A couple of years ago we got an email from a reader who gently pointed out that Unshelved wasn't as relevant as it once was. In libraries everywhere budgets were shrinking, people were losing their jobs, and none of this was showing up in our comic strip.
This coincided with some hand-wringing by Gene and myself. We were starting to feel that Unshelved was getting stagnant. In the beginning things changed - Mel became branch manager, Colleen adopted a baby - but then things settled into a comfortable routine.
So, after a somewhat painful series of conversations and plotting sessions, we decided that we would let the strip evolve. We began a long series of "budget crisis" strips that are finally coming to a head with this week's announcement by Mel. Meanwhile Dewey got some news of his own today. We're not turning Unshelved into a soap opera, but now, once again, it has some continuity.