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876: All good things...
All good things...

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So long, and thanks for all the fish
You're at the end of Bigger than Cheeses!
Click here to go to the beginning of the storyline
Click here to go to the beginning of BTC

Once upon a time there was a boy. He liked to draw and one day made 4 comics, 3 of which he decided to put online. Seeing as those 3 strips looked pretty lonely, he kept on making them, and putting them online. Soon enough he made some friends, he made some enemies, but overall he had a good time. Nine and a half years later, he realised he'd grown weary of making comics, but didn't want to simply drop everything and let it fizzle out, so he started up one final tale...

Yes, sorry to say it but we've reached the end, my friends. Cheesites and cheesettes who have been with me during this journey, I salute you for your patience and your patronage. Short of attending school, BTC is the longest sustained project I have ever completed. It only seems like yesterday when I took those first few doodles, redid them in pen for scanning and threw them up on the internet for all to see. BTC is my baby, my life's work which I now leave to roam the internet in its entirety. I'd like for it to have a massive send-off. A front page on reddit, or a top scorer on digg, Metafilter or stumbleupon perhaps? Tell your friends about the strip, what you loved, what you hated. Put it on facebook or make a post in your favourite forum. That would be a nice way to wrap everything up in my head, one final blaze of glory, perhaps also as a way to spread the love I've poured into this strip this past decade. Anyway, ten years is a long time to be doing anything, a full decade of comic making certainly takes it out of you, especially if you are determined to stick to the joke-a-day format. After so many years, there are only so many times you can come up with something new before you start recognising the patterns and typical structures a joke, thereby rendering it more of a chore than actually funny. As I mentioned above, this storyline is my goodbye to the comic, and to you the reader. Throughout BTC's run, I have maintained the newspaper style continuity method. i.e. Nothing is permanent, everything eventually returns to the status quo, typically by the next comic, or the end of the storyline. After so many years though, I liked to sneak bits and pieces into the strip to reward the readers who formed attachments with the characters, as I had over the years. For BTC's sendoff, I wanted to gather all the loose ends I had left throughout its lifespan and tie them all into one massive Infinite Crisis style meta-storyline.

From the outset, I had grand plans for the story. The life crystals would have slowly changed colour and characters would cease to exist when they ran out at different times (you'll note Duke's life crystal goes black when his time is up). Future Thanatos wasn't originally from another universe, the big reveal was going to be he was actually the son of Kat and Thanatos, lost in the timestream of abandoned characters and furiously wanting revenge on the main cast for their existence in the spotlight. The meta-comic stuff I had planned seemed great in my head but awfully complicated in execution. The fights were to be animated and involved tearing out the coloured backgrounds and borders and using them as weapons, slowly dismantling the comic and leaving the cast in the blank white canvas you've seen throughout the story. A chase through the archives would have affected the actual archived strips themselves, with the different art styles of the time serving as both a hindrance and an advantage at times. And of course the final outcome, the destruction of everything and everyone was also supposed to animated, but due to time and technical constraints (I don't think a 3840px tall animated gif would perform very well) I had to compromise. Ah, well, such is life. This final explosion is a backup plan I made 3 years ago, after the seventh and eighth birthdays, how else to top the escalating destruction by blowing up the entire strip in a blaze of over the top DBZ style glory?

The characters in the fourth panel may be partially or totally unfamiliar to some of you. For me, it was a bittersweet exercise, adding in tributes to webcomic comrades long since lost to the ether. Wherever possible, I've tracked down their archives so you'll be able to enjoy their handiwork. I had wanted to include so many more but was rushing to meet the March 15th deadline

