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This is another strip I thumbnailed early and then wrote up to. A beautiful moment. And Mell's Air Force service proves useful!

Drawing action is super hard, and I probably overextended my abilities in this sequence. Drawing Dave walking on water was hard, and you can see that in the third panel I gave up and just did a profile shot. I'm...not good at water. All this stuff is very Watchmen-influenced; I was trying to mix in as many stories set in the Arctic as I could.

This strip was hard to draw but totally worth it. I still suck at drawing water, though.

Another one I wrote early and built the entire storyline around. It took six years to get to these payoffs, but they're totally worth it, right? Right?

Helen's last line is a reference to a storyline about a duplicating ray that I cut. This line is all that's left of it.

Okay, I completely fell down in the art department here. I could not draw a flying island crashing into the base, temporarily knocking Dave offline and causing Helen to fall into the swimming pool again. This is the level of thing Jeff makes me draw in Skin Horse now and it hurts.

Hey, the swimming pool's filled with water.

This strip is excellent and deserves a hundred Pulitzers.

27 comments:
Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday:

In a last-ditch and also first-ditch attempt to re-kill Dave, they're going to drop the entire island that Helen fell off of... onto Helen. If this is her great karmic humbling for six years of crimes against Dave's dignity, then so be it.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Each time I read this, my mind starts playing the battle music from The Wrath of Khan (when he's about to sneak-attack the Enterprise for the first time).

Paul Gadzikowski (pgadzikowski) says:

@eddurd Thanks for the earworm. Seriously, thanks, there's no radio where I work.

chic geek (chicgeek1) says:

I love these strips with Zeta and Mel. The two of them working together is just perfect. Foot too, of course!

Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

I'd forgotten that Dave appears in this strip - and in such a picturesque and potent manner. This water being here is clearly and powerfully established as his deliberate decision.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Water you trying to draw here?

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

@ Ed: Just wet! You'll sea in a moment...

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

The most impressive bit here is that Helen managed to keep her glasses on.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Dave holding a scientist upside-down with superpowers: 2. "...she never learned to use them" is a pretty good line for this, one of Dave's most fearsome shows of force. It's unsettling just how magical he has become in so swift a time.

The punchline here is pretty dark-comedic - Helen stalling for time by suggesting nerdy methods of aggression for him to try out. (M-maybe she's still getting off on this???)
Mark Chapman (aardvark86) says:

Of course, if Dave wasn't so angry at Helen, he might be tempted to re-enact another famous movie scene with her in that position :-)

Mark Chapman (aardvark86) says:

Of course, for that scene he should be upside-down and she should be rightside-up, but easy enough to arrange.

Rex Vivat (sirgarberto) says:

And once again, Helen shows us that even in a serious disadvantage she can still manipulate anyone.

Tetra Valent (4_valent) says:

No fair!  We need to see the whipped cream thing!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Whipped cream and duplicating rays?  If Phil Foglio or Josh Lesnick won't draw this, then I will.

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

The tension in this whole interaction is off the charts. I love it.

Reuben Phillips (psychohippie) says: Is Helen really THAT much of a genius? Did she go into this KNOWING that Mell would crash the island before Dave could kill her? Or is she just really, really lucky?
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

This is Helen Beta Narbon you're talking about. You have to ask?

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: "Yes."
Tetra Valent (4_valent) says:

I can't believe that she deliberately jumped off the island.  She's mad, not crazy.  She's lucky to hit the pool and lucky that there's water in it.  In the previous timeline, she hit the bottom and ended up as a brain in a tank.  But Dave has already said that he wants to keep her alive (albeit under control) so that she can make him a new body.  He's just posturing with his threats.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

The last panel here reminds me of the Dave Conspiracy boat that nothing could catch except a robot with propellers. It makes me imagine that there's a list somewhere with "Things That Can Save Helen Now" written at the top, and nothing else on it but "a flying island crashing into Dave's CPUs". And both of them have seen this list, but Dave figured, "What are the odds...?"

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

A hundred Pulitzers and a Von Boom for letting Madblood come out on top.
I can't see him as the Hustler type, though.  I'd thinkPenthouse would be more his style.  No wonder he needs the secret room.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

In the eternal Flynt–Guccione war, is Guccione that much more cerebral, or is Hustler just lower class? Because if he is a midwestern boy, the local magazine does seem more appropriate for Madblood.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"Hustlers" just scans better.  "Penthouses" has too many syllables.

Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

Hustler is better suited for (mad) clinical study. Penthouse is more for the sane scientist with a libido. Playboy is for the sane scientist with a libido and liberal sensibilities. Maxam is for fifteen year olds who haven't figured out how the internet works in regards to nudity.

Just wanted to give you this handy guide.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I see Madblood as the Penthouse type because, if he ever found himself in a sexual situation, it really would be a case of "I never thought this would happen to me."

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

This is my personal favorite strip of the series. Direct, un-nuanced, and funny as hell....

Zarathustra's Id (zarathustrasid) says:

I read Victoria's Secret catalogue for the articles, mind you. But I am upset to note its omission.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile