Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Exit Nearby Says Goodbye

You've probably been wondering how "No Exit Nearby" wrapped up its epic and complicated story line. Well, here are the final four cartoons to bring you the closure you need.

May 24th, 2010. "No Exit Nearby" has never been a story-driven strip, but the characters of Jim and Jillian have a been constant for four years, and to end the strip without some sort ending felt wrong to me.

There were many, many options considered for the ending. I remember one involved them meeting the Grim Reaper, who was going to take them away to the Land of Dead Comic Strips.

May 27th, 2010. I do remember that the "We're Canceled" storyline came pretty late. Before any of those strips ran, I talked with the head of The Daily, Kristin Millis, to make sure I would really be out the door come summer quarter's end. Yep.

The inspiration for the storyline came from the large number of strips I've done where the characters break the fourth wall and acknowledge that, yes, they're in a cartoon. If they know they were in a college newspaper comic strip, then logically they should know when their strip's coming to an end.

June 2nd, 2010. I don't remember where the wrap party idea came from, but in retrospect it seems to be ripped off from "Bloom County's" ending where all the characters gather around for a final party before their strip's cancellation.

Yeah, but did it have a cameo from Rae Dawn Chong? I don't think so!

I wanted to do a wrap party finale because I wanted to bring back a bunch of characters who have appeared in the strip in the past. The original idea was to do a strip where every character that's ever appeared in "No Exit Nearby" is crammed together in one panel. That obviously didn't come to pass, but I managed bring back Larry (the guy in the hat who used to be in the strip a lot in the early days), Elisabeth, and the two editors, Mike and Al.

June 3rd, 2010. The last strip of my first year doing "No Exit Nearby" featured Jillian finding an Exit, that led into a weird "2001" parody. Of course, it was not the Exit.

There was a lot of thought over how to end the strip, but I realized I needed to basically thank people for letting in me hang out in their student newspaper for so long, and address the title in some way.

I brought back the title box for old time's sake. I had gotten rid of it a year or two back because it took up too much space, but it was nice to do one more strip with it.

I can't really intellectualize why the final panel works, but Jim and Jillian walking off into the void while discussing the significance of their strip's title (which is itself a play on Jean-Paul Satre's "No Exit") seemed very appropriate.

Don't worry, "No Exit Nearby" will return for summer quarter, and it will continue to exists somewhere on the internet, amid a sea of disgusting fetish comics.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Coming Soon: A retrospective! See how the strip has evolved from something terrible to something less terrible!

No comments:

Post a Comment