And a new storyline begins! Frankly, I think everything from here to the end of Narbonic is solid stuff. Okay, “Angels” has some weak points, but overall I can read the last year and a half of the strip without cringing. And I love this storyline, because everything awesome happens.
In fact, this storyline is so great it has its own soundtrack! Shane Wegner and Paul Marino composed this instrumental track, “Dr. Narbon and the Battle for the Lost Diamond Mines of Brazil.” Writes Shane, “We tried to make it cinematic, kind of like in Inception. I envision slightly more Matrix-style gun-fu (which is seriously hard to draw, I know).” I strongly suggest listening to this on repeat as you read the following three months of strips. (The piece is (c) Shane Wegner.)
Thank you so much, Shane and Paul!
I love old Marvel comic books with footnotes explaining the origins of various plot points, so I wore the concept into the ground here. I have no regrets. This stuff still cracks me up. I also like that this strip has a decent punchline even without the footnote stuff, which I think shows dedication on my part.
My favorite meta Marvel comic is the early issue of Fantastic Four where Doctor Doom tricks Reed Richards into a showdown by going to the offices of Marvel Comics and forcing Jack Kirby and Stan Lee to summon Reed. He crushes Stan Lee’s ashtray as a threat. How come comic books aren’t awesome like that now?
Longtime readers may or may not recall that, in previous encounters, Dr. Narbon was working as mad-science liaison for the Dave Conspiracy. Unsurprisingly, this seems to have gone sour.
I can’t remember when or how I came up with the idea of Mell fighting Helen’s mom, but in retrospect it was inevitable. This is one of the storylines that went through a long nebulous, I’m-not-sure-what-the-plot-is period before it finally jelled for me.
I like Dave’s miserable expression in the first panel. He really, really doesn’t like dealing with Dr. Narbon.
Yes, Helen! Work on Artie’s gullibility issues! Help him become canny and manipulative so he can be a bastard over on Skin Horse!
…See, everything is Helen’s fault in the end.
Footnote gags: still funny.
The thing is, I really did need those footnotes. Narbonic had a lot of crazy backstory by this point. Are people even keeping track of Dave’s status with the Dave Conspiracy at any given point? I had some trouble with it myself.
I remember drawing this week of strips at Capricon in Chicago. Dirk Tiede showed me how to draw shine on a character’s hair, like Dave has here. I took his advice and continued to draw Dave’s hair this way for the rest of Narbonic. So thanks, Dirk!
As you can see, this strip has a single continuous background, following some elaborate device that apparently ends in a water cooler. There was no particular reason for this. I just thought it’d be fun to draw. And it was!