Some things about this one:
I am surprisingly proud of the screens behind the one character (tentatively named “Jerk lackey”) in the first frame. I can’t place why, I just take particular enjoyment of those amongst all the tiny photoshop enhancements I’ve put into the series thus far.
I’m also jazzed at how cool the reflection on the visor looks for Veronica (who until this strip was named “Chick lackey”) in the first frame. I think that has sold me on doing this the long and annoying way.
The horse has a transparent green saddle. This is another part that to my knowledge does not exist. I don’t care; a guy riding a horse around in an underwater secret fortress is pure comedy to me, and the fact that he has customized the saddle to fit his color scheme is such delicious icing on that comedy cake that I am willing to use nonexistant parts.
There’s a Steven Spielberg joke in this one that I don’t want to be misunderstood – I am not one of those who objects to people like him and Lucas going back with digital workstations and changing their films. They are incapable of reaching into my brain and “ruining my memories” as some people claim to be the victim of, and I consider the films their artistic endeavors and they have domain over altering them. Alter away, guys. I’d prefer DVDs give options for both versions, but alter away.
I’m not criticizing the fact that ET was changed – I just think the specific change of shotguns to walkie talkies happened to be laugh-out-loud stupid. It’s a great government boogeyman story, and it’s a lot more effective in that regard if the boogeyman arsenal is slightly more fear-engendering than a morse code button. Just sayin, mister S. P.S. Stop hiring Tom Cruise.
I feel like much of the comedy I tried to put into this one fell apart due to the limitations of the frame size and stuff – not to mention that I didn’t want it to get even more cluttered with speech baloons than it already is by adding extra exposition. So, to explain and thereby ruin all the jokes: The Commander is riding a horse around, simply because he is batshit crazy. Hopefully this was made clear in #2. Veronica (“Chick Lackey,”) as the level-headed and productive lackey, is assigned to deal with the Squid Warning, which is a concept I simply found amusing when pondering the various things that could possibly happen to an evil organization’s underwater lair. She has found the Gun Cabinet (a thus-far unshown portion of said lair) emptied of guns and filled with walkie talkies. She asks her colleague (“Jerk Lackey”) as to why this has happend, and he lies, and says it was due to the Commander having seen the most recent version of ET, in which the shotguns carried by government officials were digitally changed to walkie talkies. Believing this lie, she takes off to kill the squid (cause of the Squid Warning) using her walkie talkie. Afterwards, the third lackey (“Third Lackey,”) knowing of the ruse, asks if it is perhaps going a bit far, since the squid poses tremendous danger to someone armed only with a walkie talkie. Jerk Lackey reveals his motivation for the lie- an attempt to punish her for adjusting instruments on his workstation, which he has already expressed self-important attachment to while bowing out of helping Veronica kill the squid. The horse, having bucked in the 2nd frame, is now angry and chasing the Commander, who, eager to kill his raging mount, found the Gun Cabinet full of walkie talkies. At the end, he is inquiring as to the whereabouts of the guns in order to both confirm for the reader that Jerk Lackey was lying, and acquire a gun with which to shoot his rabid horse.
Perhaps denseness is not well suited for comic strips.
[the phrase "squid warning" is funny, period]