Epilogue, the end

The end. I hope you enjoyed reading Mare Internum.

Thank you all so much for your support and readership over the years. This is the first story I have ever completed, start to finish, and doing it with you in real-time has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

As per tradition, the final Tame Impala song to close out the story. This is the song I listened to in 2014 while imagining the ending to what was then a vague idea of a comic, and now about 6 years later we are here at the end (and another beginning). I still have my backslides here and there but, as Bex said, it’s too late to be perfect. Personally, I’m happy with better.


The holiday sale remains in full force until EOD Monday, Dec 2! Newly listed are the hardcovers (unavailable online after Dec 2) and softcover preorders, as well as MI PDFs for those who fear the transience of content on the internet. Everything except the MI preorder books and MI PDFs are on sale- this includes all MI pins, Meek merch, my other books, tutorial packs books, minicomics and anything else I have for sale at the moment. Thanks to everyone who has ordered so far. I’ll be shipping every other day until about mid-Dec to help get your items to you before the holiday. And, until the end of the year, all MI book preorders will be given access to the full bonus PDF materials once books are shipped in late Jan/ Feb.

If you’re looking for a rarer gift for yourself or another person, I’ll be running an auction for a few Limited Edition Mare Internum pins on Monday. If you missed the Kallakore pin Kickstarter, or are trying to complete the set with Processor, you can check my Twitter or sign up for the MI mailing list to find out when the auction goes live.

Thanks for helping one small artist make a living even though the main thing I make is free, haha. Somehow, thanks to your support, the math works out.


What’s next?

– There are three final “closure” illustrations from the book for Mike, Bex and Levi. Those won’t be posted on the site, but will be going up for Patrons over the next few days with some notes from me (the notes will also be in the bonus PDF). If you’d like a bit more Mare, including tidbits from the upcoming bonus material PDF and a Levi comic, those are all headed down the pipeline at the Patreon.
– The MI comic and website will remain up as long as I can leave it here! I make comics to share and will be sharing this story as long as I’m able. I’ll be making the front post more of a landing page on Monday, to prevent the end from being the first thing visitors see :]
– The site will continue updating here and there. I have a small comic post planned for next year, just to keep things vibing a bit. If you’re not on it already, please feel free to join the Mare Internum Mailing List. I will only be using it to inform the list of updates or store sales from this point forward, or any other interesting MI-related news. I anticipate no more than 2-3 uses of the list per year, so no worries about me spamming you.
– Starting on Jan 1 I will be back to updating my other science-fantasy webcomic, The Meek, regularly. I haven’t had a single updating webcomic for nearly 5 years now so it will very be nice to focus on just one public project for a while.
– I am currently working on several non-public projects including: more (yes, more) science fiction, some books for other publishers, some personal project books, etc. To keep in touch about developments with those, you can join the mailing list for The Meek, my anthology Alloy (Alloy will be open for submissions again early next year if you’d like to have me as your editor), or Shingworks in general. I’m also very active on the Patreon Discord and on Patreon in general, where a lot of my development will be posted for future projects in progress.
– For something more immediate to fill the void with, please take a look at the links section on the site for more great sci-fi and weird webcomics. I still maintain a fairly curated list so maybe you’ll find a story to fit your tastes~
– If you’re going to any conventions in the future, maybe I’ll see you! I am also happy to sign books that you’ve bought online at conventions if you bring it by the table. At the moment I am confirmed for C2E2 (under Shingworks), ECCC (again as Shingworks) and SDCC (under my publisher name, Ascend Comics). I’ll be trying for SPX as well though that’s always a crapshoot. If you’d like me to go to a convention near you, the foolproof way is to get me invited as a guest by requesting it from your local con organizers! Otherwise I’ll be sticking to the ones that are most financially viable for me, and hope to see some of you there~
– I’m mostly online publicly at Twitter, and more personally at Patreon and the Patreon Discord. You can also check out my site (soon to be updated) for more links and general info.

And as always, I am just one little individual with a limited reach. The vast bulk of my advertising, I’d say about 98% of it, is done via word of mouth. If you enjoyed the comic and would like to support more work like this in the future, please feel free to share it with your friends.

See you in Jan at The Meek, at conventions, and online~

Thrip thrip,
Der-shing

134 Comments

  • a dude

    Did not expect this ending, awesome.

    I’ve felt that way too. Many times lol thank you Der Shing! The whole read is amazing.

  • Enderborn7th

    I honestly have to say, this has been a fun ride. I have many questions about what happened but I gotta say, I really liked this. Hope you do well with your other projects!

    • Reign of Crows

      I have questions about interpreting the ending, as well. Will be fun to see what other people write.

