- Firstly, since the start of 2007, Shaenon Garrity¹ has been re-running Narbonic with director’s commentary, which process will end in about two days time, as she’s running out of strips to re-run. I’m not sure that she could find enough new to say for a double re-run but I hope that the end of the story doesn’t mean the end of daily Narbonic updates, as I consider it to be as essential to webcomics as I Love Lucy is to TV. Hold on, this is going to be slightly lengthy².
Back in my college days it was well known that about three weeks into junior year was when the math majors would all become major grumpy-pusses, because they were told it was now their turn to Prove that the multiplicative identity is unique. In other words, they were asked to prove that one (1) is one (1), which always struck everybody who wasn’t a math type to be a waste of several hours of mental effort. What possible purpose could it serve? It was eventually explained to me that this was a sort of votive sacrifice, that if math majors didn’t repeat the ritual every year, math would cease to work.
From that starting point, I derived the theory that I Love Lucy, having been re-run so very many times, has integrated itself into the very fabric and nature of television to the extent that if — at any moment in time — an episode of I Love Lucy is not being broadcast somewhere in the world, TV will stop working. Now we find ourselves at the end of the second presentation of Narbonic, and I hope that Garrity can whip up a script that will update once a day in perpetuity. The existence of the internet as we know it depends on it.
Oh, and come Saturday night, make yourself a drink with lots of rum, ice, fruit juices, decorate a a glass with a face on it with a little umbrella or some flowers, and drink it in the general direction of Berkeley, California in Garrity’s honor. I have some good recipes if you need a starting place, but you’re on your own for the umbrella and face-glass.
- Secondly, Little Dee by Christopher Baldwin³ has likewise been running with commentary since it wrapped up a little more more than three years ago (the reruns started three years ago tomorrow). Although Little Dee was reprinted in your choice of four rather spiffy volumes or two rather spiffier anthologies, and despite the fact that the story came to a definite end, Baldwin’s apparently had a hankering to return to the cave and visit with Dee, Ted, Vachel, and Blake. Cue the big announcement:
There will be more Little Dee.
Penguin/Dial books will be publishing my comic strip “Little Dee” as a 120 page full graphic novel of all new material! I’ll be writing, drawing, and coloring it, and it’s due out in about a year or so. I’m very excited about this, what fun! [large text original]
Certain things jumped out at me from the announcement, color and all new material being the ones that have me excited, and about a year or so making me all frowny because I want it yesterday. As for what I want plotwise, I see there are roughly three possibilities:
- The six year run of Little Dee gets recapped as one continuous story
- A particular story (possibly one that was previously untold) from the time Dee spent in the forest gets the book-length treatment
- Dee and the Gang reunite, having been apart for the past x years
With a lesser writer, any of the three could come off poorly — #1 could be rushed (or too familiar to past readers), #2 could come off like trying to recapture the magic of a story that’s over and done, and #3 could read like the epilogue to the last Harry Potter book.
However, Baldwin spent so long with the characters (and just as importantly, has spent time away from them), and spent so much time establishing them as organic characters who interacted the way they did because of who they were, I have no doubts that he could turn any of the possibilities into one of my favorite books of 2014. Everybody be very patient and calm so that we don’t disturb him and he can get this done quickly, yes? Thank you, and please close the door quietly as you leave.
¹ High Commissioner Of Tiki In All Its Forms.
² Quelle surprise.
³ May I note that Little Dee is about as polar an opposite of Baldwin’s current-although-approaching-its-finish webcomic Sapcetrawler? Yes, yes I may.