coming to a close. What a ride. It seems surreal that I’ll have one less thing to read. Thank you being one of the comics that introduced me to webcomics.

    1. Oh, ikr? I only just realized I’ve been watching/reading since 2009… That’s just insane to me. And this has been one of the first webcomics I ever got into!

      Gonna miss it sooooooo much DX

  8. It’s been a long fun ride. And while I am a little sad that the plot for the old man changed I am glad that at least that it got addressed. I think I very well may have been reading since the very beginning on dA. Thank you guys for letting us enjoy the ride with you, and for sharing something this awesome.

  9. I hope the epilogue gets made. I’ve quite enjoyed this series over the years–has it really been that long?–and while sometimes I like open-ended “and the adventure continues”-type conclusions, I’m definitely in favor of more definitive ones.

    Thank you ladies for Strays. Wish you all success in the future.

  10. Much better than the comic reaches some kind of ending, instead of dropping in the middle. Kudos for sticking it out to your intended completion.

  11. I hope you guys will advertise future works and websites on either this site or on your dA account(s). Celesse, I love so many of your various works and I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

  12. It’s been a pleasure reading this story. Sad to see it coming to a close, but all great things have to end! Look forward to seeing your new projects when they arrive :)

  13. I feel a bit sad with the story coming to a close. I’ve been here three years maybe? It’s hard to remember with how time flies by, but this is one of the few comics I keep tabs on. It’s been a beautiful and wonderful story, so I’m sad to see it close. But I also can’t really blame you since, I came up with a large story years ago and never finished it. Only got like three variations of it before it had been deleted.

    But I can hope for maybe a spin-off or a re-visit to the story in the later years and I do look forward to seeing your new works. I hope they’re as addicting as strays was to me.

  14. I’ve been following this comic since celesse first posted concept art on her dA page. Since then you have updated EVERY FRIDAY with the exception of christmas break and when Cel got carpal tunnel. If you needed to skip a week, a double update followed soon after. So i am thankful for your dedication, i have followed your art aince 2006 and cannot wait to see the awesomeness of your future projects. You are one of my idols Samantha Whitten, don’t )ever forget it!

  15. You’ve done a wonderful job with the comic. Granted there are loose ends but it you gave it a proper ending . I know how difficult yet fun it is to run weekly comic more so when every page is colored. Thanks for giving us such an Awesome story & wish you all the best for your future projects. Keep us updated. :D

  16. I just started reading this again after so long a break from it. I hate to say, that I totally forgot about Strays, but it is true. This is, was, and still will be one if my favorite stories thus far, and I’m sad to see it end, but very happy to have watched it grow. It’s a little bitter sweet, but, thank you for giving us the opportunity to share this story. Feral will always be my favorite mute….ever.

  17. I’ve been reading Strays ever since the chapter where Meela first turned into her demon form. Strays was my first web-graphic novel, and I love it. Thanks for making this awesome work, and I’d love to see what you two make in the future, :3

  18. It’s always sad when good things end, but I stick with you in your decision. The authors always know best. Thank you for your hard work, it’s a real piece of treasure and it kept me company every friday. I can’t wait to see your next work!

  19. I’m both sad the story is ending, and yet ecstatic that yet another wonderful webcomic has drawn to a full and proper close. And viva la webcomics, a happy medium where you can retroactively edit pages! XD

    Seriously though, well done, well done, standing ovation and all that stuff regarding the work you guys have done here. Best of luck for all your other projects. <3

  20. I have been reading your comic for years. Thank you very much for the great time I had with it. Personally I don’t mind the way it is ending, you have wrapped up the major plotline anyway, it’s just a bit odd that Piper dropped off the world.

    About the edits, to be honest it’s obviously too late but you basically could have worked it in somewhere before or directly after Meela runs away as part of a flashback expanding on her backstory about what happened after the cave. As a set of scenes where she was before and 1 panel about this particular incident, she was trying to figure out where to go anyway… would have made sense that she thinks about where she was with her brother before since was about to run away or was running away. Just my 2 cents. Obviously removing it works too :)

    All the best to you and I hope keep having fun with your art and writing no matter what you do in future! Thanks again for all the hard work, I really had a blast.

