H Is H: September 5-10, 2005

Drawing lots and lots of hamsters got old fast, but I do enjoy their cute little round faces. Also, no backgrounds!

I wrote this one at the last minute and didn’t think it was that great, but Eric Burns did a Websnark post on it, so I figured I must’ve done something right after all. Around this time I was measuring the success of the strip largely by how often I could get Websnark to do a post on it. It was so much more soothing than metrics like popularity or money.

I love this strip, as I love all strips with male nudity, but it does bug me that I drew everyone’s hands so big around this time. Seriously, characters have some giant hands in the last couple years of Narbonic.

Zeta’s question-mark tattoo is a new addition. She’s, you know, questioning things.

I just want to say that by this point I had gotten pretty damn good at drawing what Andrew persists in calling Man-Artie. Thank you.

Mike is based on my friend Dirk Tiede, creator of Paradigm Shift, and Ruby is based on his wife Emily, a laser scientist. I’m usually not very good at drawing caricatures of specific people, but that’s a pretty damn good likeness of Dirk, if I dare say so myself. Emily/Ruby came out okay, but I’d probably draw her differently now.

Because feet are funny, that’s why.

29 thoughts on “H Is H: September 5-10, 2005

  1. Well, of course they’ve got cable!  How do you expect a battalion of geniuses to survive without PBS, Discovery Channel, and Cartoon Network?

  2. Tuesday:

    I can think of a better thing for human hamsters to use: human gym equipment. It stands to reason that hamsters love hamster-wheels because they’re massive fitness and bodybuilding buffs.

  3. (TUNE: “Drive My Car”, The Beatles)

    They’re so impressed with my human disguise!
    They’re asking, “Please, could you teach us guys?”
    I ask what purpose they have in mind …
    They’re seek-ing fun of the female kind!

         Babes are digging guys with cars!
         Not with bodies shaped like ours!
         Babes are digging guys with cars!
         And maybe we’ll get some …!
         (woo-hoo-ah-woo-hoo, wow!)

  4. Come to think of it, this is perfectly in character for the hamsters, considering they were raised on Ayn Rand. They’re all about the pleasures of capitalism.

  5. Wednesday:

    This strip feels like it needs a bit more padding to ease the transition between panels 2 and 3.

    I’m running the numbers and doing some quick napkin sums, and it seems that at this point in the story, twice as many human characters have seen human-Artie’s penis as have seen Dave’s. What could this mean???

  6. (TUNE: “Makin’ Whoopee”, Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn)

    It’s time for dinner, so Zeta knocked …
    He lets her in, her … expression’s shocked!
    Away he’s dashing,
    The guests he’s flashing!
    He’s naked Artie!

    “You little guys, so small and strange,
    Get your disguise!  I’d better change!”
    His skin he’s airing,
    And Zeta’s staring
    At naked Artie!

    Summoned by knock or door chimes,
    He came when Zeta called …
    Turn around three or four times,
    So she can be appalled!

    Equipped with more … than other men …
    He’s feeling sore … forgot again!
    He’s really loathing
    The need for clothing …
    He’s naked Artie!

  7. Being human–and eventually learning to like it– were big factors in Artie getting the stick out of his bum, weren’t they?

  8. Thursday:

    “It’s no longer cute when I’m arrogant” is the quiet, easily overlooked showstealer of this episode. (Though I feel the “It’s” could do with being an “I’m”.)

  9. (TUNE: “Tubthumping”, Chumbawamba)

    (He was tiny … now he’s whiney … see his hiney!)

    He gets undressed, then he gets dressed again!
    Oh man, humanity’s such a pain!
    He gets undressed, then he gets dressed again!
    Oh man, humanity’s such a pain!

    Hear how he raves and rants!
    Hates to be wearing pants!

    Why do you small guys
    Want to be full-size?
    It’s really unwise!
    I hate to tie ties!
    My life was fine as a quadruped mammalian!
    Now it’s a pain as a human with a million!

    Poor … Zeta’s stressed!
    “Just get dressed …”
    She’s depressed!

    He gets undressed, then he gets dressed again!
    Oh man, humanity’s such a pain!
    He gets undressed, then he gets dressed again!
    Oh man, humanity’s such a pain!
       (repeat, fade out …)

  10. Is anyone else finding it impossible to avoid hearing the hamsters complaining about their human-suit in Glaswegian accents?

  11. (TUNE: “Immigrant Song”, Led Zeppelin)


    Now let’s give a cheer, ’cause the gang’s all here!
    All the ones receiving a grant this year!

    Now Arthur’s writing poems, and Ruby works with lasers …
    And Mike’s the one
    We shun the soonest;
    A sexy wulf cartoonist!

    It’s OK, I’m used to it,
    I’m ostracized and treated like I’m s**t!


  12. (TUNE: “Put Your Hand In The Hand”, Gene MacLellan)

    There’s a foot that’s afoot, better put your legs to work now!
    There’s a foot that’s afoot, better put your butt in gear!
    It’s destructive and metal,
    So we gotta get all
    Of the smart folks out of here!
    There’s a foot that’s afoot, better scoot and run in fear!

    It’s so strange, I can’t
    Believe this Knipl grant
    I was a winner!
    Now I’m sitting down
    With artists of renown
    And having dinner!
    With my peers I chat,
    Although I’m feeling that
    The night is empty here, somehow …
    But when a monster’s breaking in,
    That’s when I grin and say, “Much better now!”
        (repeat CHORUS)

  13. FOOT!

    My kids recently insisted on playing Super Munchkin, and i squee’d with delight when I turned over a door and found myself facing Foot! I’d forgotten Shaenon had drawn a guest card for the expansion. Munchkin + Shaenon’s artwork is a whole hatful of win, IMNSHO!

  14. And thus Artie embraces his heritage as a creature of Mad Science…  a party just isn’t complete without havoc and destruction!

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