Not the End
Not the End

Hey everyone. This is it. This is the big reveal. This is the end-goal I had in mind from when I first created Weregeek.

It isn’t the end, however. Not by a long shot.

See, back when I was first planning out story ideas for this comic, I had a big, sprawling storyline involving the Weregeeks and their geek powers. I was in love with the mystery of the Hunters as shadowy antagonists, and I really wanted to work in all sorts of metaphors. I had big, big plans.

I had also never written anything other than posts for my play-by-post RPGs and a few short stories that, with any luck, will never see the light of day. So, as the years went by and I got better and better at writing jokes and planning out more tightly character-focused storyarcs, I found that I liked writing the ‘metaplot’ storylines less and less. I came to dread them, actually, since they seemed to take away what I’d actually built – a cast of characters that were relateable, that made me laugh and reminded me of all of the fun times I’d had as a newbie LARPer, characters that you, the fans, wrote me to ask for more details about. I found the Hunter/Wergeek plots taking a backseat to plots focused around these characters and their lives, and wishing I could spend even more time writing that.

And so, after a lot of thought, I decided to wrap up the metaplot early. I had originally planned it to be the penultimate storyline (and, given how sprawling, and lets face it, convoluted, the original plot idea was, it would have needed to be late in the game!), but realized that not only did that not have to be the end, it shouldn’t be. There were so many more stories yet to tell – why haven’t we seen much of Ravenia lately? How did Ned wind up running a game shop? Are Joel and Stephanie going to hit it off or wind up at each other’s throats? And, as so many people have been asking, what’s going to happen between Mark and Sarah now?

Anyway, I’m excited for this new chapter in the comic. Or maybe, not a chapter so much as a new chronicle (chronicle being the term we used to denote different games under the same banner – a vampire chronicle could be run by the same Storytelling team and organizers, but be very different thematically between one chronicle and the next. Most even had different continuities, though that’s not the case here!). I’m really excited about delving a little more deeply into the cast’s lives, and I hope that you guys are too.

So, thank you all for sticking with me through Chronicle 1 of Weregeek. I hope you’ll stick with me through into the new Chronicle, because there’s lot of story yet to tell, and I’m really excited to tell it. We’re going to be going back to the ever-punny “+2 Comedy Check Theatre” once this storyline wraps (there’s still a few strips left that will hopefully answer some of the questions you may have!) to give me time to script ahead on the new chronicle and really get a good handle on the writing, but the new storyline should be starting on March 31st. Until then, thanks for reading, and I’ll be checking the comments section over the next while if you have any questions!

-Alina

News: Posted March 11th, 2014 by Alina

^ 289 Comments to “Not the End”

  1. DragonStryk72 Says:

    Um…What? They somehow got Mark into the LARP before he even realized he was a gamer? Or what a LARP was?

    So basically, our main character is actively schizophrenic, to the point that he van vividly see *fifty-foot* tall weregeeks that are capable of easily lifting him in one hand, even going so far into his delusion that he can physically feel them grasping him?

    Uh, no, no he needs to stay away from gaming, or he is going to very definitely get people hurt and killed. I’m sorry, but Mark is anything but a regular gamer, and the first time this happened, I would ban him from any group I’m in. People clearly need to be protected from him.

    This isn’t like a story where a gamer just takes the game too seriously. For YEARS, he didn’t even realize there was a game, that this was all absolutely, irrevocably real, to the point of believing lives were on the line. Nope, sorry, he needs to put down the dice, and walk away.

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 10:47 am
  2. Travis Says:

    it’s not even a fun train wreck anymore.

    Having done Camarilla for a few years this isn’t even remotely fun or funny as people like this do show up. People who can’t seperate reality from Drama, People you think it’s real, or people who have other social disorders that are deemed not safe for others. We had a few blood Drinkers who were key people in the organization who had to be kicked when they lured some new players who didn’t know anything about larping or the game and drank real human blood with them.

