Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday's Comic: "Rest assured that Helen's cronies will never be able to track me down." It's a bit early in the Narbonic run for the audience to be expected to recognise the Bar that the victorious cast retires to time and time again (that is, just once previously). It's like I always say: 'once or twice does not a tradition make'.
This, it seems, is the second consecutive strip where Dana's postmodern blatherings are used in lieu of a punchline.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:
The gerbils would naturally lean to anarchist/hippie sentiments, because they're the "little guys" in a world of oversized apes!
Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday's Comic: I'm glad that at least one of the characters is pondering the natural pairing-off of gerbil creator and gerbil creation. Isn't that the real reason why any mad genius produces a creation of their own kind?
Silly Shaenon, Artie isn't the comic relief funny animal character of the strip. That's Mell. Her degeneration during "Island of the Ur-Gerbils" is pretty conclusive in illustrating that.
Appearances of personality sprites: 6. And how does Angel Artie's tail remain constantly curved like that?
Tuesday's Song: How this ended up down at number 44 is beyond me. You are trying to present these songs in decreasing order of relevance, right?
Joseph Garvin (dapper_anarchist) says: I think she's arranging them as they would appear on the eventual Narbonic OST. One thats about 50 songs long.
Paul Anderson (pmanderson) says: Angel Artie is the heavenly archetype of gerbil perfection; his tail is miraculously perfect, and immune to gravity. Next question?
Valerie Kaplan (shinyhappygoth) says:
Song suggestion: "Unwell" by Matchbox 20. Not at all sciencey, but I find it fitting of Dave shortly before he goes properly mad.
Evil!Artie is so adorable in the last panel!
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:
Not exactly a song, nor mad, but Kipling's "The Secret Of The Machines" should certainly be on any roboticist's wall:
<a href="http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/verse/english_history/secretmachines.html">"The SecretOf The Machines"</a>.
(Let's hope my web-fu is sufficient for that link)
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Bah. I know some folks have managed to post links here, what's the secret?
K G (muppetk) says:
And, yes, I devoted large chunks of time to working out the sexual orientation of comic-relief funny animal characters in my webcomic.
*laughter* Of course you do! How could you avoid it? Remember who you hung out with in college? (Me, brundle, jaye, Mee & Cory come to mind offhand, and I'm sure therewere other brain warpers) AND you LIVE IN SF now. Don't blame yourself. It was inevitable. You were assimilated.
Mee R. (mee) says: Resistance is futile!
Mee R. (mee) says: Wait. I'm not a brain warper...
David Given (dg) says:
Apropos of very little, Something Happens has a rather nice mad-science related comic today...
Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday's Comic: Certain things have gone missing since last the three converged upon this table, such as Mell's piece of paper, and Dave's box of something that we never found out what. At least you remembered to place them in the correct positions relative to Helen.
Typically, as the Narbonic webcomic progressed, one would expect more and more hideous beings would become entwined with our vile band, and each storyline would feature an increasingly crowded conference table, to the point that by 2006 Dave's absense after "The End" would go unnoticed amidst the throng of gerbil-humanoids, yoghurt-humanoids, demons, robots, Venusians and nightmares made flesh that have gathered around it. It would be an even more evident case of Webcomic Weirdness Acumulation (which, so far, this comic is only exhibiting in forgivable levels).
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: You left out giant lightning bolts ... oh wait, the doomsday machine got destroyed along with the old lab, didn't it? A weapon of mass destruction that destructs itself -- sort of like Duck Dodgers' old "disintegrating pistol".
Dave III (dave_iii) says: I think you're too harsh on yourself about the backgrounds. The way they're sitting around the table and the air Helen has in her speech just screams "break room". A background would have cluttered things and taken extra time for you.
Andrew Perron (ununnilium) says:
Gaaaaah! I went to Disney World this April, and had to sit through that thrice-damned song *so many times* after the ride broke down in the middle. @.@
James Rice (jhrice) says:
It was a real duck. Had I known, I could have shown you the robot ducks.
Rachel S. (masamage) says: That song choice makes me so happy. I'm going to go hug someone.
Chris Brunner (cjbrunner) says: Yay, Disney! (Now I've got that song stuck in my head!!!)
Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday's Comic: Poor, poor Helen. Dr. Narbon senior casts a great shadow over her successor, indeed.
Question: if Helen is 26 years old circa late 2000, how old is the Doctor? And given that she's equal parts evil and scientist, can we even accurately gauge her age from appearance alone? She hardly seems much older than when we last saw her in 1980. Is she actually a vampire? That isn't really boxed wine, is it?!
Instances of copy and paste: 1.
Thursday's Song: "Tomorrow's just a dream away" is much more pertinent to Narbonic than you think, in light of the New Year's Day episodes.