  21. Aww im sad to know it’s ending. I love your characters so much I would love to keep seeing more of them. But as I do a comic my self I understand. I thank you for sharing such an awesome comic with us all. I am eager to read whatever mew comic you make! <3

  22. I am so proud of you guys for following your goals and dreams. Remember that we adore you, but it is your life and your comic. Do what you need to do and be true to yourselves. Open ended stories are awesome.

  23. But i dont want it tovend it was amazing just with there was an after to this like what happens. What new adventure come and ect

  24. My friends and I found Strays last year at the beginning of the school year, and it was probably the best part of our week, when we all got to cram into the library computer lab to see the new update. Truly, it made coming to school on Fridays worth it xD

    I am VERY glad that you folks are actually finishing the story though! There are a lot of comics I’ve followed that kind of snuffled out and left the readers with a lot of disappointment, so to see such a wonderful tale actually finished is a huge treat.

    No doubt, Strays will be one of those happy memories I share with my children in the future. :3

  25. I don’t post here often, but I’ve been following Strays since late 2010, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the updates every Friday. I’m a little sad to hear that it’s ending, but as many others have said, glad that it’s *ending* rather than being abandoned somewhere along the line, and I look forward to seeing future works from you two. I also hope the epilogue happens, because that’s a few more pages from this world and these characters I’ll get to see and enjoy.

  26. its… its ending??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

  27. I’ve been with this comic for so long, it feels so strange that it’ll be ending. I hope to buy all three volumes (I have one, just need the other two!) someday – I just can’t believe I won’t be able to see new updates every Friday anymore </3

    Thank you guys so much for making such awesome characters, worlds and stories! Keep up the good work!

  28. If you mainly just changed the text used in the speech bubbles perhaps for those that have the older volumes with the old text you could offer a sticker page to change the bubbles.

    1. That’s a super cute idea. I’ll keep it in mind XD

  29. I just saw this post . . . T^T I started reading this comic since 2011/2012? I can’t remember which. But I absolutely fell in love with this comic and I have shown and shared it with so many of my friends, whom all love it just as much as I do. I just wanted to say a HUGE heartfelt thank you to you guys for keeping this comic going for as long as it has! I am super sad to see it stop, but I am super grateful to be able to find and read such an amazing story. I wish you guys the best and I will definitely keep my eyes open for any new stories you create! I know you guys go to Anime cons, maybe look into going to some furry cons? Would love to see your merch. there :3

    LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH! THANK YOU!!! <3

  30. Before the end, there are 2 things that i wanted to know:

    Who was the old man from the Chapter 3 (the first mission of Feral)?
    What happened to the mother of Meela?

    Thank you so much for your work Celesse and i hope you continue with your work with the gamercat. You deserve an animated series

    1. Please read the whole post, I do address the old man in Chapter 3 in it.

      Meela’s mother is something we’re keeping under our hats for right now.

      Thank you!

  31. Wow, it’s finally coming to a close. I’ve been following your comic for years, but I never minded waiting because you’ve held my interest throughout. Thank you for this wonderful project.

    Could you please promise to let me/us know if and when you have a new one? :)

  32. After the comic ends, will you keep the website up and keep the store open?

  33. I think the feeling that its incomplete comes because there’s so much of this world that hasn’t been explained, so many mysteries unsolved, so many questions left unanswered. It feels like an ending, but an ending to part 1 of a larger story. Life happens and it is what it is, but I hope you come back to these characters and this world some day.

  34. I have been reading this comic for years, and… I can’t say I’m completely satisfied with the ending. But it still works, and thank you so much for creating Strays for so long! I’ll miss it a lot and I’m really looking forward to reading the epilogue.

  35. Enjoyed the comic thank you for all the hard work and hope you have great times ahead.

  36. Thank you for this wonderful web comic and for all of your hard work. <3 It was exciting watching the start and end of Strays. This web comic was one of the few rare ones I have stuck with and kept up with for it's entire run. <3 It's been great! I look forward to see what you guys come up with next.

  37. Where can we find the Kickstarter?

  38. totally appreciate all the hard work and effort you guys have put into this comic and that you are wrapping it up instead of just abandoning it. kudos to you guys and good luck!

  39. After a friend showed me this comic I instantly fell in love with it. Like everyone else, I am sad to see it be done soon, but at least we all had the chance to follow little Meela!