    Unless she pulls a “just Kidding” by mark or the whole cast and makes this a PSA . ‘Mark then looks to the Audience at the Con and says and don’t let fantasy control your reality….and now you know …….*! *ding DING Ding*’

    the down part is it’s just kind of Hard to trust the Narrative right now and in Hindsight it might make sense but there has been a breach of trust between the author and some of the audience.

    Ironically I now keep hoping this is all Dream as that would be better and less disturbing than the current extremely uncomfortable plot. Were-Geek putting the UN in Fun :(

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 12:11 pm
  3. Jer Says:

    … and then Mark hangs himself because his characters did not exist and Alina removes her mask and reveal that she has been Jack Chick all along ! 😉

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 12:13 pm
  4. Travis Says:

    Also EVERYTHING mark has done now out of game is suspect. It has gone from Jess being the irrational girlfriend for being judgemental about Marks Game and letters. to Jess was Probably right for Dumping Mark as Mark probably couldn’t seperate his in Game Blood bond from Sarah from Reality and thinks he is compulsed to like Sarah.

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 12:14 pm
  5. Purple Library Guy Says:

    I liked the plotline but don’t depend on it for my enjoyment of the comic, so from that perspective I don’t care much whether it’s real or Mark’s delusion. But this is analogous to the copout they used to do with kids’ stories and early fantasy: “It was allll a dreeaammm”. Which to me is the classic stupid thing to do to a story.

    I also think that for a roleplaying comic, the idea I’ve been seeing here that the paranormal, “extraordinary” and physically dangerous elements detract from the characterization fundamentally misunderstands the whole nature of roleplaying. Surely we see much about a person’s character when we throw them into unusual, dangerous, stressful situations. My wife, who doesn’t do RPGs, frequently thinks about people she knows in terms of “In WW II France, would this person have been in the Resistance, just kept their head down, or would they have collaborated with the Nazis?” A roleplaying game is precisely about doing characterization in situations of the unusual, the wondrous and the dangerous. Stupid movies like “300” may give us the impression that action is the opposite of characterization, but it should not and need not be so, and can be just the opposite. Look at “The English Patient”; could that story have been told without the violence, death, and loss?

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 12:17 pm
  6. SorrowfulCry Says:

    What is the opposite of vomiting rainbows? Whatever it is, that’s how I feel right now.

    I miss Old Mark, our bumbling, naive, brilliantly imaginative window into a world just a little more wonderful than our own.

    New Mark just makes me sad forever and ever.

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 12:19 pm
  7. DresdenDM Says:

    I dont normally check comments on here but i was told that this plot twist got a lot of bad comments so i wanted to try to add my 2 cents. Bravo Alina. A buildup this big and bam its all a game. I think the plot works much better this way. Youre writting well. I enjoy all the different game archs and now this is just another tame arch. Was a boldmove thst blindsidded many of us but in the end its the fore of the story.that its a bunch of geeks enjoying geeking out. And mark is the noobie that gete too lost in it. Perfect. Dont letnegstive comments get you down at all. Its all going goodnd this just made me like the comic more.

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 2:13 pm
  8. Big Lemon Says:

    I hope Mark’s overactive imagination—and possibly deteriorating mental state—is something that will continue to come up and maybe be a source of drama in the future, not just humor.

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 3:50 pm
  9. DragonStryk72 Says:

    Sigh… this has been bugging me all day now. Sadly, this likely means I’m pretty much done with the comic. I’ll stick around to finish out the last bits of storyline for this “chronicle”, but that’s only because I’m one of those people that has to get to the end of the story.

    Weregeek is no longer about weregeeks, but just normal geeks doing normal geek things. Anything really awesome I’ve seen was apparently the main character’s schizophrenic break with reality kicking in again and again, and really, his girlfriend dumping him probably saved her life, because he is a danger to himself and others. This ending has actually had the effect of staining all the rest of the comic going back to the very first page, becuase it’s all just been Mark burgeoning insanity.

