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Strip for 10/23/2002  
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So here we are. At the end. And what a thematically cohesive, morally uplifting end it is, returning us right back where we started...kind of. It's amusing to note how much Scrubs artwork has changed since those early days, although not much can be said for the diversity of Kip and Sil's wardrobes over the course of two years. ^_^;;

I remember those exciting brainstorm sessions Kip and I conducted in our dorm rooms during the incipient stages Scrubs...notepads splayed eagerly across our laps and grandiose visions brewing in our heads. We had never done anything like a webcomic before, and we were determined to do it right and do it well. Thus was the first strip carefully selected, painstakingly pencilled and inked, then fully colored and shaded post-scan, with gradients galore. This was our ambitious phase. I fully expected to keep this up, twice a week, no problem.

Enter: reality. I soon discovered that my artistic aspirations were hardly compatible with the demands of a consistent course overload, a part-time job, and an insidious penchant for procrastination and overachievement. Step by step, the processs was streamlined. First to go were colors, then punctuality, then inks, then what the hell, faces and clothes (with the intervention of Kip's lovable stick-figures). Throughout it all, though, I tried to compensate for each loss with added bonuses: more shadows, perspectives, backgrounds, and expressions. I tried my best to keep the art fresh, and the characters recognizable and entertaining, because regardless of how much I had to compromise my time for Scrubs, I always wanted other people to enjoy the end result as much as I enjoyed collaborating with Kip to put the strip out. To be honest, this project cultivated a creative and intellectual closeness of minds that I had never experienced with anyone else before. Scrubs was supposedly modeled after our friendship, but it was constantly remodeling it in the process. I will miss the curious and perpetual way that worked. Especially since I doubt I will know anything precisely like it again.

But that's just one of the many things I will miss about living with Kip. For those of you who aren't up to date, I've moved to DC, where I am currently seeking gainful employment, blazing my path in the wide world, experiencing my youth yadda yadda yadda. Basically this means that I'm a good 711.95 miles away from my indispensable partner in collegiate crime. Which amounts to no more late night ramblings, incoherent confessions, no more being all proud of him while he's cracking up an audience at an improv show, no more puzzle fighter matches, romps in the rain, anime marathons, or road trips. At least not for a while. Thankfully, we've both got a lot on our plates, both personally and professionally, which is good in that it takes my mind off of the absence of my familiar milieu of friends, family, and activities, but bad in that it leaves no more time for Scrubs.

Still, I'm glad we stuck with it for so long. Or rather, I'm glad Kip didn't get fed up with me eons ago and stop pestering me constantly for strips. Looking back, I'm pleasantly surprised to see how many strips we've managed to rack up. There will always be my classic favorites, like the drafting of the dinner list, the Guide to Being a Cool Asian, the Cybiko Saga, Sil's heart-to-heart with her idealism, Kip's battle with the answering machine, and Sip and Kil's freaky friday experience, to name a few of those nearest and dearest to my heart. And I'm still absurdly proud of my rendition of Kip's car, our slick grammar police getups, and the door alarm bit that was cooking in my head for so long. Of course, the great milestone for Scrubs in my mind will always be our tribute to Black and White, the strip that put us on the charts and pushed our viewership into the thousands.

In the end, though, Scrubs does boil down to something a little more meaningful than a couple clever quips and cute characters. It's funny...since Kip and I kind of made everything up as we went along, only in retrospect am I able to speculate what Scrubs as a whole is about. Here's my crack at it.

Although there's plenty of random goofing around to be had, everything pretty much all comes back to the search for two complicated things: Kip's heart and Sil's grasp of her limits. I think Scrubs is a story of two best friends trying to figure out how to get things right...two friends who are each having trouble with different factors of common sense that are wholly essential to resolving their individual problems. Whatever factor that is so elusive to one friend, however, is fortunately understood by the other, to be dispensed audibly, artfully, and helpfully in convenient little packages of wit in the final frame.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that, as easy as it is for you to see what quirks other people might be overlooking when trying to figure things out for themselves, it's infinitely harder to detect, identify, and come to terms with such personal hangups in yourself.

But that's what friends are for. They help you see things a little more clearly. At least, my friend did that pretty well.

Thanks for sharing the ride, everyone.


As usual, Sil comes along and makes my stuff better. She's always doing that, from seeing brilliant (and unintentional) connections in my improv to taking my scrawly stick figures and spotty writing and lending an editorial eye and ear to make a strip click where it used to clack.

For example, these final strips used to be not so good. I wrote a bunch of artsy crap with camera angles and stuff that I'd never tried before, just to get it out before the end. But really, like in improv, one should finish where he begins. Sil said, "Um, these don't really work." And I sat back and worked on them until they did. Although we always break up our roles as writer and artist, in reality, throughout the course of this work, Sil has always been my muse and I've been her model.

I always worried that Scrubs was becoming too much me and not enough her. Even in the beginning, in the first few strips, she and I discussed how her character always seemed bitchy and not very caring. That discussion drove my writing for the rest of the strip. I constantly ran her lines in my head, trying to make sure that they were really her. And if I slipped a bit in the times... Sorry, dear.

Much as I tried to keep Scrubs not mired in roomantic angst, it slipped there for long periods of time. But I think this past summer was pretty good at being about other aspects of life than lost love. And that's because I finally have found it. All you well wishers out there, out wishing into wells for me to find someone who'd care for me as much as I care for her... thanks for the pennies. Her name is El, as readers of Kipworld can probably surmise from the frequency of her mention. You guys even got to read about me meeting her at the time, in the blurbs from last spring.

That as much as anything else is the reason why Scrubs is at its end. Scrubs Kip simply can't have a girlfriend. Not without Sil getting some sleep. Not without things getting settled. And settled stuff is no fun to read. So no more talk about how happy I am (very). I remember reading other people's angry young man work on the web and how it went to crap once they found significant others. Of course, they'd come back months later saying that they'd broken up and life was back to shit but I don't foresee that happening (because if I did, that mean I'm not really in the head-over-heels, nauseatingly-cute-to-others love I'm in).

I'll just leave this at the same maddeningly patient advice up there in the strip. Trust the Hand of Fate™.

I will miss the email from people after a particularly spot on strip. The Male Escort strips, the Twin Girl series, the Cool Asian series and many more all prompted some really great email conversations and introduced me to some great people, too many to list. To my wonderfully supportive family, to the ultra regulars, Jake, Kiba, JittaCat, Kid Sinister, to everyone who told me they enjoyed my blurbs as much as the strips, to new readers like Giandi, to everyone who told friends to read Scrubs, my thanks. You made this strip one of my most worthwhile artistic endeavours.

I wish I had more for you. I was waiting to get 614 ready to go at the same time Scrubs was wrapping up but I'm going to need more time so that it doesn't become one of those webcomics that starts and then flames out (or worse, dies away). We saw plenty of those in the webcomic craze of 2001 and I'm glad that we hung on as long as we did, putting out some pretty good comics.

Scrubs will stay up with the entire archive in full (minus the music. Darn you Apple for killing iTools...). We hope that people continue to find it and read it and tell us if they liked it or not.

It's been a pleasure sharing my life with all of you.