      Der Shing, congratulations on finishing the series, and thank you for all of your work on it. It’s a major accomplishment! It was a really enjoyable experience. I first found you from The Meek, and am looking forward to seeing that story continue! I didn’t have any negative feelings against Mare Internum for taking your attention away, because despite having a very different feel it was still very interesting.

      Take as much rest as you can, and I look forward to seeing more of The Meek and what ever else flows from your wonderfully creativity.

  • Carly

    Thank you, Der-shing, it’s been a wonderful ride. Actually not ready for it to be the end :’) but omg so good <3

  • Jade

    What a ride! I feel a bit adrift with the ending, but I am hoping another read through will make everything connect when the story flows in one go as a finished project is meant to! Am a bit sad for it to end. I’ve been following along since the beginning.

    • Shweta

      Same! (Also lol, adrift, I see what you did there)

      Though, this comic is such an amazing piece of art I don’t even mind that I don’t get the ending yet. Means I can do another read-through when my head’s less full of fuzz.

      I think I’m too excited for the Meek to be too sad about MI >.>

  • Thelving

    I can’t believe it’s over. This webcomic has been part of my life for years! I’m getting choked up. What an amazing ride. I’m so glad I found it.

    I still remember the visceral reaction I had when the page was put up where Bex was looming over the mangled carcass of Kallakore. That was definitely one of the most impactful plot twists I’ve ever experienced. I have a feeling this story is going to stay with me for many more years to come.

  • Charlesw81

    Fully healed and reasonably shaven

    I’m guessing Bex simply survived and was picked up

    Kalla/processor I’m thinking is dead because that water isn’t glowing but I guess there’s either atmosphere down there or thigh friend is breathing the water.

    Great comic. There are outstanding questions but I think they’re technicalities or distractions from the real story core here.

    • Eiríkr Útlendi

      Considering where we last saw Mike and Processor / Kallakore — falling into a pool of magma — I find myself thinking that the wave of water that reached out for them was the Processor doing a last-ditch backup of Mike’s and Kalla’s state. There wasn’t nearly enough water to either wash them clear of the magma, or cool the magma enough to be safe, so those physical instances of Mike and Kalla probably vaporized — either combusting in the magma, or being blown away in the likely steam explosion.

      Mike here is probably Mike physically re-booted, based on that state capture, much like we saw Kalla come back after Bex killed her. This would explain why Mike here has no trace of the mushrooms that had grown through his face. It would also imply that Processor / Kallakore are very much “alive” (for whatever value of “alive” is appropriate for their case), and possibly also that some part of them lives on in Mike’s new body, in aqueous data format. :) With Mike’s rescue, perhaps Processor and Kallakore can both leave Mars, in a way. I find that incredibly hopeful.

      To borrow the words of someone wiser than myself,

      Aʟʟ Tʜɪɴɢs Sᴛʀɪᴠᴇ.

      • Manabi

        If you look very carefully at panels 4 & 5 you can see what looks like bits of the mushrooms on his head still. Not as much as before, but he was breaking it off before the fall. His beard is a bit haphazard and close to how Levi left it as well. I think that’s the same Mike that started the story.

        Additional clues to support that is pages 60 – 65 show Mike and Prokalla floating in water. Then this strip has mike in a bubble of water surrounded by stone. I believe the idea is that the last minute water created a cocoon for Mike and Prokalla, or at least some part of Prokalla. This protected Mike from the lava, and after the lava had fully cooled (probably helped by more water), he was able to be rescued. Thighfriend could have handled oxygenating his body and Prokalla may be integrated into Mike via the water his body absorbed.

        • While that would be interesting I don’t think there is anything in this page to support that. Nothing in the panels looks like bits of mushrooms to me, I think they are just water droplets and nothing in the water stands out as “broken off pieces”

        • Banderwalk

          Good observations, thanks. This page and panel 5 reminded me strongly of Levi-meets-Kalla from https://www.marecomic.com/comic/ch3-page-33/

          And thanks Der-Shing, great comic, looking forward to more Meek!

        • Katie

          Not clear on whether this is Original Mike, I think it’s probably a backup (I think those are water droplets, not mushrooms) or at least a physically altered version, but I think that what happened, in the literal sense, was that the water made an egg. Mike was surrounded by the water, the lava hardened instantly on contact, and the lava bomb was ejected from the Mare chamber in the ensuing explosion. He might still have died and been regenerated, and part of the processor might have been incorporated into him. I love the idea that he’s being reborn AND that Kalla/processor escape and they can go explore the world together anew, even as the Mare chamber itself dies. I think that at the very least–whether this is old or new Mike–his memories are backed up, or he wouldn’t be crying.

      • Sumgai

        I completely missed the page with the big wave, and had concluded that the subsequent pages were just a pre-death hallucination.