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 8:08 pm
  10. Darkwolf_childe Says:

    I just…wow. I love your work, your storylines, your art, but I have to say I’ll miss the ‘weregeek’ side of things.
    It was one of those nifty little plot devices that really drew me in. I adore all the other side stories, the romantic entanglement between Mark and Sarah, the narration of the various games and all. But the ‘weregeek’ aspect really felt like that special flare that only this comic had and I am seriously going to miss it.
    I’d hoped this was some sort of double-blind fake out and Mark had been captured by the Hunters and was being brainwashed into thinking it was all in his head and he was insane as some way to break him from geekery, but it’s looking like that’s not the case.
    I’m disappointed in this particular reveal, but remain a devoted fan and Weregeek!

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 8:32 pm
  11. pfogg Says:

    DresdenDM: More or less independent of the quality of the art and writing, for those who prefer true-life stories to genre fiction, this is undoubtedly a huge relief, as it abstracts all of the fantasy and adventure elements into a play-within-a-play. For the audience members who equally enjoy either true-life drama and SF genre, this ending might be like finding a prize at the bottom of the box: a big surprise, a change of pace, a source of renewed interest. For those who prefer SF, thriller, or mystery genre stories, the true-life elements up to now might still have worked well for suspension of disbelief and selling the more imaginative elements, but this ending necessarily yanks the rug out from under anyone enjoying the story on that basis: the genre elements are not just deemphasized or removed, they were never there to begin with.

    The third group is probably more motivated to post than the first two, so one shouldn’t draw depressing conclusions based on a simple count of the responses here. But still, if the story is dropping the elements that appeal to the third group, they’re SOL and they know it.

    Blackjoker: I thought of that too — and a final strip zooming out from Mark wearing a catatonic stare, weregeeks around him shaking their heads as he’s wheeled off, permanently lost in his LARP halucination. Sort of a Brazil ending. Clearly not going to happen…

    Travis: “Also EVERYTHING mark has done now out of game is suspect.” And since group scenes were written from Mark’s (delusional) perspective, we can’t even be sure apparently shared experiences happened at all. Was Jess a girlfriend who broke up with him? Does she even exist?

    At this point the happiest resolution I can think of is a strip establishing
    that the brain tumor is benign and operable, and Mark can expect to make a full recovery (with Sarah helping him through it, and Jess forgiving his behavior based on his obvious medical problems, but no longer interested in a relationship).

    Posted March 17th, 2014 at 9:46 pm
  12. Travis Says:

    Felt Forced.

    What a let down ending over all to the end of the chronicle.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 4:10 am
  13. whims Says:

    Was Mark fooled by the original vampire LARP or not? The flashback had him following S.T. narration on the way in, so he couldn’t have been really fooled, but if he’s “finally getting payback” now, then what’s it for?

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 4:17 am
  14. Tirithek Says:

    Oh thank Zork. Well played Alina, I’m impressed with how the strips after the game ended so closely resembled the varying reactions of the commenters. Joel’s ‘you need a psychiatrist’ echoed a lot of the comments but I will admit a great deal of relief that Mark and the others were just trolling Joel (and by extension, you your audience)

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 4:26 am
  15. Mark Antony Says:

    …*slow clap*

    Well, you really got us good xD Well done.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 4:29 am
  16. RiderOfPhoenix Says:

    Quoting myself: “But the main plothole, the one in which Mark hadn’t even met them by then so there was no frikking way he could have joined a LARP with them (the first strips) is still there.”

    And I still feel like this is cheating the readers from the true narrative rather than coming to a satisfying conclussion. Not to say, mocking us again for pointing out that this end of the story doesn’t work.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 4:32 am
  17. Krause Says:

    I myself am dissapointed in people’s general dissapointment in this, to be honest! I felt that the hunter plot became more and more detached from what was really going on with the characters, which had become what the comic was all about – or, rather, had always been about. I’m really happy with the mundane ending to this.

    I’ll definitely be following the comic still, as it’s presently one of the most humane and down-to-earth webcomics around, with such a big heart instilled to it it’s a joy to read.

    It might be this’ll devide readers, but hey, it shouldn’t be taken that seriously! :) It’s a light hearted show, and should be read light heartedly.

