And here’s Titus Misanthropie, henchman nonpareil, created by Jonathan Towne for the playtest of the never-completed Narbonic roleplaying game. I love this guy so much. Most of the other characters in the first panel are other characters from the playtest.
The bonus story in Narbonic Volume 4, drawn by Laura Chapple, features Dr. Narbon’s long-gone henchman, Pericles (who, at the point at which the story takes place, has been turned into a large African grey parrot). I intended for him to be a relative of Titus. The Misanthropies are an old henching family.
It took me a while to get the hang of drawing Titus, but what the hell, he looks pretty good here. The key is to always give him shifty eyes. He’s very expressive compared to Dave, who’s nearly always impassive behind those glasses. Around this time I was very interested in making my characters “act,” something that’s still the funnest part of drawing for me.
Titus’s employer is Ginny Frog, a teenage girl scientist from the 1950s who was propelled to the present day by a mad homemaking accident. She makes a couple of brief appearances in this storyline. Anyway, the panty girdle and Mystery Date cards are hers.
Madblood is pretty well-known in mad science circles by this point. He’s receiving the Von Boom Award, after all. Titus is familiar with all the major players in the industry.
This strip is way too wordy, but I liked the line “she stopped forgetting which closets have the mops and which have the mop-shaped killer mutants” so much I had to cram it in. Sometimes it’s hard to kill your darlings.
The characters in the background are from this character design exercise. I don’t think they were ever used anywhere else, so, hey, here’s their tiny moment in the sun.
The whole situation between Dave and Helen here is very 1980s sitcom-esque, and I kinda like that. Especially Dave wincing in the third panel. It’s hard to get that much expression out of a character with no visible eyeballs.
I totally got that “Ren and Stimpy” DVD set, too.
Why is Radio Shack so funny? Radio Shack is ALWAYS FUNNY.
I always liked this strip a lot, maybe just for the casualness of Dave walking along, talking to his girlfriend on his cell. Speaking of which, John Romita once said that the test of a good comic artist is being able to convincingly draw a character talking on the phone. He was right–it’s harder than it looks. I was still not very good at hands at this time. My characters needed knuckles.