NURSE BECKY: YEOMAN & THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF COMFORTABLY NUMB

May 24, 2012-Still some minor technical difficulties but things are moving along nicely now. I still can't color but I can do everything else so I'm still drawing and inking strips. I'm also pleased to announce next week is the ten year anniversary of Comfortably Numb. I started making these comics while in training at Pensacola, Florida. I was an avionics technician at the time and the school was one of the hardest in the Navy. Many of my classmates worked themselves retarded studying and I'm sure it's really paid off for them. Just kidding- that was ten years ago. Of the twenty people in our class I wouldn't be surprised to learn I'm the only one left in the Navy and that's because I changed jobs to one that diddn't, to quote Daria, "Combine the stress level of a neurosurgeon with the pay scale of a video clerk."

Anyway, while they did that when I hit my breaking point I decided to make comics instead.  I'd been told I should just write about myself since I can be amusing but didn't want to get self-conscious about it. So I created Allison Grumman. I took a lot of my bad habits and used it as the basis for the character who I named for the Allison V-1710 engine that powered the P-38 Lightning and the Grumman A-6 Intruder that my Dad worked on. Her original outfit was composed of things in my closet I could reference such as an old BDU jacket with patches all over it, a "Great Cornholio" T-shirt (which is why her shirt is white with blue trim) and the boot camp glasses since they where so distinctive. Also, a .45 ACP bullet on a dog tag chain for a religious medallion.

 She spends her time at the local mall (modelled on our Navy Exchange) telling people off, drinking coffee, renting videos and not giving a damn. The coffee place was run by a character from a previous comic attempt and the video store where Allison practically lived was the Navy Exchange Video, which is why it rents and sells VHS and CDs as opposed to just renting VHS tapes. This was in 2002 mind you, DVDs occupied a small section of one wall. I remember walking around Blockbuster one day in 2007 and realizing something felt weird. Then I realized there wasn't a single VHS tape in the store. Jonny was originally "The Video Store Lady," a girl Allison's age (nineteen) who everyone knew but didn't respect and no one could be bothered to learn her name, which was on her damn name tag. She was initially modelled on my friends Johnnie and Megan who worked at the video store and I talked with daily. I spent a LOT of time at that place. In tribute to them Jonny's full name is Jonny Megan Williams. Her other original friend was Cousin Phil, who was inspired by my friend Duty. So yes, Phil does walk among us. He was originally in a written story I was working on as  a member of a band that Allison was loosely associated with. The story didn't go anywhere and only superficially resembles the comic so I don't consider it to be a precursor to the strip.

Originally I figured I'd make about a dozen strips, get tired and move onto something new. I didn't think I could write Allison for too long, which is why the title has no connection to her. As a phrase I thought"Comfortably Numb" summed up her attitude well- she's going nowhere fast and doesn't care. She likes her low rent life. After the first dozen I thought maybe two dozen or even thirty. Ten years later I could imagine not writing Allison, whether she's slacking off, slacking off in space or kind of being a treasure hunter under a different name.

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(C) 2006 - 2012 David R. Krigbaum