A Date With Density, Part 4

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The Script For Today's Comic!

A Date With Density, Part 4

(Izzy and Karla at the house, discussing things – the trick is going to be getting this to be emotional without making Izzy look so distraught that it kills any comedy.)

IZZY (clearly vexed): …And that's when she pushed the table over and went for his face.

KARLA (genuinely concerned, motherly): I'm sorry, Izzy. I had no idea Tanner's ex-girlfriend would show up at that restaurant.

IZZY (Irritated without being furious yet): But you knew that Tanner had an ex-girlfriend.

(Karla steers her into the living room to try to cheer her up, where Tom is reading the book of your choice.)

KARLA: Look, I’m sorry, I just… I thought it might work out better. (Karla is panicked, a little upset by what she’s wrought, and anxious to hand her off to someone, anyone, else who might fix this.) Anyway, I’ll get the coffee; here’s my husband Tom!

Karla flees the room. Izzy is clearly uncomfortable as all get-out, weirded out by this new guy.

IZZY: Look, no offense, but I should just leave…

Tom simply – and expressionlessly – hands her an envelope.

IZZY: An envelope postmarked from last week?

TOM: Read it.

IZZY: “I am sorry your date ended up in disaster. My friend is an idiot, but he means well.”

(She looks up, smiling, a little relieved; she’d thought on some level that she had caused this, and to find out that Tom knew ahead of time how it would end up lifts a great burden off of her.)

IZZY (she looks at the front, smiling): “Sorry about your loss.”

TOM (smiling back): All we had in the house were sympathy cards, but it kind of worked out.

Ferrett Says

The thing about writing strips is that you’re excruciatingly aware of who you’re ripping off. In this case, the rhythm and pace (and, to a large extent, the punchline) is pure Doonesbury.

Thank God Roni does the layouts these days, for in the early days when I listed things panel-by-panel it was even more apparent that I was ripping off Bloom County or PVP. Now that she does ‘em, she does a great job of turning this into something other than the pastiche of stolen panels that it is when I write it.

But that’s the problem with being an artist; it doesn’t matter how good it looks from the outside, you’re always the one who’s haunting the back stage, seeing the seams where the costumes are clumsily pinned together in the back, knowing how much better that was in your head.

You’ll never truly know how good you are. All you can do is hope you’re not as bad as your worst days, and half as good as your best days.

In other news, I've been experimenting with simple JavaScript techniques in order to prepare for AJAX... Which means nothing to you of the non-technical set, except that at the bottom of each page is now a cheesy reveal-O-link that will show you the script I wrote for any given comic. It's of interest to the obsessive, because frequently there will be last-minute dialogue changes, title changes, or even the excision of entire panels; feel free to go traipsing through, if you like. Hopefully, some day I'll manage to turn the script into some sort of cool and even more annoying pop-up balloon.

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