WoB Talk

February 16, 2014

This Is the End of the Strip As We Know It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 8:30 pm

Dear Readers:

Well…that’s it.  That’s the final West of Bathurst comic ever.  I made it all the way through drawing and colouring it without losing it, but that seems to have ended now.  I am very, very, very, very sad at the moment.

It’s been great drawing these comics for you guys since 2006.  Back then, I really was planning for the comic to last for about seven years, but seven years seemed like a long time.  It’s a little less long from the other end.

I didn’t anticipate a lot of things about the comic.  I didn’t know Rahim would be important; I didn’t realise Evil Marie would be a character at all.  I did, however, always know that the core of the strip would be Marie and her bizarre friendship with Casey.  I also knew the comic wouldn’t be possible without its setting.  The characters have grown away from Davies College in the last few years, but Davies has still always provided that tinge of otherworldliness the fairy-tale elements of the Casey plot need…or so I claim.  The fact that Davies is based on the genuinely real Massey College does not make it (or, in fact, Massey itself) any less otherworldly.

It’s going to be really hard to give this comic up.  I know I’ve got a new one in the works, but I haven’t really got to know its characters or situations yet, and I’m at the “But it will never be the same!” stage of mourning.  I hope you’ll give yourselves a chance to get accustomed to It Never Rains.  I’m going to have to do that too.

If you want to continue to receive news about West of Bathurst and It Never Rains, please subscribe to the WoB Talk blog (click on “Comments” above to get to it), send an e-mail to westofbathurst(at)gmail(dot)com and ask to be added to the mailing list, or “like” the comic’s Facebook page.  Once I have forced myself to figure out the whole print collection / Kickstarter thing, there will be messages about that too.  (And yes, if the book does eventually spring to life, it will include a segment on the folklore underlying WoB.  People have been asking about that.)

You guys have all been great; I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of you over the years.  You’ve been very encouraging, even when you’ve wanted pretty badly to kill me.

Thank you, and farewell for now.  I too need to cross the long-standing metaphor.

Yours ridiculously tearfully,
Kari.

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29 Comments »

  1. and a big THANKS!

    And some .

    Comment by Emily — February 16, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

  2. Oh, boy. Let me try this again.

    *hug* and a big THANKS!

    And some *virtual chocolate*

    Comment by Emily — February 16, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

  3. Thank you so much for this comic.
    When I started reading it I was reading quite a few webcomics and as time has become harder to find I’ve slowly let them fall by the wayside. WoB has been the only one I’ve kept up with through this time.
    I’ve really enjoyed and am sad to see it go.
    Looking forward to hearing about the kickstarter for the book and will also keep an eye out for the next comic.
    For now I better go revise that paper…

    Comment by Rebecca — February 17, 2014 @ 5:18 am

  4. Thanks, Emily and Rebecca. It makes me happy to hear about people who have developed a connection to WoB. I know it’s never been the most popular comic in the world, but the people who love it REALLY seem to love it. I hope no one thinks I’m ending it BECAUSE it’s not that popular. It really is just that I couldn’t keep the story, which was essentially a mystery, going forever without resolution (not that the “resolution” we eventually got was particularly definitive, but it did answer SOME questions).

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 17, 2014 @ 7:48 am

  5. A big THANKS from me, too!

    I’ve been a reader for some years now. That has had some side effects, like “What? They are at Tim Hortons again? Already? There goes another year of my life …” Yes, I do love WoB. I’m sorry it’s ending now – but it’s good to have some resolution, and a wonderful last strip! And of ocurse I’m looking forward to the book and the new comic!

    Comment by nobilis — February 17, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  6. Thanks for the grand aventure Kari! I’ll wait eagerly for the next chunk of the Kari verse. 🙂

    This is the first webcomic that I’ve actually followed to a true conclusion – others that have ended were abandoned as the author got too busy or something. Congrats on start with a 7 year plan and actually finishing it.

    Will the next comic also have a predetermined arc or plan?

    As a wob question, is Barbra a bit supernatural for knowing from day one that Casey is Satan? Or had grad school simply driven her just crazy enough to be perceptive to such things?

    Also, Yay cubbies! And bricks! And nooo don’t make me say goodbye…

    Also this weekend I sold my still running but 17 year old car that I drove for 11 years through undergrad, grad school, and the start of the real world. Poor car. It was so good to me. Goodbye car, goodbye WoB. I’ll join you in commiserating with virtual chocolate. Look! I brought fudge!

    On to new adventures!

    Comment by Rin — February 17, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  7. Thanks, nobilis and Rin. One of my worries about the new strip is that I’m not sure I’ll be able to equal the WoB worldbuilding, which I think worked out fairly well. Timmy’s was a big part of that. But yes, the new comic also has a plot. Due to its nature, I’m going to have to solidify certain aspects of it before I begin; that’s what I’ll be doing for the next couple of weeks.

    Regarding Barbara being supernatural: you’re actually one of the first people who’s ever mentioned that possibility, though it’s one I’ve had in mind from the beginning. In the end, I decided to leave Barbara’s status ambiguous. I like the idea of there just being these strange people who may or may not know things wandering around. Essentially, Barbara is a fairy-tale helper figure; she may have some otherworldly knowledge, but she’s also quite capable of screwing things up.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 17, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  8. >> Barbara is a fairy-tale helper figure; she may have some otherworldly knowledge, but she’s also quite capable of screwing things up.

    Oh so Barbara is GANDALF.

    Comment by Nur Hussein — February 17, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  9. Well, YEAH, she is: http://westofbathurst.com/westofbathurst070714.html

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 17, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  10. Also, WoB was a wonderful comic. I followed it on and off, but I enjoyed what I did read and I was riveted by the end. Thanks for the 7 years of laughs and tears, and beyond the comic it’s an honour to get to know a taltented person such as yourself Kari.

    Looking forward to It Never Rains!

    Comment by Nur Hussein — February 17, 2014 @ 11:01 am

  11. West of Bathurst had just the right amount of mystery to keep me hooked, plus interesting characters I actually cared about. I’ve never been to Canada and I’ve never been on graduate school, but you built the world up so well that it didn’t matter. And you built the world with a touch here and there, not buckets of info dumps that so many webcomics pour on. That, or they drop you into a world with no information at all. You even managed to make the inside jokes about Massey work for us non-Masseyites. 🙂

    Thank you Kari. I only have one last thing to say –

    Shiny object!

    Comment by Dances With Fish — February 17, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

  12. Mt time with west of Bathurst has been comparatively short, but I have enjoyed it.

    And as for the matter of getting mad because the story was ending, in my case it is decidedly unlikely. I watch quite a lot of anime, and one of the things I like about the best of it is the way it actually finishes when the story does rather than self-perpetuating until the money dries up- it would be hypocrtical of me to dislike your efforts for that same reason.

    Comment by mercenarypen — February 18, 2014 @ 6:56 am

  13. Thank you very much, Kari, for all the years of laughter and head-scratchings – in a good way. I cannot help but think of the strip when visiting Toronto and going west on the subway, and Bathurst station comes up. Maybe next time, if it’s sunny, I’ll stop, and have a peek at Massey. Maybe find the cubbies, wistfully.

    Comment by Niall — February 18, 2014 @ 8:11 am

  14. Thank you for the wonderful comic and keeping up with it for so long. I stumbled on the link from the old PhDComics board, where the link and the author was cleverly disguised! I think it was 2007 when i first saw it, but my memory could be letting me down.
    You are completely and totally responsible for me reading the entire archive to date one cold weekend in grad-school because it was the best source of procrastination to working on that-which-must-not-be-named. 😛

    * sits down and waits for it Never Rains*

    Comment by nuttycat — February 18, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

  15. oh, and I think you have a typo in the email address above. You are missing a ‘t’ at the end of westofbathurst? Unless that’s the new address.

    Comment by nuttycat — February 18, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  16. Oops…thanks. Fixed. And thanks for your kind words. Some PhD Comics people started reading the comic only a couple of weeks after it first appeared in 2006; you could easily have come across it in 2007.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 18, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

  17. I just found the INR banner on your website, Kari. Now I’m curious to learn more about the people all these legs belong to. And the watch chain.