        This is significantly less tragic!

        • shingworks

          oh lol, yeah that is an important page XD

    • so

      i don’t think pralla is dead. they both escaped, they’re with mike :’)

  • Jenna

    the first word in this comic was a goodbye, and the last word is a greeting :,) we’ve really come all the way around

    • Arianwen

      OH

      • Eiríkr Útlendi

        H₂O

    • Fik of the borg

      Right!
      I wonder if that was planned?

      • shingworks

        Haha, it was one of the first things I wrote for MI, has been sitting in my head for many years. Glad folks noticed XD

    • Katie

      God that is so gorgeous.

  • Lo

    This is the best webcomic in existence and one of the best graphic novels ever made

    • shingworks

      Gonna get this tattooed backwards on my forehead, thanks

      • bip

        <3

  • Mustachio

    My question is: where is Mike when they opened to pod and rescued him? Near the eruption site (where everything was destroyed?) or was the pod blown up into the sky, only to fall to the surface someplace where it was easy to find? The previous strips hinted at a vertical launch, after all…

  • Anneau

    Gaah! I only found this comic a year ago but it’s been a wild ride since. Congrats on finally finishing it, though I’m sad to see it end. Oh well guess I gotta buy the book now :) but thank you for the experience, I definitely look forward to seeing your other projects!

  • AF

    Bravo! I’ve been reading Mare since the beginning, and Meek before that. You’re an inspiration. Thank you for everything, and I can’t wait to see the Kickstarter book when it arrives.

  • CJG

    Congratulations on a beautiful comic! I can’t wait to see it in print!

    Can someone with better visuals help me out with the matter Mike is encased in? Is it supposed to be glass, a kind of rock/lava bubble or ice? Something else?
    I’ve read all of Mare on my phone so the visuals occasionally escape me!

    • shingworks

      Word of god cuz it’s probably hard to guess, but it’s obsidian.

      • Gryphon

        Eyyyyyyyyyy, thank youuuuuuu. Best rock both in and out of context!

      • CJG

        Thank you! * goes off to find out how obsidian is made *

      • HousePet

        It looks fine to me. :)

        The colour might be a bit off, but this is different geochemistry to Earth and the lighting in that shot is awkward. But realism isn’t important here.
        You’ve got the glassiness and the shape looks familiar enough.

        • shingworks

          Nothing in this comic is “true” colored, so that doesn’t bug me, more the shape and lighting are just sort of esoteric so I don’t expect anyone to notice it off the bat in the way most people don’t just automatically identify limestone conglomerate or serpentine or whatever. But I did a report on obsidian in 4th grade so it seems familiar to me lol.

      • Kincajou

        So, looking at them taking apart the obsidian, a question arises:
        – do the rescuers have exo suits?
        – are the mining tools off pannel?
        – or have they just been hitting the gym pretty hard (i guess there isn’t much to do on mars XD)?

  • Bellz

    I can’t believe It’s over! ;-; I’ll be pre-ordering the book for sure

  • Fik of the borg

    THE MOST dreaded words: “The End”.
    More so with an twist ending like that.
    One can dream for a sequel some years down the road.
    Thanks for the ride, Der-shing

  • awhorl

    Our baby is getting birthed–look at how deep he is in the water. And what an interesting surprise for the rescuers–water pouring out.

    I am crying more than Mike is. Give me a minute to catch my breath because I have no words to express how much I have appreciated this work of art. The ending really worked for me: the visuals depicting the connection between the P and Mike after the fall, the joy of his acceptance and letting go, and the time for ME to accept the possibility that he would not survive as a person named Mike, but perish, or go somewhere I couldn’t follow because I couldn’t imagine it.

    And then there he is, in whatever form the experience left him (lots of foreshadowing that the P can rearrange matter and revive beings, but who knows?), crying and flashing that smile we love.

    Oh wow.

    Ok now I can claim the pdf and reread quickly.

    • shingworks

      I’m so glad the ending resonated with you :’]

  • Thank you for all of your hard work and more :)

  • todofwar

    Congratulations! As someone who has only ever completed one very short book, and never had the courage to make it public, you are a damn inspiration. This has been an amazing webcomic, I’m going to enjoy reading it again start to finish and I can’t wait for more Meek!

  • 1ore

    I always have the impulse to wait and gather my thoughts until i find the perfect words to articulate just how profoundly a piece of art has impressed on me, but i know i’ll never be satisfied with whatever i come up with– not when it comes to mare. So, Im gonna jump the gun now and just say thank you. thank you thank you thank you for bringing this to the world. Reading mare over the past few years has been deeply formative and a source of great comfort. it means so much <3

  • spire

    i’m so happy when i look at that last panel of mike ;__;

    thank you for sharing this comic with us. it’s been a good ride

  • beedee

    I stopped comment halfway through this final chapter ’cause I just ran out of stuff to say. I’ve been on the edge of my seat this whole time. I still kinda have nothing to say. But… dang. congrats on fulfilling such a story.

