John Allison closes the case on 'Bad Machinery'

Cartoonist John Allison has ended his acclaimed webcomic Bad Machinery with the conclusion of the current storyline "The Case of the Modern Men."

"It feels like the right time to do it. The characters have outgrown the setting, the premise and the format," he explains on his blog. "I've tinkered with the comic for three cases, with mixed results -- a whole story of giant pages, then lots of little strips, but I've felt like I was in a holding pattern for the last couple of years. I don't want to stop telling stories with these characters, but I'm not sure I can do much more with them without returning to the drawing board. There's definitely more to come from Charlotte, Shauna and the rest of them, but you might not see much of them for a little while."

Bad Machinery debuted in 2009, shortly after Allison ended his long-running comic Scary Go Round, and featured the same setting -- the fictional town of Tackleford, England, he introduced years earlier in Bobbins -- and some of the same characters. It followed the adventures of two groups of child detectives who compete to solve mysteries.

When ROBOT 6 spoke with Allison in January, he acknowledged the rapidly aging characters were beginning to pose a problem, saying, "there’s a point where Bad Machinery isn’t the comic it was when I started, when the kids get to 15 or 16. The innocence will be gone and at that point I have to decide what to do."

The comic will continued to be collected for print by Oni Press, with a third volume due in December. Allison also promises that new Bobbins strips will appear while he works on the fourth Bad Machinery collection and a secret print project.

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