I am your secret scary friend
September 11, 2009 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Today marks the end of John Allison's webcomic Scary Go Round.

Part silly-spooky mystery in the vein of Scooby-Doo, and part British slice-of-life comic, Scary Go Round ran for over 7 years. Despite the change in title and theme, the strip carried over a large portion of the cast from Allison's previous strip, Bobbins, an office comedy with a light touch of romance.

A true veteran of the webcomics business (Bobbins predated the popular Penny Arcade by a couple of months), Allison ended Scary Go Round not because of burn-out or declining readership, but simply because it was time:

"Webcomics grew out of people who wanted to draw newspaper comic strips, and with that seems to come the notion that we should whittle away at life-long works. But unless you're whittling - and I choose my words carefully here - some kind of "magic tree", eventually you will end up with nothing left."

Scary Go Round's website will continue to be updated next week, and Allison will be launching his new comic on September 21st. Previously: 1, 2
posted by explosion (42 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
NOOOO!

Will they be killing off Wigu next?
posted by dunkadunc at 7:54 AM on September 11, 2009


I've been a fan of John Allison since Bobbins was drawn in pen and all the characters had beefy hands. Allison's a natural storyteller and his sense of humor can be both silly and subtle in turn. I'm looking forward to what he does next.
posted by ardgedee at 8:04 AM on September 11, 2009


I'm really sad that Scary Go Round didn't end with me marrying Shelley Winters and Fallon.

Wait, did I say that quietly to myself or type it and post it? D'oh!
posted by lord_wolf at 8:09 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm a bit amazed I've been reading his webcomics for at least 7 years. I stumbled onto Bobbins shortly before he switched, and have been reading them ever since. I do feel a certain amount of pity for anyone who shares my deep need to start things from the beginning and is only finding his work now. It's an incredible number of strips to go through.

The ability to go back and read a comic from the very beginning is a new thing I believe. I doubt anyone went through the archives to start reading Garfield or Cathy from the beginning.
posted by borkencode at 8:13 AM on September 11, 2009


dunkadunc: "Will they be killing off Wigu next?"

Hasn't Wigu ended twice? And been restarted both times? It's like The Eagles!
posted by Plutor at 8:14 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was a fan of SGR for a while, but it all got to be a bit too twee for me--there was an extended sequence with little green elves or something and I dropped out. Still, he's very talented and will probably make a hit of his new series.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:16 AM on September 11, 2009


Hasn't Wigu ended twice? And been restarted both times? It's like The Eagles!

Besides, Overcompensating is way better.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:17 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, who wants to bet that most of the same characters will show up by the first year of his next comic?
posted by flatluigi at 8:21 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was sad when Bobbin ended and I'm sad to see SCG end but I am very excited to start reading the new project. Apparently Mr. Allison is also a very nice person in real life, as was attested to me by some friends who spoke to him at a comic convention in London, so good on him.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:23 AM on September 11, 2009


God, I really don't know what to say. I had not read in a while, and I kept putting it off so I could start again from the beginning. This is one of my favorite webcomics of all time.

I need to go buy more/all of his shirts, like, yesterday. I would also pay good cash money for a DVD of all of the SGRs/Bobbins strip for easy reading. Or a big huge book!

Is it embarrassing to say that I would marry Shelley and a number of her co-stars? Yes, surely it is, and so I shall not mention it.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:24 AM on September 11, 2009


So, who wants to bet that most of the same characters will show up by the first year of his next comic?

I'd say it's almost a given. Maybe not Shelley Winters, but at the very least Hugo will be making a cameo appearance for sure.
posted by explosion at 8:26 AM on September 11, 2009


Wish this was on Archive Binge, but can't see it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:29 AM on September 11, 2009


In all honesty, you can't have the same characters go on and on forever. At some point it gets stale and played-out with the characters just going through the motions- just look at the Simpsons. It's nice when a cartoonist or author can spare their creations from such a fate.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:30 AM on September 11, 2009


Farewell, Scary Go Round! You ended as you began - with two girls that no one cares about solving mysteries for some reason.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:32 AM on September 11, 2009


I read the comic today and didn't notice the blog post. I had just assumed that we'd get to see Shelly's hijinks in London in the next grand story arc.

