Look, Artie in little goggles! Sad but true: Artie in little goggles is pretty much the entire reason Jeffrey Wells, my Skin Horse collaborator, read this strip. He cannot resist animals in little goggles. Or hats.
On the shelf behind Dave: a mug with little hearts on it (obviously Helen’s), a jar full of eyeballs (ditto), and an NES.
Man, did I ever need to learn to draw word balloons. Anyway, this strip brings up something hinted at throughout the series, that Helen is secretly pretty manipulative. It ends up being a major theme in this storyline in particular.
Radioactive material in Narbonic is almost always plutonium, because I had a friend in elementary school who was obsessed with it. This is a shout-out to you, Steve Blazewick!
What do you mean, what kind of grants do mad scientists apply for? Awesome grants.
Even though I’m sure it was obvious where this was going, I kept Dave off-panel and screaming for several days. I decided I wanted to stretch the gag into an entire week. This is the kind of thing that resulted in “Doppelganger Gambit” being eight months long. I have no regrets.
I think I wrote these strips pretty early in the storyline. They’ve got that still-working-things-out feel to them.
That’s a volume of The New Journal of Malology Artie’s leaning against. As for the background, who knows?
Another reason I stretched this out for several days: Artie is super easy to draw.
The question of how much Artie is like his evil colleagues comes up repeatedly in Narbonic. Ultimately, his efforts to do good probably end up causing more destruction than their efforts to do evil. He means well, really. Most of the time.
Okay, I’m bored with this now. Get on with it, Shaenon of the past! On the plus side, the gun came out extremely well in the first panel. As you can see, it apparently works via a small removable vial of some kind of liquid, presumably containing DNA and stuff. I didn’t think too hard about this.
Artie’s last line was inspired by something Andrew’s dad is fond of saying: “That movie’s so old, Gabby Hayes got the girl.”
Yeah, okay, who did not see this coming?
There’s something strangely satisfying about a) drawing Madblood with Dave’s body language and b) drawing Dave as a little skinny nerd rather than a big doughy nerd. Much more of this in the weeks to come.