Chris Gleason (bkitu42) says: M R DUX
Jeffrey Channing Wells (jaychanning) says: M R NO DUCKS!
David Cunnius (capnq) says: Robot ducks don't leave droppings.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:
I've only been to Disneyland a few times over the decades, but even that was enough to notice a change in the atmosphere. Ignoring the straight fantasy, there was a definite shift away from the "science/progress is great" theme exemplified by EPCOT, and toward
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: In general, I'm disappointed by Tomorrowland's shift away from speculation about the future and toward more fanciful sci-fi. I mean, "Lilo and Stitch" is my favorite Disney movie and all, but I want more rockets and fewer space aliens, dammit! It's like you can't be optimistic about the real future anymore.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: O S A R DUCKS! C D EDBD FEET?
Metal Fatigue (metalfatigue) says: Why would one be optimistic about the future today?
Apropos of nothing…I've been wondering for a long time now about the relationship between evil, mad, and genius.
Bill Livingston (billfl) says: Invisible Robot Ducks?
Sean Duggan (duggansc) says: As regards the wineglass on the Thursday strip, I actually kind of like the positioning. It looks vaguely like Helen's mother is chucking Mell under the chin with it, the way that you might lift a child's or an animal's head to get a better look at it. (The gesture is also often used in a more romantic manner, generally a guy doing it to a girl, but I sincerely doubt that applies here)
Peter Thorne (freemage) says:
Metal Fatigue: I'm not sure I agree with your assessments:
Mel is evil and a legal genius; she simply isn't a scientific genius, and thus is not mad in the sense used in the comic. (Calling Mel 'sane' is a kick in the crotch of Webster's corpse, OTOH.)
Artie is quite evil, and mad--so mad, that he thinks he's good, even as he perepetuates more evil than the rest of the cast combined
Pete (westrider) says:
Ducks really are rather sinister
Rachel S. (masamage) says:
Eee, I love this song. I'm arranging it for a female a cappella group.
In other news, maybe the couch has a disease?
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: The couch is allergic to Dr. Narbon.
Metal Fatigue (metalfatigue) says: I'm sorry, Peter, but I really can't agree with you about Mell. She's never demonstrated any particular genius for the law—she's just driven. And frankly, she's the sanest of the principal characters. She knows exactly what she wants to accomplish, she has a plan, and she executes the plan step-by-step. There aren't any of the ohmygodwassheplanningthatallalong moments we get with Helen; it's all very straightforward, in a stealthy and underhanded way.
As for Artie, the fact that everything he does ends in chaos is neither an indication of madness nor of evil. Good intentions do more damage than evil could ever hope to achieve.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday's Comic: I don't quite understand the logic of naming the successor to the Narbon name "Beta". Or at least, not in the software context presented by this strip, which seems to assert that Dr. Narbon is Helen Alpha, and that Alpha and Beta will be succeeded by the final, release version of Helen Narbon.
I would like to add that since reading the Narbonic comic, the word "beta" has been forever altered in my mind, which can no longer hear it without conjuring the image of a yellow-haired young woman.
Strange fact: Almost all of my encounters with the word "beta" have been in print, and as such I have always assumed that it was pronounced "bee-ta". But it seems that in the faraway land of Usa, it is pronounced "bay-ta"! Not once do I remember to make this amendment to my internal reading voice while reading the comic. I must say that "bee-ta" sounds considerably more feminine, and more appropriate a name for a girl, than the alternative.
Words invented by Narbonic: Director's Cut: Narboniverse, contenance, tweely, (dreaded) malay, lambdaster, Ur-Shaenon, ohmygodwassheplanningthatallalong. Take that, Tom "Uranious" Lehrer!
Finally: bad intentions do more damage than good intentions could ever hope to achieve. Fortunately, there's no such thing as bad intentions. Just as you cannot willingly perform an action against your own will, you cannot willingly inflict upon the world an act that you believe the world does not deserve to have inflicted upon it. And hence, there are no sane evil geniuses!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Actually, in 70s and 80s SF, "beta" has a history (if not necessarily a significant one) of being used to indicate someone's a clone. Usage like, "I had a contract to activate my beta in the event of my untimely death." I know it ended up in Car Wars fiction...ADQ had a series of short stories about a Beta whose original turned out to have survived, and he was activated mistakenly.
Mark Stiles (afrodwarf) says: Dave: wait, that was everywhere in 80s SF? All this time I thought it was a reference to one of the <a ref="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Starfighter">best movies ever</a>.
Rachel S. (masamage) says: Metal, I gotta disagree. Mell conned her way out of hell. I took that as the ultimate sign that she makes a good lawyer.
