You can imagine the complexity of the workings of Narbonics Labs by the Pong game going on in the background.
Okay, so the first episode of “H.R. Pufnstuf” I ever saw was the flashback episode where Jimmy hits his head and gets amnesia and the terrifying puppets try to job his memory by reminiscing about musical numbers from their past episodes. So it’s like five or six bad acid trips inside the initial bad acid trip. The best flashback is Witchiepoo singing a song called “There Ain’t No Rhyme for Oranges” at the Living Island talent show. Watching all these scenes as three-minute, context-free segments adds a valuable extra level of disorientation. I’ve since learned from Netflix that the amnesia episode was the last episode of “H.R. Pufnstuf,” so presumably even Sid and Marty Krofft knew better than to try to top it.
Bloom County did a storyline where Opus gets amnesia, but I think I was more directly influenced by a Sunday Bloom County where the characters stop mid-strip to criticize the own soap-opera plot twists of their own comic. It ends with Opus asking, “Do you think Terry and the Pirates was a bad comic strip?”, a line that stuck with me and which I’ve probably accidentally stolen at some point.
It felt weird to draw old-style, old-haircut Dave without a cigarette, so I put pencils in his mouth. Which is strange, because Dave never smoked.
This is one of my all-time favorite Narbonic strips. The last panel came up just the way I wanted it to, and for some reason Mell saying, “Wonder Twin powers activate, dude,” still cracks me up. So good work, me!
It’s true! The employee brain scans were in one of the very first storylines. Originally I didn’t plan to do anything with them in the long run, but then I had this clone idea, and I remembered the brain-scan storyline, and it was kismet.
I liked the idea of bringing back Dave as he was at the beginning of Narbonic to illustrate how he’d developed since then. I’ve said before that one of the ongoing threads of the strip is exploring, mad science-style, what it means to be Dave, and this is the most literal iteration.
I added Mell’s final line at the last minute and I really shouldn’t have. It’s pretty dumb. I apologize to everyone who has suffered due to exposure to my weaker final-beat lines over the years.
Dave as a steamy hunk, on the other hand, is excellent.
Pah! I don’t like this strip! I only drew it to fill out the week; I had things pretty tightly planned at this point, and I needed another strip to make my schedule for the next several weeks work out. I should have cut it. Oh well.
I was listening to a lot of Air America Radio around this time, though. It was good to listen to while scanning artwork. Nowadays I put on Netflix Instant.