Q & A Friday
"Where's Butcher?" -Esther
I have been asked this question a lot, so I'd better answer it!
For those of you who haven't read the comic's early volumes, Butcher the Cat was Sam's nearly-comatose pet cat. She featured prominently in one of my favourite stories of that era, and was also the source of the inspiration for our My Cat Dreams of Spatulas t-shirt.
Since the end of Volume 3, Butcher's story hasn't really been featured in the comic. But now and then, I tried to drop the occasional brief cameo or clue so that concerned readers could keep track of where Butcher had gone and be assured that nothing terrible had happened to her.
At the start of Volume 4, Butcher and her kittens are in Sidney's care. I was never really able to explain why this happened in the actual strip, but the Official Sam and Fuzzy Canon Reason is that she couldn't live in the roadie's trailer with Sam because Sandra has cat allergies.
I like to think that Butcher and company were more or less adopted by the entire band and staff. (You can see Butcher hanging out with Noosehead's feline bassist, Ali, in this strip.) After Sidney was shot and Sam turned fugitive, Nicole and Malcolm looked after her, and by the end of Volume 4 she was still as healthy and lively as always.
So basically... nothing happened to Butcher! She's doing just fine, and will almost certainly turn up in the comic again... just keep your eyes peeled.
"Will we see Carlyle in Volume 5?" -Justin
Another character from the comic's early years, Carlyle was Sam's never seen but often discussed butt-kicking universe-saving internationally-adored coworker. He was also good at Poker. Maybe you've read his book?
In Volume 3, Carlyle took on a new role as a kind of anonymous spiritual guide for Sam. He turned up a few times, and although he had a tendency to sound like a fortune cookie, he played a big role guiding Sam towards the major revelations he had at the end of the volume. And in a sort of epilogue to that story, we got to learn exactly why Carlyle did it... and why he wasn't going to do it anymore.
I brought Carlyle back once more for a brief appearance in Volume 4, and to be honest, in hindsight I kind of regret it. I really like how his appearances were tied to Sam's character arc in Volume 3, and I think I probably should have ended them there, with him leaving Sam to take care of himself and just disappearing into the ether.
Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind if I ever come up with some totally brilliant reason to bring him back!
"Are Fridge and Candice both really dead?" -Melonie
Technically speaking, the answer to that question lies entirely in the reader's imagination. But, uh... let me put it this way: they certainly won't be appearing in the comic again.
That's it for now! Remember... if you've got your own question that you'd like answered, just drop me an email with "Q and A" in the subject line and your question in the body. And I'll keep answering a few of them here every Friday, from now until I run out! (Or totally lose it.)