Gossamer Commons, the contemporary fantasy webcomic, enters a new era this week as it begins to tell a “yuletide fairy tale” in the wake of Greg Holkan’s moving on and before the arrival of new artists Peter Venables and Ben Brooks.
The fairy tale brings us back to the days when series lead Keith Onzeker was still a young boy, listening to stories his grandmother Agatha “Aggie” Macintire would tell both Keith and his young friend Trudy Glick. These stories, from what we’re given to understand, are generally a bizarre melange of folklore, mythology, and popular culture, and the Yuletide Fairy Tale promises to be all that and more.
Series writer Eric A. Burns is excited about this departure for the nine month old webcomic. “With Greg moving behind the scenes, we wanted to have both a sharp break between his work and Peter’s,” Burns said. “And, I really wanted a chance to tell a story in Aggie Macintire’s voice. So, this is a bit of an experiment for us — text heavy, art light, but hopefully fun for everyone involved.”
The fairy tale — whose title will be revealed “within a few days,” according to Burns — is being illustrated by Wednesday White, who previously worked on the website and content management system for Gossamer Commons.
As for the fairy tale itself, Burns promises it will seem appropriate to the season. “Aggie Macintire shamelessly rips off any stories she comes across for her fairy tales,” he said. “Well, it’s December, and in my household that meant the stories were usually Rankin/Bass stop motion animation. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Jack Frost, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the like.
“At the same time, it wouldn’t be right to tell actual fairy tales about Santa Claus or Jesus. That’s why this is a Yuletide Fairy Tale. With luck, fans of Rankin/Bass, Christmas, the Holidays, the Solstice, Paganism, Fantasy, Fairies and good old fashioned storytelling will get a kick out of Aggie’s story.”
And if not? “Hey, it’s just for December,” Burns said. “We launch into Chapter Three in January.”