    Best of luck, Alina! \o/

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 4:57 am
  18. LoneHowler Says:

    Well that’s cracks the “it was all a dream.” With just enough of a nod to “or was was it” to have me satisfied. I’m looking forward to seeing geeks vrs hunters as RP sessions in the future. Will it be something that can occur as it had in the past at geek moots, Ren fairs, and conventions? I can’t wait to see how it get used now that it’s been outed. Perhaps a rule book that can be purchased at some time in the future *puppy eyes*

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 5:40 am
  19. MacBone Says:

    Good ending! At least we know Mark’s not delusional now. =)

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 5:42 am
  20. Glew Says:

    Hah! Okay Alina, you must have had fun reading all the “OMG Mark is insane!” comments. My gosh how we all fell for this! 😀

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 5:47 am
  21. Glew Says:

    Also on a side-note: for a long time I thought this, but now it’s even more apparent (now that we are writing comments about a the comic of 18th in the comment section of 11th) that a there would be appreciation for a regular comment section under the daily comics.
    Please consider this. I don’t know why this hasn’t been implemented yet, maybe you don’t like reading comments, maybe it’s technical difficulties… But please reconsider. Thanks!

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 5:51 am
  22. LoneHowler Says:

    I’m guessing that the geeks vs hunters is one of those games akin to the zombies vs humans that are run at colleges and universities that takes place over a few weeks, and can interact at anytime with real life, so long as it doesn’t interfere with work/classes. While the zombies always win, I can see this being far more long running, now with people being able to switch to ether side, there can’t be an eventual uneven tipping point as with the zombie games. I’d love to see this run for a con weekend

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 6:15 am
  23. LoneHowler Says:

    My original comment got eaten, so I’m guessing double posting is a no-no. I’m going to reconstruct my original and paste my second together as one post

    Well that cracks the “It was only a dream” with a nod to “or was it” with the geek shadows. I look forward to eventual geeks vs hunters RP sessions. Will it be sit down sessions, or will it be long running RP that interacts with real life?

    I’m guessing that the geeks vs hunters is one of those games akin to the zombies vs humans that are run at colleges and universities that takes place over a few weeks, and can interact at anytime with real life. so long as it doesn’t interfere with work/classes. While the zombies always win, I can see this being far more long running, now with people being able to switch to ether side, there can’t be an eventual uneven tipping point as with the zombie games. I’d love to see this run for a con weekend, perhaps a rule book in the future? *puppy eyes*

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 6:24 am
  24. LoneHowler Says:

    And then I realize I’m a moron and didn’t notice that other people posted comments after my original. I’m not used to it being so lively a debate

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 6:28 am
  25. Jer Says:

    Well done !

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 6:30 am
  26. Erev Says:

    Glew – There was, as I recall, a forum once upon a time. Due to issues with the forum it was removed with a plan to eventually replace it with something else. In the end it just never got replaced.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 7:07 am
  27. Goken Says:

    Beautiful ending on the 18th! I second the notion that it would be nice to have a more regular comment section. But anyway, perfect ending: we got to hash out the details of the LARP For a supposedly confused Mark but then he was just kidding. Maximum exposition with minimum insanity! Can’t wait for more!

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 7:16 am
  28. Belisar Says:

    fiuuuuu

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 10:03 am
  29. Erik Says:

    …*slow clap* seconded.

    Wow, that neatly sinks my three-hours-of-getting into Mark’s head, doesn’t it. However, this alternative fits much better than anything I cooked up
    d) he just trolls Joel – and it’s glorious.

    It is unavoidable that a turnover of the comic’s premise this big causes some friction, but the one thing I asked for was that the characters are treated with respect – and they were! The turning of Mark into a delusional weirdo we feared in the last 100+ comments was just a (well deserved) prank. He is still the Mark we love and identify with. Joel’s reaction was also handled respectfully. “OK, so my friend seems to have for real mental issues which casts our entire friendship in a disturbing new light and are really freaking me out, so I better talk to him, try to steer him away from the dangerous situations and get him professional help.”

    Glew: We all swallowed it hook, line and sinker, didn’t we? Alina must have had so much fun with our comments.