Paul Anderson (pmanderson) says: So how does one add links to this page if doesn't work? Dave Van Domelen: O agent of the Conspiracy, was it not so also in Paranoia? Leon Arnott: "Bee-ta" is the English pronunciation of Greek. The Erasmian (and probable historic) pronunciation is "Bay-ta".
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
Now if Helen hadn't gone into Mad Biology, what profession would she have chosen?
Lovely Bee-tah, Mee-tah Maid! / May I inquire discreetly / When are you free / to share some D- / N- A?
(maybe not ... "sharing DNA" sounds like it could have many other connotations, most of which would incur feminine wrath...)
Dave III (dave_iii) says:
I admit, I was thinking the same thing, especially when Zeta showed up.
David Given (dg) says: Polka dots --- easy to draw and stylish!
Eric Fretheim (ericthefred) says:
I remember posting precisely that theory, when Zeta showed up! (I was calling myself just "Fred" on the Narbonic forum of the time)
Of course, when Zeta did turn out to be a relation of sorts, I felt a little twinge of validation... and I still think Shannon has a potential spinoff in the persons of Gamma, Delta and Epsilon!
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:
The couch has acquired polka dots, which it didn't have before.Or maybe it's simply a new couch?
Daniel Barkalow (iabervon) says:
Those are polka dots? I thought they were bullet holes. Enough ammo has certainly been used in the general area since the last time we saw the couch (in another three-panel strip, no less).
The Blue Ladies (blueladies) says:
Those gorram ducks. I don't understand people's fascination with the fracking ducks. There are all sorts of interesting things to look at on, say, the Jungle Cruise, yet all I hear is, "Hey, look, a real duck!" Yes, it's a real duck. Congratulations on $63 a head well spent to come to Disneyland to look at the ducks.
I quite like the idea that Imagineering is mad science. That will look so much better on my business cards.
Oh, and as one last note, I believe that They Might Be Giants did a cover of "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" for Meet the Robinsons, but I haven't actually been able to find it. If it's as good as Barenaked Ladies' cover of "Grim Grinning Ghosts," I'll be a happy, happy girl.
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Ah - but perhaps there WAS a Delta, Epsilon and Gamma... all of whom were hunted down and dissected by Dr. Narbon in time... remember that strip, everyone?
Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday's Comic: Silly Shaenon, the Sherpas live in the Himalayas, not the Alps!
Today's Lesson Learned: if discussing your base of operations does not require long, overly florid, and intricately detailed quasi-erotic descriptions, you'll be hard pressed to impress anyone with it.
Another instance of Helen's inadequacy is thus revealed. How, for instance, can Helen possibly reply to her mother's hand? "It's in an abandoned sewer system below a highway median strip." It is at this point that she must shamefully admit that, despite her hideout being underground, the word "lava" appears nowhere in the description! (And at this point, not even mentioning the Buzzy Beetles can help.)
Metal Fatigue (metalfatigue) says:
Rachel: She didn't necessarily con her way out of Hell. Perhaps the Devil feared a coup.
Leon: That argument almost makes sense. In the absence of any better explanation, I'll take it.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: That "Coin-Operated Boy" song is REALLY CREEPY.
Michael Suttkus, II (the_mess) says:
Of course Sherpas don't live in the Alps. Dr. Narbon just explained that, they aren't hardy enough for her lair, so prefer to avoid the entire mountain range!
Andrew Perron (ununnilium) says: Isn't Gamma the name of Helen and Dave's eventual kid?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
The real question is ... what is the surname of Dave and Helen's eventual kid? Does she go by Narbon, Davenport, or Narbon-Davenport? Hmmm ... "Narbon-Davenport" sounds too much an ornamental wood feature on the back of a sofa ("knob on davenport") ... you know, like a finial ... wait! EUREKA! That's it! Her name is "Finial Narbon-Davenport"!
I figure either Shaenon will be grateful for my resolving this mystery, or a large burly man in a trenchcoat will show up at my front door to show me The Error Of My Ways.
Leon Arnott (l) says: That previous post reminds me of the time that I began wondering for altogether too long whether or not a child sired of the union of Ms. Garrity and Mr. Farago would bear the name of 'Faragity' or 'Garritago'.
(Now that I've said this, It's extremely unlikely that I will ever mention it again.)
Jacob Churosh (jakesbrain) says: As for Artie, the fact that everything he does ends in chaos is neither an indication of madness nor of evil. Good intentions do more damage than evil could ever hope to achieve.
At least Artie hasn't the sort of obsessive motivation that drives most mad scientists (and PeTA activists and fundamentalist Christians and Green Party voters and well-you-get-the-idea). I'd hate to see what'd happen if the guys with the best intentions got into a position where they could subjugate us all to said intentions...
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C S LewisLog In or Register to post a comment! It's free!
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