put on a bus? Was I unhappy with his character? Was I looking to shake things up? Is this part of some grand future plan?
Nope. Not really. It's much sillier than that: I don't like his hair.
Xander played a good role in the Precociousverse, but I never did explore it deeply because I didn't find much joy in drawing the guy. He was the last of the original cast to be designed, and I deeply regret not spending more time working on him. I rushed him into a crowd scene early on, and that locked me into his design. (It was a strip that eventually got taken out of the archive, but the damage was done.) I had a loose idea for what I wanted, but my coloring skills were very primitive at the time and I played it too safe. Most of Xander's colors are cheaply recycled from other characters, and it's pretty lazy to have a character's most defining trait being that his keeps covering up his neck.
While the readers may not mind, *I* mind. I've tweaked my characters' looks slowly as I've gone on, but Xander might need a drastic look change or recoloring to get me comfortable with him. I don't know how I'd fix his look. Never really tried because I knew reader comments over a big look change would be more trouble than it's worth. Instead, I decided to see what would happen if I cut him out.
He's not (necessarily) gone forever. While I don't have any immediate plans for bringing him back, there will be chances for Xander to pop in again. (I'll keep the old design, for continuity's sake.) It's not like he got much time in the spotlight before the chance anyway.
So, yeah. I *like* Xander, and I will miss not being able to use him to his full potential, but let's try something new! No grand plan in in place. (Although I obviously had made up my mind about him months ago.) I'm gonna improvise and see if it works!