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I've just finished with the Adventure Time cartoon and I've realised how the two series' don't mesh perfectly. Firstly we have that the lich has been destroyed, and that PB is reduced to thirteen years old, yet in the comics she is at her full age.

I'm not looking at addressing these specific points, but where in the series, or how do the comics fit with the cartoon series, as they don't seem to flow.

And now that the two have progressed somewhat, where/how do they fit? Can I just pick the comic up having see nthe latest Cartoon, or do I need comic book backstory?

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According to Ryan North, the Writer of the Adventure Time comics, the comics are set alongside the show:

The bottom line is this: we want everything to fit. We want the comic to be like an episode of the show, and for nothing to jar you out of that! )

And they try to write the comics as close to the show's canon as possible:

...if [the show's writers] come up with something that’s awesome only it contradicts Issue 7 Page 5 Panel 2 of the comic... they’re still going to do it, and so they should!

We put a lot of work into making sure that everything fits! But future episodes might contradict something, and then we’ll say “Hey, they’re still canonical, but Abracadaniel spilled just some some magic on that one page of the comic and changed all our memories of it and that’s why it doesn’t make sense anymore!!”

So in summary, the comics are supposed to be sort of like 'standalone' or filler episodes, and the writers make every effort to stay as close to the TV show canon as possible, however they don't deny that some things may be contradictory. If that happens, their go-to response is:

tl;dr: a wizard did it

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