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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Not a particularly exciting strip, although I did go to the trouble to make a little logo for Notari's Restaurant. It's sad how seldom I bother to do that kind of thing.

That is the worst flying saucer anyone has ever drawn. People made all kinds of fun of me for it at the time. Which is too bad, because the moon looks friggin' awesome in that panel.

I don't know how long Helen's rocket ship and Madblood's flying saucer take to get to the moon and back. It took Apollo 11 about four days to reach the moon, but that was in, like, the '60s. We ought to be able to get to the moon in no time now.

Helen and the computer never get along. I think Helen senses she has a romantic rival.

The plans in the first panel are for Chug-Bot, a gift for Brother Brubaker. I was really into Sam Henderson's Magic Whistle.

Even though the dialogue once again crowds out the art, I still like this strip. It's pretty indicative of how things go down in the Narboniverse. Also, I do that thing where I make my own sound effects again. I do, you know.

This strip is a little filler-y, to be honest. I needed it to establish the rules the computer has to follow, but it's not that interesting beyond that. Also, it was pretty repetitive drawing Dave-as-Madblood talking to the computer all week.

Dave attracts dangerous women. He's got some kind of weird mojo.

This was one of the early strips I wrote for this storyline. It's an okay cliffhanger, although the Monday strip would've been even better. Knew I should've cut that Thursday strip. Oh well.

Dave's expression in the second panel is good. It's nice that he retains the power to make cigarettes hover in front of his face even when he's been transmogrified into Madblood.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

The moon is not made of green cheese, it's made of grey fill.

So, will Helen rescue her henchmen from the perils of Madblood's return, or will she assuage her grief at being stood up with a nice plate of linguini bolognese and a glass of wine?

Daniel Baye (pooga) says:

Has anyone been following the filename story? When I realized it had been over six months since SninyHappyGoth's page had been updated, I started keeping track myself. I'll put it up online one of these days.

Anyway, the last week or so seems to have been a little off. Words normally separated by an underscore have been run together, and I think there were a couple words missing.

Below is how I've parsed the last few weeks or so. Words in brackets are not present in the filenames, but are where I think they'd logically fall. I've also added underscores to indicate apparently missing spaces. I guess I'm either asking Sarge if I'm right about the missing words, or everybody else about how to parse it so it makes sense:

He was an evil attorney. He had always assumed one [of] his clients would do him in someday, and he had expected..._no, no, might as well be honest... He had hoped_it would [be] Helen Narbon. This

Daniel Baye (pooga) says: Oops. That should be ShinyHappyGoth.
ribbles (ribbles) says: This is the strip where the plot really gets going.  Which is funny when you think how the whole "going to the moon" thing was just build up.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

I've been maintaining an up-to-date copy of the Narbonic filename story online since I discovered that it existed.

I think that in the recent places where words run together without an underscore between, they're supposed to be separated by dashes - which are usually omitted, like other punctuation marks - rather than spaces - which are replaced by underscores. I think you're right about the missing words, however... though it may still be possible that this sentence is going somewhere unexpected and will turn out not to need the "be", at least.

I have the Skin Horse filename story, too, and that one has official Word of Sarge formatting most of the way through... many thanks to James Rice for selflessly passing on the fruits of his bribery.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Daniel: You're correct that the word "of" was missing. Also, it looks like dashes don't come through, but that's always been the case.
Daniel Baye (pooga) says:

Oh, good. Um... does that mean that the [be] shouldn't be there?

And thanks to both Sarge & Mr. Campbell for straightening things out. Now that you mention it, I vaguely recall seeing that happen with a hyphenation somewhere. My confusion came from my own punctuation preferences. I have a habit of stitching together sentence fragments with space-wasting ellipses, completely ignoring the perfectly servicable and economical dash.

Valerie Kaplan (shinyhappygoth) says: Aw, yeah, sorry, guys.  I did indeed lapse badly on the filename stories.  I should catch myself up, even if you are doing it yourself.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: The antigravity generator completely changes the game. The equations aren't nearly so cold (except the ones about the amount of breathable oxygen.)
Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

Madblood's family secrets are safe with him, for just this once.

...Hey, this week is listed as "February 21 - March 1", but February 21 was last Friday.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

I know I've used this tune before, but it's just too appropriate to pass up ...

(TUNE: "Dirty Laundry", Don Henley)

Hop in my saucer, I'm Earthward bound,
Where Helen, humbled, is hopefully found!
All at once I turn around --
I forgot Mom's laundry!

I had a date with a lovely lass!
How could events have come to this pass?
Mother's gonna kick my ass!
I forgot her laundry!