  • vin

    Damn it, my heeeaarrrttt

  • Itkovian

    Brilliant work. This comic is filled with birth/rebirth imagery, and this one’s very on point.

    Masterful. Thank you.

  • Cavemonster

    I’m utterly confused, I think this ending is a little over my head. Grats on finishing the comic, though. The art was fantastic.

    • shingworks

      I will say that a lot of the commenters have hit upon the “correct” interpretation, as well as many other interpretations that work. Personally I think the reader should go with the one that makes the most sense to them.

  • dew

    Just reread the whole comic and wow, Im going to be thinking about this one for a long time.
    I always love your comics as they hit the perfect blend of personal struggle + metaphor as well as general detailed worldbuilding nerdery for me.
    There’s always something whether youre in the mood for self reflection or just fascinating SF concepts to think about.
    Cheers, and good luck on the next Meek chapter!

  • neptune432

    I got the tweet announcing the end of the comic while I was having dinner. It struck me with a sudden gut punch that almost made me cry. Now that I’ve finally been able to sit down and properly read the pages, I’m left satisfied and generally emotional at seeing this comic end. Thank you so much for this story.

  • Mr. Casual

    Yeah, I super feel lost at this. :/

    The last few strips made it seem like Michael and Kalla were taking some kind of final journey into the afterlife together, or something. That felt like bittersweet closure for both of them. Now here’s Michael all well and good, and no Kalla. Was Michael rebooted by the Processor? Why wasn’t Kalla? Is the Processor dead now? What about closure for Kalla? Her whole story was so tragic, and now Michael gets to continue on but she doesn’t?

    Ah well, maybe it’s supposed to be one of those ambiguous endings. At any rate, fair play on finishing the grand tale! It’s been a fun ride if nothing else. :)

    • shingworks

      Yeah there is definitely some room for opinion as far as what happened to Kalla. Something to consider though, is that Michael was planning to end his life before his time, whereas Kalla’s existence was being artificially stretched far past the limits of sense or fulfillment. I am not sure what kind of future would have been best for Pralla but depending on how you want to interpret the end, there is room for them to be fulfilled as well.

      • Lilian

        Good point about Mike attempting to end his life prematurely while Kallakore’s life was “artificially stretched”.

        Like the Processor said, the “real” Kalla died eons ago. Tweaking the neurology of a manufactured body to fit the memories/personality of the previous person does not mean you’ve saved the original person. It means you’ve made a new one – a clone. A very sophisticated one, but still a clone. And clones are separate entities from their original sources.

        And even if the Processor did manage to actually transplant Kalla’s soul and thus truly save the original Kalla, Kalla clearly had been around far too long for her own good.

        This material life and the way it operates is not meant to be experienced for eternity. Kalla – and the countless consciousnesses which the Processor copied from her? – had suffered long enough. Perhaps it was time for them to go.

        But those are just my thoughts. Hope someone enjoyed them.

      • Mr. Casual

        I guess for me it was more of a sense that, clone or not, this version of Kalla knew quite well that she was being rebooted constantly, and psychologically suffering for it. She was lonely, she was sad. She wanted more out of life than just rocks and bugs, which is why she bonded so closely to Levi and Michael, they were the first bit of “new” she’d experienced in who knows how long.

        And we don’t really know how young Kalla was when she originally “died”. Maybe it was before her time, too, and she never got a full, normal life.

        I suppose for me, despite her lifespan being artificial, I would’ve liked to have seen her get one more chance to experience existence beyond the underground of Mars. Maybe help Earth historians and scientists learn about the Martian past and culture. And to just not be alone anymore.

        Still. The fact I feel so strongly about it only proves how wonderful of a character she was, and how good the writing was that made her a favorite. :) I definitely applaud that.

  • weezact7

    So…Mike fell toward the lava, and the Processor sent water over to him and ended up encasing him in a obsidian pod with water inside which safely jettisoned him to the surface? Is that correct? I’m a bit lost here.

    To say nothing of what happened to the Processor or Bex and Levi. That’s also really ambiguous, imo.

    I loved this comic, but there are a few parts where the visuals, to me at least, do not do a great job of conveying what’s going on. This ending and when he first enters the MI most notably.

    • Daedalus

      That’s definitely a possibility. I would kill for some word of god on what actually happened though

    • Hannah

      Imo the Processor/Kalla is somewhere there in Mike. It would fit the symbolism of the previous pages, where Mike is launching into space with a companion (which could parallel the literal launching of him and Processor/Kalla out of Mare in their little obsidian pod). That last bit of Processor water encapsulated in the rock used all its energy to bring back Mike in one final form, no turning back.

