People actually have been through explosive decompression in accidents in laboratory vacuum environments. No one has suffered any permanent damage, although in every case they were rescued from the vacuum in under a minute. If you happen to get caught out in space without a helmet, death from oxygen deprivation is much more likely than death from explosive decompression–and even if you do die of explosive decompression, it won’t be awesome-looking like in “Total Recall.” It really doesn’t look like much of anything.
In the time Dave seems to have been trapped out in space, he ought to have run out of oxygen and passed out, but I gave him some extra time for comedy purposes.
Helen’s ringtone is supposed to be “She Blinded Me with Science,” but I probably didn’t write it out correctly.
Man, some really bad artwork in this one. And way too much text crowding out the cruddy art. Sorry about that.
On the plus side, this strip features the first appearance, so to speak, of Madblood’s computer, who will go on to play a major role in this and future storylines.
“Brother Brubaker of Sigma House” is a reference to Chugbot, a story in Sam Henderson’s comic The Magic Whistle that ran on Serializer.net back in the day. (Warning: link leads to strong language, an interstitial feature called “Masturbating Boss,” and awesomeness.) The frat in “Chugbot” includes characters named Spurge and the Brube after comics personalities and gadabouts Tom Spurgeon and Ed Brubaker. The Brube is only the greatest guy ever to live in that house.
Moving on, this is some pretty damn smooth work on Helen’s part.
It could be worse. It could’ve been Olive Garden.
I like the way I framed Madblood against the big circular window in the first panel. I did a similar thing with Mell later in the storyline. Also check out his nutty arsenal. I don’t even know what those things are.
Somehow, Madblood’s pose in the first panel got really weirdly exaggerated. As readers commented at the time, he looks like Groucho Marx. I don’t know what’s up with that.
Also, I should have picked a more legible font for the computer. I went through several “computer” fonts over the course of Narbonic, usually because I upgraded Photoshop and lost all my old fonts.
This is one of those strips where “mad scientist” is code for “cartoonist.” I did quite a few like that.
The scenario Helen describes occurred to me while I was writing this storyline, so I thought I’d bring it up in the strip. It would have been pretty funny. Also, I wanted to point out that Helen isn’t very comfortable exploiting her feminine wiles like this. She doesn’t have much confidence in her own powers of seduction.