- For the webcomic written by Dan Shive as a whole, see El Goonish Shive (Webcomic).
El Goonish Shive is the first story arc in the main canon of EGS. It opened on January 21st, 2002 and closed on May 25th, 2002, and spans a total of 125 comics. This arc includes several minor storylines serving to introduce each of the main characters (sans Ellen), as well as several recurring characters, from the Main Universe and otherwise.
The very first El Goonish Shive storyline, Elliot and Tedd introduced the comic and themselves to the readers, openly admitting the initial suckiness of first comics. In order to attract more readers, they attempted to get Sarah to run around in a bikini to provide fanservice for her introduction. When she refused, they took up a fund to get Sarah to wear a bikini, and received a Hammering as a result. They also introduced their high school, Moperville North. Dr. Germahn and Amanda also made their initial appearances trying to explain the hammers.
During an average science class at Moperville North, Tedd's goo project came to life and escaped. Tedd and Elliot tried to catch it with nets, which Elliot thought was foolish; Tedd insisted they just needed bigger nets. As Tedd and Elliot tracked it down after school, the goo found a can of steroids and grew into an enlarged state. Elliot encountered it, and engaged the beast to a draw before retreating, unable to inflict damage on it with the Togateiru Fohku Kohgeki (Pointy Fork Attack). Tedd attempted to use the sprinkler system to dilute the goo, but attempts to activate it with a lighter failed when the system turned out to be broken due to Principal Verrückt's policy of spending the school budget on murals instead of repairs. Forced into action, Elliot used the lighter to set the goo on fire, destroying it; when he realized he forgot to give his attacks pointless Japanese names during the battle, he was mildly upset.
Shade, Part 1Edit
The day after the goo attack, the event was featured in the local paper, attracting someone's interest. Sarah then attempted to ask Elliot out to a movie, but he apparently misinterpreted her advance as a group activity, and invited Tedd along as well. After the movie, Tedd returned home to find the interested someone, Grace, awaiting him. Tedd invited her in, and they immediately came across Tedd's father, who recognized her as "Shade Tail". He told Tedd to call only Elliot and Sarah over for help the next day and said the whole things is "DGB" (Dad's Government Business). Meanwhile, a pair of shadowed figures ended their search for Grace for the night.
Next day, Tedd ask Elliot to come, as he can't talk about what happened over phone because it can be tapped. Elliot is updated on what was going on, introducing Jeremy in the process, then Tedd asks him to convince Sarah to help acquire proper clothes for Grace, as he has no fashion sense and is banned from that area of mall. Grace meanwhile got hooked on Black and White computer game.
Sarah disguised Grace briefly, while Elliot admitted to Tedd that he knew Sarah was trying to ask him out the previous day. With Grace disguised, she and Sarah went to the mall and acquired some proper clothes. While there, Grace admitted she's a surprisingly hefty 160 pounds. With the day over and mall closed, the two took a shortcut through an alley and ran into a mugger. Grace transformed into her half-squirrel form and telekinetically disarmed him, which frightened him off, before she collapsed from the strain; Sarah had to carry her to the car.
For the first official Q&A, Dr. Germahn and Amanda answered questions. The first question informed the reader that Grace's mass does not change when her person shrinks due to her transformation, resulting in a greater density. It also introduced Shrink Soda. The second question explained that Sarah did not use her hammer on the mugger because the nature of The Hammers is comedic; therefore, they can only be used for punishing men who are offensive to women. In the process of discussing the last question, they inadvertently gave their names, which were the answers to the last question.
Shade, Part 2Edit
Elliot and Tedd were playing a game of Scrabble when Sarah walked in and yelled at Tedd about Grace; Tedd retorted that she shouldn't just barge into his room: he might have been naked. After seeing Grace's half-squirrel form, both Elliot and Sarah both blamed Tedd for it; however, Tedd's father said that Tedd wasn't the one responsible. He explained about Project Lycanthrope and how it involved Grace and her brothers. He then took Tedd and Elliot to help him find documents about Grace. While looking, Elliot found Area 51 fact sheets, which Tedd planned to put online.
Grace woke up from a nightmare involving a scary face and saw Sarah standing beside her. They talked for a bit, and Grace expressed surprise that Sarah was not scared of Grace's half-squirrel form, to which Sarah said she'd had experience with that sort of thing. Before Sarah could explain more about her experience other than the fact that involved Tedd and a school project, Mr. Verres and Elliot returned, with documents about Grace. Elliot persuaded Grace to explain more about her brothers and how she found Tedd. Grace explained that she wanted to find a way to free herself and make it so her brothers couldn't transform and threaten people. Elliot wanted to know why Grace had arrived at Tedd's house naked, and Grace explained that she'd used her full squirrel form to escape, and couldn't bring and clothes with her (except her hairband, which is special). Elliot then apologized for being so pushy and left; Sarah soon followed. Tedd was about to follow them, too, but Grace stopped him with a tail hug.
