Romantic Interlude by Andrew Farago

Guest Commentary by Guest Artist Andrew Farago

Here’s a week of guest strips I did leading up to our wedding.

These hold up fairly well as far as the writing goes. I wish I hadn’t buried everything under all those clunky Sharpie lines, and it relieves me to see that I think I’ve gotten a lot better as an artist since 2004.

But anyway, the point is that yes, I was starting to burn out on California just under ten years ago, and wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to stick around. Thankfully, as this strip points out, I stumbled upon a fateful classified ad while I was supposed to be doing data entry.

Actually, now that I think about it, this particular temp job involved hanging out and filling a desk while the company was transitioning to a new office. I think they needed someone to make sure that homeless people weren’t wandering into the building, and during that stage of the dot-com era, companies could pay someone $15 an hour to keep a seat warm and goof around on the Internet.

Of course, the Internet back in the summer of 2000 consisted of about eight websites, so it wasn’t quite the time-passing service it is today.

Andrew again:

Yep, that’s honestly how Shaenon was introduced to me. “This is Shaenon. She’s single.”

Shaenon later told me that there’d been some discussion of romantic lives and prospects between her, Hallie, and Christina, who were all working at the Cartoon Art Museum that afternoon, so that’s why Hallie made that cryptic introduction.

The volunteer gig worked out pretty well, though, since I’m still with the museum almost ten years later.

Andrew again:

Shaenon pointed out much later that correcting me and making me look ignorant in front of the our other volunteer might not have been the best way to win me over, but I guess it worked.

One of the immediate benefits of volunteering at the Cartoon Art Museum was meeting other people who were into comics. I’d barely met any girls who were into comics at that point in my life, let alone someone who drew them.

Now, I think the majority of my friends are girls who write and draw their own comics, but at the time, it was pretty unusual.

And as I mentioned, the Internet in the year 2000 was a couple of bbs pages, and Frog in a Blender, so meeting someone who actually had her own website really stood out at the time.

Andrew again:

Fanboy moment. I read through Shaenon’s complete archive at my temp job on Monday (no Internet access at home at that point, which is why I didn’t get to read it Saturday night or on Sunday.

It was really fun stuff, and there was only about a month’s worth of strips at the time. I was probably the first stranger Shaenon had recruited into reading the strip since it launched, which is a pretty cool distinction.

Andrew again:

Again, I had no idea what it took to get your own website, and since I never owned my own computer until I lived with Shaenon, it didn’t occur to me that anyone apart from major corporations or celebrities would have them.

Therefore, since Shaenon didn’t strike me as the CEO type, I figured that she was really famous, and was surprised that she replied to my fan letter right away.

I found out pretty quickly that we both had lots of free time at our jobs, so trading e-mails was a pretty enjoyable way to help pass the time.

Andrew again:

Sorry about the tiny, tiny lettering on this comic. I’m still figuring that stuff out.

Yes, Annie Hall on Valentine’s Day was our first date.

And I proposed on Valentine’s Day two years after that. And married Shaenon on Valentine’s Day a year after that.

I hadn’t planned things that way, but I’m big on tradition, so it just felt right. And we’re still married six-and-a-half years later, almost ten years after we first met, so I must have done something right.

26 thoughts on “Romantic Interlude by Andrew Farago

  1. Huh, sound like the kind of pointless soul stealing job that can twist a man’s mind to the breaking point.

  2. The web wasn’t small in 2000!  Heck, I remember the web in 1993.  That was small!  By 2000 I might have been reading at least 8 webcomics…

    <end old man rant>

  3. (TUNE: “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, sung by Roberta Flack)

    I’d heard of this museum …
    They had some cartoons here …
    I thought I’d go to see ’em
    And maybe volunteer!

    They showed me where the fax was,
    Then I stopped in my tracks, ’cause

    There was this girl in a t-shirt!
    Hallie then cryptic’ly said,
    “Hey, this is Shaenon, she’s single.”
    Changing my whole life,
    I think I’ll
    Stay here a few years, and mingle!
    Shaenon was single …
    Now my wife!

  4. (TUNE: “Tonight” from “West Side Story”, Bernstein & Sondheim)

    Website!  Website!
    She had her own website!
    The address was Narbonic dot com!

    Website!  Website!
    A comic she did write
    ‘Bout a mad girl that’s cloned from her mom!

    First sight,
    My ignorance correcting!
    But I was not rejecting
    This girl I thought was tight!

