This is a really dumb joke and I like it anyway. So there. Although it’s a shame the way the word balloon is attacking Dave’s face there in the third panel.
Helen’s T-shirt reads “Zillion Pharmaceuticals,” which I know is a reference to something, but I don’t know what. I mean, there’s an actual pharmaceutical company with that name, but I don’t think that’s it. I do recall that I had the idea of giving Helen T-shirts from companies the lab dealt with, but that idea didn’t go very far.
The most ridiculous thing about this storyline is, of course, the crossover between regular Narbonic continuity and the Sunday strips, where Helen feuded with poor Dave Barker. This plot development was especially hard to explain in the print collection, which doesn’t reproduce the Sunday installments. I dealt with it by getting the actual Dave Barker to write the intro to Volume 2, in which this storyline appears. The intro he turned in is pretty damn funny.
The characters are right. There never was any good reason for any of this.
I’m sorry, Barker. Really.
I have nothing to say about this strip, but what do you think that stuff on the counter in the first panel is? It’s a total mystery. The little object looks like a pedometer or something.
Dave’s angry eyes always crack me up. He’s so nonthreatening when he’s angry.
Why did I introduce a secret Illuminati-like society into Narbonic? Well, here’s Helen’s incoherent explanation. Thanks, Helen!
Dave’s weary, weary pose in the last panel is pretty good. Also, I think I’m getting better at drawing boobs.
The note in front of Artie reads, “Sure hope Ellmann can read this.” The note in front of Dave reads, “Agenda: Blow Stuff Up.” If you think that note would be more appropriate for Mell, you don’t really know Dave. Neither does Dave, of course.
I used this general gag any number of times in Narbonic, but what the hell, it’s cute. Even though it’s not as expertly rendered as it might be, I like Dave hunched over the console in the first panel. This is basically what I look like when I’m drawing.
Dave is, of course, wrong on every single count to a greater degree than he could possibly imagine. Except for the part where he thinks he can rebuild Helen’s doomsday device.