    Comment by nobilis — February 19, 2014 @ 11:43 am

  18. Nobilis: Check the next extra on this blog as well; the banner is there, as well as a little trailer made by Nur Hussein. And yes, the banner does include a few clues about the new comic, including the pocket watch and some (not all) of the legs.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 19, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  19. A trailer! Thanks, Kari – I forgot to check this blog for new entries. Or rather, I didn’t dare to hope for new entries before the end of your two week break.

    Comment by nobilis — February 19, 2014 @ 11:52 am

  20. You might consider subscribing; then you’ll get notifications of new entries. I’m going to keep this blog going in connection with the new comic and my music stuff, despite its title. I’ll try to work out a better system for comments on the new comic, but I’ll need help with that.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 19, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  21. Good idea. After some research, I even found out how. I’m still new to all these interactive things (beyond writing a comment here).

    Comment by nobilis — February 19, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  22. Thanks, Kari! It’s been a fun ride. You really have a talent for this (as well as a talent for driving your readers to pull out their hair 😉 ). I can’t wait for your new project to kick off!

    Comment by fan — February 20, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

  23. I take pride in making readers want to punch me.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 20, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

  24. This is the first webcomic I’ve ever read, and it introduced me to the rest of the wonderful world of webcomics. West of Bathurst is one I thoroughly enjoyed and looked forward to reading when it updated. Now that it’s over I would like to say thank you for keeping it up so long and for making it as good as it is. You’re amazing.
    All formality aside, I must admit I feel a huge Darth Vader-esque “NOOOO!” is obligatory here!! lol

    Comment by Tarina — February 21, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

  25. Thanks, Tarina. It’s always heartening to hear about people who were enticed into the “wonderful world of webcomics” by West of Bathurst. And now I am imagining Darth Vader eagerly clicking on his daily West of Bathurst link and discovering that the comic has ended. Poor Darth Vader. He really takes things to heart.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — February 21, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

  26. You know, it occurs to me that I never said goodbye to WoB. And so I shall. Goodbye, WoB. You shall be missed. Thank you for everything.

    You gave me procrastination, and now I procrastinate on saying goodbye. I’m not quite sure if that’s fitting or not.

    I’ll just go ahead and say it is.

    And, obviously, thank you, Kari. Though I shall be following your new comic, so it’s not like saying goodbye, it’s more like having a class together and then running into each other after class while getting coffee. Or something to that effect. “Goodbye, and I’ll see you in a few minutes.” Is there a word for that? There should be.

    Comment by erwaro — March 4, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  27. Or perhaps it’s like taking a class together, and then the class ends, so you take ANOTHER class together. I’m not sure there’s a word for that either.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — March 4, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

  28. I’ve been reading WoB since I was about 14, back in 2008. I’m 20 now and starting to think about grad school. (I wonder if Davies… I mean, Massey… would let me in). This comic, though I haven’t always kept up with it, (hence the somewhat belated reading of the final chapters), has been a constant through some somewhat formative years, and I would like to express my gratitude. For the glimpse into grad student life, for the references, (I have never heard anyone else reference Diana Wynne Jones), and, of course, for Barbara in my ear as I write college papers, yelling, “Comma splice! Are you sure that’s how you spell Byron? Please don’t waste my time!” I’d have a much poorer GPA without her.

    Of course, I also just read the entire webcomic from start to finish instead of doing my homework, so maybe I shouldn’t thank you just yet.

    Best wishes in all your endeavors,

    Chloe

    Comment by Chloe — April 24, 2014 @ 4:16 am

  29. Thanks, Chloe. I always love hearing about people finding the comic when they were teenagers. You were one of the comic’s early readers, and I’m glad you’ve rediscovered it now. I’m also pleased that your writing is so coherent. Everyone should have a little brain Barbara yelling about comma splices.

    Procrastination is the mark of the true grad student. You’ll be fine. If you go to U of T for grad school, I encourage you to apply to Massey. It’s a weird place–and it’s got a new Master, so I’m not sure exactly what the atmosphere will be going forward–but it was truly the best thing about my grad-school experience.

    Comment by Kari Maaren — April 24, 2014 @ 7:34 am


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