Piro speaks:
actually, we're just in the middle of the serious stuff - at least, for now.
if you look back, there's been plenty of serious stuff that's happened in the comic. Rodney's departure didnt have any effect on the comic - i pretty much wrote everything for the year before he left, and most of before that anyway. Really, what rod's presense did most was encourage me to try to not lean things entierly towards the melodramatic shoujo way, and to try to keep a better balance. Now that i'm officially solo, yeah, i dont feel that pressure anymore.
Has that shifted? a little, but really, its been just how the story has come together. Stuff like Mosh Mosh revolution, the zombie wars, etc, require a certain amount of setup. Right now, the players are just starting thier day, and i'm getting the ball rolling. Hopefully, the mix will seem right when things start pinging back and forth. Its not easy maintaining the balance you all seem to like ^^;;
anyways, comments like this are appreciated. we'll see where things go.

Piro speaks:
bingo. It was a very stressful time, and i was having a lot of trouble getting thru it - and most of all i didnt want the audience to know about the stress in the background. It was a lot of things all happening at once, many of the very very stressful (even tho rod and i parted the partnership in a good way, its never easy going thru it, and it could have resulted in me having to drop Megatokyo and start something else - it was a very real possibility (i started working on 'warmth' again at that time))
People read the strips, they follow the story, the either like or get annoyed with the pace, the jokes, the humor, the seriousness, the lack of some characters showing up here and there... but the truth is that producing this strip is so closely tied to my everday life now that every strip is like putting up a chunk of myself, a snapshot of how i'm doing at that time - if you know how to read the signs.
Honestly, this intimacy that i have with producing the strips is why i wanted to go solo. It's part of why i became so controlling over it. If i wasn't tied in so closely to it, i think that rod and i might have kept going the way we were, but then... MT wouldn't be anything like it is now.
So who's to say what the best route is? In the end, there is only the route you chose. It's the paths in front of you where the real headaches lie.

Piro speaks:
About the over-analyzing of things - i used to always ask myself the same question about the systematic in depth analysis of the 'classics' and whatnot in english class. "did the author really put all that in there?". What's so facinating about being on this side of the fence, and being able to get pretty much instant feedback on what i write is that i'm developing a better understanding what why people like stories as much as they do.
One of the difficult parts about writing stories which are pretty much character driven (like MT) is that the damn thing takes on a life of its own. The characters really do develop a life of thier own, and you find that sometimes things happen and you dont have a lot of control over it - all you can do is emotively react for the characters and let the structure fill in the rest.
I think writing is a lot like just being a person in general. lets face it, you can't really see yourself. You can't REALLy understand everything about why you do things or how you tick. Everything is always going to be colored in some way by your own viewpoint. Sure, we all spend lots of time trying to be objective - but we can't be purely objective - its not possible (of course, thats what 'enlightenment' is, i think, in the cosmic sense)
The same way that i might not fully understand why i do something, its the same way that i might not fully grasp right away the real reasons why some characters are doing what they are doing. Yes, when you are writing a story, you are god... but not really. You are only a lesser god, and you can only steer - you can't just stop things that are in motion, or sometimes even see why you feel a character is doing this or that.
Keeping all this consistant isn't as hard as you might think, if you always remain true to the characters. The drawn entities that constitute the characters help - the drawings help solidify them as 'living' entities.
Anyways, i'm rambling. Neat stuff, really. I've read stuff in here over the past two years that has really made me think. It amazes me just how wrong people read things sometimes, but sometimes people hit the nail on the head... and sometimes show me a different way of looking at things that i never considered before.
I wont tell you which this is, of course. Faith is the important thing in what you see in the work, not getting raw facts from the writer. :P It takes the fun out of it.
(btw, it means a lot to me that people care enough about the characters to really start to feel with them - i think that's the goal of any writer)

Piro speaks:
still, maybe the point is, people *do* care. Why? because when you read a story or watch a series on tv, you become emotionally involved. Sure, in the greater scheme of things it doesnt matter, but for most people, there is a certain amount of personal, emotive involvement in all the stories and games you involve yourself in.
THATS why i feel that all 'creators' have a responsibility to respect the people who watch thier works.

Piro speaks:
you do realise that its not easy making people laugh. Drama is easy, it is said, but comedy? thats hard.
First off, a lot of the jokes we were doing up front we can't really just keep doing - it'd get old. I now try for more situational humor than just dumb humor. I dont like stupid humor, i like subtle humor, so it's only natural that you see more of that than anything.
Even so, it takes planning to set up situations where things can be funny. You can't just drop jokes into things - humor doesnt work that way.