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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Most of my storylines degenerate into everybody just running around in a panic. And, eventually, drinking.

In yesterday's comments, people noted Dave's surprising ability to keep running all over the place on these adventures without getting winded. This is kind of a subtle thing, but throughout much of Narbonic, Dave seems to be in somewhat better physical condition than you'd think to look at him. You see him toting around objects that look too heavy for him to lift, for instance. I had the idea that Helen tweaked his body a little back when she cloned him.

Plus he's used to operating with smoker's lungs.

I like the arrows in the first panel telling the characters which way to run.

This may be my favorite strip in this storyline, and yet it would be totally worthless without the NYAR NYAR NYAR. It always made me happy when I was able to make Mell's odd vocal mannerisms work.

One of the downsides of having an awesome giant flat-screen Macintosh monitor is that now I can see all the smudges and blotches and pencil lines on these old strips that I couldn't see back when I scanned them in.

Just a plot strip to keep the story going. Too many plot strips in this storyline. I like the sweat drops shooting off Dave's head, though. It's always good when you can work in classic stuff like that. Also good: plop takes.

Man, I draw flippin' adorable demons. Also, that's actually a nice shadow under Artie in the first panel.

Sure, I suck at drawing backgrounds in perspective. But I like how very in character for Helen this entire strip is. Especially the first panel.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday:

Dave doesn't look like the fittest of guys - it's a wonder he can still talk while running so much.
Rob (rrreed) says: It's a good thing Dave never took up smoking, or he'd really be in trouble now.

We really need to come up with some new tenses to handle subjective rather than objective perceptions of timeā€¦
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

On the verge of being eaten by the Malebranche, one can forgive Caliban for taking a Wzzz.

And it's hard fleeing all over the lab in bedroom slippers!

Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says:

"He saves worlds, rescues civilizations, defeats terrible creatures and runs a lot. Seriously, there's an outrageous amount of running involved."

Joe Glow (joe_glow) says:

I am awed by your subtlety.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

Mell is, of course, a force unparalleled in both Heaven and in Hell. She is a power so rare and singular that no one can ever know to safeguard against her until it's too late.
Q. Pheevr (q-pheevr) says:

Even if you know she's coming, what can you do?

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Leon: And "too late" is "the day Mell was born, if not before."
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Of course we all love Mell.  I made my feelings plain way back when ... (scroll down)

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Plus he's used to operating with smoker's lungs.

But he never smoked!  :-)  Seriously, he is a six-foot twenty-something guy, and not all nerds are potatoes.  Heck, I'm 43 and paunchy (and a smoker), but I'm still rather stronger than I look (or deserve, given my habits).


Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Calling all members of the Narbonic/Skin Horse commentariat.  Do any of you plan to attend either the Alternative Press Expo on 10/16-17 or the Skin Horse book launch party on 10/23?  After reading about the Narbonicons, I'd love to get together in the analog world.  I'm leaning toward the 23rd, but I'm flexible.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

I'll be at the APE one day that weekend. I'm the large lady with the messy hair. :)

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Mell's lack of sentimental fealty to her human form will serve her well in both the future and the Victorian storyline.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Your book launch is on my birthday!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

Today's punch-line isn't just Helen being Helen - she's intentionally shearing down Dave's available timeframe even further, increasing the pressure to the point where Dave's mind spontaneously ignites and the magic happens before his unseeing eyes.
Jon W. (kd7sov) says:

It's like they say: if you want something done, assign it to someone who's already overworked.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

...who's being chased by demons and whose co-worker is a gun-totin' psycho.  Motivation.  That's the key.

Kathy Moon (flipkat) says:

Mell makes it sound like she does want a beard. Bad grammar, or desire to look like the dictator of a small nation?

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@flipkat: Well, since Mell has already been the dictator of a small nation (of robots), let's just assume it's (A).  And it's not bad grammar if you're hip enough to pull it off.

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

Of course, the real and authentic ruler of that small nation of robots (whom Mell was impersonating) does have a beard.  Maybe a previously-unsuspected sense of perfectionism is showing here; Mell wants to do it again but get it right!

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Having a beard would certainly make Mell a more convincing Dave for base-infiltration purposes.

Daniel Barkalow (iabervon) says:

You can't say that there's too much plot exposition in this sequence when there being a lot of plot exposition in the sequence is actually a plot element...

Derek Burrow (derekthebard) says:

"And here's where the plot has caught up to us, so as you can see the only place to go from here is for me to tell you what is GOING to happen, which would utterly spoil the plan, so I hope that you all can appreciate the extremely strange paradox in which we are currently entangled."

"...we just wanted to know about the jammies.  I still don't get that part."

"*Sigh* Ok.  Fine.  Lets start this again from the beginning..."

Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:

What isn't being told here is that Shaenon went on an unannounced four-month hiatus between yesterday's strip and today's, and this is a much-needed recap for the returning readers.
Martin Hellberg Olsson (the_somewhat_knight) says:

@Leon Arnott: Lies! How dare you imply a failing of the holy Garrity Work Ethic!?

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: [snicker]
Q. Pheevr (q-pheevr) says:

Look, look, no, just think. They left me - an ordinary, superintelligent gerbil - to stop you - a gigantic horde of angry demons - whilst they ran off to save themselves... What do you think they would leave me with?

K. Williams (crazy_quill) says: Q - very appropriate. Especially since they are depressingly stupid demons.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Stupid, stupid, demon creatures!  (Hmmm ... do they like quiche?)

Rob (acoustic_rob) says:

"That makes me so mad...I think I'll destroy their stupid teleporter!"

"Er--hold on a minute there...."

fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: This is the best way to do a recap strip.
Viktor Dosk (hugin) says:

I like how David is fixing the teleporter with 3 screws and a magnifying glass. There's MacGuyver and then there's improvising

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Yes, but he probably has LOTS of duct tape.

Davia Ditmeyer (zerosd) says:

I always figured that Dave, while starting out of shape, was whipped into somewhat better shape by all the running for his life and lifting. It's only the rest of the time that kept him so shabby looking.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile