LAST PANEL: SERIOUS TURNING POINT IN DAVE’S LIFE FOR REAL.
You have no idea how hard it was for me to draw the background in the first panel. It was really sad. I’m terrible at backgrounds and I have no idea how perspective works. (I like Kyle Baker’s chapter on perspective in How to Draw Stupid, which reads, in its entirety, “Draw faraway things tiny and nearby things big.” That’s as far as I’ve ever gotten.)
Have you noticed that I can’t draw bushes? What is up with that? Even the bushes in Skin Horse are really bad.
The girl sitting on the sidewalk is my friend Alyssa from high school. We used to go to Brady’s Cafe on the weekends. Like Dave, I occasionally managed to make friends with cooler people who owned cars.
By this point, many readers had already guessed that Future!Helen would turn out to be a brain in a tank. You know why? Because brains in tanks are AWESOME. This is one of the pulp sci-fi tropes I absolutely had to include in Narbonic at some point.
However, I was really bad at drawing brains, so I made Andrew draw Helen’s brain for me. I was worried that if I drew it, people wouldn’t be able to tell what it was, ruining this strip. I should’ve sucked it up and drawn the damn brain myself. A girl has to learn how to draw brains sometime.
I wrote this one very early on, and Dave’s voice isn’t quite right. He wouldn’t think of himself as having charm–although he does, in his own way.
My drawings of Future!Dave came out well, though. I got pretty good at drawing him for some reason.
It’s got to be frustrating for Dave that no one is ever particularly surprised by the time travel.
What is that thing in the background of the first panel? I have no idea. Some kind of industrial brain-water purifier, maybe.
When I wrote this, I didn’t know what Dave “betraying us for Professor Madblood” would entail. I had the other things Helen mentions more or less worked out, but I wasn’t sure how Madblood would be involved. I worried about including the line, but ultimately I decided it sounded cool and I’d figure something out when the time came.
And I did! Good work, me!
Although I started developing the final story arcs of Narbonic around Year Two, it took a while for everything to fall into place. At this point I had a rough idea what would happen, but I changed a lot of details, like the setting of the final conflict, over time.
Dave is wearing a tie, so it must be a special occasion. And it is! He just had that big meeting with Mell. She doesn’t visit very often.