  • King Kai, whose specialty seems to be worrying about things. And allowing the dead to keep track of the living
  • Praetorian from 3 Finger Salute/3FS as it was known (2000-2003), a long defunct Canadian webcomic which hosted the forum/irc channel which first welcomed me into the webcomic world and taught me that Canadians were good people. Or so they say.
  • Checkerboard Nightmare from Checkerboard Nightmare or CxN as was later abbreviated (2000-2005, then 2005-2006 briefly). Kris Straub is my webcomic hero, simultaneously now juggling Starslip, Chainsawsuit, Blamimations and about a million other things probably. The man is a bottomless pit of creative...ness and I believe I've subconsciously stolen about a billion of his ideas over the years, but don't tell him or he'll sue my pants off.
  • Cuthbert from Bollox Comics (2002?-2005, now Eddie Bowley). Eddie was again one of the early crew I met while Webcomicing, only coming from the UK instead of Canada like seemingly everyone else. When my hosting when AWOL, Eddie kindly stepped in and lent a subdomain for many freeloading wonderful years. He's now a Youtube and Newgrounds superstar and lives on a diamond encrusted yacht....When his diamond encrusted space ship is in for repairs
  • Joe from Dpad (2001-2009ish). Joe was another wicked Canadian I met during my formative years and the Dpad IRC channel was home to many shenanigans.
  • Aikida from Aikida (2001-2003? 2005? ??) Josh has returned from the dead more times than I can count, and is part of the reason of my ongoing feud with Thick Brumshawl (the other part is because it's hilarious). If nothing else, I admire his tenacity in trying his damndest to put the story he wants to out there, scorched earth style. Crazily enough, as I had put this comic up, Aikida once again returned from the dead like a phoenix rising from the ashes once more
  • Mr Long Legs from Advice from Mr Longlegs. (2003-2004?) KC Green is another man I unabashedly admire. Before settling down with Gun Show lately, KC used to literally produce over ten thousand comics. Per hour. I'm kidding, but it sure seemed that way. I mean, just look at all these! Keep in mind, for a period there were about 5 simultaneously updated comics. And regularly updated at that. AND funny. As a side note, while trying to find the URL for the strip, I foundthis and thought it was pretty neat.
  • Leo from VG Cats (2003-Ongoing). Scott was another awesome dude I met during the TopWebComics days. I, along with half the internet, regret that his updates aren't as frequent as they used to be, but VG Cats technically lives on nonetheless.
  • Andrah from Polymer City Chronicles, which Wikipedia tells me has been around in one form or another since 1992 to 2007. The PCC forums were good to me, and I met a lot of wicked cool people there. Nat's artistic origins are strongly influenced by Chris' work.
  • Keir from High Ping Bastard (2001 - 2005, now Sweaty Penny). Keir is an awesome dude, who I am convinced is crazy. One of the original gang from the 3FS, he previously had a comic on Angelfire called Testicle the Barbarian whose titular star went around in a kilt raping elves while eating hamburgers. "Psychiatrist's dream", is what we used to call him. A lot of my art in the early days was based on Keir's work, and whenever the chips were down Keir was my always there. Well, he was there when it counted anyway. Also one time I heard he ate an entire cow, including the horns. The fact that I have his comics mirrored on my domain is because during the time I've known him, he never backs his files up and has lost them like six times and also forgot his own ftp password about a zillion times
  • Zach from Supafine (2001-2005). Zach is an all around cool dude. I mean, just look at this. Zach has by far been the biggest influence on my art over the years, as evidenced by our old OpenCanvas sessions. My constant strive to be more like him lead to a lot of the technical groundwork that made this final storyline possible. Also the latex costume I made in his likeness that I wear while writing fanfiction about him.
  • Malefax from No 4th Wall to Break (2002-2004?). I can't remember where I met Chris first, on TopWebComics or the PvP Forums (now Forumopolis). Either way, he's a cool dude and I was super duper jealous when N4WTB got picked to become a member of Dayfree press over BTC, back when stuff like that still mattered. Also he added 'Holy poly' to my vocabulary and I will never forgive him for that
  • Trey from TrueNuff (2001-Ongoing). I just realised I hadn't put in a halo for Trey, so have broken my own nonsensical "rule" of not fixing comics once they've been uploaded for more than 24 hours because damnit, this is for posterity. James is another cool dude I met early on while doing this whole crazy webcomic thing. He did such amazing things as donating the biggercheese.com domain as a gift and also designing the spiffy layout you're looking at now. He now does web comedy videos under the TrueNuff banner, and I hear he punched Saddam Hussein into the sun.
  • In case you're worried about losing everything, the National Library of Australia also has archived copies of the site, available here (take THAT, Wikipedia). You can also grab a complete copy of the comics (not the site) here. Yes, 10 years of work handily compressed into a 41mb zip file. This is my longest newspost but also my last. If you've read through the entire thing, congratulations. You've made me happy, and I hope that the strip has made you happy. Final bizarre linkage: simply this

    tl;dr version: Thank you everybody. I had fun, and hope you did as well. And of course: alternate ending

    Bigger Than Cheeses

     
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