Here we are. The end. When I started this comic in 2012, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to shed some of the cynical humor I had been writing up until then and I wanted to write something all-ages friendly. Something you could read to escape from the woes of the world, even for just a few minutes. Something, for lack of a better term, that would be a safe space on the Internet. Three and a half years and 798 strips later, I think I did that. I’m happy with what I did here. I created something fun, something I really enjoyed writing and drawing, something that challenged me creatively and let me have the freedom my previous comics didn’t always allow me.
I always knew my other comics would have finite runs. The end of “Moon Freight 3” was planned almost from the beginning, “The Gang From the Store” was only ever meant to have 64 installments, and “Drawn Away” would only last as long as my trip around America did. But “The Center of Somewhere” did not. I designed it to be open-ended because life is open-ended. As one story ends another begins and that means anything can happen. If things had gone a little differently, there’s a good chance this comic would have run for years to come. But they didn’t, and that’s okay, because what I created is something I’m happy with.
And that’s why this was the only ending this strip could have. An ending that shows there’s so much ahead of us. Is this what life will be like for our small-town heroes in 2056, or is this all the imagination of a fish who only thinks he’s an immortal time-traveler? And what happens in the 40 years between now and then? As Turbo said, we don’t know what the future is bringing us, and as he and Oakland said, they’ll see their friends tomorrow. Their stories may not be committed to paper and the Internet, but in a corner of my mind they’ll still always have their tomorrows.
So what’s next for me? Well, the Kickstarter for The Center of Somewhere volume 2 starts Tuesday, and you’ll hear plenty more from me on that. After that? I have some ideas I’m working on, but I don’t know exactly what’s going to come out when. This is the first time since I started cartooning that I don’t have another comic starting immediately. Heck, in the past when I started a new project I had another one running, so you were never seeing nothing from me. The uncertainty of what comes next is both exciting and a little scary, and I’m looking forward to it.
Will I ever return to The Center of Somewhere? Who knows? When Berkeley Breathed brought back Bloom County last year he made literally anything possible in comics. Maybe this is goodbye to Fingullet, Nick, Oakland, Turbo, Kim, Tallulah, the ghosts, Doc Shmitty, Snuggie Bear, and Brunhilde, or maybe it’s just goodbye for now.
Thanks for the last 3 1/2 years, everybody. Thanks for the kind words, compliments, and critiques. Thanks for giving me the chance to make this comic and breathe life into these characters. And thanks for sticking around until the end.
See you tomorrow.