NEXT: A week of guest strips, followed by two stories you’ll only have seen if you picked up Guilded Age Plus or Volume 1, back in the day, and THEN comes Chapter 7.

“Midgititis” is mostly amusing to me because it rhymed with my then-gestating series Widgetitis.

Frigg’s picking on Bandit seems like it’s setting up a running gag, and maybe at the time we thought it would be. But instinct guided us away from that, and instinct was right. It reads okay here, because Bandit has been as full of herself as she’s ever going to get, so taking her down a peg feels good, and Frigg has just been through hell, so it’s nice to see her joking again. But while Frigg would do more insult comedy at the expense of various fantasy groups, it didn’t feel great to have her do it at the expense of real-life minorities as the years rolled on. By mid-2010, it was already getting less easy to handwave that kind of real-life behavior away as “just online kids in anon being immature.” And yeah, sure, technically she’s picking on gnomes and not midgets here, but still. An occasional “ugh, that’s so gay” from her was as far as we’d take that idea after this.

Had Guilded Age been 24 chapters as we then thought it would be, this would be about the place to put the end of Act One in your standard three-act structure. Traditionally, that’s where the major characters become committed to the action of the story. Luke joins Ben Kenobi’s quest, Charlie Kane starts publishing newspapers, Ariadne de facto joins Dom Cobb’s team of dream manipulators, completing it.

You can argue that an Act One turning point does happen here, as Frigg accepts the group, the group accepts Bandit, and the group as a whole accepts government employment, which puts them on the path to war against Harky. Some upcoming developments would end up challenging the definition of “major characters” and what the true “action of the story” was, but we’ll get there.