Helen Narbon Paper Doll

Okay, I’ll admit it: I like drawing Helen in sexy poses. Which is kind of wrong, because she looks like me. This set was the most fun to do. Note the lab pajamas with gerbil slippers. The lab pajamas wouldn’t make an appearance in the strip for another three or four years, in “Demons,” but I might have already written the strip introducing them. I wrote that one pretty early.

Helen also has the best superhero outfit of the group. It’s based roughly on Mary Marvel’s outfit from the Captain Marvel comics. I have a weakness for superheroine outfits with skirts. I know they’re totally impractical, especially for flying superheroes, but the old Mary Marvel and Supergirl costumes are excellent. Nowadays the artists usually just put them in total hoochie-wear, of course. No sense of style. Anyway, Helen’s costume has pants under the skirt so you can’t see her underwear when she flies.

8 thoughts on “Helen Narbon Paper Doll

  1. I think there’s something about skirts in “Powers” by Bendis and Oeming, where an experienced superhero explains to a young superheroine that she should wear some kind of skirt over her tights, if she doesn’t want everybody to see her buttcrack on TV…

  2. To my astonishment, I have just realised that not one of these costumes is a white lab coat. You seem to have forgotten the uniform of Helen’s occupation, Shaenon!

  3. Knowing that Helen looks like you, Shaenon, makes this revelation a bit more awkward; but it’s was Helen’s appearance that attracted me to the comic in the first place. Not in a creepy, sexual way, but in an appreciation for body-types way. Helen was, respectfully, an attractivly heavy woman. So many comics have skinny women, over-hourglass-y women, or ugly fat women. Helen was different, she was a woman of substance and (in spite of her evilness) cute in her own way. Her shins, particularly, defied convention; I’m a big fan of anime and there is not an anime character alive (so to speak) with ankles that wouldn’t shatter if you looked at them funny. Helen’s legs, ending with her pidgeon toed-feet, were a much needed breath of fresh air in my comics experience.


    Please don’t think I’m being weird or creepy. ^_^

  4. I’d just like to second Dave III.

    And say that for this reason, (not to detract from the mad genius of les Foglios), I’ve always wanted to see how you’d draw Agatha, who always feels as though she ought to look a little more like Helen. 

  5. Josh: exactly. Helen is shaped like a human being. Agatha is shaped like a cartoon character (even discounting the trademark Foglio chest).

  6. Josh and Nick: Have you seen the bonus comic drawn by Phil Foglio? In it, Helen looks almost exactly like Agatha — like, if I’d seen those pictures and not had the context to know who it was, I’d have sworn it was Agatha. It seems that Helen and Agatha look incredibly alike in “real life” — they’re just drawn in different styles. So I would guess that Shaenon would probably draw Agatha to look almost exactly like Helen.

  7. I agree with the above, years later. As a woman, it’s nice to see women with realistic proportions in media. I’m reading this after first reading skin horse, and while the humanoid women in that comic (notably Unity, Marge,Bubbles, and Dr. Lee) aren’t as curvy as Helen, they’re still realistically proportioned. Like they actually have arm and leg muscles as opposed to toothpicks.

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