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Let's do this!

I waited until I had all the pages for the epilogue before posting them.
In which I try to wrap up a few loose threads.
So, without further ado.



























So I'm evil: either it's a cliff hanger or an open ending when I finish pages, ha ha!

The one thing that I had been asking myself from the beginning was "Why was Zhao saved in the first place?" If the spirits had a task for him, what could it be?
Arnook guessed right- the spirits need to move. They need someone that's all brawn to make his way though anything, friend or foe. Zhao was put through a few tests to check he'd be good for the task. He's not perfect, but in the end, perhaps they want someone that could be...expendable when the time comes.

So what do I have planned next?
First, finish the corrections on part 3 and post these on DA. Then post the rest of part 4 on DA (with a tweak, here and there, but nothing of the magintude of part 3).

Do I end Water Tribe forever after that? No. As my roommate Phil so rightly pointed out, I'm addicted!
I will not do work on the level as has been done so far. I plan to do sketches, notes, maybe even pages of what would happen next. I mean, there are a few things that could be fun to tackle:
Is Zhao going to escape the fire nation? Does he even know what he's supposed to do?
And will we get to see Arluk's revenge?

I need to move on, I need to return to Horus.
But Zhao is a harsh master and demands attention.
Let's face it, he's fun to mess with.

On that note, goodnight. It's late as I post these, and I need rest for the work ahead: daytime work plus comic work at night.
(P.S.- I can't believe I did over 400 pages of these. In a way, it means I CAN do as much if not more for Horus! Yay!)

Comments

( 126 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
People can take Zhao and do whatever they want with him (I know I have, mwahaha).
Thank you for your kind words.
The Avatar end serie may not have pleased everyone (impossible to do). This was just one of many multiple ending possible. Aang's hero's journey was a bit untypical, and the sacrifices in his life were mostly in the beginning, not at the end.
Ha ha, here we are, still talking about the finale.
(Deleted comment)
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you very much for the grammar correction. Well, Nauja isn't right all the time...except when she needs to put Zhao in his place.
Zuko is mostly grouchy because his sister is still around messing things up. He wished he hadn't gone so easy on her after that Agni Kai...
karyyu
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:50 am (UTC)
God, Zhao is such a baller, saying his goodbyes to Nauja in the manner he did!

Also the reveal at the end was on the level of movies like The Usual Suspects. I didn't see it coming at all, but it was so satisfying! I can't wait for Zhao to draw you back into making more.
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
The man has no manners XD
I bet he enjoyed teasing her one last time.
Oh, I don't think I could compare that ending to anything as good as the Usual Suspect. I needed to wrap up the "why" somehow.
Believe me, Zhao is pulling. Pulling hard.
(no subject) - karyyu - Jan. 14th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
snapes_angel
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:00 am (UTC)
This is still for the win! Azula is still out there, of course. The spirits are part of the ocean, right? They're still keeping an eye on Zhao, too. Fire Lord Zuko is, too, of course, but for different reasons. ^_^
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
One spirit is the Ocean, the other is the moon. As to where the actual fishies went, there's some strange spirits shenanigans goings on.
They're not done with Zhao. Not yet. As for Zuko, he's got much more important things to do than keeping an eye on Zhao.
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Jan. 15th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
zfiledh
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Awesome. Simply AWESOME.

Damn. Zuko looks good with long hair. :)

Thanks so much for updating. I can't wait to see what you come up next for Zhao. Particularly if we see the other regulars. The Avatar himself, perhaps?
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I was sooooo tempted to do a Zuko with facial hair. He was starting to look way too much like his dear old dad so I stopped at the long hair.
Heh, that would freak out Azula to see Zuko with long hair and beard. She'd think she's hallucinating again.
The Avatar is out there so...still possible!
(no subject) - zfiledh - Jan. 14th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
star_puppet
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:23 am (UTC)
Bloody damn awesome! I can't scream in joy because I am working in the office and I might get an earful if I did that. XD

WAAAA! >.< Zhao is making me cry. >.
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
You are reading at the office!?! How daaaaare you! *makes false shocked and outraged expression*
Thank you for having stayed around for so long reading these. Very appreciated.
nanashi_jones
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
Great job. You're a terrifically gifted storyteller.

Personally, I'm of the firm belief that stories never end; we just get off at different points of interest.

Thanks for the ride through this particular point of interest. :)
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Many thanks. I still have much to learn in terms of storytelling (I'm blesse to be surrounded by so many, I'm bound to learn a thing or two).
It was a fun ride to make, glad you've enjoyed it.
sdskuld
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Not that Water Tribe hasn't been nice, but I can legally give you money in exchange for Horus so I am eager to see more of it.
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Legal money is always nice.
mercurysblood
Jan. 14th, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you too, for taking the time to read all this.
archangelbeth
Jan. 14th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
AHHHHHHHHHHHH! SQUEEEEEEE! EEEEEEEEE!

Yes, return to your stuff. But. Well. Um. Eeeeeeeee! Spirits on the move! Ticked-off Zuko! Crazy Azula!

The only loose end that I think you may have missed is Nauja's children, and if they get found and returned. (I must say, siccing, say, Mai on that task would make quite the political statement if Zuko wants to nice-nice up the Water Tribe there. Also, the mental image makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.)

