In the Week of December 18 Story, Helen also suggested that a Mr. Narbon existed and met some horrible fate. It does seem plausible.
Dave’s pose in the first panel is really awkward (and you can’t even tell that’s supposed to be a coffee mug in his hand), but I like Artie’s dramatic gestures. He looks good in the last panel, more like the way I’d draw him later in the strip.
Dave and Mell appear to have accepted Artie as part of the staff, despite his complicity in the recent Great Gerbil Rebellion. As Helen noted earlier, it’s not like they haven’t attempted or at least contemplated armed revolt. Besides, they have to seek strength in numbers against the superior threat of Helen’s mother.
Yeah, I typed out a bunch of gattacas and pasted them into the strip. And, yeah, they look all weird and out of place. My artistic development is always three steps forward and two steps back, at best.
Smacking people upside the head is about the only human ability Artie will admit to envying. When, much later, he finds himself in a human body (Dave’s, actually) it’s one of the first things he does. Not very admirable for a professed pacifist, but Artie carries around a lot of pent-up frustration, partly because of conversations like this.
At last Dave has worked out the rules. I like Artie’s deflated pose in the last panel.
It’s a little out of character for Artie to call people “dweebs,” however accurate it might be. It took a while to get a handle on Artie’s character and speech patterns.
Artie is standing on two mad-science academic journals, The New Journal of Malology and Modern Maniagnosis.
I’m probably the only person who finds the exchange in the third panel even remotely funny, but I still think it’s one of the best things I wrote in Narbonic.
In addition to the ubiquitous boxes of pink wine, my mother typically travels with bags of tortilla chips from the local Tex-Mex place, Don Pancho’s, which she’s very fond of and wants to share with the rest of the family. Conversely, if she forgets to bring chips, and no Don Pancho chips are available at her destination, you generally get to hear a lot about the poor quality of whatever chips are available.
I’m really getting pretty good at drawing Artie this week. Check out the way he thrusts his tiny chest forward in the second panel.
The big revelation of today’s strip isn’t particularly hard to guess, which is why it isn’t built up as a big thing for anyone but Artie.
Much, much later, Helen reveals a more complex reason for her creation: Dr. Narbon used her as the subject of a study of the developing mad-genius mind. At this early time, I hadn’t come up with that plotline yet (it was a relatively late addition to the big Narbonic story arc), but it probably wasn’t worth getting into yet anyway. The explanation Helen gives here is pretty entertaining. As a few people may recall, it’s also mentioned in the Octavius Winter story, so apparently Dr. Narbon really did threaten to dissect her daughter for useful internal organs.
I’m pretty sure Dr. Narbon also just wanted a kid. But there’s no reason all three explanations can’t be true. You know Dr. Narbon.
I know, I know. I set out to do something at least a little bit original in Narbonic, and before you know it I’m relying on the same cheap Tristram Shandy gags as every other webcartoonist. What can I say? I was young. Dave’s line in the last panel refers to the famous opening of Laurence Sterne’s great unfinished (and perhaps unfinishable) 18th-century comic novel, wherein Tristram blames his personal deficiencies on the fact that his father, during the crucial moment of conception, was thinking about how he needed to wind the clock downstairs. But we all know that from the dozens and dozens of Tristram Shandy webcomics clogging the Internet. TvT (Toby Vs. Trim). Hobby-Horse Arcade. It’s a cliche. I tried not to indulge, but, you know, the fans love it.
There’s no real reason for this reference. I just like Tristram Shandy.
Guinness stout is, as has been mentioned before, Dave’s usual drink. He gets drunk surprisingly easily.