    LoneHowler: I really look forward to revisit the hunter storyline – KNOWING it is a game next time.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 10:48 am
  30. Travis Says:

    @Tirithek That was my Problem right there that it almost exactly mirrored the comment section. It felt like she was Into full Damage control and used the comment section to CYA. What came first the chicken or the egg.
    I Spent more time wondering had this Format not been Interactive would we have had the same ending. It Pulled the cardinal sin of writing that my English 101 teacher warned our class about many many years ago. Does what you are writing pull the reader/Viewer out of the fantasy. His example came from when he saw a Play in the Mid 60’s. The Line called foe the use of a swear word in got him so off guard that he spent so much time thinking about it he missed the End of Act 1. The comic on the 18th completely broke me out of the story and had me thinking of other stuff.

    Not sure exactly how I’m feeling still haven’t processed the comic still thinking about how she got there not the content :(

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 10:48 am
  31. SorrowfulCry Says:

    First off, it would be unfair of me to criticize the handling of Mark without showing some gratitude for the rescue of his character. So thank you for that, Alina.

    I still can’t say that this storyline inversion leaves me feeling anything but hollow about the comic, however. A sacrifice had to be made for the story to change so drastically, and while I am grateful that Mark was spared, systematic destruction of the trustworthy narrator still has a profound effect on how I view the narrative.

    One commentator said it well a few days ago – there has been a breach of trust between the author and the audience. That breach can be repaired, and in time, I’m sure that it will be for most people. I’m equally sure that the character-driven, slice-of-life stories that Alina wants to make her exclusive purview will be quite good and enjoyable.

    Still, for me, the comic will be forever diminished from deploying the nuclear version of Just A Dream(TM) on the metaplot – and because the very vehicle by which all future stories are told, the narrator’s perspective, has been made into a liar.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 11:15 am
  32. Andy4Hire Says:

    Well played, Alina, well played. Today’s strip provided a thoroughly satisfying answer to the “What’s up with Mark?” questions people have been asking.

    And, frankly, “Mark and the others were trolling Joel” is much more consistent with the overall tone and mood you’ve established for the strip than “Mark is seriously delusional” would be. Even in its more dramatic moments, I’ve always found Weregeek to be a lighthearted, fun-for-all-ages kind of strip, and a storyline about serious mental illness, however well you handled it (and I fully expect you’d handle it very well), would feel much too heavy in this comic.

    I do want to second Glew’s suggestion about implementing a daily comment thread, though. Because a daily comment thread appears right below the strip rather than on a separate page like a separate forum would, it’s more convenient for the readers, which means we’re more likely to use the daily thread, which in turn means you get more feedback from us more quickly. The kinds of thriving fan communities that I’ve seen spring up in some comics’ daily threads can also enrich everybody’s experience of the strip.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 11:40 am
  33. Mark Antony Says:

    @Travis I don’t know how big Alina’s buffer is, but given the quality of the strip and its consistency, I find it unlikely she wouldn’t have already inked and written this strip by the time those comments were written. Insofar as this mirrors the comment thread, I think it speaks more to how well Alina predicted people would react than anything else.

    @SorrowfulCry I confess I am extremely confounded by your apparent position that a narrator is under some kind of duty not to “lie” to you. The author owes us no duty to let us always know exactly what’s going on. Quite the opposite, in fact: an author who doesn’t keep us off-balance and in the dark is emphatically NOT doing her job and spoiling her own story.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 11:47 am
  34. TheCyberwoman Says:

