Hey, new storyline! And after this we’re really getting into the end of Narbonic, and I can’t believe we’re nearly already there.
Dave is looking good because of increased confidence and whatnot (look how much better his posture is!), but also because he’s not wearing that flannel shirt all the time. It’s got to be getting pretty worn out after five years.
The box in the first panel is labeled “Spare Heads,” another Red Dwarf reference. Mell is reading Bitch magazine, to which I still have a subscription. Good magazine!
Man, that’s a big jar of pickled eyeballs on the shelf. Who needs to buy pickled eyeballs in bulk? The box in the foreground contains gersters, the hamster-gerbil hybrid (which looks exactly like a gerbil) that was Helen’s first mad-science creation, as explained way back in this week of strips.
Also, it appears that Helen has followed through on her threat to kick Dave out of the Secret Meeting Closet in this week. Which is good, because there’s no point to a Secret Meeting Closet unless you always have someone to keep it secret from.
This is basically just a filler strip, here to re-establish the plot (it’s really easy to forget what’s going on in Narbonic by this point), fill out the week, and draw Mell toting a giant gun around. By this time I wasn’t all that interested in making sure that every week ended on a cliffhanger, especially since not everyone read the strip on Saturday anyway, but was very important to me that the particular strip at the end of this week fall where it did. For emphasis.
All that said, I always like seeing Helen’s cheerful handwritten notes in the backgrounds of strips. The sign in panels 2-3 reads, “Danger! Do not open the slow cooker!”, a reference to events in Jeffrey Wells’s ongoing Very Long Fanfic.
Around this time I got an old Life Science Library book on machines out of the free-book bin outside a bookstore and started using it for visual reference. Hence the big industrial lathe thing in the first panel. It came out looking pretty sweet.
The books in the background of the second panel are The Starbuck Avenger and Mundementia One, two of Jeffrey Wells’s serial online fictions. Happily, you can read them on his LiveJournal.
Mars has underground steam caverns when present-day Dave and Helen go there. When the Victorian cast goes there, it has an army of shapeshifting alien women. It’s probably because of the quantum.
This strip is awesome and deserves all the prizes. I basically drew the entirety of Narbonic so I could draw this.
And yes, Mell is sorting a big bin of grenades. Because REASONS.
Sooo…this is kind of an important strip. I tried very hard to avoid doing strips without punchlines, but every once in a long while it had to be done.
The movie is Bride of Frankenstein, the model for all mad-scientist fiction. Beyond that, I don’t have much to say, except that I’m still pleased that I drew such good cars in the first panel. Drawing cars is hard.