Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: I just love the fact that she says "Fiddlesticks." So cute. :)
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: I just love Panel 4.
You know, this kinda reminds me of the time (in the fanstory) when Jane turned everyone into cute furry animals.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday:
Turning people into gerbils is a very wicked witch-y thing to do, which is actually somewhat appropriate for what amounts to a childhood grievance. And there isn't any more visually arresting way to put someone at your mercy than to shrink them down to a pathetic, miniscule form. It's almost a pity that Helen never gets a chance to manifest this.
We're all assuming, of course, that Helen would make them into smart gerbils. We, the audience, expect this because of the comic potential of each hapless victim's reaction to their new rodent identities. Artie expects this because he knows Helen would relish the same.
Silent penultimate panels: 13-ish.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:
Artie's expressions are really good in this strip -- especially his hapless SPUP and his full-body glare in panel 4.
Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says: I like that it apparently took Artie a great deal of thought to decide that Helen doing in her classmates was bad. No wonder the gerbil thing trumped him so quickly!
Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says:
It just occured to me that Helen curses like Mary Poppins, while Mel curses like the older sister who used to take lunch money off Al Capone and Bugsy Malone. Never really thought about it, but it's a great bit of character development.
"Profanity weakens the mind and cheapens the soul." ~The Middleman.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
(TUNE: "He's A Rebel", by The Crystals)
They all taunted her before,
"You're all gerbils 'cause you never were nice to me!
fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: Although there is the girl who appears soon-ish who has, thanks to Helen, had a gerbil tail for years.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: Seems like Dave's not the only one whose evil weakness Helen knows how to poke.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: "I can see no down side."
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Uh-oh.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:
Mad scientists, as we are all aware, have a habit of mixing clinical experimentation and personal vendettas. It is, one supposes, an extra impetus for success, and a complementary silver-lining in the event of gruesome, slimy failure.
I recently learned that, contrary to popular belief, the word "transmogrify" was not just made up by Calvin and Hobbes.
kicking_ k (kicking_k) says:
I first encountered it in an Usborne Puzzle Adventure (Advanced Level), in which the time-travelling main character had an identifying feature to the 1950s spooks who were after him: "He's wearing a transmogrifier on his wrist!" It was an early-90s brightly coloured plastic watch. Since then I have never been able to shake a suspicion that this is what a transmogrifier looks like.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:
Fortunately, an hour gives Dave plenty of time to raid the buffet.
Unfortunately, there's no alfalfa.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: Y'know, I've got to wonder what Artie was planning on doing to stop Helen in the first place... I mean, being six inches tall with paws for hands kind of limits one's options. He can't even sabotage the transmogrifier, because Helen appears to be keeping it safely in hammerspace until the big moment.
alphatango (alphatango) says:
Leon Arnott: "Mad scientists, as we are all aware, have a habit of mixing clinical experimentation and personal vendettas."
It's listed under "Perks" on the recruiting brochure. Right above "access to giant death rays".
Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says: transmogrify "to change completely," 1656, apparently a perversion of transmigure, from transmigrate, perhaps influenced by modify. I call shenanigans - this dude didn't cite any sources to show where in 1656 he found it. I also don't remember a lot of mad science in Shakespeare's contemperaries.
Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says: Artie expected to stop Helen through moral suasion. He always thinks that this will work, despite substantial evidence to the contrary. He can't help it; it's part of being a stereotypical liberal.
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:
Found this cite of the OED for Transmogrify:
fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: I always thought Bill Watterson made the word up, until I saw it used in an episode of Doctor Who (Vengeance on Varos) which (barely) predated Calvin and Hobbes.
James Rice (jhrice) says:
There were the 12 other super-intelegent gerbils Artie made, but I guess they don't count since they were mad.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
My first impluse was to parody Madonna's "Like A Virgin". Then thinking of Helen in her lab attire made me think of Weird Al Yankovic's "Like A Surgeon", which is already a parody. At this point, I thought I'd better go in a different direction to prevent my brain from imploding.
(TUNE: "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" from "Grease" by Jacobs & Casey)
Helen Beta, sweet as pie!
Never been seduced before!
Naomi H (starbright) says: Keep in mind that the other 12 superintelligent gerbils spent all their time plotting revolution. And it wasn't very long before most of them got eaten by Sir Pounce.