    I had felt that the Hunter arc had gotten a little lost and muddied and just didn’t quite fit anymore. That said, I never wanted to lose the “were” in weregeek. It is what drew me in, and I’m sad to see it go. That wasnt enough of an ‘or was it?’ to give me any kind of hope. It seemed like more of way to say that while they’re not real (real within their world) the characters carry that spirit in them still. I didn’t read too much into the whole Mark’s gone crazy bit cause it didn’t seem to matter much when I was trying to piece together the actual continuity. Basically crazy or sane, joke or not, I’m glad that people are satisfied with Mark’s mental health now but this wrap up creates as many plot inconsistencies as it solves. As people have already pointed out, how did Mark not realize the Vampire LARP was a LARP when he was already in one, and if not realizing was part of the initial LARP why is he pranking Joel? I now wonder about a lot of their interactions, and now don’t know what was scripted and what was not, and maybe if this meta LARP was a bigger part in his breakup than the vampire, if only because even though he’s sane it did allow the LARP to bleed I to real life a lot. And while Mark’s sanity wasn’t much of an issue for me in particular, it was for a lot of people, and being thrown from feeling Mark’s confusion to having the same joke pulled on the audience as Joel, our POV has been beyond confusing and this seemed more like a joke at the audiences expense than with them. I don’t think now is a good time to make that joke. If everything was concluded flawlessly and all the pieces came together into a masterpiece, you would have earned a joke at the audiences expense. As it stands, you’ve been asking the audience to roll with you on a lot of things that still don’t add up, and on top of that they’re the butt of this final gag. I’ll admit that you solved the problem of treating your characters with respect, you did, they’re all sane and in character, but it came at the expense of respect for the audience the audience. Respect for the fantasy, respect for reasonable suspension of disbelief, respect for continuity… I’m still with you on this, I’ll keep following because I really enjoy the characters, but it will probably not be wih the same implicit trust in your story.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 11:55 am
  35. Bluegeek Says:

    Who would’ve thought that Mark would put one over on Joel? Apparently he’s a better actor and less clueless than we’ve given him credit for.

    THAT was a great ending.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 12:30 pm
  36. Purple Library Guy Says:

    I liked the little twist where Mark is trolling Joel rather than crazy. But it doesn’t have any impact on my general dislike of the “It was all a dream” approach to the plotline which basically formed the premise of the strip. I guess I wasn’t taking the “crazy” thing as seriously as some, for one thing. Perhaps it didn’t seem to me likely that we were now going to have a plot dedicated to Mark spending all his time with psychiatrists, taking medication, dealing with stigma etc. So yeah, nice twist, doesn’t address the basic problem that the main twist is
    1) An example of a schtick that has long been in the running for World’s Worst Plot Device, and
    2) Kind of directly counter to the spirit of fantasy roleplaying, in that it’s saying “Well, really, we prefer our fiction without fantastical elements or tension derived from life-and-death problems” when it’s both for and about people who precisely prefer their fiction with those things.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 12:45 pm
  37. DragonStryk72 Says:

    …And I’m done. So basically, all of the plotholes are still completely plotholes, and nothing was actually real. Everything we were shown was a direct lie to us for quite some time, all built to draw us in so we could find out that none of it mattered to anything, and that our only point of view for the entire comic was just a front for slapping us all down for caring about the plot.

    Yeah, that’s it for me, thanks. A special thanks for insulting me for months, and making certain I can’t even just go over the old comics, cause they’re just a giant troll on the audience, by the way.

    Posted March 18th, 2014 at 1:27 pm
  38. SorrowfulCry Says:

    @Mark Antony

    You should not be confounded. This is not a difficult concept to understand. We are talking here about several years worth of storylines, and several dozen individual comic strips, that are suddenly revealed to be retro-actively false.

    Note that there were no clues hidden in the original context for us to pick up on – because when originally written, the narrator was supposed to be trustworthy. The adventure was supposed to be real. Things changed when Alina decided she didn’t want to tell that story anymore.

    A good author can surprise their readers without tipping their hand. A great author can weave twists that leave you smacking your forehead after the fact, because wow, it was all there if you’d just noticed. Neither of those were the case here. This was a paper-mache explanation for a retcon.

    If that’s your cup of tea, power to you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. But good golly, don’t be confounded that not everyone thinks shouting WHAT A TWEEST is inherently amazing literature.

    Posted March 19th, 2014 at 12:58 am
  39. Curt Adams Says:

    There have been lots of clues – starting, as one commentator observed on the other thread, with the narration boxes, which are reserved for in-game narration – and the Hunters thread. And people appearing both in “real life” and as Hunters. And the de-broken window. And, heck, the name “Hunter” (a roleplaying game from White Wolf). Agatha Christie didn’t leave this many clues.

    Posted March 24th, 2014 at 12:20 am