Another really early script. I still think it’s funny.
What the hell? In the last panel, is the stethoscope looping under Helen’s boobs like some kind of terrible idea for a superhero costume? Sometimes I just can’t figure out how to put elements together into a drawing. But I guess it’s okay because people like boobs.
The backgrounds in the first three panels were copied from an Alley Oop strip. I was really into Alley Oop.
I love Kurt Vonnegut, one of my many age-inappropriate childhood passions (my mother got me Hocus Pocus in paperback to take to fourth-grade sleepaway camp), and the unstuck-in-time concept in this storyline is my sad little tribute.
I deliberately put off revealing Li’l Dave until the next day’s strip. This creates DRAMATIC TENSION.
So here’s Young Dave. Yes, he’s adorable and into Voltron.
Miss Hamlin is named after V.T. Hamlin, creator of Alley Oop. Alley Oop is about time travel, so there’s a legitimate reason for me to keep referencing it in this storyline. It’s not just me being really into caveman comics.
I see the kids at Dave’s elementary school have been reading The Hoboken Chicken Emergency and Harold and the Purple Crayon. Good for them.
What do you think Dave is being made to write on the chalkboard? “I will not bum cigarettes from the teachers”?
Andrew still has a shirt he got when he was twelve. It’s from the last time the Browns did something non-embarrassing, I forget what. He still wears it sometimes. It’s like tissue paper.
The kids in the foreground of the first panel are, I think, Andrew and Vera Brosgol (who was drawing Li’l Mell around this time). The kid in the last panel is me.
It’s not legible online, but Dave is reading Blue Moose by Daniel Pinkwater. He must have fond memories of the book, because as an adult he uses “bluemoose” as his online handle, both in Narbonic and in my college strip The Ratio.
The spines of the books in the background of the first panel read “Math,” “EZ Reading,” “Esperanto,” and “Snails.” Your guess is as good as mine. The smiley apple is a toy I owned as a kid.
The girl at the desk in front of Dave’s looks like a girl who tormented me in grade school, something I don’t think I consciously intended when I drew it. The note is signed “Tiffany and Amber,” a reference to Dan Clowes’s graphic novel Ghost World.