And. You're awesome!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Wahaha! Mai hunting Nauja's children down. The mental image is amusing.
As for Nauja's children, I had not forgotten them. It just wasn't their time to appear in that part of the story.
But...
I'll just shut up for now.
(no subject) - archangelbeth - Jan. 14th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you, glad you've enjoyed.
flormarplay
Jan. 14th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Amazing, but I agree, what about Nauja's kids? And we know Zhao will eventually return, or Nauja will take a small vacation to the fire nation..... THAT would be interesting - meeting Zhao again and all
GREAT WORK!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Nauja's kids was the only thing I couldn't tackle properly in this part of the story. Iy would have felt tacked on to add it there. They'll have to wait.
Heh, I don't think Nauja wants to take a break to the Fire Nation. A whole place filled with Zhao type persons? That's the way she imagines the place to be.
flormarplay
Jan. 14th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Also, YAY for Nauja's mixed feelings towards Zhao and Zhao's happy face!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
That darn happy face Zhao gave me trouble! Grah!
tammylee
Jan. 14th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Ha! So evil ending it there! XD
It's been really fun following along with your story and I'm really happy you've stuck with it; it's a good story!
I have to say, Zhao being the vehicle that helps the Spirits relocate is genius!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
No matter where I end it, I will always be evil.
This was actually ending number two. I'll have to tell what ending 1 used to be before I changed plans.
oddriddle
Jan. 14th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Awesome. I love that you've added yet another layer to the plot even at the end.
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
I didn't know where else to reveal it.
kt_shy
Jan. 14th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Super HUGE congratulations Johane, what you've achieved here is pretty much the definition of epic! There were so many moments of "oh that's SO badass" and "oh no! Will they survive?" and "aw teehee, they kinda like eachother!" and "DAaaaamn, Johane's amazing!" throughout this whole comic series :D You're a brilliant inspiration! Best of luck with your day-work and comic-night work, I may very soon be in a similar situation of busyness and hope I can magically channel your abilities to keep myself motivated and focused. A very Happy New Year to you, and thanks so much for this comic!
cheers! :)
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
I thought it more as the definition of insanity.
Awww, thank you ever so much for your kind words and reading all these. I hope the busyness will not burn you out. It's hard to maintain, I tell ya. But best of luck and success with it, hope it will be a fun ride!
marikunin
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
*spazzes*
Must. Have. More!
Ooh, it's Zuko! With longer hair! :D
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Heh, parts of me says "must DO more!"
Quite possibly, as mentionned above, but not at the same level. Just laying down ideas and what nots.
thistle_chaser
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Wow. I can't believe it's over (sort of!). Thank you so so so much for all the time and effort you've put into these! I've gotten so much enjoyment out of reading. :D

Your art still amazes me, how much emotion you can get into a sketch!

I look forward to whatever you'll be posting in the future. :D :D
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. Hope I managed to share some of the fun I've had.
I felt like I was loosing a bit of energy in my sketches towards the end. I'll have to remedy this by doing more, I guess. Oh the tragedy! *sarcasm*
(no subject) - thistle_chaser - Jan. 14th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Every end is a new beginning, right?

Thank you thank you for Water Tribe! The Avatar World is a fun place to romp.

I'm still very interested in Horus, too. What's the best way to contact you about that? Via email or snail mail c/o Nick? I live in the US, in Connecticut.
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
True enough. Both for the ending thing and the Avatar world being a fun place to mess with.
Best way to contact me could be with a pm on livejournal or DA. I'm no longer at Nickelodeon, so no use for snail mail there.
conga_chili
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, oh man. That was completely brilliant!! I do like the open-endedness, though of course that means more ;) Hooray for Horus & Zhao!!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you very much!
Silly open endedness- the only way I could escape would be to kill off Zhao.
And even then, I'm not sure that would work.
(no subject) - flormarplay - Jan. 14th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rufftoon - Jan. 14th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Jan. 15th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand
rohantm
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
This has been a wonderful ride, Ruff. I need to re-read everything to fully appreciate how all the threads intertwine and tie up. I love the bittersweet ending.

The one suggestion I have is on the last page, as the camera pulls out. To make it seem as if the viewer is moving in space instead of zooming out with a lens, you could keep the moon the same size in each shot. This would also cause the moon to have more emphasis in each shot, until it was of a pair with the ocean spirit in the very last frame, on either side of the tiny, insignificant ship.
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
You know, you're totally right about the moon thing. It's so far away already it wouldn't be affected by any perspective trickeries. D'oh! Must fix this.
Glad you've enjoyed the ride!
etrangere
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Wow! Loved this story, so much!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
arycapricat
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for making this brillent comic. Reading them has always been little rays of sunshine for my day (or would that be fire balls in Zhao's case.)
Like any end of a good series, it's bitter sweet.
But open endings are best kind because always leaves it up to the veiwers' imagination. (not to mention, give them a chance to make their own AU MUHAHAHAHAHA!)


And whiney soldier gets one last line. Yay!
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading, it was fun to make this whole madness.
As mentionned, I will probably throw in a bit more of what happens after, just for the fun of it. I can't quit it, waaaaah!
I was wondering if anyone would mention the whiney soldier :D
(no subject) - arycapricat - Jan. 15th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand
arycapricat
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
and PS
It was my birthday a few week ago and we had my party on a frozen river for ice fishing(I was mostly in for the sledding though). And like any party, we had cake.

Of course I was half expecting something like this to happen.
bday zhao
rufftoon
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: and PS
Happy late B-day!
Ice fishing, sledding and cake- sounds like fun time (I do like fishing). But yeah, you may have risked bumping into a hungry Zhao XD
ladyprophet
Jan. 14th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Loved it!

The only thing I'm woundering about is what happened to Nadjas children...
Did they ever come back to her?
And if not, how come she ain't searching the seas for them?

But Rufftoon, as said before. Your style gives the people 'meat'. I don't know how to say it better then that. But if fells more real then simple 2D cartoon. I really admire that.

I hope to see more of your work. Zhao or no Zhao ;-)
ladyprophet
Jan. 14th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Nauja I mean >.<
Sorry for the misspelling..
(no subject) - rufftoon - Jan. 14th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladyprophet - Jan. 15th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
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