Boo.



(hoo.)
posted by device55 at 8:33 AM on September 11, 2009


Well... I guess my list of webcomics needed a little pruning... I guess.
But yes, as they say, 'wait, there's more'
posted by LD Feral at 8:36 AM on September 11, 2009


I love John Allison. He's a true professional, never got caught up in drama and I can't remember a single "late" comic (not that we're owed timeliness by our free artists, but he got across the concept that he was very Serious about this.) I really fell in love with SGR during the Tim/Fallon arc (and the trip to Romania.) It was something I could rely on every day (until he stopped doing Wednesday recently, the beginning of the end.)

Not to start the holy war, but it makes me somewhat bitter to see that Questionable Content has roughly 10x the traffic as SGR. QC is OK (the guy really works it, the art and writing has gotten so much better in the past year) but it's got none of the wit or charm, there's really no "love" to it. I guess my tastes might be weird because the #s speak for themselves. Happy to see John get a proper sendoff post on MeFi!
posted by neustile at 8:42 AM on September 11, 2009


.

An amazing strip; the art just kept getting better, and the dialogue was top-tier from the beginning.

But I can see why he's letting it go. I've tried to turn a few people on to the strip, but they were all discouraged by that massive archive that borkencode mentions. I remember I was a little intimidated at first myself, and that was five extremely dense years ago. Allison deserves to live in a solid-gold house; I hope he'll find success with a fresh start.

Best Arc: "The Bell"
posted by Iridic at 8:42 AM on September 11, 2009


home of one of my fave lines,
"electromagnetism is a benign force. I am 85% sure it would make the robot's brain extra nice."
"you shame science with your lies"


best of luck whatever is next.
posted by nomisxid at 8:44 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've read through the archives twice in the past few years. Only took a couple of really slow days at work.
posted by hopeless romantique at 8:45 AM on September 11, 2009


I really liked SGR, but I always had trouble keeping the arcs, and the characters that go with them straight in my head.

Also, Friend/Comrade Bat is awesome.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:52 AM on September 11, 2009


.

!
posted by stresstwig at 8:53 AM on September 11, 2009


Aw -- I liked SGR, and even have some Alison t-shirts in constant rotation (Death Bunny, Diablo Rides a Bike, and I Am Your Secret Scary Friend).

But I stopped reading SGR about four years ago -- a computer meltdown killed my bookmarks, and after I got online after two weeks of being practically sans Internet, I just... never went back. Same with Wigu, Goats, and a few other strips. After a bit of time away, it all seemed to blur into a kind of twee/wacky sameness, and the interest was gone. I can't really explain it.
posted by Shepherd at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2009


Been reading John A for 10 years!

Last week I went back and re-read the entirety of Scary Go Round. I can definitely say that John A's art and storytelling skills (remember when you couldn't tell characters apart by their dialogue?) have hugely improved over the years. I'm sorry to see Shelley Winters gone for good but can't wait to see what's next.

"Erin, if you're given a tank, you don't park it behind the nunnery. You send it to war."
posted by infinitewindow at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2009


I wouldn't have known as I mostly look at Scary Go Round for the art. Really, not a huge fan of the storylines, I just like the way he draws. Same with Questionable Content, though I've started to pick up on the current storyline.
posted by champthom at 9:56 AM on September 11, 2009


I don't believe she's gone for good.
posted by Phanx at 9:58 AM on September 11, 2009


"electromagnetism is a benign force. I am 85% sure it would make the robot's brain extra nice."
"you shame science with your lies"


The best part of that comic is the title of the book Amy is reading: Electromagnetism: One Bad Mother.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:16 AM on September 11, 2009


I started with Bobbins and continued with SGR, with the occasional break now and then. Always plenty of little details that you enjoy discovering in every strip, and I expect more of the same with John's next venture.
posted by tommasz at 10:41 AM on September 11, 2009


I'm still annoyed that we never learned the final fate of Shelley's sister Erin, who we heard no more about after she was sucked through a portal with Bob Crowley. (Confusing condensed backstory link, sorta.) At least a final scene with the blobby monsters would have be fun.
Also - fear the crochet power.
Meanwhile I look forward to following the artwork - I've always meant to decorate my xmas tree like this.