Sean McLane (zodo) says: There's one of the main cast members you forgot to mention, Sarge... Inquiring minds want to know!
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: /* Helen probably is a virgin, incidentally. She was not popular in high school or college, and she was very shy and nervous before she went mad. */ Well, what about post-madness? /* There's one of the main cast members you forgot to mention, Sarge... Inquiring minds want to know! */ Look, I don't know about you, but I'm much, *much* happier - not to mention **saner** - not knowing about that side of Dr. Narbon's life.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: Interestingly, both of the gerbils that Artie has expressed an interest in were female. Of course, the fact that Dana was insane and Anna was a giant mutant ur-gerbil (and taken) put a bit of a damper on things. He only seems to start being interested in male partners after the Battle for the Lost Diamond Mines of Brazil.
Leon Arnott (l) says: I do believe Mr. McLane is referring, Mr. Stout, to the chitin-haired arc-nosed little lady who at this very moment is making tracks with something called a - ngggh - "nuke gun".
Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday!
Dave is really being thickheadedly unsympathetic to Artie's position as a transrodent non-human man. Either that, or this job has worn him down to the extent that he's genuinely species-blind, and holds the enlightened view that, deep down, we're all sad sole creatures in a universe of silent strangers, no matter our size, brain material or lifespan. (It's definitely the former.)
Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says: @Pete As Artie was only interested in extremely unavailable females (by his standards, at least), perhaps there was a bit of self-delusion as to his orientation on his part? OTOH, that doesn't seem very Artie-like, but sometimes people are a bit more closeted when it comes to themselves than to other people. Now that I think about it, Dave would be a good example of that very trait in this comic.
Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says: Weird thought: maybe Artie's attracted to female gerbils and male humans. What makes female gerbils attractive to male gerbils probably doesn't exist in female humans (and vice versa) so he could be seizing on some other vaguely-resembling factor that happens to exist in MALE humans. Come to think of it, it's probably a phenerome thing.
Jennifer Rutherford (jenfullmoon) says: I feel thoroughly disturbed by Ed's poetry.
John Wells (johnwwells) says: I always figured that Helen Beta made a boyfriend at some point, but either they broke up, or he did.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: @Jennifer: Thanks (heh heh heh ...)
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:
I don't really know about Mell. I have the idea in the back of my head that she had a fling with the little proto-Dave character in "North of Space," my high-school strip, which may explain her antipathy toward Dave proper. She probably dates a lot in college.
Mark H- (eyeharvester) says: For some strange reason, that fat guy in the first panel reminds me of Future Dave.
Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says: I'm kind of shocked Helen dwasn't popular in college, especially considering she didn't go mad until the very end. Helen B. Narbon is premium cheesecake, and funny to boot. Or was the sense of humor a post-mad thing?
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: You mean, besides the ears?
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: "All the better to hear you with, my dear."
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
(TUNE: "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians)
Will Artie save us, or not?
For there's a flaw in
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: People who hang out at parties with gerbils perched on their heads do not tend to be the center of the social whirl, regardless of past experiences.
Paul Anderson (pmanderson) says: People who hang out at parties with gerbils perched on their heads do not tend to be the center of the social whirl, regardless of past experiences. Makes a great ice-breaker, though: "Is that a gerbil on your head, or are you just glad to see me?"
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: *snicker*
SO worth it.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:
Nice to see that they've decided to take this opportunity to enjoy themselves. And besides: supervillains always dance at social functions they're attending incognito.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: A few incidents like this would give Artie reason to tone down the criticism....
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: And perhaps this is part of the origin of Artie's superpower....
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Should I be worried about the tentacle reaching for the cup of punch?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: Today's Final Jeopardy answer: "THE BACKSTROKE"
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: What is "Waiter, what's this gerbil doing in my punch?", Alex?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
@Edwin: Correct, you win a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni!
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:
Really? Uh...cool...I think...
*scratch's head and wonders if I can donate about half of it to my local Food Bank because I'm not sure I *want* to eat Rice-a-Roni everyday for a year*
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Ahhh. Truth.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:
(TUNE: "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie)
Let's dance just one dance!
David Shaw (tmcgm) says: Second strip, fourth panel, Artie. Awwwww! Cuuuuuuute! Also, third strip, first panel. Hey! That fat guy is *me*! I'm in a Narbonic strip and Shaenon's never even met me! Yay! Log In or Register to post a comment! It's free!
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