    Mind if I ask what you have planned to do in the future after Strays? Another Comic? A book? Anything? I’m curious. :)

    1. Seconded.

  40. First time commenting here, even though I’ve been following this wonderful comic for years now.

    I don’t know what you plan for an epilogue, but here are some things I’d love some closure to: (1) Feral’s diary — will we at least get a hint on what he might do with it now that he’s slowly coming to terms with his condition? Will he one day come to terms with it, or will it remain sealed forever? Will Meela help him with restoring (at least a part of) his lost memories? (2) What happens to Meela’s dream-catching talent? Will she develop it? What will she do with it? (3) Whatever becomes of Piper? (4) What happened to Meela’s mom? (5) Whatever became of Vihki?

    1. We understand you guys all still have some burning questions. We’ll be opening a Q&A after the last page to address questions like these, so please hold onto them until then :) We’d like to keep the questions and answers all in one spot for easy reference/review.

  41. I can’t believe it’s over oh my god I’m really sad. I love this comic.

  42. Another long-time lurker here that has been following this webcomic for a good while~

    What I want to express more than anything, in the light of this imminent wrap-up, is your apparent intuition for world-creating. Considering that you started out this story and its world with hardly any structure at all, it’s still managed to create such a lasting impression on its readers, sparking all kinds of questions about the lay of the land, the different peoples living in it, the cultures and family structures, the grander political processes at stake. For a semi-generic fantasy setting slapped together simply to provide a stage for these characters to gallivant around in, it’s really taken on a life of its own in the minds of your readers and I don’t think that would have been possible without that innate spark of a living, breathing world – which you seem to have imbued without even thinking about it.

    With the experience you’ve gained working on this story together with your artistic skill and this talent for creating your worlds and breathing life into them with only a small handful of characters, I have faith that whatever you all do in the future is going to be magnificent to see. :)

    1. As for the open ending, that’s still a legit stylistic choice, and in a way it exemplifies the specific little bubble created by these characters. Not every group of willing and less-so protagonists need be the center of a world’s unfolding history; just these personal narratives that just happen without the weight of the cosmos resting on their shoulders.

      In light of that thought, “Strays” truly becomes a perfect name for this story! That’s what it’s about – stray strands of what could have been simple lives that got tangled into each other, creating their own contained snowball effect that we got to watch and tumble along with through thick and thin. The only point of contact with something greater is Holland’s involvement with exposing the corruption within his own people, but … outside of that, Feral and Meela still have their own intertwined narrative that is about them, their loneliness, the scars they both carry and the eventual hope for healing for them both.

      Just that. And all that.

  43. I’m so proud of you guys! What a great story and so much growth throughout the years. I can’t wait for the print of book 3. Thanks so much for the adventure :)

  44. Wow, I really really like the edits a lot! Livens up the story even more a bit :).

  45. I will miss this comic greatly, one of the few I knew was written and drawn exceptionally well, I look forward to your future projects and will probably reread this comic many more times. <3

  46. I’ve been reading this comic for 2008. Found it at around the time Feral first showed his throat scars. I was at the tender age of 14. This was long enough time ago that a lot of my memories are brightened by a generous dose of nostalgia. I still remember the various gems from the old forums, before we switched to the comment system, as well as all the threads and discussion topics, the art subforum and the fact that I have not one but two OC’s who would not have existed without this community. One of them was born because Feral “inspired” me to roleplay a mute character with throat-scars, the second because someone’s posts in the forums “inspired” me to create a blind character with an aura-detection sense. Both of those characters became very dear to me and I owe the original spark that led me to create them to this webcomic. :D

    I enjoyed “Strays” a lot and I think your art style has evolved considerably over the years. Mild differences too small to notice at first glance. Feral’s head has grown slightly rounder and bigger, whilst Meela has started to look considerably less scrawny (which could be written off due to her hitting puberty). In any case you’ve grown even better at conveying perspective and emotion than you were at the start and the panels have more “your style” in them.

    Thank you for bringing this comic to a proper closure! And for doing this for all these years! I shall think back on this journey with fondness and hope to see more collaborations between the two of you in the future – short stories, infographics on the world like in SSSS, or even solo projects.

