The Astonishing Excursions of Helen Narbon & Co, Chapter One.

Oh, boy! The first installment of the Victorian serial! This ended up being one of the most popular features in Narbonic. It came about because I was whining and complaining about having to think of something to post on Sunday (a weekly ritual for six and a half long years), and my roommate, Mark, suggested doing a Victorian steampunk serial. He also showed me how to use the duotone setting on Photoshop to create sepia. Thanks, Mark!

I always intended to follow the Victorian serial with other Sunday serials, particularly a Silver Age superhero comic, but it took me the rest of the run of Narbonic to complete this one.

I kept this cover for every installment of the serial, despite the fact that the illustration is pretty bad. I couldn’t even draw a circular planet Earth. Sigh. The masthead with the gerbils isn’t too bad, though.

My name on the penny-dreadful cover is “S.K. Garrity” because I’m concealing my identity as A Lady.

The costumes aren’t too historically accurate. I looked through a lot of pictures of Victorian dress on Google, picked what I liked, and didn’t pay much attention to decade. Helen’s outfit is based on women’s clothing from the 1880s, if I remember correctly. Dave’s outfit is from a similar period, but I think I made most of it up. Professor Madblood, when he appears, wears a morning coat from around the turn of the century.

It was, of course, a lot of fun to design everyone’s Victorian counterparts.

You can’t see this in the scan, but I inked the spool of wire with copper-colored ink. There was no good reason to do this, especially since it didn’t show up in the scan anyway.

The array in the last panel is pretty good. And I like the idea of a Victorian Dave Barker. Maybe you have to know Dave Barker, but it’s pretty awesome.

Man, five pages of Victoriana. This would not be the norm for the Victorian serial; usually I’d stick to three or four pages, on account of my laziness. In fact, I think the only installment that’s longer is the final chapter, which is six pages long.

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4 thoughts on “The Astonishing Excursions of Helen Narbon & Co, Chapter One.

  1. It should be mentioned that the results of this experiment were passed down to the characters in the “Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit” arc, which is probably a stronger continuity link than even the Victorians’ appearances in “Dave’s Dead, Dave.”

    Also: had this been another era, the next chapter would have invariably involved flying zombies.

  2. “Could we kindly forget about this trip to outer space and return to the proper project of REANIMATING MY DEAD CORPSE? If Helen Narbon is going to go to all the trouble of killing me just to reanimate me, the least she can do is follow through and not give up at the *first* sign of difficulty.”
    Dave Barker

  3. “Time to return to my rat-infested flat and call it a night.” Does this line perchance contain subtle foreshadowing that, later on, Mell might not want to return to Earth?

  4. “It’s alive! It’s ALIVE!!!…Oh, wait…nope, it’s still dead. Crap!” – Some Horror Movie parody that I can’t remember the title of at the moment.

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