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Smithson Thus Far... ·


This is the best explanation we ever get for Dave's prescient Slumberland dreams. Sometimes mad scientists just know stuff.

This isn't my best coloring job, but what the heck. I managed to work in a few callbacks to previous Narbonic strips, including echoing the fakeout ending from the first trip to the island with a real ending this time. I knew for a long, long time that the last line of the strip would be "evil."

And that's it! You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here! If you want to read more stuff by me, just about everything is available on If you're hankering for more Narbonic specifically, I've been doing new Narbonic stories for the Couscous Collective anthologies, available here. To date, the anthologies with Narbonic stories are SPACE (currently out of print), BEARDS, and SPIRITS.

Meanwhile, thanks so much to everybody who's read this far, including the people who read Narbonic when it ran the first time and then reread it again on the Director's Cut. I hope I've managed to entertain. You are all awesome. So long!

P.S. Of course Helen makes pink lemonade.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Hmm... this is my final comment. I've already covered my weird passionate feelings about this comic in great detail, so I guess I must conclude my loyal attendance with these parting words:

Now let us never speak of this again.

OK, ciao.
il biggo (biggo) says:

Thank you Leon, my feelings exactly. Oh, and Shaenon:

"Of course, you'll have the good taste not to mention that I spoke to you."

I'm going to reread all this again from the beginning a couple times, so I guess I won't be available for a few months. Thank you, young Garrity person: this has been a wonderful trip, and I'm sure I've learnt a lot from Narbonic - maybe not just good things but eh.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

And, just like the fakeout ending from before, there's only one choice for a filk ...

(TUNE: "The End", The Beatles)

That's all!  It's done!
Now, "Director's Cut" has been run!
What fun!

   Dave D. ... poor slob ...
   Got a ... new job!
   Then they ... fought with ...
   Linguist ... A. SMITH!

   Went up ... to Moon ...
   Sang Jeff ... Wells' tune!
   Kissed and ... fell in ...
   Love with ... Helen!

   Broke up ... felt sad ...
   Then he ... went mad!
   Bought her ... Isle of ...
   Daves to ... buy love!

          And, at the end,
          The strip you made
          Is cheered on by the fans
          Who stayed!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Finis! Finale! Adios! Adieu. Farewell. Thanks for an epic work once again.

...and in the darkness once all have left, faint fireworks can be heard transcending an excellent series in commemoration.

Thank you, Shaenon Garrity, for it all.
Joseph Abbott (faxpaladin) says:

Thank you so very, very much. For what it's worth, one of my if-I-win-the-lottery dreams is to make a live-action "Narbonic" series...

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@Joseph: Me too, but I'd do it in animation.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

And a huge thank you to Leon Arnott, Ed Gedeon, Diane Castle, James Rice, Adam Underfoot, Joe Dreyfuss, Rex Vivat, Tetra Valent, Shane Wegner, Aaron Cole, John Campbell, Dave Van Domelen, Zarathustra's Id, and the many, many other regular and irregular commenters who delighted us over the years and greatly enriched the Narbonic experience. I'm pretty sure that some of you are super-intelligent gerbils.  I look forward to reading your takes on Shaenon's other comics, you mad geniuses!

Jacob Haller (jwgh) says:

Thanks, Shaenon.  This was great.

Joshua Holden (doctorhook) says:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Shaenon!  See you all at the Skin Horse site!

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: And now I'm choked up all over again. And I don't have any Couscous Collective books, so I have no idea how to get Space. Dagnabbit.
Chic Geek (chic_geek) says:

*Raises a glass of pink lemonade in a toast* To Shaenon. Hip hip hooray!

And, I love that Sir Pounce is sitting on Seth's shoulder. ^^

Frank Berthold (fkberthold) says:

Thank, Shaenon, for the comic and the comments.  I've been following Narbonic for nearly a decade, and look forward to seeing where you guys take Skinhorse.

Rex Vivat (sirgarberto) says:

I'd leave a comment thanking you, Shaenon, but I have no idea how to do it without echoing someone else. So I leave this meta comment instead (enjoy!)