    • shingworks

      Not jettisoned (they are still underground on this page), just encapsulated. As for what happened to the rest I think one can infer that Levi got Bex safely to the surface, and that she returned to rescue Mike as she promised, and that he waited for her while protected by the waters of Pralla. There are some additional details just to round out the story for more literal readers but it would have detracted from the impact of the ending I wanted to have spelled certain things out, so I didn’t do that.

      • Lilian

        As one of those more literal readers, one thing I would like to know is just how the rescuers found that particular hunk of rock.

        Though perhaps that knowledge is a privilege I’d have to pay you for.

        At any rate, well done. You are a masterful storyteller.

        • shingworks

          Thank you, and there’s no real answer on my end. If the plot detail is plausible and doesn’t break suspension of disbelief (I mean, moreso than the talking shark alien) then it’s not something I spend time on figuring out.

          • Lilian

            Fair enough.

  • JJ

    Pralla even made him a suit so he wouldn’t be caught naked by his colleagues. Very considerate!

  • Jamato

    Sigh, the only comic I was really excited for ends. I was hoping that at this point in story it would be like 25% done. I’m a greedy bastard :D
    Thanks you for all of your work!

    • Tim F

      Have you seen The Meek? No one goes to space (yet) and the magic is magic rather than scifi super-science. But it’s great and I hear it’ll start updating again.

      • shingworks

        lol, please remember this comment in like, 10 years

        • HKMaly

          Looking forward to our green-haired genetically modified hero to get into space.

      • Jamato

        Why do you think I’m here? :D
        I was reading The Meek such a long time ago I remember literally nothing about it. My “keep reading later” bookmark leads to a November 2012 page!

        • shingworks

          oh lol, well there’s been a few updates since that… I think I stopped updating the most recent chapter in Oct 2017, in case you haven’t gotten a chance to read Chapters 4 & 5 since the Ur-hiatus. Jan’s update will begin Chapter 6, I’d intended to begin it last year but we were in the middle of buying a house in addition to some other big life stuff so it got to be too much to do at once.

  • Edgar Mauricio Lemos

    Hi Michael, and goodbye. I think you’ll be fine from now on.

    Thank you for the comics, Der-Shing.

  • Herp McDerp

    That was a wonderful trip! Thank you

    When do you start the sequel? ;^)

  • Kincajou

    Thank you for the amazing comic der-shing. It has been an incredible ride! I’ll probably be ordering the print in the future :D

    As for the ending,some things aren’t completley clear (i am grateful for the comments section i must admit) but the character archs (the most important part) are crystal clear. It will be a pleasure to reread time and time again to piece together the small physical details.

    Also… thank you for going for a “happy” ending. I do like my drama but… these characters all deserve good a break by now!

    I am sad to leave them but excited for the return of the meek… See you there soon :)

    (also would you come to european conventions if invited or is it just US based stuff?)

    • shingworks

      I’d definitely consider a European convention if formally invited by one, to offset the cost of international travel a little bit :]

      • kincajou

        Awesome! Now to do some lobbying ;)

  • JepMZ

    What a beautiful end to a beautiful journey! Glad to see the whole thing happen! I suspect that’s Michael’s original body since we never seen processor replicate non-organic stuff like Levi’s metal body and such. And Michael still has his non-organic clothes on. Maybe his umbrellashin thing is alive too that kept him alive underwater for so long

  • Hilen

    He’s. He’s alive. I can’t believe it.
    Just when I think I get it, just when I say to myself “well, it is a good ending, even if…” Even when I hear the echoes in my head, talking to each other, and I accept it. just when I’m there you destroy it. But not pointlessly, not carelessly.
    At risk of assuming, I say this- it takes a lot of analisis and thought, and experience, to convey a feeling so wonderfully. Well, a feeling or a journey of them.
    I really wish I could express to you the kind of punch these surprising last two pages gave me. Words don’t work for me, don’t suffice. For an instant, I wish I could reqch out and communicate to you just how simply, so utterly, heartbreakingly hopeful they made me feel. Maybe for no reason at all. Maybe because I have been projecting on your characters since that dramatic first page and, at the same time I couldn’t believe Mike could be saved, I also deep down wanted him to. But the kind of change it would require, of time of whatever- it just seemed impossible. And the ride was- damn, it was way funnier, way more entertaining, much more bittersweet than I expected. But this end?
    I really wish I could say it well enough. I can’t.
    What I can say to you is thank you. For your beautiful, heartwarming art, the love you puy in every stroke of every page. Even those you might have struggled with.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Thank you for taking it to the end, even if it mist have been hard as all hell, even if you could have dropped it fare and square and we internet people would have had just to deal with it, haha.
    Thank you for your blood and tears and everyvsingle nice thing you gifted us, just because you could and you wanted to.
    Thank you, Dershing, shingworks, artist, creator. Thank you so very much.

    • shingworks

      Thank you so much, and I know where you’re coming from, believe me. It was important for me to end this story underground, because I do want to show that Mike isn’t entirely saved at the end, that none of us get to flip a switch and be safe and whole. But they did their best and fought to get out and even though there is still work ahead, in the end they chose not to give in to the comforting dark.

  • RichWalk9891

    As one of the readers who stuck around ever since the very first page of this comic, thank you for your diligence and passion in seeing Mare Internum come to an end with a satisfying conclusion.

  • Nomi

    This is confusing as hell but also what a great story. I think I’m with the “this is reboot!Mike” camp.

  • Sam

    What an enthralling journey. Your characters will stay with me, thank you!

  • Proggarn

    Thank you so much for this comic! To make a hard sci-fi story about depression, not just start it but actually make it from start to finish, is an incredible feat. And these characters’ stories ring incredibly true. It’s been a pleasure to follow!

  • Mechie

    Thank you for this great comic!
    I really enjoyed it since the beginning and I really like, that it has an ending (which is not taken for granted in a webcomic!) AND I really like the ending!

    I will continue the read The Meek and I also hope for other comics from you in the future.

    Again: Thank you very much!

  • Owen Chen

    Such an incredible comic. I’m beyond happy about the ending, and that the project came to a satisfying conclusion. Clever and well-written all the way through. The book is going to be a great addition to the shelf.

  • charlesw81

    Just a thought on the landing page.

    Can you set it to be the first page? Just thinking this might be a better option than a blank page just to inform a new reader they should hit the “first” button. But, it might just be easier to put the blank page in so *shrug*

    • shingworks

      I would for a different comic, but I think I need the first page is slightly too triggering for a new reader going in cold. I often link the About page just so the content warning shows up before the reader clicks to pg 1, and I think I ought to do something like that for the static version of the site as well.

  • StLOrca

    Wow. I had my doubts, but you pulled it off without a hitch AND stuck the landing.

    So I want to be first in line for the Mare Internum omnibus edition. I will pay CASH MONEY to see this happen. CASH. MONEY.

    • shingworks

      Haha, well, this is the full story so that’s about as omnibus as we’re going to get XD You can check out the links in the textwall area if you would like to preorder a copy of the book coming out early next year, right now the single HCs are available (they will not be later) or you can pick up a PDF or SC any time in the future, until I run out of copies anyway.

      • Herp McDerp

        Haha, well, this is the full story so that’s about as omnibus as we’re going to get XD

        WE WANT A SEQUEL!
        WE WANT A SEQUEL!
        WE WANT A SEQUEL!

        (Am I being too subtle? [grin])

  • Diana

    Waters of the womb. Birth, death, and rebirth. Second chances. Mike’s story has ended and begun again.

    Endings often aren’t neat and tidy, with all loose ends tightly tied, because they’re just stepping stones to what comes next.

    Thank you for your hard work and perseverance. I’ve enjoyed the story and the ride.

  • Katie

    This comic is the most beautiful thing ever. And Gooooooooood the second-to-last panel where he looks just like kid-Mike in the water. And that they all rescued each other after all. agjfspiasp;a;lsk

    • mip

      Yes, this! Both of those images look like kid-Mike. It’s heartwarming.

  • Kuggur

    Thank you. An impressive achievement, completing such an epic story arc.
    Still have a a lot of questions, but that is not a bad thing ;)

  • St. Clair

    And here we are, together, at the end… which is also a beginning.

    Thank you for an amazing journey, and the even more amazing visuals, and a very touching story.

  • ikabubu

    I remember reading all of this early, as I got the PDF for backing the print version.

    This was a masterful conclusion. I have a clear thorough-line with WHAT happened in this ending, but I appreciate that the WHY is still left to interpretation.

    That’s one chapter of your life closed, Der-shing. All your efforts produced the most affecting and my single most favorite webcomic to this day. Congratulations.

    All endings are beginnings. It might take a while, but I look forward to the birth of new ideas from you.

  • Rather Animated

    It’s always bittersweet when a narrative one has been following for many years ends.

    All I can say is you thank, it was pleasure to read.

  • Saberbeam

    Thank you for sharing this story and the journey with us Der Shing! Congratulations on it’s completion!!! :D

  • HKMaly

    Am I only one who think that it was quite irresponsible from the rescues to open that geode without ensuring they don’t kill Mike due to loss of air?

