I just read the final Starslip comic today. Most of you shouldn’t need me to tell you about Starslip (aka Starshift Crisis or Starslip Crisis), the popular sci-fi comedy webcomic which has been running for seven years.

In case you’re not familiar with the comic, Starslip told the story of Memnon Vanderbeam, a foppish art curator turned space captain, and his crew of engineers, ex-pirates, robots, aliens, and giant insects. They traveled the galaxy spreading culture during times of peace or joining space battles in times of war. I did mention that the story takes place in the distant future, didn’t I?
I have a lot of fond memories of Starslip. Like the time I broke down and bought a plush Jinxlet from the Starslip store (Dr. Snuggleton is right here with me as I write this blog).

Or the time Starslip author Kris Straub sent me an autograph from PAX East (I couldn’t go because of work. Stupid gainful employment).
But I think that the time Starslip meant the most to me was in the summer of 2008. Ever since I graduated college, I’ve had a standing summer job teaching art classes for kids and teens. In July, we assemble a gallery of the students work and display it at Duquesne University. It’s always a challenge to put the gallery together while teaching the classes, but in 2008 we had a new obstacle. The university had turned its gallery space into offices. Other suitable spaces were under construction, so they gave our art gallery a temporary place in the second floor lobby. It was a difficult transition. Most of the staff, including myself, put in a lot of extra hours to make the necessary adjustments. As the most senior member, I was also managing the staff, tying up lose ends, getting three-to-five hours of sleep each night, and becoming increasingly irritated with the whole situation.
But I still found time to read Startslip each morning.
As luck would have it, Starslip was telling a story about Memnon Vanderbeam setting up an art exhibition. All of the artwork disappeared over night and Memnon and his crew had to track it down and re-assemble the exhibition in the few hours before the museum opened. I can’t stress how perfect the timing was. We’ve all had occasions when pop culture stories match up with events in our own lives, but they’re usually out of sync with us by a few weeks or months. I was reading this story exactly as these things were happening to me. And I found myself thinking, “If a clown like Vanderbeam can fix his gallery, then clever folks like us can get our gallery put together.” And we did.

In all fairness, we would have fixed our problems without Starslip cheering me on. But I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much.

So today we say goodbye to a saga that has meant so much to so many people. Thanks to Mr. Straub for giving us Starslip. If nothing else, it could be quite a pick-me-up.

And thank goodness I was able to squeeze a Jinxlet into the last Easter Egg Gallery. I would have been disappointed if I had missed my chance to do that.