I hate doing gags that rely on the readers remembering a character or incident from the past, because, y’know, maybe they don’t. In case you don’t remember, this is Seth, from Dave’s gaming group, who previously went on a date with Girl!Dave way back in 2001. If anyone from the gaming group was going to get a larger role in the strip, it was bound to be Seth, because he’s the only one not directly based on a real person, and also because I adore tiny, angry nerdy guys and want to draw their adorable scowling faces into my comics all the time.
Seth calls Dave “David” because Dave is on the outs with the Dave Conspiracy and has had his identity as a Dave revoked. Only his coworkers at the lab still call him Dave.
Seth’s tie-over-a-T-shirt look succeeds in making Dave look suave by comparison. Dave also appears to have put more work into his hair.
I’m sorry for doing gags about how gamers are lonely and desperate for female companionship. I would feel more sorry if these strips didn’t tend to elicit a lot of positive responses from gamers. Anyway, by the time Dave gets around to rejoining the table, he’s the only single member. Because he’s wasted his time going into space and getting lost in time and stuff.
Anyway, it turns out Seth is mistaken about the availability of the gaming group’s new member. He’s doomed to remain mistaken for a good long time to come.
I like that Dave thinks he’s hot, but only as a girl. Anyway, even though this strip requires knowledge of the whole “Gender Swap” storyline from three years previous, I still think it’s pretty funny.
Seth is sweating all the time.
This was a plotting issue that bugged me: I’d previously established that Mell had become popular on campus by concealing her evil and violent nature, so why couldn’t she get a better date than Seth? (I feel kind of bad about talking Seth down here, but come on, the guy is clearly putting no effort into the date. Also he sweats all the time.) This was the solution I came up with. It’s also possible that Mell didn’t want to reveal her double life to anyone who mattered. [SPOILERS] As things turn out, Seth won’t be walking away from this party, so the secret of Mell’s evil internship is safe.
For the very interested, it was established that Mell and Seth attend the same college way, way back in Seth’s first appearance, in this week of strips.
I wrote this strip at the last minute and wasn’t sure about it, but it ended up being pretty cute. Seth and Mell have a weird, awkward chemistry that I like; it’s too bad I didn’t have more opportunities to throw them together. The best part is Seth being only mildly annoyed at being shot by a futuristic laser rifle.
I know I did this basic joke several times over the course of Narbonic, but it’s better here because the characters are in their little wintertime outfits. Helen looks especially good with the coat thrown over her fishnet stockings. It’s also great when Dave wears a hat.