    • shingworks

      Lmao. That’s why I didn’t draw the next page where Mike rapidly decompresses, to everyone’s dismay.

      • Esn

        Um. I hope not. It looks like there’s some mist in that cave already?

  • Ceceoh

    Nothing better than second chances.

    Thank you again, Der-Shing Story-Teller.

  • Jazhara7

    Now see what you did there, Der Shing. You went and ended a story with a beginning. ;)

    You rock.

  • Em

    I am actually crying right now, this is such a beautiful web comic <3

    Quick question, will those extra three "closure" pages be included in the hard copies of MI as well (the preorder books) or will they only be available on Patreon?

    • shingworks

      Yes, they’re the last 3 pages of the book :] if you ordered a book at any point, either recently or on Kickstarter, you’ll be getting the text commentary as well in the bonus content PDF

  • evileeyore

    On one hand the enjoyment/sadness of the ending of a great story.

    On the other hand the sadness/enjoyment of knowing we’ll return to The Meek which I’ve only been reading for over a decade… ;)

  • Pylgrim

    You have some of that internal “mare” leaking out of your eyes Michael.

    It’s ok, it’s happening to me as well.

    • And can I just note my appreciation [not only for this whole story, but] for the eye shaped hole the water is flowing out of, as Michael shed’s tears inside.

      Mars weeps with us.

  • scottandrew

    I know a story has a great ending when I’m still thinking about it days later.

    Thank you for this story Der-shing!

  • okgo

    :’)

    i was afraid of what this last page would be, but i’m happy with it and have pre-ordered the book now that i know i am satisfied with the ending lol

  • Owen Chen

    So glad you directed us to The Meek. Just read the entire thing in one sitting, and I’m in love. Super pleased that you’re returning to it. It’s worth it!

  • Sumgai

    Der-shing, this has been a weird and wonderful journey and I’m glad that you’ve worked so hard to share it!

  • Herp McDerp

    By the way, will you also include the “April 1” page in the print editions?

    • shingworks

      Probably not XD But I can pop it in the bonus PDF for completion’s sake, thanks for the reminder.

  • allfeeds

    This is incredible. The ending is perfect and transcendent, so is the epilogue.

    That said, I have so many questions. My brain shouting WHERE IS KALLA doesn’t mean that this should be included in the epilogue. It just means I’m going to be stalking all feeds for Word of God on the subject.

  • Cara

    Alright, so… I was a Kickstarter backer, and I read the PDF before the comic was complete on the site. I breezed through it and was very confused. Reading it at a slower pace as the pages were posted online helped me to slow down and think about things a little more. Also the commenters have been really helpful with their theories. So here’s what I’ve pieced together.

    Bex and Levi probably escaped and are fine, or else why would this search party be here?

    When Mike and Pralla fall, Pralla makes a wave which somewhat shields at least Mike from the lava; the water rapidly cools the lava around them and becomes the obsidian little cocoon that keeps Mike safe until the rescue party arrives. I THINK Pralla’s body was destroyed; we really only see Mike falling into the water. But the Processor (and Kalla’s virtual backup) is still around because she’s in sync with the ecosystem I guess?

    Still a little confused about the whole floating in space sequence with Mike and Pralla but I’m pretty sure they’re unconscious and Pralla is mentally connected with Mike and that’s how they’re talking. I THINK the Processor is dying because of the cave-in destroying everything down there? I’m honestly not sure why the Processor is dying.

    Then at least Mike is rescued, and no sign of Pralla.

    I do think that’s Mike’s original body. I think Pralla rescued him in time.

    I don’t know about the theory that Pralla is living on inside Mike? The Processor can read memories/minds but I don’t remember any indication that she can fuse with someone else without creating another body, and personally I believe that’s Mike’s original body. I THINK Pralla is dead then? And Mike comforted her in her final moments with that memory of launching into space. And she “escaped” as in she escaped from this life, a life that was artificially stretched far beyond when it should have originally ended, so perhaps this was for the best. And that’s probably why Mike is crying at the end there, because she died; she wasn’t able to “escape” in the same sense that he did.

    So, it’s taken a lot of fumbling but I think I’ve gotten the end to make sense for me.

    Still, one remaining question (besides the fact that I’m varying levels of uncertain about my theory on the ending).

    WHAT’S WITH MIKE’S NOSE?

    lol but seriously, what’s with his shapeshifting nose? I think I remember Der-shing saying that the varying nose sizes meant something but I sure as hell don’t know. It looks smaller here (but maybe it’s the angle), it was smaller as a child except before and after the abuse scene in the pool, it was smaller in that flashback when Kalla is recalling when Levi told her about how he used it be. Is it larger when he’s…anxious? Upset? Depressed? Does it represent mental instability? Loss of innocence? Help me. T_T

    • shingworks

      Haha, due to temp and pressure conditions on Mars, water can’t exist on the surface. I expect once the sealed chamber was opened to the outside, plus the heat of the volcano, Pralla would have evaporated completely.

