When my brother and I were kids, we had an unexplained fascination with Brazil, and even cowrote a novel called Saving Brazil. It was about aliens. Anyway, this storyline is named in honor of that childhood obsession. Like our novel, the storyline features remarkably little Brazil.
The box behind Helen in the first panel reads “Dead Puppies,” one of several background references to the Ogden Edsl song and Dr. Demento staple. Have I mentioned that one time I was in a car with Dr. Demento? Because I was.
In a future storyline, Dave has indeed been kicked out of the Secret Meeting Closet. OMG SPOILERS.
Is this the last gray fill in Narbonic? It just might be. I really like the way this strip came out except for the tops of the ladder in the second panel, which are drawn from too far below so it looks like Dave is falling backward. Little things like that bug me when the rest of the art looks good. I mean, Dave with the wrench in his back pocket in the last panel. That’s perfect.
Dave makes some extremely valid points about Dr. Narbon here, although I doubt he’d have the nerve to say them to her face. She really doesn’t seem to do a lot of actual mad science.
This strip later inspired Jeff Wells to write “The Time She Made Him a Sandwich!”, the bonus story in Narbonic Volume 5. So it was all worth it.
Mell’s interest in Willie Nelson started with this ancient Garrity/Farago jam comic, back in 2001. I actually wrote this strip early enough that the “APE-Aid” comic was fresh in my mind. I wanted to do this storyline from way, way early on.
I liked the phrase “clone tanks” and used it many times over the course of Narbonic.
This is a really early script. I think I wrote it before I started drawing Narbonic. I still like Dave’s idea, not to mention his general skepticism about Helen’s plan throughout this entire week. Look how happy Helen is with her idea, and how nonplused Dave is. Dave is a smart man.
Turning Artie human was an idea that predates Artie, and even predates Narbonic. It was a plotline in my earliest preliminary version of the comic, when Helen’s mother was the main character and Helen was one of a pair of clones. Dr. Narbon was going to turn a gerbil into a dude to provide a prom date for Helen. What can I say; it was a very different comic in the beginning.
This particular script is also pretty old; I probably wrote it before I started drawing Narbonic.
The Narbonic Volume 5 bonus story, “The Time She Made Him a Sandwich!”, opens with Dave swabbing guys’ cheeks down at the post office, presumably collecting DNA for Helen. Dave knows better than to ask questions.
I like how freaked-out Artie looks in his close-up. He’s right: it’s hard being the lab animal. Meanwhile, Helen and Dave are delighted with the idea and eager to foist human form on him whether he wants it or not. As was I, the cartoonist! Ha ha, Artie! You’re screwed!