April 5th, 2010. I had done a cartoon similar to this during my first year of the strip, and I felt like it was time to revisit the concept.
The joke in the last panel originally read, "That Sarah Palin TV show airs. The producers contemplate suicide." With this, the bearded producer (Mike) would have had a gun to his head, while the skinny producer (Al) adjusts a noose. It was just too much death for one panel.
April 8th, 2010. Wait, what?
When I came into doing "No Exit Nearby" for the last year, I knew I wanted to end it in a fun way, and considering how long the strip has run, it really necessitated some kind of closure. The strip has broken the fourth wall numerous times, and there have been a couple strips where "No Exit Nearby" was sold or portrayed as in dire financial straights. A story where the strip ended seemed to be the right thing to do. (I am also aware that nobody cares about the "story" of the strip as much as I do, so most of the remaining strips this quarter are going to remain topical and current events based.)
The plan was always to have a strip like this run sometime during the middle of the quarter, but when the jobs report came out last week, I realized it fit perfectly with the strip, and had to do it then.
I like Jim and Jillian's expressions in the last panel; they don't look too happy.