   Winter flannel skirt,
   Navy blue capris,
   Lucky bingo shirt,
   Socks that smell like cheese!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: And of course, things are just going to get worse for Madblood... and his Mom's laundry!
Laura Chapple (ironychan) says: Isn't that the flying saucer from <i>Attack of the Eye Creatures</i>?!
ribbles (ribbles) says: Madblood's flying saucer uses patented Floppy Hat (c) technology.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: What interests me is the Pickle Creature coming out of the crater.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh. Heh. Heh.
Fandarel (fandarel) says: SleepyJohn, I think your pickle monster is in fact a shadow in a crater there
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Oh, sure, that's what the pickle monsters always want you to think...
Church (lego3366) says: I'd say she's right to, Dave and Lupin's AI seem to have an unusually friendly relationship.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: A romantic rival, mmm?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Louie Louie", written by Richard Berry, performed by The Kingsmen)

A.I., A.I.,
My, my!
Dave, now we gotta fly!
Ay yi yi yi yi!
A.I., A.I.,
My, my!
Dave, now we gotta fly!

See Madblood laugh with evil mirth!
Got robot army, conquer Earth!
Then Helen calls, she asks for date;
Stupid Earth will have to wait!

See Dave, he goes, invading space!
And Mell, she shoot him in the face!
Now see Dave change, transmogrify!
He's making friends with Moon A.I.!

Now Madblood turns around too soon;
He's heading back up to the Moon!
He throws a wrench in Helen's plans;
How will it end?  Just stay tuned, fans!

Avilyn (avilyn) says: The fourth panel reminds me of Star Wars: "I am NOT a committee!" :-)
Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

The NOTE seems a little bit distracting this time around. Perhaps you should have simply emphasised the destruction with equally unlikely shockwaves?

Poor poor Dave. But hang on... "a code I just invented for the sole purpose of being uncrackable?" Redundancy aside, that sounds either vastly improbable or mildly worrisome.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

"My, that was an elegant defensive shield that's now distributed in small, elegant pieces all over the Moon."

If I had an Ummmka, I would definitely feed it Ummmka-Chow!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Big Freakin' (tm) Gun count = 30

@Johnn:  I believe that's a "v" not a "u".  Although I like the idea of having a pet Ummmka.

Vmmmka, Ummmka, Vmmmka Ka-Chow!
How many guns does Madblood have now?
Vmmmka, Ummmka, Vmmmka Ka-Slpode!
He could at least admire my code!

Robin (fiddlerbird555) says: To the "oompa llumpa" song from Wille Wonka  (as played by Gene Wilder?)
Mao Lemos (pylgrim) says: And, in a battle of male egos (unadmitedly) over a woman, losing to a "bigger weapon" might be the most pride-hurting way to be defeated.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: *snicker*
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: I was making stomping-around noises while painting battlemech minis earlier today...
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Side note: this is the REAL goal of Mad Science:

Mell and Doc on a paintball range.  *sigh* It would have been beautiful...

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: They're two of a kind.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:

Those coiled phone cords launch out of every electrical appliance when Dave approaches, do they not? They're much like mattress springs. They probably aren't even connected to anything.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: I notice that the sentient AI is assuming comic-book rules for the effects of radiation....
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "It's Too Late", Carole King)

I changed to Madblood and I stole the Moon!
But here comes Madblood, he returned too soon!
Now both of us are Madblood, and one of us will be doomed!

So let's mutate Madblood, now, let's mutate!
He's got tentacles, green and oozing!
All his insides have died!
His brain is fried, and he looks amusing!

Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says: @David Considering it's a computer in a comic, there may just be a reason for that.
Jon W. (kd7sov) says: Plus, depending on how the radiation works, he could easily get burns all across his face, throat, and figertips, which would presumably alter most of what the computer scans.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach)

Since this plot began!
Need a brilliant plan!
Oh, no!
Madblood's now inside!
Lovelace, be my guide!
Time to run and hide!

Madblood's in the base!
My butt he'll erase!
Oh, s**t!
"It's no use," I sighed ...
"Well, to hell with pride!
Time to run and hide!"

Robin (fiddlerbird555) says:

so I ran

it was no brilliant plan

but it was the one I had

Run away

and live another day

shoud that work it's not so bad


(brudge, you know)

Robin (fiddlerbird555) says:


if I should be found

horrors will abound

oh ****

Why'd I come to thr mooon?

Why'd he comeback so soon?

Time to run and hi-i-i-i-de!!!

(big finish)

Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

I was going to suggest Dave snipe Lupin with the transforming laser, but that of course would just turn Madblood into Madblood. If only he'd had a chance to load it with non-Madblood DNA, even though it would have to be Mell's DNA, and changing Madblood into Mell would probably only mildly delay Dave's approaching doom. That and Dave probably couldn't even aim an actual rifle at that distance.
Amy Fiori (amy82986) says:

Actually, the other characters imply later that the laser can do a lot more than that--presumably the Madblood DNA was only needed to make an exact copy of an existing person.  Later in this storyline, Mell threatens to "spin the dials around and zap you with whatever comes up".  I'd be willing to bet it could have changed Madblood enough that the computer wouldn't recognize him. 

 But you're right, Dave probably couldn't hit him in the first place.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Hooo boy.
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile