This is a silly joke. Obviously, Dave would be able to see something without his glasses, although if he’s like me it might not be much. He must be disoriented on account of having been dead for so long.
I hadn’t drawn Dave without his glasses much at this point. I opted to give him simple dot eyes. Later, I would usually draw his eyes more like in panel three, mostly just because it’s easier to do a greater range of expressions that way. I’ve never been particularly consistent on the eye-shape issue.
Moving on, Artie’s surgical mask is just precious.
The great thing about this strip is that both parties’ reactions to the situation are ridiculous. Dave’s weakness for finding things cool when he should find them terrifying is his undoing on many, many occasions.
In a much, much later strip, Dave makes reference to taking both sick days and dead days off work, so Helen probably tries to pull this stuff all the time.
Hey, hey, if Dave has no nose, how does he smell?
I like that “poing” is apparently the sound of a nose bouncing off the floor of an evil laboratory. Dave looks really freaky without a nose, though. I forgot to draw his facial stitches in the last panel, but they probably just would have made things worse.
I like Helen biting off the thread in the second panel. That’s real good surgical procedure there, Helen.
In the previous strip, Dave said he could feel, but I have to suspect that his nerves are severely deadened if he can respond to these shenanigans with no more than moderate annoyance. Zombies never seem too upset about losing body parts, though. Mostly they just lumber on.
Holy crud, Helen still has a dot matrix printer! Of course, in 2001, so did I.
Ah, more cheap shots at Dave. I still like this strip, even if I lazily let the typed text cover Dave’s word balloons in the second and third panels. I fixed it in the print version.
Transthanatology Today is one of several mad-science periodicals mentioned over the course of Narbonic. In the eternally unfinished Narbonic roleplaying game, I wrote that TT is more of a Popular Mechanics-style practical magazine than a serious scientific journal like The New Journal of Malology. It’s full of useful tips for resurrecting the dead in your home or office.
Totally obscure, illegible detail: Helen’s coffee cup in the first panel bears the image of Kieron Dwyer’s Consumer Whore Starbucks parody logo, the legality of which was being disputed at around the time I drew this. Eventually Starbucks made him stop using it. Whatever, Starbucks.
It’s a good thing I started drawing word balloons around this time, or this stuff would be even less legible than it is. But I still enjoy Dave’s surprisingly complacent attitude toward being undead. It’s just another thing that’s too cool to get really upset by, at least at first.