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<   No. 1536   2007-04-11   >

Comic #1536

1 {scene: A single panel showing a worm relief teacher sitting at a desk in front of a class of worm kids, reading a note from the sick teacher}
1 [note]: To: Relief Teacher
1 [note]: Re: Notes on students
1 [note]: Annie Lid - well rounded
1 [note]: Nina Tode - copies other students' work
1 [note]: Patty Helminth - a bit flat
1 [note]: Ringo Worm - he's actually a fun guy

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The Far Side by Gary Larson was one of my favourite comics throughout high school and university, so I thought it was about time I paid it homage with a parody. I've had this script sitting in my ideas folder for ages, just awaiting me building up the courage to have a go at drawing it. A few weeks ago, I had an empty slot in my schedule and I tossed it in, figuring that would force me to bite the bullet and do something about it.

Wind forward a few weeks, and this script was still sitting unrealised in my schedule, while I'd completed another 25 strips after it. And then I had a brainstorm. Get someone else to draw it!

I approached Andrew Bird, who has contributed some great fan art and a wonderful page for Infinity on 30 Credits a Day, with my idea. He was enthusiastic and readily agreed to have a shot at parodying Gary Larson's characteristic style.

I'm more than pleased with the result. I specified the shapes of the worms and suggested maybe putting an apple on the teacher's table, but left the rest up to Andrew. He shows he clearly knows Larson's work well, as the glasses on the relief teacher are brilliant and perfectly in keeping with Larson.

I wasn't sure how to draw Ringo Worm myself - the whole point of this gag is that ringworm is not a worm at all, but a fungal infection. Andrew had the brilliant idea of drawing him as a mushroom. I was sceptical when he told me, but seeing the end result, I have to agree that it works.

2017-03-08 Rerun commentary: These days I'd probably have a go at drawing this myself. Though I'm not sure I could have done as good a job as Andrew did.

Glasses are such a great facial accessory. They can add so much character, depending on their shape and styling. Who cares if your characters don't have ears to keep them up?!

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