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Help us reprint the out-of-print The Order of the Stick books to reach new readers (and let existing fans complete their collections).
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
14,952 backers pledged $1,254,120 to help bring this project to life.

I Stopped By the Deli and Got You Flowers on the Way Home

Today is the one-year anniversary of the end of this pledge drive and our long fulfillment together. I bet you thought I forgot.

In celebration, I am releasing the first of the digital stories that I should have had for you a few months ago. It's the Belkar Bitterleaf prequel story that was bought and paid for by one generous backer. I ended up making a bunch of last-minute revisions this week that pushed the completion back a little—I think I went back two boxes on the Workometer before going forward. This "8-10 page story" is coming in at 12 pages, too, so, you know, business as usual for me. The story will be available through a second backer-only update that I'll send in a few minutes, so check your email inbox for that.

I'm also happy to announce that I'm going to start working on the digital portraits (the "Stick It to You" and "Stick It to Your Family" packages). They don't take much more thumb effort than the regular comic, so I'm going to tackle them this upcoming week. No idea yet how quickly they'll go, though, so it may take a few weeks to get them all done. If you have one of those packages and haven't sent in your reference photos, do so now to (with the subject line "DIGITAL PORTRAIT REFERENCE.") I've also been sending more of the signed Patience packages; I have a huge stack of international envelopes for which I just have to fill out customs forms and they're ready to go.

Here's where the Workometer stands now:

I wish I had something special and inspirational to say on the occasion of the anniversary. All I can think of is how many unlit boxes are left on that Workometer a year later. My hand has been getting stronger, though, which has helped me with the amount I can draw before having to rest. I guess my new goal is to make sure it's all done so far in advance of the second anniversary that we don't even bother talking about it in those terms.

Thanks again for all the support and well-wishes, and keep an eye out for Belkar in your inbox. He'll probably start stabbing your important emails if you leave him unread for too long.


P.S. In case you haven't been keeping up with the regular comic updates, here are the latest pages: 


    1. Creator Alan Schwartz on April 22, 2013

      Stick it to me digital art arrived today! It's fabulous, and also a little poignant, as our dog (pictured in the art with our son, a huge OOTS fan) died between the kickstarter funding and the art. So now we also have a lovely stick-figure memorial. Thanks, Rich. :)

    2. Creator R. Garrett DeLancy on March 7, 2013

      I can't seem to find a link to download the PDF, I didn't know it was up until today as kickstarter stopped sending me emails.

    3. Creator John Russell on March 3, 2013

      I want to know if that's Rich's good hand or bad hand we see in the window.

      Wait - do they even have thumbs?

    4. Creator James Hazelton on February 26, 2013

      I have to wonder if this story was deliberately written with Belkar's comment from #270 in mind.

      "It's as true today as when I started adventuring: 'When in doubt, set something on fire.'"

    5. Creator Lain Luigi on February 22, 2013

      I have to say, I found the story more sad than funny. I should have expected it, given that it features belkar without roy to restrain him. Maybe I'll enjoy it more after second or third reread, when I'll already be expecting the bad stuff.
      By the way, with his atitude of "stab first, ask later", I wonder how belkar did manage to survive the lower levels...

    6. Creator Nigel Phillips on February 22, 2013

      Excellent stuff, as always, and great to see things on the list being "ticked off".
      For me, the spring figures have been really useful. Looking forward to seeing summer figures, but I assume its way down the working order.

    7. Creator maldar on February 22, 2013

      WOOT, Update, Thanks Rich. Better than I hoped for too.

    8. Creator Carlos Barreto on February 22, 2013

      WOW great job. I was just could not stop laughing. Looking foward to the other storys. Glad you have gotten better and had a chance to make these for all of your readers. Again great job.

    9. Creator Gerald Ward on February 21, 2013

      Belkar is awesome as ever! Thanks Rich and happy anniversary!

    10. Creator Marcio Teixeira on February 21, 2013

      I laugh so much with the Belkar comic. Thanks, Rich, and congratulations on the 1 year anniversary. Keep up the great work. And remember to rest your thumb from time to time.

    11. Creator BlueTecken on February 21, 2013

      Hats off for a great comic - and additionally, for me at least, a standing ovation for the Mifune drop. Simply Awesome.

    12. Creator Rick on February 21, 2013

      @Giant: Sorry Rich, there are no coincidences. :D

    13. Creator Daniel on February 21, 2013

      I didn't get the 'style' joke. Could someone please explain it?

    14. Creator Andrea on February 21, 2013

      Today also happens to be the two-year anniversary of a major earthquake down here in NZ that did a lot of damage, in so many ways - to lives, infrastructure, national psyche...

      Nice to have a happy anniversary today as well. AND more Belkar!

      Thanks Giant. Don't forget, you started this thing just to get *some* of the books reprinted, which means that in the beginning, only those first four boxes on the chart were in your mind - and only for the OOP material. Look at what you have achieved in the last year, it's so much more than that!

