Yes, final page. As a few people have noticed, the webcomic is slightly shorter than the print comic, which uses two pages for the double page spreads, as opposed to the one page of the webcomic. So the print version is slightly longer for better value. :)
Here we are at the end, my friends. Thank you so much for being a part of this. (Haha, I almost wrote “thank you so much for being a part of the Friends With Boys Webcomic Experience. How cheesy!) I have really enjoyed sharing this comic (and my thoughts on making comics and comics I love and just comics!!!!) with you. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too … if the response I’ve gotten from the online community (so many comments! so many pageviews) is any indication, I think you have.
First off, website news: The full version of Friends With Boys (the webcomic) will remain up for about another week and a half. Then the image files (except for the first 16 pages which will remain up as a preview for interested readers) will be removed from the website. The blog posts will all remain up for the foreseeable future (I hope to archive them a little better down the line), so you can come back and read them anytime.
And now, I have a small favour to ask: if you can, please buy the book. You certainly do not owe me anything. I have worked hard on this comic over the last seven months, and I feel I have been rewarded by your attention and your involvement in it. But if you are someone who has very much enjoyed this comic and want to give back to me, you can do so buy purchasing the comic. A few kind souls have asked what is the best way for them to buy the comic (local comic store, bookshop, ordering online) and I don’t think it matters in terms of my royalties (I will eventually be paid royalties if my advance for FWB earns out), but I always encourage people to try and support local. So that is my suggestion. If you do not have a local comic or bookstore you enjoy (and I do not begrudge those of you wishing to avoid the dank pamphlet filled hellhole that is a crappy local comic store), by all means, order from your preferred online retailer. If you cannot afford the book, but would still like to support me, you can ask your local library to buy it. I LOVE libraries, and I think they are incredibly important in the front line of reaching new comic book readers, so that is also a big help. You could lead someone brand new into reading comics!
So that is my request. If you can, support me, and buy the print version of Friends With Boys, so I can continue my fruitful relationship with First Second, and they can continue to publish my books.
And now … one of the things that is so different about the webcomic experience, as opposed to having a book published and then sending it out into the world, is that I suddenly find myself in a situation where I can explain myself. Friends With Boys has an open ending. It was a deliberate artististic choice to end it so, and while some might have (completely valid) issues with the ending, I am content with it.
It is very tempting for me to sit here and blog my thoughts about the ending and the book as a whole. This is what the Ghost means to me! This is what this symbolizes! And this, and this! Etc. I have decided I will not do that, because I think endings are best when they are left a little up to the imagination of the readers. I have a future in mind for Maggie, that involves her Mom and her family and maybe the Ghost. But you might have a different future for her. And since there is no sequel planned for Friends With Boys (ever! Unless the book sells 20 million copies and Ryan Gosling himself begs me for it), that future remains open, and I think that is pretty great. I love the idea of the readers of this book making up different futures for all these characters.
I will say this though: this is not a story about a Ghost. It is a story about a girl learning that there are things she cannot fix, but maybe that will be okay. Even when it’s not.
That is the story I wanted to tell.
Thank you for reading.
PS. Come back tomorrow, for I have some hilarious guest comics by a good friend to show you! You will laugh your socks off, guaranteed.
(Thanks page: Thank you so much to First Second for allowing me to serialize Friends With Boys online. I know I have reached more readers than I ever thought possible this way. Thank to to my agent, Bernadette, for suggesting we do this. Thank you to my boyfriend Tim for supporting me through this busy, stressful time. Thank you to my wonderful webmaster Lissa, and all the hours she put into maintaining this website. Couldn’t have done it without you, Lissa! I owe you many drawings. And again, thank you readers. You have made this something special.)