      As for nose, I think I redrew some scenes for the book for consistency since the visual metaphor hook I’d placed didn’t really appeal to me after a while. There’s more to that, but I’m mulling over where to discuss that further…

      • Cara

        Oh, so you’re ditching the nose metaphor entirely??

        Then I DEFINITELY want to know what it meant, if it’s not canon anymore. O:

        • shingworks

          It’s still semi-canon, it’s just also a little personal as a metaphor so I’m not sure I want to talk about it much other than to say that it had meaning while I was developing it, and still does to some extent (just not carried through to max power lol)

          • Herp McDerp

            Pinocchio? Or Cyrano?

          • Esn

            Evaporated completely?
            Hm, I had a more optimistic interpretation. I thought that perhaps a piece of Pralla had gotten separated from the rest of it inside that obsidian rock with Michael, and this felt like death to it. This piece is still alive, being the water that is in there with Michael. And the rest of Pralla and that whole ecosystem may well be alive as well, though damaged, having managed to seal the breach. So that basically there are two Prallas now, one that escaped with Michael and one that is still down there.
            I mean, that’s a reasonable interpretation… Right? I’d feel sad if that entire ecosystem was destroyed, and if at least one version of Pralla never did get the chance to go outside…

  • edmund

    I thank you for the journey.

  • LeYak

    Thank you so much for this incredible journey. I have recommended this webcomic so many times, and everytime with increasing conviction.

    One little thing about this last page has me pondering though. How is it that Michael can breathe and talk? Is there some of the underground atmosphere left? Or is his body transformed to survive on the current Mars atmosphere?

    Agh, who am I kidding. This page is awesome!

    • Herp McDerp

      If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes
      And other science facts,
      Just repeat to yourself “It’s just a show!
      I should really just relax …”

  • buam

    I decided to hold off on reading the last chapter until it was finished, and spent the past couple hours rereading the comic from the beginning. Masterful work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • JJ

    It’s been a ride. Thanks for giving us friends in the dark!

  • leigh

    this reminds me of the part when Levi first made contact with Kala..thank you for sharing this story

  • bgb

    I’ve been following this comic for years. Seeing the end was always going to be sad, but you managed to end it perfectly so I am happy too.

  • Sergio Caporal

    Thank You for the entertaining story!

  • Chargrilled Oysters

    Can’t believe it’s the end. What a journey. I too choose to go with the notion that ProKalla is with Mike now (after all, they told Mike that even if he left, the sea would still be a part of him now) and even if life isn’t going to be easy for the two of them from now on, they’re still living so there’s still hope.

    …however, one TEEEEEEENY tiny detail that’s bugged me the entire time that I was hoping to find out is, what happened to Dr. Braid, who worked with Michael on the LEVi project? We know in the beginning that she was on Mars, but when Bex asked, Michael said ‘no’ to the question of if Dr. Braid was also going back to Earth. Did she stay on Mars and get upgraded to a better room (since Bex moved in to hers)? Did she die? Did I miss something? Is it really weird and pointless for me to be wondering about this random tidbit all this time?

    • shingworks

      lol, no not weird, I didn’t explain it well enough in the content I don’t think (I vaguely recall rewriting that part to make it clearer for the book though). Braid is fine, she just got transferred to another base to continue working on a different project. She didn’t die or anything, Mike was just being shitty while answering the questions because he was mad about the whole thing and him being punished and her getting to stay, etc.

  • Keith

    Break on through to the other side, break on through. Kalla you made. Thanks for a good story.

  • Gean

    Thank you a lot for this amazing comic. You’re amazing.

    Solidified magma looks super cool. I also hope those guys brought an extra suit for Mike xD

  • Nicole

    Your comic is the only thing I’ve ever decided to purchase the physical copy of. It was a wild ride from start to finish, and I’m so glad you decided to share this with all of us. Thank you so much.

  • Bruudwin

    after all these years, thanks for sharing the story about Michael! As a Michael myself I thoroughly related, and enjoyed all the adventures and whatever this mind boggling open ended end, ended out for our Michael!

    Like your post says, see you in The Meek!

  • Congratulations on finishing this beautiful comic! It’s really an amazing accomplishment ♥

    • shingworks

      Thank you! You’ve got a really cute comic as well, just found it through the link you have on your acct here :] It’s got some similar elements to The Meek, I’ll do my best to remember to recommend it when I start updating there again, since I bet a few of my readers would enjoy yours as well.

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