Dave in Slumberland

The last Slumberland strip! I had this planned for some time, definitely before the previous year’s Slumberland strip. By that point I was pretty sure what would happen in the final year, and I knew that [SPOILERS] there was no way I was going to get through Narbonic without Helen in a variation of the classic Falling Villain Death scene.

The layout and Helen’s poses are based on the 6,000-pixel-tall panel from Scott McCloud’s online Zot! story, Hearts and Minds. It was my little tribute to Scott and everything I owed to him, a debt that’s only compounded interest over the years.

14 thoughts on “Dave in Slumberland

  1. There’s something subtly and beautifully unsettling about taking the 1900’s McCay comic and inserting the McCloud infinite canvas of the 2000’s. It definitely feels like something is very wrong with the dream – as if it is melting, or disintegrating into a nightmarish emptiness. So, congratulations, Shaenon.

    Those Helens are just far enough away that only one of them is visible on my 1200-px-tall screen. It’s just barely future-proofed enough for this, its second and final go-around.

  2. This strip is one of the greatest things in the whole run. It makes my heart ache with love for Narbonic.

  3. This strip right here is a pretty good illustration of why I couldn’t put the Nemo strips in the books.

  4. Not just scary, but eerie. And perhaps a fit mirror to the (later) strip where a commenter actually said “you’ve now shown us that you can do scary”.

  5. It loses a lot of its impact if you see it all at once as a print. The slow reveal-by-scrolling is part of what makes it work.

    I still wish a way could have been found to include the Nemos in the Perfect Collection. For one thing, the final sequence doesn’t completely make sense without the Nemo lead-in…

    • It’s still possible. Rich Burlew did something similar for a falling scene in “War and XPs”, and what ended up happening was he split it into page-height panels, with 3 to a page. To really sell this one, the pages would need to be splash panels of Helen tumbling, but the one where she’s feet from the ground needs to be after a page turn, so that the “Oh” hits the audience for massive damage. Also, that leaves the right page open for Dave’s panicked wake-up.

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