    It turned out right,
    Perpetual delight!
    Wedding white!

  5. I’m digging Shaenon’s nifty cap. And you correctly drew her drawing with her left hand!

    Huzzah! Tea cakes for everybody!

  6. You’ve no idea how often I’ve thought the same thing as panel four. I’ve often wished I had a time machine so that I could go back and start a webcomic before everyone else got in on the act.

    I could have been swapping stories with Stan Lee, instead of being run over by him and his entourage.

  7. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t discover Narbonic until near the end of its run (Artie was already on the flying island).  And yes, I used to check out the comic at my previous job.  That’s why it’s a previous job.

  8.             I’m living proof that Narbonic time travel is real.  In May 2010, I read all of the original Narbonic and commentary, moving from ten to four years into the past.  Then I started reading Director’s Cut and the commentary to that, posted on unknown, but less-distant, past dates.  And on 8 July 2010, here I am in the present with the rest of you!
                Hi, Leon Arnott!  After a decade, I’m pleased to finally meet you.

  9. Welcome to the Peanut Gallery, Kay. We’ll send you the customary free mutagen and trained assassin duck (due to popular demand only one duck is given to each new ‘nutter)

  10. That’s pretty much what happened with me too.  Except that Narbonic was my new favorite strip before I tried E-mailing Shaenon.  Oh, and I didn’t end up marring her. 

  11. (TUNE: “On The Road Again”, Willie Nelson)

    Shaenon wrote to me!
    I can’t believe that Shaenon wrote to me!
    I thought she was some kind of hot ce-le-bri-ty!
    Didn’t know, although she wrote to me!

    Shaenon wrote to me!
    I wrote her first, and she responded instantly!
    So I wrote back and then we chatted frequently!
    When I wrote, she’d send a note to me!

    Shaenon wrote to me,
    And couple months went by, and then we dated!
    Wasn’t slow to see
    That for each other we were truly fated!
    So we mated!

    ‘Cause she wrote to me!
    She wasn’t just another ho’ to me!
    This cute cartoonist, she means so much mo’ to me!
    Warm and fuzzy, ’cause she wrote to me!

  12. People use thier work computers for something other than working? Lies! Lies and Slander!

    Huh, if only there was some way of conveying how not serious I’m being in that last sentence without resorting to emoticons.

  13. @Daffyd: About 50 more exclamation marks would have done it….

    Sorry, but my eyes always see your name as Daffy-d before my brain catches up. But then, I’m probably not the first person to say that. Probably not even in the top 100….

  14. “She dumped the guy that she was dating…”

    This is a beautiful storym, but I can’t help but wonder about the poor guy who maybe got his heart ripped out because Shaenon found the right guy.

  15. The Romatic in me appluads you for a well thought out and memorable way of showing you love. It sets a good example and definately raises the bar.

    Unfortunately, this is almost overshadowed by my first thoughts of how much easier it must be for you to remember anniversaries. Probably due to my own terrible memory at remembering important days.

    @Fandarel: I must be mindfull of sarcasm, however. For sarcasm leads to brooding, and brooding leads to angst, and angst leads to the Emo side.

    @Sam: Oddly, not many people *say* that. They probably all *think* it though …

  16. (TUNE: “Chapel Of Love”, The Dixie Cups)

    Girl who draws a comic, well we … ended up married!
    Girl who draws a comic, well we … ended up married!
    ‘Cause I really love her, though the … reasons are varied!
    Married to the Garrity girl!

    Met this girl, thought that she was fine!
    On the saint’s day of Valentine,
    I asked this girl, “Will you be mine?”
    Sharing our love, for all of our lives!

    I met this
    Girl who draws a comic, well we … ended up ma-a-arried!
    Girl who draws a comic, well we … ended up ma-a-arried!
    Someday in adjoining plots, were … gonna be buried!
    Married to the Garrity girl!

  17. Oh, and if you have a spare moment, check out the Web Comics Auction for the Gulf Coast.  Several cartoonists (and the occasional filker) have contributed artwork, which is being auctioned off to raise money for Gulf Coast recovery efforts.  You can find all the facts, and view all the artwork, at:

    Check it out, get something nice for yourself (or a friend), and know that you’re helping the people and wildlife along the Gulf.

  18. Mr. Farago,

    Has anyone ever told you that you, sir, are the luckiest man in the World?



    Well, it’s a message that bears repeating…

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