It is the end of one year and the beginning of another. (Uncanny grasp of the obvious, eh?) And with 2006, the comicstrippy world must say bye-bye to two different, but oddly related institutions:

The Daily Foxtrot

It’s better for everybody than quitting completely for Bill Amend, but if he truly spent as much time on the comic as he said for the last umpteen years, the change must be somewhat traumatic for him. But he addressed everything near-perfectly in the last week of strips. Highlights:
I had never noticed that the Foxes and the Lockhorns had almost identical hair. Freaky.

Shaenon Garrity is like the Queen of Webcomics and Narbonic was one of those freaks of creative nature that told a helluva story while delivering a daily gag as reliably as FedEx. The characters were delightfully unique (as opposed to some other strips where the characters are disturbingly unique), starting with the semi-eponymous Helen Narbon, a strong female character who’s brilliant, cheerful, utterly insane and self-proclaimed evil. But then, Narbonic had a unique way of dealing with so many big-deal issues: good and evil, life and death, genius and madness, love and sex and violence and science and family and gerbils. And instead of a “Sunday-sized” comic, there was always a cool and often surprising feature (many of which highlighted the strip’s fanbase, which was large, fervent and included a lot of other artists). I never got into it until the archives were opened up in the middle of ’06, but once in, I was trapped. Some highlights from the Final Year of Narbonic:
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If you can name all the webcomics these “dramatic revelations” were borrowed from, then you are a true Webcomics Nerd.
I’m 100% with you, Shaenon.
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And I will not apologize for my love for “Foot”.
And they lived madly ever after. (But they did prevent the apocalyptic future shown in the obligatory Time Travel storyline – not that they’re not capable of creating another one)