I have to agree with Mell’s logic here. Also, I like how affronted she is by the idea that she has to be honest with Dave. She looks liable to lie to him just to show him who’s boss. Dave and Mell generally play well off each other, which was why, over the years, I engineered so many excuses to get them alone together.
Man, I wish I’d had more excuses to draw her in that jungle outfit.
And there are times Dave and Helen play off each other well, too. Helen has a theatrical bent that Dave utterly lacks. I like that she’s somehow gotten an ur-gerbil to do her hair.
Also, it’s nice that I bothered to draw some backgrounds for these strips. The weird flowers growing all over the trees in the second panel are good.
That last exchange between Helen and Dave is an old gag, but still good as far as I’m concerned. I think the longer you work on gag stuff like this, the more you come to appreciate the classics. Anyway, I love it when Helen’s plans boil down to just creating as much chaos as she possibly can to no immediately obvious end, which is most of the time.
Also, her braided hair tails are just lovely.
Happy New Year!
As I’m sure many geeks who were active in geekery in the ’90s will recognize, Helen’s speech is lifted from a speech made by Delenn on “Babylon 5,” a show that was surprisingly influential on Narbonic. (Originally Narbonic was planned with a five-year arc just like “Babylon 5″‘s, but it ended up running for six and a half years.) That was basically the last time on the show Delenn was cool. Sigh…A great moment, though.
Helen’s pose in the first panel is pretty good. Very Frank Frazetta, which I think is what I was going for throughout this storyline.
It’s a shame I almost never messed around with panel shapes like this. It looks pretty cool. In the last panel, Helen and Dave are supposed to be up in a tree. I’m not sure if you can tell because I’m not very good at drawing trees, which is sad because trees are pretty much the easiest thing to draw after hand turkeys.
Wheelchair Dave’s comment in the third panel indicates that he has no feeling in his legs, although the real-life person on whom the character is vaguely based, my friend Rob McCarthy, has cerebral palsy and can totally feel his legs. I will sometimes bend reality painfully for the sake of a throwaway gag.
“Negative vibe merchants” is a line used by Neil in “The Young Ones,” another TV show that influenced Narbonic in significant if not-immediately-discernible ways.