The two kids in the first panel are my cousins Killian and Carson. That is the actual relative size of Killian’s mouth. The guy in the foreground is a college friend, Marc Hartstein.
Other items of interest: a poster for Disney’s “The Fountainhead,” which was something I actually wrote once on the MST3K newsgroup. That was how I won my boyfriend Kevin’s heart. Ruben Bolling did something similar, but probably more amusing, in a Tom the Dancing Bug strip.
I don’t know why Helen’s clothes fit so well here (although really, male Helen is only a couple of inches taller than female Helen), but he looks pretty cute. All things considered, I think Helen makes a fairly attractive man.
Also, the joke in this strip would be clearer if I were better at drawing restroom-sign silhouettes.
I’m still pretty fond of this peculiar conversation. It’s weird and goes off on odd tangents and makes passing reference to someone eating a GURPS handbook…yeah, it’s Narbonic, all right. I also like Dave’s freaked-out expressions contrasted with Helen’s placidity. This is all Dave’s own fault, of course, and he could have avoided it by just not going on the date, but then where would we be?
Somebody in the comments asked what Seth hopes to get out of this date. I don’t think he’s thought it out very carefully. He honestly thinks girl Dave is cute. And, sure, that cute girl might turn back into a man at any time…but she might not. Hope springs eternal, as does future discomfort around the gaming table.
Movie poster: “Cinna-Bon II: Nightmare’s Revenge,” a reference to a comic Andrew was working on at the time. Artemus Nightmare was an evil mastermind in the comic; I ended up mentioning him in a few Narbonic strips and the never-completed roleplaying game.
Man, even the movie theater stock’s Ellmann’s Own soda.
The drops of indefinable liquid are just flying off Seth now.
I have to admit I still like this strip too. It’s just so dumb, and the idea of Dave being the manliest character in the room is…well, sad, really, but funny. I remember my dad teaching me to make a fist with my thumb on the outside when I was about four years old. He explained that it was to keep me from breaking my thumb in the impact of the punch, which was so likely to happen. About as likely as either Helen or Seth inflicting any kind of damage in this melee.
I drew Seth’s fists really weird. Like tentacles.
Movie posters: “Earth vs. Soup,” a screenplay Tom Servo wrote in an episode of MST3K; “Very Small Movie Poster with Tiny Print for Chris Ellmann”; and “Darling Pet Monkey,” a reference to this disturbing ad that often crops up in the back pages of old comic books. It hails from the days when there were no laws against sealing a live animal in a shoebox and shipping it across two continents to attack people’s faces. Good times. Andrew and I were and remain fascinated by the Darling Pet Monkey. I can’t quite figure out what the mostly-cut-off poster in the last panel is supposed to say.
The second and fourth panels, amazingly, turned out just about the way I wanted them to. The poses are pretty good. Usually this is the kind of thing I get more or less right in the thumbnail and then completely screw up in the final artwork.
This one came out nicely in both the thumbnail and the final, at least by the standards of my admittedly limited artistic abilities at the time. It’s surprisingly hard to draw people kissing. Anyway, I thought the vertical format would make this moment especially dramatic, and it does! This strip gets a page to itself in the print collection.
I like that Helen is wearing socks with little hearts all over them.