And long live Comrade Bat.
posted by batgrlHG at 10:42 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


John Allison is one of the best comic artist/writers on the web, there's no doubt in my mind, but I'm mostly going to miss Esther and The Boy. They added just enough hot-goth-girl-dating-a-nerdy-guy to my life to keep hope alive for me. Don't know what I'm going to do now.
posted by Caduceus at 10:48 AM on September 11, 2009


I'm still annoyed that we never learned the final fate of Shelley's sister Erin...

Erin's fate is revealed in one of the books, I forget which one.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:16 AM on September 11, 2009


I've commented before that Questionable Content has the storytelling quality of one of the better TV sitcoms (and Jeph Jacques could write for "How I Met Your Mother" if he could do more than one punchline per day) and did not mean it as faint praise. In a similar vein, Scary Go Round has many of the better qualities of several Britcoms...

As for speculation about the 'new' comic, if Shelley is gone it'll probably still be based in Tackleford (I had a hunch about the new name and was SHOCKED to see the domain Tackleford.com IS UNTAKEN).
posted by wendell at 11:19 AM on September 11, 2009


Sad news, but it was sad news when Bobbins ended and everything turned out all right. I've done a couple complete reads of the Bobbins-SGR Corpus (it's fabulous watching his art develop although I have a strange affection for the giant-limp-hands days), have paid stupid money for all the books, have multiple shirts, have had my diction permanently scarred by his dialogue patterns etc etc. Hope only the best for the man and now I need to start saving up for a print of the strip with the Easter Bunny's song...
posted by jtron at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2009


So, who wants to bet that most of the same characters will show up by the first year of his next comic?
posted by flatluigi at 11:21 AM on September 11 [1 favorite +] [!]


That's a completely Outlandish idea.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:38 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Erin's fate is revealed in one of the books, I forget which one.

In a mini-comic that came with pre-orders of Peloton, the most recent book.

Shelley is definitely not gone for good. Allison has said he won't be getting rid of his meal ticket, and a Shelley storyline of some sort for the new strip was definitely being set up in the last week or two.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:44 PM on September 11, 2009


Never heard of it, but it's always interesting to see how these webcomics art gets better and develops over the years.
posted by delmoi at 2:11 PM on September 11, 2009


I'm really sad that Scary Go Round didn't end with me marrying Shelley Winters and Fallon.

posted by lord_wolf at 10:09 AM on September 11 [2 favorites +] [!]



Likewise. My ideal partner will share Shelley's feelings on the important things in life, i.e. sexy boots and chocolate.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 5:02 PM on September 11, 2009


You ended as you began - with two girls that no one cares about solving mysteries for some reason.

Oh, those two are fun, the new ones. A strip based on their hijinks - SGR Babies, sorta- would rock. I loved the Poh storyline with Michael Jackson as the dad. Mad props to John A. for not wimping out and cancelling the arc because of Jackson's dirt nap.
posted by fleetmouse at 6:06 PM on September 11, 2009


Wow, thanks for posting this. I only read them by buying the books once a year or so, so I wouldn't have known until next year!
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:23 PM on September 11, 2009


Evidently it's been a long time since I was really into webcomics.

The last time I heard about this one, I was bemoaning how I just didn't like it as much as I'd liked Bobbins.

That really doesn't feel like it was seven years ago.
posted by larkspur at 3:33 AM on September 12, 2009


Well, this marks the second webcomic that's finished up on me since I started reading webcomics. I'm starting to feel a little old. I'm looking forward to the new one!
posted by pemberkins at 6:16 AM on September 12, 2009


First webcomic I ever read. It's a weird milestone for it to end. Let's just hope Achewood isn't next.
posted by cirrostratus at 7:28 PM on September 13, 2009


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