We didn’t originally intend to do more flashbacks, but we never originally intend to do a lot of things. They just happen. The next extended story will probably not use that technique. With that being said, the “probably” is a very fluid term so we’ll decide to either cross or burn that bridge when we get to it.

When you have a long running comic with numerous colorful characters and stories that take advantage of those characters and their colors, it takes some imagination to keep the jokes fresh. Imagination and innovation. In PvP’s latest story innovation for Mr. Kurtz meant inventing a new character. It is unclear if this new villain will have a recurring role (though it is becoming doubtful), but he does fill a gap left vacant in the villainy department when Max Powers converted to good.

That brings up another point. Major character changes also support new stories. Scott ingeniously developed vibrant and colorful characters, and when they undergo major character arcs it opens up new opportunities. Max’s conversion was one example, and Robbie’s another. I certainly miss Old Max and Old Robbie, the latter more so, but progress is necessary for life to march on.

I’m going to let you in on a secret, and you’ll have to promise not to hold this against me. My characters are not exactly complicated creations whose very tendencies can predict plot points. They started out as empty shells designed as vehicles for my own humor. They have many of mine and Ryan’s own characteristics, and they frequently represent us in the world, but they have no back story, and their characters are built entirely on the existing strip library. All I really know about them is what you know about them. This knowledge is growing at a fair rate, and with 80 strips in the archive, I think the picture is taking form.

Besides which, the boys are the main characters and major change in their behavior is not really an option. They don’t learn things, because that wouldn’t help them be funnier. You’ll notice that, of the cast of PvP, the core characters change the least. Brent took off his shades and Francis got a little older. Those things happened over a period of more than 14 years. Since we can’t just make sweeping changes to those guys, we are going to explore adding new characters. One will appear in this story arc, and another sometime in the next few months. I won’t promise any sort of permanence, mostly because I never promise anything.

If I made any promises to you at any point, I am reserving the right to still do whatever I want anyway. I promise that it is all in the interest of making you laugh.