May 2nd, 2008


Secret Stories


Since I seem to be in the process of following the "abandon LiveJournal" trend, I'll be moving the current Secret Story and all its further additions over to this Google Doc starting May 8, 2017. Please update your bookmarks accordingly 'cause this version here is now officially and figuratively frozen in amber.


Shaenon Garrity:

Is one of the mad genii of modern comics, "genii" being used in this case as the plural of "genius." I mean, I've gotta do something with that M.A. in Classics, don't I? Six years of my life, and all I can show for it is the occasional amusing and technically incorrect plural like "octopodes" for "octopus" and "premia" for "premium," things that'd be right if we were all speaking Latin or Ancient Greek, but who'd really wanna be doing that? They call 'em dead languages for a reason, y'know!

Anyway. Shaenon Garrity. Right.

Among any number of other fine comics, she's responsible for Narbonic, a lovely piece of work that she wrapped up at the end of 2006. If you haven't read it, please go and do so. This post will still be here in several months when you return.

Now, while looking up another topic entirely last week, I stumbled over a review of Narbonic posted at The Savage Critic. Written by Diana Kingston-Gabai, it contains the following extraordinary bit of information:

But what left me most in awe of Garrity was that, from November 2002 to the very end of the comic, she used the filenames of the strips themselves to tell a prose story...

This was the first time I'd ever heard about this secret story, and going to the Narbonic page where Ms. Garrity is re-running the series with "director's commentary," I clicked through to the strip that was up and found that it was indeed true--although the strip in question turned out to have been originally posted in November of 2001, and, as you can see, it's got words at the end of the file name even though it's from a year before the date Ms. Kingston-Gabai mentions.

So, after considering what I would need to do to read this secret story--find out where the whole words-in-the-file-name thing actually began, then view what is very probably 1,500 individual daily comic strips to copy 'n' paste the words--for about half a second, I decided to hope instead that Garrity will see fit to put the story into the last volume of the print Narbonic books she's been coming out with. And that, I figured, was that.

Until I remembered her new strip...

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