Even though this was the plan all along, I still feel a bit bad about it. Rie was pleasant enough to have around, after all. But some must be sacrificed for the greater good and so on and so forth. On with the conclusion of chapter 1.
With regard to the last half-dozen strips or so, all I can really do is apologize. My schedule with school has been busier than I expected and I haven't adjusted accordingly. I've been slacking off, and these strips have suffered as a result. When I say I have a problem with procrastination, I'm not exaggerating at all. It's a very serious problem for me, one I don't know how to deal with.
I don't have a lot else to say at the moment, as I've fallen into a groove - also known as a "rut" - for the process of creating strips, and I'm not experimenting as much as I was a couple of months back (though I probably should be). Each strip now is pretty much the same as the last: wait until the last minute, layout, draft, ink, shade, wrestle it through the PC swearing all the way, publish an hour or two before dawn. It's a lot more tedious than I ever imagined, but I'm afraid changing anything would just make it even worse.