The next installment of our ongoing exploration of my college-years psyche! And also the first part of a three-part series!
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do a multi-week storyline with I&I, and this was how it started. I'm pretty sure anyone who's been to college or high school is aware of the phenomenon of That Guy: the one who's always got an answer to every question and says it in the most annoying way possible. So I thought, why not explain where That Guys (and That Girls) come from?
Art-wise, I feel pretty good about this strip. I wanted to try something new with the layouts, so I started with a large panel and then went on to two rows. Overall I think it worked, although it did screw up the timing of the dialogue in the first panel. Ida first says her line to Isaac, then he replies with a statement, and then Ida reacts with a question. The best way to do this normally would be to spread this dialogue out over two panels, so Ida can have two different facial expressions: one for her statement, then another for her question. This way, she's forced to have the same "hilarious anecdote" expression while asking, "The what?"
Other than that, though, the timing works fine. Putting the awkward silence at the end of that first upper row creates a natural transition point, as the reader's eyes have to jump down to the beginning of the bottom row. I did have to squash a lot of dialogue into those last three panels, but the total lack of backgrounds help.
There's a lot of dialogue in this strip, but I'm okay with that. The lines are all long and complicated, but I think they all function as jokes—I'm personally a fan of the "Howard's rebuttal to Das Kapital was based on the fact that he's an only child" line, as it turns a plot point into a mildly over-complicated joke. I'm also pretty proud of the "Next week: it does require!" caption box at the very end.
Stay glued to your screens for the rest of this exciting saga!