When I started using the Internet, the World Wide Web had just started to stir. The primary program for such things was Gopher and e-mail LISTSERVs… and these roots show. I prefer a good e-mail Listserv to a newsgroup or anything like that. So when I found that Narbonic had a Listserv for fans… I had to join.

Meanwhile, I rarely go to the Modern Tales page to update Narbonic. I have it linked elsewhere to go right to the comic… and sometimes miss out on news. Like this: Narbonic is ending December 31st, 2006 (if all goes well).

I remember feeling like I was kicked in the gut when Queen of Wands was ending. Hell, I remember when Faith Hicks told us that Chapter 5 of Demonology 101 was ending. It was like being kicked in the gut. And each time I reacted in disbelief and dismay.

So. Narbonic is ending, in a little more than a year and a half. I mean… I’d thought we’d have years more of Dave and Helen, watching them bumbling through their affection for each other, finding a way to prolong Artie’s lifespan, thwarting Mell in her latest attempt to take over the world while laughing at Madblood as he once again fails to plan things through.

I don’t blame Shaenon Garrity for this. She’s at the top of her game. What does she have to look forward to, but people claiming Narbonic has passed its prime, that the new strips aren’t as good as the old ones… the slide that Sluggy Freelance seems to be taking (though that is my own opinion, I know plenty of rabid Sluggites who’d probably gleefully gut me with a switchblade for saying that SF is past its prime).

And as a storyteller I also understand why she’s doing this. Every great novel had a beginning, a middle, and an end. So too with Narbonic. We’ve seen Helen’s plans, and why she’s doing this. We know that Artie only has another year to live unless some miracle saves him. We’ve even seen the dark future out there… and the fact that it can be altered.

But I still feel saddened to learn that Narbonic is ending. All good things eventually come to an end. And on that day… well, it’s a good thing it’s New Year’s Eve that it ends, because I very well might get drunk.

My hat’s off to you, Shaenon. You’ve done something I dreamed of doing and failed at. You’ve given so much for others to aspire to. And you’ve amused and entertained thousands of fans. I’m sure at times it must be scary thinking of Narbonic ending… just as scary as for us fans who don’t want it to end.

But hey, the thing about any good novel is that you can write up a sequel. Faith did it with A Distant Faith. So too can I easily see a short Narbonic story show up from time to time telling of Dave and Helen’s crazy adventures after things had ended (or even of stories that happened in-between plot points).

Take care, Shaenon.

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