All right, Dave’s funeral! This one’s way too wordy, but I like it anyway. The idea that absolutely no one would miss Dave strains credulity, especially since we later learn that he has a family with which he occasionally keeps in touch, but no one in the strip questions it.
Small text in the first panel: “Chris Ellmann reads these.”
I don’t know how there ended up being so much Unitarian Universalist stuff in Narbonic; as I’ve mentioned before, I’m Catholic. Originally, it was just to mess with Dave Barker, like half the material in the strip, but by this point I clearly just wanted to draw Artie in little bitty flaming chalice robes. I offer no apologies for this.
Artie is Unitarian because he appreciates a free and intellectually open theological framework within which to engage moral and spiritual questions. Dave is Unitarian because it doesn’t make any demands on his free time. I can appreciate both approaches.
Yes, that’s Sparky the Penguin from “This Modern World” on Helen’s T-shirt. I have no idea why. We may have been doing something related to the strip at the Cartoon Art Museum.
Sometimes I think Artie’s basic sense of decency is just his way of rebelling against his upbringing. I still really like his defeated posture in the last panel.
Helen and Mell are wearing the same funeral attire they wore in a previous Sunday strip, except that for some reason I didn’t color Mell’s dress black this time. I colored in Helen’s black lab coat with Photoshop fills, a bad idea. I’m soooo lazy about coloring things in.
I don’t have much to say about this strip, which is just about piling more needless abuse on Dave. But Artie’s little minister outfit is still adorable.
If you think this is wordy, you should’ve seen the rough draft. I cut a lot of Mell’s monologue. It was pretty bad. I did, however, manage to retain a reference to the fact that Mell used to wear both checked and plaid skirts, before settling on the checked for every strip. That’s important, dammit.
I’ve got this strange fascination with Dar Williams. I’ve worked references into Smithson, too, for some reason.
For what it’s worth, I do find this strip strangely touching.
Man, that third panel would look really keen if not for my crummy Photoshop coloring. Oh, well. I’ll figure this out eventually.
Another really wordy strip, with some cramped lettering. Maybe I should’ve stretched Dave’s pathetic funeral out to a second week. I like Helen’s eulogy, though. It’s pretty sweet, for a mad scientist. And, not for the first time, the idea is floated that Helen is only upset because she didn’t get to kill Dave herself.