James Rice (jhrice) says:

How did another six years go by so fast?   I now suspect that Shaenon is controling a time machine.   Thank you again.

David Blake (vivavi) says:

Woo!  Shaenon, you are still my webcomic hero!  Thank you so much for all the time and hard work you spent creating not only Narbonic, but Skin Horse and Lil' Mell and all everything else.
And thanks especially for taking us all on the guided tour through Narbonic from beginning to end!

Cat Bascle (mage_cat) says:

I first read Narbonic around 2008 or so because TVTropes kept linking me to interesting looking strips. It was the one where Mel explained Madblood's moon-crystal-powered pistol and turned it into a metaphor for the mind of mad scientist that sold me.

I sat down and read all the strips in roughly 24 hours. (I was an undergrad at the time, and it was winter break so I was able to do things like that.) I've since been back daily for the commentary and will miss that part of my routine. At least I can still lose a couple of hours now and then with a binge read.

Thanks for the ride.

Shane Wegner (shanewegner) says:

Thanks for drawing and then commenting this epic work of fiction! : ' -)

Andrew Morris (morrand) says:

To bring things really full circle, and stop me if you've heard this one before:

From: (Norb333)
Subject: Norb's Back!
Date: 2000/07/18
Newsgroups: Well, I am. And in my absence you have all grown strong and off-topic like the mighty oak.

I'm living in San Francisco now, working at Viz Communications (purveyors of fine anime and manga products, and also Pokemon) and serving out an internship at the Cartoon Art Museum. I rent a room in Marin County from Italian restauranteurs who prepare tasty pasta dishes in the evenings. By no stretch of the imagination am I making any of this up.

Anyway, it's good to be back. Also, can anyone here recommend good web-building software? I need to make a site. I hate to sound overly optomistic, but within the next few weeks I plan to kick Sluggy Freelance's ass.
But I've rattled on for far too long. Who wants breasts? Norb
Ah, ratmm. How I've missed you.

Mission accomplished (twice). Thanks for the ride, Norb.
Alexander McCabe (nokob) says:

For the very last comic, I finally registered to post my very first filk. 

Tune: Red Dwarf Closing Theme (



It's cold outside

Of Madblood's new Arctic base

I'm barking mad

More or less

Let me 'port

To a far-off place

Fun, fun, fun

In the sun, sun, sun


[Dave + Helen]

We'll build a lair

Deep in the volcano

Drinking fresh

Pink boxed wine / Mountain Dew


Gnawing on our foes

Fun, fun, fun

In the sun, sun, sun

Fun, fun, fun,

In the sun, sun, sun


Hearing this song is always bittersweet for me, because it marks the end of an episode. Here, too, it marks an ending, but not quite a goodbye, as Shaenon's remarkable comicmaking continues over at Skin Horse. Perhaps, then, the best farewell here is to simply smoke her a kipper; she'll be back for breakfast.

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Once again, beautiful work. An immense accomplishment, Ms. Garrity.
Michael Feldhusen (mikef) says:

Shannon, thank you for many years of wonderful comics.

Matthew Guffey (guffey) says: de-lurking after 10 years of fandom tosay: thank you very, very, very much, Ms. Garrity.
Gemma Devan (lilaccrystal) says: Trying a THIRD time. Shaenon, thank you so much for everything Narbonic. I only found it recently, but it is probably my all-time favorite webcomic. This is the type of work that will leave you giggling helplessly when somebody says some perfectly ordinary word, and unable to explain to the confused person what exactly is so funny about gerbils.
nota realname (sudoname) says:

I just signed up to say how awsome this comic has been. Thank you

Jim Crider (autojim) says:

Thank you again Shaenon.

NOW what will I do with that part of my mornings?

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

Narbonic changed my life in an awesome way. So much inspiration, and so many ideas for creating art in my own life. It also makes me laugh and sniffle and sqee and go "whoa." You are awesome. Thank you a million times.

John Wells (johnwwells) says:

Once again, it's been a great ride.

Ryan Flores (justen) says:

And thus ends 6 years of nostalgia. ANd 12 years of a great comic. As many have said before me it was an incredible ride. Thank you for taking us on it and may there be many more in the future.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

Atque in perpetuum, Narbonic, ave atque vale.

