Today Queen of Wands attained the honor of having successfully completed it’s second full run, this time with full commentary from Aeire.
Part of the final comic is in absentia, (though can still be found in the archives), and the last sequence remains just as bittersweet as it was the first time around.
When Queen of Wands first ended, over a year and a half ago, it was an unusual decision to air the old strips once more – but I think it was clearly a successful one. The commentary was… nice, though I think it is to the comic’s credit that it can easily stand alone without the explanations being needed.
I recall, in the distant days of yore, reading Xenith. Xenith was Aiere’s first comic. It was… good, yes, in it’s own way. Incredibly pretty. Incredibly dark. And yes, you could very much feel the youthfulness of the work.
I remember discovering Queen of Wands, early in the strip’s infancy, quite some time after Xenith had stopped updating and/or vanished from my mind. I remember, after falling in love with the strip, at some point noticing it was produced by the same author. And I remember being amazed.
There was a world of difference between the two strips. It wasn’t just that Queen of Wands was light and funny and true to life where Xenith had been dark and depressing and fantastical – her new comic showed her maturity, as an artist, as a storyteller, as a person. And yes, it may seem a bit much to judge a person by the comic that they draw – but it seemed clear that the person telling the story of Kestrel and friends was a far cry from the person behind the story of Xenith.
And Queen of Wands was clearly a success. It was a comic with characters that many people formed attachments to – no doubt Aeire most of all – and she still managed to bring it to it’s proper ending. Well… a proper ending, if nothing else, and I think that was half the story behind the strip.
These days, Kestrel lives on through the magic of r*k*milholland. As for what may be next in line for Aiere herself?
I’ve heard word of a sequel arising sometime early next year. That could be cool. It’s certain I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open, given my usual propensity to completely fail to notice important announcements. If something nifty develops, there will be no complaints here.
And if not?
Well, we’ve always got the Queen of Wands archives. They were just as good a second time around, and I’m sure they’ll be just as sweet every time thereafter.