    All the best,
    Cliodna

  47. I’ve been silently reading this comic for years, it may have even been the first webcomic I started reading, and was certainly the one I was most invested in. I will certainly miss the regular updates, but the end has given good closure to a very enjoyable journey.

    I wish you both all the best with your future endeavours, and thank you for sharing this story with us all.

  48. I’ve been silently reading this comic since I discovered it. Let me tell you, it takes great courage to stop. You know your limits and you know when to stop the story. Life is just one never ending complication of stories all going on at the same time. So congratulations, I hope you return to this setting some day, but thank you for sharing this with us.

  49. I’ve been reading since 2011 and now it just seems so crazy that it’ll be over. I don’t think I ever commented, I did enjoy from the background. Thank you for providing us with this world. Our lives are richer for it. Good luck to you both and I really hope you decide to return to this world someday (preferably soon ;) ).

  50. Thank you so much guys, for this amazing journey. I started reading six years ago, and this comic was the first webcomic I ever started reading, while starting to read Off-white around the same time. I love this story so much, and its been a pleasure to read it. I hope you each have wonderful adventures in your lives, I am sure you have much ahead of you!

    Also, thanks to all of the other readers of this comic. One part of this being my favorite comic is you guys. I loved the discussion, and when I needed it, the Association of the Corner of Feels. You guys rock!

  51. I think the list of edited pages is wrong, it looks like page 82 has not been changed but page 77 has been changed.

    Great story! You did a really good job wrapping it up, not leaving the story hanging. Really a nice conclusion where it sits, although I will look forward to the epilogue. And editing the dialog about the old man is a good change, I feel. The story has plenty of relationships between characters, without needing to bring this other guy into the mix, and make him into more of a character than he needs to be.

  52. Wow, what a story! However, I did feel like smashing my computer once I finished! :) I really hope you guys continue the story, but it did stop at a pretty good place. The logical place to go would be to keep following Meela, or maybe just jump a few years into the future when she’s older and has a lot more control. Again, what a story!

  53. I loved the comic… I eagerly awaited every Friday to see what would happen next… My only wish was that feral got his voice back in the end oh well it’s still a great story… Will u guys be posting the 8 pages of the epilogue on the website… I’m so excited to see what meela looks like after 3 years and ferals reaction to seeing her again omg can’t wait and again love the story

  54. I have followed the comic for a short time and though I hate open endings I think it ended well. thank you for removing that open ended idea it really helps the story flow smoother. and thank you for the new world and experience.

  55. I am fairly new to the reading of this comic and I am severely upset that you ended it unintentionally. There’s gotta be a reason to end it so early, I had strong high hopes for volume three and now I won’t be able to read the comic up to its intended end. I may not be seeing you eye-to-eye, but I am just completely shocked to see a comic I’m really into go to waste like it is now. I wanted to see what happened after the end now to Meela, Feral, and all the other characters so badly I even wanted to volunteer to help make more comic pages, but who am I kidding?! That’s never GONNA HAPPEN!!

  56. Been with you since yesterday
    Already in love
    And now I’m sad it’s over

  57. Thank you. I doubt I will ever find a comic with the same great feel as this. THANKS!

  58. I’ve been reading the comic ever since you guys started! It’s crazy to think I’ve been reading this comic consistently for eight years. Loved every moment of it and I’m happy to hear you’re all moving forward to bigger and better plans for the future. :) Thank you Celesse and Algy!

  59. Wow! I haven’t found a Webcomic this good in quite a while. This was a treat to read!

  60. lovely read, and thanks for the ending comments, This has been fun. Good luck on your endeavors!

  61. Can’t wait for the epilogue!!!!!!!!!

  62. SatanWolfNightshade

    Because I didn’t get here until now, I was able to read the entire thing in one day. I didn’t realize that I could get so attached to something in less than two hours.

  63. You COULD continue in this world but then like in Warrior Cats go on with different characters just to let us see more of this world to enjoy. I hope you will but of course I can’t be sure that you will. This story has ended but you could always start with a new story about new people (and maybe pick up some old ones too but not Meela and probably not Feral), and I’ll always be waiting and hoping for a season 2! Thanks for this beautiful comic and goodbye.

  64. Sooo…. Now that I finally finished this… Any other suggestions? Other stuff to read?

  65. Why don’t you re-write the story or explain the ideas further?

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