Emergency Exit is a free online comic series that has been running online since July 1st, 2003. It's gone through many evolutions, and in 2011 its continuity was semi-rebooted and the first 7 or so years of the archives were moved to a separate collection and made into an "optional reading" for the pages posted afterward. The original archives have some characters and subplots that were dropped completely in the 2011 reboot. Readers can assume stuff "like" the incidents in these archives did happen in the current version's history, but not exactly.
NJ has only really taken three long breaks from the comic, which plays a part in some issues in art and story consistency for both versions of the comic. The first was in 2010 when NJ was studying in Japan for two months. The next was 2011 for about 2-3 months when she was graduating University while also trying to start the reboot. The most recent was October 2011 when NJ got a back injury that made her unable to draw. For new readers this where the art inconsistency is most present. Inking and colouring styles vary in the first few chapters because of NJ struggling with her pain.
Why the Continuity Reboot?
EE started off with no guidelines, and was pretty damn random and improved as it went. Though there is a lot of enjoyable humour that makes it a very entertaining read, the original archives is pretty big mess story wise. It was more of a learning experience, figuring out styles and how to do things as time went on. After 8 years of working on the same series, and graduation coming up and another comic the artist wanted to get to, it was time for a change and to finally head into a direction to wrap things up. It was hard at first to let go of story arcs that would never be, but it was overall felt to be for the best and a wiser choice than just dropping the entire comic.
How Different are the New Archives?
NJ has spent nearly a whole year figuring out how to deal with the story in the new pages. The desire was to keep the original meaning and core of the story, but expressing it in a more concise, consistent and sensible way. As mentioned before there was no underlining story at the start, and really there were too many things going on at once. NJ found herself making a comic that was basically more like 5 different comics trying to work together. It was too much. The storylines would take at least another 10 years to get through and it would remain a unplanned mess all the way.
So in the end, NJ had to sacrifice some of the excesses storylines and work the one core story into something tight and sensible while still keeping the characters true to their original personalities and something fun to read. The way the story will develop from here on will be really similar to how the original would just with less excess.
It was either this, or letting it die completely.
The Format/Set Up
Currently the comic runs in comic book standard format, originally black and white but quickly switched back over to colour due to popular demand and somewhat more focused being a story while still keeping the sense of humor that made the original EE archives a success. Readers who don't read the original archives will miss out on a lot of fun times, but it isn't necessary to find some enjoyment in the new series, at least this is the artist's hope. Old readers will be disappointed with some of the continuity changes, but the characters are still the same ones they loved.
NJ had a hard time getting the reboot completely ready without taking too long to publish new pages. Because of this the story was still in the works of being redone while pages started going up. This is part of the reason the first chapter seems to just drop people into the middle of a unexplained scenario. The idea here was to throw new readers into a action/comedic setting that would prepare them for the type of comic it is, show the current readers what elements are still the same and allow time before back tracking a couple chapters later to introduce the setup for this version.
I've decided that since I am still hammering out some of the details with my editor I will not be posting a summary of the set up until we get a few chapters in. The story is comedy/action based, there is a lot of weirdness but there are also going to be some "serious times" as well. The idea is to spend the first 4-6 chapters setting up the basic scenario, the backstory and then moving forward from a similiar timeline that the original EE stopped at.