    15. Creator Trevor Florence on February 21, 2013

      Have you considered emailing the PDFs to backers as well? Most email providers allow for attachments greater than 10 MB. You should be able to comfortably email a 7 MB file. People who don't receive it could still use the link as a last resort.

    16. Creator Michael on February 21, 2013

      Um, am I the only one who knows what the word "shart" means?

    17. Creator Rich Burlew on February 21, 2013

      Yeah, someone on the other update noted the "baguette" issue. Also, apparently I misspelled one of the forms of "stationary."

    18. Creator Rich Burlew on February 21, 2013

      Oh, and the timing with #870 is a coincidence; I had the Belkar story partly done before I even hurt my hand.

    19. Creator Alice Teague on February 21, 2013

      @Ninevah: if I'm not mistaken, only the first one was on the Work-o-meter until it was complete. I'm guessing each new one will be added after the previous one has been completed.

      @Rich, not sure if you care about typos, but on page 6 you wrote "bageutte" instead of "baguette".
      Loved the story, by the way.

    20. Creator Rich Burlew on February 21, 2013

      @Ninevah: You're not wrong, there are 4 total packs planned. I just don't add them to the Workometer until the previous one is finished, so as not to overwhelm myself with unlit boxes. I didn't add the Summer line until the Spring set was released.

    21. Creator Ninevah on February 21, 2013

      Maybe my memory isn't good after all this time, but when I look at the Work-o-meter, it looks like there are only 2 of the Monster Minis packs/updates planned. I vaguely recall some hintings at there being "A Monster For Every Season" or something like that. Should that be 4 separate packs of them? or 3? Or did I miss something?

    22. Creator Archwizard on February 21, 2013

      I agree with Kevin re: Had me at Belkar, and Sheg with noticing the timing of this with the contents of 870. I'm excited! And I'm glad the hand is doing well, seeing the comic updating more has been awesome.

    23. Creator Sarah Vee on February 21, 2013

      Belkar, Schmelkar. You're working on the Stick It To Me package WHICH I ORDERED! I'M SO EXCITED NOW. You thought you'd sneak it by me by posting this while I'm in Holland on vacation, but I have a global data plan on my phone, so there...

    24. Creator Ben Pridmore on February 21, 2013

      I love the Belkar story! And knowing it's a secret shared only by backers makes me feel special! :)

    25. Creator James C King on February 21, 2013

      The Belkar story is brilliant! Thanks Rich and whomever purchased it to make it happen. Belkar always puts a smile on my face

    26. Creator JDW on February 21, 2013

      "...Bicycles mostly."

      Thanks Rich, that panel cracked me up.

    27. Creator David Poole on February 21, 2013

      Got it. Read it. Want more! Great stuff. Thanks!

    28. Creator Sheg on February 21, 2013

      Actually, i could see image normally in email, from min 1. Only on the site it was unavailible for some reason.

    29. Creator Alice Teague on February 21, 2013

      Wow, I wasn't expecting the comic yet. Glad your hand improved enough for you to have it completed. And with more pages than planned, too! I'm very excited.

      Happy anniversary to you too. I totally forgot, and the funny part is, I really should have remembered because it's also my birthday :P

      Hope I'll be able to get the story without it crashing... I have the feeling I won't be the only person downloading it the second it's available.

    30. Creator Sheg on February 21, 2013

      I wonder is there some meaning that Belkars comics comes up almost in sync with last #870 comic. Even more reasons to eagerly wait for story development :)
      Thank you Rich for your writing and all your efforts to do your best, despite your injury. Thank you.

    31. Creator Rich Burlew on February 21, 2013

      Huh, I don't know what I did wrong with the image, but it was showing up for me anyway. I've edited the update here on the site, but it won't be right in the emails. Sorry about that.

    32. Creator ZMiles on February 21, 2013

      Yay! Belkar story! You made my night.

      Best wishes for your continued recovery.

    33. Creator Kevin J. Maroney on February 21, 2013

      Rich: "I wish I had something special and inspirational to say on the occasion of the anniversary. "

      Everyone: "You had me at 'Belkar story'."

    34. Creator David Poole on February 21, 2013

      Very happy your hand is doing better! Thanks for the new OOTS.

    35. Creator Tim on February 21, 2013


      great to hear you're healing up well. and even though it's been said thousands of times now, don't overstress yourself or your thumb. i'm just happy to know that future me still has some nice presents waiting for him!

    36. Creator d20_9999 on February 21, 2013

      Workometer not workometering :(

    37. Creator Bob Taylor on February 21, 2013

      I also have some Workometer viewing problems...

    38. Creator Maestoso con Entropy on February 21, 2013

      I can't see the workometer either :-( But thanks for the update, Rich!

    39. Creator Brandy Moore on February 21, 2013

      ::Sits and clicks "Updates" repeatedly for the next however-many hours::

    40. Creator Jakub on February 21, 2013

      Anyone else have problems seeing the Workometer? Not sure if its my browser or the webpage.

    41. Creator Joshua James on February 21, 2013

      Holy moly... I did forget! :P