Tetra Valent (4_valent) says:

(TUNE: Auld Lang Syne, traditional)

Should auld Narbonic be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should Shaenon's epic be forgot
Some other strip to find?

   For Artie, Dave, and Mell,
   For Helen B.,
   We'll take a strip with evilness
   For S. K. G.

P. Ipsum (vitupera) says:

Thank you!  ^_^  And thank you as well for the chance, even though I discovered Narbonic late in its Modern Tales run, to experience it all day by day just as its mad creator intended.

David L (fots) says:


Thank you for creating this wonderful comic.  It's unfortunate I didn't discover it until late 2010 when you were already done with it and running the Director's cut.  I was active in a game forum and one day happened to go into the off-topic section (something very uncommon for me there) and was reading through one random thread to find a post where someone had linked up one of your weeks strips.  I don't remember anymore which one it was, but I found it funny enough that I followed the link and read a few more strips.  Finding I really liked it (and that the point that it linked through to was mid way), I jumped back the beginning and started reading.

I found it kind of weird, though, in how many ways your Dave and myself are alike (aside from my not being in the Dave Conspiracy... and working for a mad scientist :P).  Is that type of person really a "type"? lol

I was sad when I reached the end, but nonetheless, it was a great read and ride the whole way.  I surely appreciated it and enjoyed it.  Thank you!

Lapo Fanciullo (lapuspuer) says:

You know something's good when you finish it and you want more of it. You know something's great when you finish it the second time over and you want it more than after the first read. I simply have no words to describe what this was for me. I hope I can find them sometime and post them on Skin Horse. See ya there, everybody!

robin none (us3r1d) says: I've had this browser tab open since Narbonic ran the first; I don't know that I can actually close it now.
Steve Ford (fordsfords) says:

Why is it that this story has had so profound an effect on so many of us?  Does anybody get this connected to Charlie Brown?  Or the Pattersons?  Or Torg?

I don't think so.

I've analyze this every which way I can, and I still don't understand why Narbonic owns such a big chunk of my heart and soul.  It's not like I identify so completely with any of the characters - yes, there is some Dave and Artie in me, and even some Helen, but there are other stories I've read that I identify more-closely with, but which mean less to me.  I'd call it some fluke of a personal obsession, except I'm obviously not alone here.

It must be something somebody put in my coffee...

Robin Paulus (bubble181) says:

As others, just wanted to chime in and tell you thanks. Narbonic has made an actual, positive change in my life and has helped me through some tough times.

Thank you for writing it, thank you for doing a Director's Cut, thank Someone that you're still writing over at Skin Horse, which is great as well.

Ummm...yeah, thanks. It's awesome. Don't know what I'll do with my time now.

Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

i love webcomics. a friend introduced me to them years ago. i am going to guess around 2000. 13 years... wow. i don't think i have ever thought about just how many years i have followed these things. some are still going, and some i have stopped following for one reason or another.

my favorite character archtype is the Mad Scientist. i have always loved that type. i might have been a scientist myself, mad or otherwise, but even as a kid i got turned off by the reality of the scientific community (those damned fools! i will show them, show them all!). so mad Scientist fiction floats towards the top of my favorites.

Narbonic is the best of both. it is the greatest story. the art is lovable, and works to convey the story, to breath life into the characters, and to make Artie look Adorable. i am glad it is a "completed" webcomic. it lives on in spin-offs, the world continues on (likely in many branching alternate realities, at least those that aren't used to fuel time travel), but this story has a begining, and an end.


Thank you for this story, and thank you for this Director's cut. perhaps one of these years, i will wander down off my mountain to one of your Meet and greet events in the bay area, and thank you in person.

'Keiya' (keiya) says:

(With massive apologies to ABBA, since I'm really just tweaking their lyrics  as well as stealing their tune)

Thank you for the comics, the ones we're reading,

Thanks for all the joy they're bringing.

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty,

What would life be?

Without a laugh or a cry what are we?

So I say thank you for the comics,

for giving them to me.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile