This strip ran around the time there was a storyline in the X-Men comics about a “cure” for the mutant gene. I’m kind of impressed that Helen knew that.
Anyway, this turned out pretty nice-looking, with the stars and all. Spot blacks: the secret to good-looking comics. The perfect comic strip would be four totally black panels.
Oh, Artie. You’re so clueless. I always enjoyed drawing Helen’s embarrassed little crush on Dave.
Helen is apparently capable of seeing Dave’s eyes, something none of the rest of us can do. Yet.
I like this strip very much, for the last line and for Helen’s lovestruck expressions. She’s so cute and so horrifying.
People have noted in the comments that Artie as he currently appears in Skin Horse seems to be considerably more… socially adept than the Artie we see in, for example, this strip. And by “socially adept,” I of course mean “apparently he gets laid like whoa.” The Artie in Skin Horse is a bit older than the Artie in Narbonic, and he’s gotten considerably better at handling people. Not that this is always a good thing. This wasn’t intentional, but I notice that as he develops he seems to have more and more of his mother in him.
At this point, Artie could end the whole Helen/Dave romantic tension by telling one of them that the other one loves them. He doesn’t, because, well… Artie would say that he has extremely rational reasons for trying to prevent their relationship, which is true, but on a basic level he’s kind of squicked out by the whole thing. Helen is his creator, and Dave is his best friend, and it’s just weird, is all. Not that Artie’s entire experience of humans to this point hasn’t been weird.
Helen and Dave both have severe self-esteem problems when it comes to relationships.
There isn’t much of a gag in this one, but I needed it for plot and character and stuff. I like to err on the side of funny, but sometimes you just need to set the characters up for future events. Helen’s assessment of the situation ends up being important as regards Dave later in the strip. Is that a spoiler? I mean, that’s pretty obvious, right?
Helen and Artie are at the hotel bar, waiting for the ice cream Helen demanded they get in the previous strip. They’ll have ice cream on Monday. It’s a well-stocked bar.