She totally looks like a muppet, to me, in the third panel (and I openly admit that the Muppets have been a big influence on me).
This strip came from the idea that something coming back like a swing actually is a complex concept and requires some foresight. Blake was the obvious choice. :)
This strip easily could’ve been Vachel/Dee as a rose/botanist, bunny/taxidermist, kitten/bulldog, candy/young child, etc etc. Pick something cute and harmless and find what hunts it.
But I think the net makes this choice the best. :)
My favorite part of this strip was coming up with things a kid would promise to do, to convince a parent to let the kid keep an alligator.
This strip also begins the ongoing tension between the alligator and Blake.
The idea for this came to me when I was thinking about how kids like to bring pets home (though usually, fortunately, they’re small things like caterpillars). Alligators seemed more Dee’s speed.
And I never stopped being amused by the blurred line of animals and sapient animals. The Alligator is merely an animal, until Ted addresses him in the last panel.
I like that Ted sometimes gives himself an out and doesn’t carry all responsibility on his shoulders (and I also wonder if that it purely a whistle of “I’m pretending like i saw nothing” or if there isn’t a bit of glee in it).
I also like that Dee is just placidly doing her thing, and also that she serves tea to the teddy bear.
Ever since I began swimming as a kid, I’ve always loved how clear everything is underwater, and how surreal it is to see the bottom half of people underwater and the top half obscured by the water’s surface.
I’d say this strip was half inspired by the joke, and half inspired by me wanting simply to draw it.
I think as the strip went on that perhaps Dee lost a little bit of this surreal strong physical-gag punchline material. For better? For worse? Who knows. I have as much love for later strips. But a gag like this is lovely and wicked and all sorts of wrong.
This whole strip was about me wanting to draw the middle panel, although I like the punchline too.
I also tried to work in (through the middle panel) that they live in the woods in a somewhat rural area with towns around.