Relations, Part 1Edit
When Sarah caught up with Elliot, she asked him why he was leaving so suddenly. Elliot changed the subject responding with the advice that since someone had tried to mug her, she should visit his martial arts class; she agreed, still puzzled at Elliot's behavior. The next day at school during lunch, Tedd met up with Elliot for the first time that day, and revealed that he had slept on the couch the previous night (presumably with Grace) and overslept until he woke up naturally, due to the absence of an alarm clock in that room. When Sarah came over to talk to Elliot about his avoidance of her, Elliot expressed nervousness until the end-of-lunch bell gave him an excuse to escape. When Tedd got home, he was greeted by half-squirrel Grace (with a pounce), which confirmed his suspicions that she liked him. After she transformed back to human form, Grace expressed her desire to go to school once her brothers were neutralized. They then discussed Elliot's actions toward Sarah in the context of their relationship, and Grace came to the conclusion that Elliot was going to break Sarah's heart.
April Fools WeekEdit
The storyline started with Tedd presenting Sarah with flowers and the two of them acting like they were in love. This was followed by a panel saying the strip was never completed due to Dan being hammered severely (presumably by Sarah). The panel also contained an apology and wish for the readers to have a happy first of April. The next strip had Sarah complaining because she was depicted as a squirrel-girl; Grace stated that it was a tradition, but Sarah retorting that the strip was less than a year old. The next comic contained only a motionless Jeremy, who growled in the last panel. The next two strips were dialogue only (because supposedly Dan had eaten his pencil, his pen, and the pencils he bought the next day). Elliot tried to take advantage of the situation by saying that Sarah was running around naked; since his conversation partner had changed from Tedd to Sarah between strips, this got him Hammered. The final strip saw all of the main cast (up to that point) turned into half-squirrels, which Elliot said signified Dan being out of ideas.
Relations, Part 2Edit
When Sarah and Elliot got to the martial arts dojo, Sarah was introduced to Justin. Elliot's teacher, Sensei Greg, was revealed, and was shown to be attempting to go Super Saiyan. While Elliot was with Greg, Justin explained the origin and mechanic of anime-style martial arts to Sarah, and pointed out Nanase to Sarah as the only student capable of beating Elliot. Greg then asked Elliot to spar with Nanase as a demonstration for Sarah, hoping to gain her as a new student. During the sparring match, Nanase demonstrated her color-clone magic and Elliot demonstrated his Tamashii Gekido attack. The match also featured the first summoning of the Demonic Duck. The match ended with Nanase the victor and, as was apparently tradition, Nanase kissed Elliot. When Sarah saw this, she ran from the dojo. After discussing Sarah's reaction with Nanase, Elliot realized that he was being inconsiderate toward Sarah, and left the dojo to look for her. He found her in the ice cream parlor, where she revealed that she loved him. As he sat in a state of shock, she regretted telling him, and left. When Elliot came to his senses, he ran outside and frantically started searching for her, calling out her name. His calling attracted the attention of Nanase, and her realization of Elliot's feelings toward Sarah led her to the conclusion that she should break up with him, and she told him that their relationship was never romantic.
Sarah ended up at Tedd's house, and saw him sleeping on the couch with Grace, who was in her half-squirrel form. When they woke up, they explained to her what they had been doing, and showed her via a video they had made.
Earlier, Grace had had an idea about how to make her brothers less threatening that involved zapping them with the Transformation Gun. She suggested Tedd test the idea by zapping her into a cat form. Tedd resisted the idea, but Grace insisted they go ahead with it anyway. When Grace first tried to turn back to normal, she failed and asked Tedd to turn her back with the TF gun; Tedd refused on the grounds that he believed she could do it if she concentrated hard enough. On the second try, she succeeded and subsequently cycled through her half-squirrel, human, and cat forms before turning human again. Seeing that she could simply transform out of forms the TF gun gave her and could henceforth access any of them at will, Grace figured that they could not use it help her brothers directly, then asked Tedd what the best combat form the gun could give her was. Tedd indicated that it was Jeremy's. Grace took the gun and looked at all the forms stored on it, before submitting to try the Jeremy form. When she gained it, the hedgehog spines tore through her shirt. She reverted to normal quickly, stating that the Jeremy form was creepy and that she needed to change shirts. While she did so, Tedd resisted the urge to watch her change shirts; he finally gave in, but only after she had finished. To wrap up the evening, Tedd decided to have fun with Grace's cat form, using catnip.
After Sarah had seen and heard all this, she decided to go home. That night, Grace had a nightmare that woke Tedd, who came in to check on her, forgetting to put on his glasses. Grace was surprised to see him without them, but asked him not to go get them, and to lie with her. Tedd explained why he wore the glasses, and how that had led to his meeting Elliot, but did not go into great detail on the subject. The next morning, Tedd found himself still in Grace's bed when his alarm went off. He quickly dashed to the bathroom and denied he was again sleeping with Grace, as his father suspected; his father apparently believed Tedd's story.