H Is H: August 29 – September 3, 2005

All in all, this fellow came out almost exactly the way I wanted. Drawing the face with a Sharpie helped.

All the hamsters are named after old coworkers at Viz.

I wrote this one way, way early; the whole storyline is basically built around the concept of a bunch of hamsters dressed as a guy. That said, I’m disappointed with the way the final art turned out. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but the thumbnail of Artie’s expression in the third panel was perfect. Sometimes you just can’t recapture the magic.

Lord, Human!Artie is a fun character to draw. He has such an expressive face. Anyway, yeah, Artie’s not a mad scientist, so these declarations don’t come naturally to him. But it’s okay, because he’s adorable with hamsters all over him.

I kind of have a soft spot for Artie.

Let it never be forgotten: large groups of hamsters are always adorable. Large groups of hamsters perched all over a hot guy are even better.

Artie’s hand gesture in the second panel is a pose for zazen meditation, so apparently he’s followed up on his idea from this week of strips.

Looking at it now, this strip is pretty good, but at the time all I could think was that drawing all these hamsters was a big pain in the butt. They’re pretty cute little guys, though.

I wrote this strip early on, way before any of the other strips in this storyline, and I still think it’s pretty funny. That said, Sammy the Thread-Spool Man came out much better in the thumbnail than the final art. I think you only ever get one shot at drawing Sammy the Thread-Spool Man.

23 thoughts on “H Is H: August 29 – September 3, 2005

  1. Monday:

    For once a villain actually makes a disturbing and attention-grabbing entrance! Albeit counter-intentionally.

  2. (TUNE: “Share The Land”, The Guess Who)

    I’ve been talking with
    Good Professor Smith,
    We’ve been sitting here and having such an erudite chat!
    Almost leaving, when
    I’m delayed again
    By a hamster-powered scarecrow in a coat and hat!

         Now they’re gonna try to shake my hand,
         Even though the thing can barely stand!
         Kinda lurch when they walk;
         They’re hamsters, I assume now!
         (Hamsters, I assume, yeah!)
         Now they’re gonna try to shake my hand,
         Even though I had already planned
         To be having a talk
         With Zeta in her room, now!
         (Zeta in her room, yeah!)

    Face is not on straight!
    It’s a paper plate!
    The body is operated by a hamster or five!
    Such a clumsy thing!
    Now they’re arguing
    Over whose responsibility it is to drive!
         (repeat CHORUS)

  3. Artie’s not the first one smart enough to notice; he’s just the first one foolish enough to let on that he noticed.

  4. Tuesday:

    I hadn’t read it at the time, but on looking again now, this guy reminds me a lot of Boss Smiley from the Sandman story “The Golden Boy”. And this current strip in particular feels just like the deal with the Devil that the aforementioned story revolved around.

  5. Interestingly enough, Boss Smiley from that Sandman story was a RETURNING character from the depressingly short-lived “Prez” series in 1973. And yes, now that you mention it, the hamster man IS an awful lot like Boss. Also reminds me of Muppet Man, which I can’t believe I fell for.

  6. (TUNE:  “All I Know”, Art Garfunkel)

    I made her!  They made me!
    I’m your god, periph’rally!
    And Helen helped, so thank her too!
    Boy, I stink … at impressing you!

        In Narbonics Labs, life was such a bore …
        I was alone, and so I made a dozen more!
        But then they went insane, and began a war!

    Only one was left, that fateful day!
    She made you, then passed away!
    She did OK, though she went mad,
    Like my mom … boy, my rants are bad!

  7. Thursday:

    Again I should mention that I find panels where various characters have the ground pulled out from under them to be quite delightful.

  8. (TUNE: “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight”, The Beatles)

    Helen found a way
    To make me tall …
    But I couldn’t stay,
    I changed back small!
    Switching around now, if I try …
    I’ll have to go re-knot that tie!

    Golden hamsters perch on me!
    They’re impressed as they can be!
    Changing my body on the fly …
    But I must still re-knot that tie!

    Once I made a friend
    Who then went mad …
    But, before her end,
    A dream she had!
    She went and made you little guys,
    Who cannot manage suits and ties!

    “We … just had a coat and a plate!
    Coat and plate of paper!
    You … can change your height and your weight!
    You’re such a great reshaper!”

  9. @eddurd: Oh, Ed, if someone were to ask, “How much harder could Ed Gedeon rock?”, I think the answer would have to be, “None. None harder. Ed Gedeon rocks so hard that he’s taken the hardness of rocking to levels entirely undreamt-of in the history of rocking.”

  10. I feel the need to point out that if Artie used a half- or full Windsor knot, he should be able to loosen it, put it back over his head, and re-tighten without having to retie the knot.

  11. Reading this, I flashed back to The Lion King, when Simba shows up and gets mistaken for Mufasa … and now I’m imagining Artie slowly ascending to the top of the sofa as Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack plays in the background.  Of course, to make it authentic, someone would have to set off the sprinkler in the room …

  12. So, here’s a thought.
    Artie isn’t a Mad Scientist, of course. But… was *Dana?* We know that her madness was caused by a decaying brain rather than the Mad Science Gene, but then she *did* also successfully construct super intelligent hamsters more stable than her and a doomsday device running on creative energy. That feels a little beyond the level of just regular super intelligence.

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