I do like Dave’s smile in the last panel. The job has certain perks.
Most of the strips I cut from this storyline involved a shopping trip wherein Dave and Helen go out to get new clothes because they’re completely different sizes now, and Dave gets dolled up in an absolutely adorable sundress. I ultimately decided that this subplot didn’t go anywhere and wasn’t all that funny (aside from the sight of a cranky Dave in a pretty sundress with that ubiquitous cigarette stub dangling off his lip), so I killed it. I also had Helen consider staying male, which I guess would have been a subversion of the standard gender-swap trope of having the formerly male character decide to remain female. One of these strips mentioned the Crabtree Grant for Women in Mad Science, a reference to which I eventually worked into “Professor Madblood and the Lovelace Affair.”
Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have kept the thumbnails for any of the cut strips from this storyline, or I’d share them with you now. I don’t have a lot of shame.
Even though the gaming group was all male and had to be for the previous week’s lame “gamers scared by girl” joke to work, I didn’t want to advance the notion that there are no girl gamers. Hence this strip.
The Vampire RPG was, of course, indeed instrumental in bringing a lot of girls into gaming at a certain time. I went to the Origins gaming convention in Columbus twice in the late ’90s, and one thing that struck me was that the con was overwhelmingly male–and often sweaty, smelly, stereotypically geeky male at that–until after 5:00 when the White Wolf LARPs started. Then there were suddenly teenage goth girls in skimpy black outfits everywhere. It was pretty surreal. But I’m told it helped a lot of men with serious social and emotional problems have sex with a lot of women with an entirely different set of serious social and emotional problems, so that’s good. Maybe?
I know it’s juvenile, but I like Dave’s last line. Let me have my dick jokes! They’re all that makes me feel human!
I remember this being one of the first strips I wrote for this storyline. I worked out the parts about Artie’s interest in experimenting on the staff before almost everything else. I still don’t think this is all quite in character for Artie, but I was still figuring him out.
Helen’s pose in the last panel is unfortunately stiff. Drawing is hard!
Some pretty good expressions here, especially in the first panel. Artie still looks really scruffy in close-ups, compared to the way I drew him later on. Helen’s hand in the third panel is really weird.
I adjust my pants in public without shame, but I’m aware that it’s generally frowned on in polite society. Sometimes you just need a good scratch down there!
Since the GM is based on my ex-boyfriend, this is an extremely veiled self-deprecating comment. I don’t have much more to say about this strip, except that I hate it when I draw the characters with big half-lidded eyes like in the second panel. It looks like friggin’ “Garfield” or something.