Obviously, this is one of the strips I wrote early and just waited for an excuse to use. It’s one of several strips in this storyline that came out of conversations with Andrew about what a road-trip story ought to entail. Andrew is a student of the ape-themed cinema.
I’m sorry that this got so wordy that it’s kind of awkward to read, because I always liked this resolution to the Dave/Bill rivalry. Also, I drew some cool retro-looking gas pumps. I don’t know why they got all giant in the last panel.
Zeta probably shouldn’t be smoking around all the gasoline. She’s as bad as Dave used to be before he never smoked.
This is just a filler strip so I could get a cliffhanger on Saturday, but I hear the dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland.
Zeta is quoting Hunter S. Thompson’s “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” the namesake of this storyline. I wanted to do a Zeta storyline called “Mad Science Is Decadent and Depraved” from early on, and I was thrilled to find a way to give the reference some larger thematic meaning. This is the kind of thing that makes it all worthwhile for me. I enjoy putting all these little puzzle pieces together.
With my art skills at the time, it was really hard to draw that third panel. Hands are hard. I spent a lot of time on it, and, oh well, you can tell what’s going on. It’ll have to do. On the plus side, I eventually got pretty good at drawing hands, and they don’t intimidate me nearly as much now.
Eh, this one doesn’t have much of a punchline either, although it’s nice that Zeta is also a fan of Oscar Wilde.
Obviously the best part of the strip is the idea of the androids doing Mad Libs, an activity that got me through many long car rides as a kid. We made the two-hour drive from Akron to Pittsburgh every few weekends when I was growing up, to see the extended family and/or because my mom got bored in Akron, and I polished off a lot of Mad Libs and Invisible Ink books. My parents encouraged this because it kept me from reading books, which inevitably made me throw up every twenty minutes. I was not a great traveler.
I had misgivings about doing this particular plot development, but then I was like, what the hell, you only live once. And so it was with many elements of Narbonic.
Drawing in perspective is hard. I’ve never really figured it out.