There’s my future husband in both the first and last panel. Man, I made his nose really long. The bullseye t-shirt and cardigan comprised one of the regular outfits in Andrew’s rotation at the time. Actually, I think he still wears this.
Helen and Mell are getting off at Ellmann Street. And, yes, that is in fact the worst drawing of a bus you have ever seen.
First panel, on the left: cartoonist and comics historian Trina Robbins. On the right: Frank Chu, well-known San Francisco street person. His sign reads, “Nov shmoz ka pop?”, a nonsense line from a 1930s comic strip called “The Squirrel Cage.” The phrase is somewhat better remembered than the strip.
I still really like the last panel. When I was in college, I wrote a screenplay in which the Silver Men of Grafton Street, Dublin played a major role. They were vampire hunters who painted themselves silver to protect themselves from their prey, although it was eventually pointed out to them that silver is supposed to ward off werewolves, not vampires.
This was based on an actual guy who showed up at a Cartoon Art Museum event once. He also had a puppy on a string.
Helen and Mell are at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. A private joke running through this week of strips is that the unnamed city is San Francisco, although usually Narbonics Labs appears to be located somewhere in the Midwest, or possibly upstate New York.
Allison was a character in “The Ratio,” the college strip in which Dave first appeared. It’s kind of surprising that Dave took Women’s Studies, but, well, it was Vassar.
I still enjoy this week of strips. Like a lot of the strips from the “Dave is dead” period, this storyline is basically an exercise in seeing how long I can stretch a concept beyond its natural life span through painfully obvious plot devices, which I find amusing in a metatextual way. Admittedly, it might not be very entertaining for readers, but I need my laughs too.
You can see Andrew on the left and me on the right. The girl with the short hair is based on my friend Hallie, and the blonde guy is based on my friend Jason Thompson, who was also the model for Freddie in Dave’s gaming group.
As someone who has attended more than my share of Ren Faires, Mell’s line never fails to bring a little smile to my face.
My parents have a friend named Carmen who owns this shirt, a souvenir from a seafood place called Carmen’s. Whenever it wears out, he goes back to the seafood place and buys another one.
You can’t really see it, but Helen is wearing a WWF Cafe T-shirt. She’s carrying a bag from a Sanrio store. She and Mell had a very full day.
At the time I drew this, I regularly saw a homeless guy in a plastic Viking helmet on my way to work. One day he disappeared off the streets, and I’ve wondered about him ever since. This strip is my inadequate tribute.
Man, I shouldn’t have typed in that text in the last panel. It looks awful.