Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my least favorite week of Narbonic.
This series of strips came before I knew what Narbonic was going to be, and I thought maybe it was really bad Sluggy Freelance. I was so wrong. So, um, sorry about this. Just pretend I was drunk when I wrote and drew these, and we’ll all be a lot happier.
Andrew and I can be seen in the audience for this show. I can’t apologize enough for dragging him there.
Man, I hate this strip. The art is particularly bad here, although I do like to draw floating guys.
A while back, someone in the comments asked if I ever set up any foreshadow-y stuff that didn’t pay off. Well, this week is probably the main example. At the time I drew these strips, I intended to do a later crossover between the current Narbonic characters and the ghosts of the Victorian cast. It would have involved the present-day characters contacting, via Ouija Board, the ghost of Victorian Dave, conspicuously absent from these strips. This would have led to the payoff of Victorian Helen and Victorian Mell’s efforts to take over the world with their TV seances.
Later, however, I decided that this was a stupid idea and I dropped it. I only ever wrote a couple of strips for the later storyline.
First of all, for the people reading now on update day, I apologize for the lateness of this post. Last night my internet connection mysteriously died, and it didn’t get fixed until this afternoon. It was, as you can imagine, terrifying, as I was forced to get work done, talk to friends and family, take long walks, have sex, and get a full eight hours of sleep. I don’t want to talk about it. I’m just glad the nightmare is over.
Anyway, I don’t have too much to say about this strip. It’s basically filler, as you can tell from the lack of a real punchline. Victorian Helen is always a lot of fun to draw, although the plume on her hat looks kind of limp and ragged. Death must wreak hell on your wardrobe.
H. Rider Haggard, author of such classic pulp as King Solomon’s Mines and She, believed in reincarnation. He liked to tie his historical novels in to his present-day stories by having the heroes always turn out to be ancestors and previous incarnations of his eternal hero Alan Quatermain. I think Alan Moore kind of plays with this in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
And, yes, the idea of being stuck on some kind of karmic wheel that dooms you to work for Helen until the end of time is indeed sobering.
You can’t fault Mell’s logic here. Also note that I’m starting to play with doing Victorian-font sound effects, something I eventually did a lot of in the Victorian Sunday comics.