Oh, yeah, so, something I missed in how Gary Brookins was retiring from drawing Pluggers. Brookins has also been drawing Shoe, the other comic strip originated by Jeff MacNelly. That’s the more standard comic strip about a newspaper, diner, and politician, only they’re all birds.
According to D D Degg at The Daily Cartoonist, Ben Lansing is supposed to take over the drawing of the strip. I had thought that Brookins was retiring from both strips simultaneously but, looking at the original announcement, it looks like Brookins just said he’d turn over Shoe “sometime in August”. Last Saturday’s Shoe really did seem like a farewell to both, though.
Rick McKee, who’s been sharing Pluggers work with MacNelly, has that strip all to himself now, so far as I know. And because things are always confused, the GoComics page for Shoe gives a credit to Rick McKee right now, even though we’ve still got Brookins-signed strips, and that so far as I know Ben Lansing is still supposed to take over drawing Shoe. I have no explanation for this phenomenon. Comics Kingdom, which also runs the daily Shoe because of the reasons, is still crediting Gary Brookins for the art.
Unironically I do see in the comments the start of community-building. It looks like at least a couple people are making up stuff that would have appeared in the strip’s past, filling in characters with names and backstories and all that. That sort of community folk art is one of the things I most like about the Internet.