Aw, Mell looks so dejected in the third panel. Why couldn’t the CS students have welcomed her warmly with open arms? Aside from the heavy artillery fire, I mean?
The best joke in this strip is the poster in the last panel, which shows the familiar “Hang In There!” dangling kitten image, labeled “Futility.” Other than that, I got nothin’. I’m not proud of the strips where I just make fun of nerds. I mean, the nerds like it, but it’s too easy.
Just as an aside, those are some hell of wide lapels on the counselor.
OMG THOSE FISH MAKE THE ENTIRE STRIP. Why couldn’t I have come up with good lab stuff to draw more often? The only thing that would’ve improved them would have been arranging things so you could see the littlest fish eating the bigger ones.
I can’t remember when I decided to make Mell a law student. It was pretty early on. The whole obvious “lawyers=evil” aside (which actual evil lawyers, I’m sure, resent), it was pretty useful as a non-science career that would nonetheless be valuable to Narbonics Labs. As Mell and Helen comment in the upcoming strips, evil laboratories probably get sued a lot.
As it happens, Senator Kelly is also the name of an anti-mutant politician in the X-Men comics and the first movie. I didn’t mean to make a reference; it’s just a common evil name, apparently.
The tanks in the background are labeled “Exogene Tank,” whatever that means.
My art has a tendency to list to one side. You can really see it in the last panel, with the characters all tilting gently to the right. I’ve noticed this in other people’s comics, so I know it’s not an uncommon problem, but it’s still pretty embarrassing.
Yeah, more defanged political humor. But you know, about five years after this strip was drawn, when the Bush administration tried to tackle the issue of Social Security for the Baby Boom generation, I’m pretty sure this was the actual plan. I’m prescient!
I never did much more with the idea of Mell and Artie having opposing political views, mainly because Mell, at least at this point in her life, is politically apathetic. I’m sometimes bothered that the only character who’s politically active and vocal has views more or less identical to my own. I’m thinking of fixing that in my next daily strip, but all the characters in my next strip are in the civil service, so they can’t be too opposed to big government.
Still, if President Mell in the Future Where Mell Is President didn’t run on the Republican ticket, I’ll eat my hat.
One of the books Mell is toting in the last panel is Author Unknown by Don Foster, the real-life model for ANTONIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST.
The five-panel strips are always way too cramped, but I like this one anyway, for the gratuitous Shakespeare and Artie’s final line. “A Daniel! A Daniel!” is Shylock’s courtroom cry in The Merchant of Venice. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” is from Henry VI. This will come up again, but for some reason The Merchant of Venice ended up being the Shakespearean play most often quoted in Narbonic. Maybe because it’s got the most sympathetic villain.
As I’ve mentioned before, I draw that type of pinstriped women’s suit a lot because that’s what the suit I own looks like.
And there’s the Mell we all know and love. No compassion and no long-term memory storage capacity. I’m pretty fond of this strip.
Artie is working on Dave’s computer for some reason. It’s got the little deely-bopper guy on top.