Izeas GT (izeas_gt) says: I imagine you had other ideas for week-long arcs? 'Course, that's pretty standard with FoxTrot and the like... so what was some of the stuff you never got around to?
Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday's Comic: I wrote my first dungeon game in Turbo Pascal some 2.5 years after this strip came out. Though, it wasn't so much a game as a text adventure with only movement commands. (But it came with its own room editor!)
What is that black laptop-shaped box that Dave's had for every one of the meeting strips?
Liza Furr (liza) says: That's the second image of a Princess Mononoke forest spirit I've seen in the past five minutes. Odd. (The other was someone's LJ icon.)
Dave III (dave_iii) says: It's a sign, Liza. Go watch the movie and the path to a great truth will be revealed. ^_^
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: One thing I forgot to mention in the commentary was that I actually did write a text adventure game in BASIC when I was in middle and high school. It ended up becoming so huge that it routinely crashed my primitive PC, mainly because I wrote incredibly long and elaborate "hint" options for each and every branch. If you typed "hint" at various points, you could eventually get the entire "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
Daniel Ross (nentuaby) says: Those stories certainly aren't for publication. The COBOL would melt the printing presses.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday's Comic: Alas, my friends, everything is in continuity. Everything that Shaenon has ever drawn, forming a marvellous, unbroken ribbon leading all the way back to the beginning of time, when the mighty Ur-Shaenons first touched the line-drawing monolith and acquired the forbidden knowledge of comicking.
Even more spoilers for 2001: the computer kills everyone except Dave.
In Helen's defense, Sally-Anne might have moved out of Long Island at this point, annulling Dr. Narbon's reason for neutronising it. Did I just say "reason" and "Dr. Narbon" in the same sentence?
I quite like the idea, introduced in this strip, that Dr. Narbon is an insidious mash-up of Helen, Shaenon's mother, and Lord Voldemort.
Lisa Jonte (jonte) says:
Hambil & Gerster sounds like a comedy team, or a sleazy law firm, or both.
-Anonymous Webcomic Site Editor Woman
Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday's Comic: If they hadn't blacklisted Helen at Reed College, who knows what might have happened?
This ain't the first time that a Narbon has gentically manipulated and surgically altered something to exactly resemble something else. FORESHADOWING [Y/N]?
The Narbonic gerbil seems to be an insidious mash-up of the subgenus Gerbillus, Snoopy, and a paintbrush.
By the way, gerbil hair isn't really brown with black points, is it?
Daniel Ross (nentuaby) says: The Narbonic gerbils are the best things ever. I have in my posession the original art for a strip from Burning Gerbil and the packaging in which it was shipped to me, and on which is doodled Zeta and Dana (or some other gerbil, Arty would be ashamed of my insensitivity.) They are my prized posessions. :)
Ralphm Erridew (ralphmerridew) says: But to classify the gerster as recent requires classifying (spoiler) as not a mad science projects.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, consider (spoiler) and related stuff to have been Dr. Narbon's heavy lifting with Beta's input. Kinda like how a kid's lemonade stand is really financed by (and probably organized by) the kid's parents. Except in this case, the lemons destroy Cleveland.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:
The ur-gerbils do (mostly) have properly rodential postures. (except for the giant ones, who seem strictly bipedal, perhaps by reference to kangaroos.)
I don't have an example handy, but iirc, gerbils have two basic standing positions; standing on four legs (as in the picture) or hunched over their butt and back legs, (while handling something with their forepaws). Squirrels add a "prairie-dog" standing/begging pose, and the ur-gerbils do seem closer to squirrel size and proportions. Their expressions, however, make me think of <a href="http://www.meerkats.com/">meerkats</a>.
Kellie H (kellie) says: The gerbils are the best animal sidekicks ever. I...um...may have kept every single gerbil-decorated bit of packaging ever received. I cut out a couple of gerbils in curious postures and stuck them to my computer monitor at work, too. They make me happy!
Wallace Good (good_the_third) says: There is something innately exciting about gerbit-decorated packaging. I didn't see it coming, but I immediately had to photocopy the gerbil drawings I recieved. I think it was subliminal messaging or pheromones in the black ink.
Charles Duffy (cduffy) says:
On the subject of writing text adventure games -- have you seen what some of the modern environments for building those can do? I'm looking forward to playing around with Inform 7; it looks extremely spiffy.
Mmm... a Narbonic-themed text adventure... that'd be an interesting fanfic idea, though coming from me it'd be *bad* fanfic.
James Rice (jhrice) says:
I've also kept all my gerbily packaging, and I've probably got over 100 of them by now. I assume Shaenon is planning on making it big time, sometime soon, so I keep them as part of my retirement portfolio. That, and I can't bear to throw them in the trash.
Izeas GT (izeas_gt) says:
Note that later, Helen established a solid source of income: selling mutated DNA of already-freaky people to biotech companies.
John Wells (johnwwells) says: For all we know, it's a device for electrophoretically separating sea monkeys.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday's Comic: The three mandatory elements of the mad scientist's bench are the coloured beakers, the Jacob's Ladder, and probably the Plasma lamp as well. Also, any one of: bunsen burner, Van de Graaf generator, hanging skeleton.
Cartoon poses that aren't reciprocated in real life: Mell hunched so deep into her notebook that she has to hold the pencil sideways. (I get the impression that the reason she's hunched in so far is that she's actually drawing the rest of her body onto the notebook, as in Escher's Drawing Hands.)
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Except, they're probably not sea monkeys. They're probably sea gerbils.
Chris Gleason (bkitu) says:
She tampered in God's domain.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says:
Maybe Sea Monkey's that do electrophoresis?
Michael Brazier (michaelbrazier) says: You realize, of course, that this strip means there's a mad scientist somewhere who can honestly claim to have saved the free world. What kind of bragging rights does that get you at the mad scientist conventions?
Leon Arnott (l) says: "If you think it's on the tasteless side now that President Reagan has passed on, you probably don't want to hear Andrew's elaborate conspiracy theory about Jim Henson faking his own death to operate an animatronic stand-in for the previous Pope."
I find it hard to believe that this isn't a spoiler for a forthcoming chapter of William Bazillion.
By the way: for curiousity purposes, I'd quite like to see a list of which original strips have been sold already.
Matthew Miller (mattdm) says: True story: this joke is why I wasn't allowed to use a sequence of Narbonic strips in the installer of our Linux distribution.
Liza Furr (liza) says: Nussbaum! "Don't let it get you by the foot!"
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: "Mad scientists created Ronald Reagan." Yeah, I kind of figured that. I can only wonder how much more badly awry their "Project Dubya" experiment is gonna go...
James Rice (jhrice) says:
That second panel is also the image I used for the Helen-O-lantern Halloween template.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday's Comic: Things that the Narbonic comic doesn't have enough of: super confrontational close-ups. (There was sort-of one in the 'Madness' storyline, and that's all that comes to mind at this point.)
I will be expecting either you or Mr. Manley to act out Helen's parting line in this week's rapidly approaching podcast episode. I shall then snip it out and use it as a ringtone.
Zach Cole (zach) says: Oh MAN!! I loved the avocado of death! Seriously, this is the first time anyone else has noted it that i've seen. but it is a must-read. Inspired me to wander around after dark on MANY occasions! Log In or Register to post a comment! It's free!
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