It’s out of character for Artie to think grafting laser cannons on Dave is a good idea, although it’s hard to deny it would be interesting. I must have written this strip early, before I had Artie figured out.
The book beside Artie is The Ellmann Guide to Genetics. I was kind of going overboard for a while there.
For those of you reading this in realtime, I’m sorry the commentary didn’t update yesterday. WebComicsNation burped and lost a bunch of recent updates, and I was in Portland, and blah blah blah. Anyway, this is still a pretty good strip in my book, even though it’s got that thing with the dialogue crowding out the art that plagues my comics. It’s Artie’s dialogue that makes this one for me.
I don’t know what’s up with the little toy robot in the first panel, but hey! Little toy robot!
Pretty straightforward strip. I needed to establish the fate of Professor Madblood’s transforming AMC Gremlin to set up some very silly developments in a later storyline. And thus the Gremlin joins the ranks of Dave’s invariably doomed cars.
Helen’s already put the keys on a keychain with a little pink heart on it. Also, I think those are little half-formed Dave heads in a tank in the first panel. They’re kind of disturbing.
Aw, Helen’s got a soft spot for Dave. Or a soft spot for bugging Dave. This strip still looks pretty decent, art-wise, so I’m happy. I drew Andrew and myself on the magazine Mell’s reading in the last panel. Man, I did that a lot.
This strip looks really good except for Dave’s close-up in the center panel, which didn’t come out right at all. His head is too small for his body and his giant scarf. I was annoyed with this when I drew it, and I’m still annoyed. Otherwise, though, this is a pretty nice-looking strip. I almost never go for clean and simple when I ought to. Also, I should’ve given Dave curly cigarette smoke more often.
And, yes, there’s no real punchline. I try not to do that kind of thing, but in this case I think Dave really did earn a break.
Harlan Ellison made this observation on a few occasions, although in a Comics Journal interview he clarified it to add that growing up to be a cartoonist doesn’t count, because those folks are some messed-up manchildren. I quoted him in this Smithson splash page.
I still like the art in this strip except for the third panel, where I pull in a little too close and the faces get kind of mushed together. Also, Dave’s a little stiff in the last panel. I do like Helen’s little winter outfit, though, which is why I reused it repeatedly over the course of Narbonic.
And thus ends “Wetware Interface” and the whole long string of storylines following Dave’s death and resurrection. From “Smart Gerbils” to here, the saga stretches just under a year. (Incidentally, in a previous strip Dave comments that he was dead for six months; it’s never entirely clear how Narbonic time moves relative to our time, mainly because I didn’t care.) All in all, not a bad run.
Incidentally, I have no idea where the characters are in this strip.