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Smithson Thus Far... ·


When I first drew this, I was dissatisfied with the way Dave came out in the third panel, but now I think it looks okay. Maybe my standards are lower. Also, drawing the back of Dave's head is hard. Dave has a weird head.

Dave took off his flannel at the beginning of the previous week; you can see it under his arm in the first panel. He continues to keep it off [SPOILERS] for most of his relationship with Helen, after which point he puts it back on. Maybe that's why Mell notices his T-shirt in this strip.

Artie's face came out all wrong in the last panel. It's too bad, because he's good in the third panel, especially the one little stress curl poinging up from his head. Sigh.

Some of these strips are embarrassingly autobiographical.

I originally wrote a bunch more cutesy dialogue for Helen, but I didn't have room for all of it. But I got in the Cole Porter bit, so I guess it's okay.

This is one of those strips that I could've used anywhere, but it fits pretty nicely into this week.

I had the idea that Helen designed Artie's human form at the height of her sexual frustration (i.e., immediately before successfully getting it on with Dave), which could explain why he looks like that. It is kind of surprising that Helen has that much imagination when it comes to hunky dudes. You'd think she would've just made him look like Dave.

Even though it's too wordy, I love this strip. I always liked having Mell and Caliban throw together a relationship without any fuss while Helen and Dave are off doing their angst dance in the foreground. And Mell's right: the space-time continuum did shift at least once or twice before Dave got laid.

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: I always found this strip oddly heartwarming.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Ed: Thanks for the link yesterday.  Kreegah! Bondolo!, indeed.  They all look like original members of Parliament Funkadelic.

tune: "Who (Stole My Heart Away)," Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach, Sunny, 1925

Yaaaaaugh!! We just have to shout
Yaaaaaugh!! Let our feelings out
Both our lives have changed drastically
One gets laid, and one stands to pee

Yaaaaaugh!! We'll get closure now
Yaaaaaugh!! This will help somehow
Yaaaaaugh!! What can we do to cope?
Give up all hope!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing", Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Felix Mendelssohn)

Hark!  How Dave and Artie scream,
Due to feelings too extreme!
Artie cannot deal with his
Physical antithesis!
Dave fears Helen will awake,
Realize her grave mistake!
Helen data will collect;
Mell says, "That's what I'd expect..."
Hark!  How Dave and Artie scream!
Now they're bonding as a team!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Shaggy hair is tough to draw.

Chic Geek (chic_geek) says:

( Tune-It's my party and I'll cry if I want to)

It's my crisis and I'll flail if I want to!

Flail if I want to, flail if I want too!

You would freak too, if it happened to you!


(so it's a short filk-they can't all be epic)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Holly And The Ivy", traditional)

The techie and the crazy
Last night were left alone ...
While we two were gone, then they got it on ...
How could Artie not have known?

Note the combing of the hair,
And the washing of the shirt!
Dave has cleaned his specs, so he's having sex!
Mell knows how to dish the dirt!

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: What, you were performing covert genetic and neurological experiments on Andrew?
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: The "little baby-doll" bit? Or the neurological experiments?
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Autobiographical? So you've been conducting covert genetic and neurological experiments on Andrew?

Zarathustra's Id (zarathustrasid) says:

I have no idea what you are talking about. That is fantastic emotion displayed, and future college courses will be built around this strip.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Wait, so you were conducting genetic and neurological experiments on Andrew, but you stayed with him anyway, because you were his little baby-doll?  Wicked!
tune: "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, 1934

I mess with his genes
I toy with his brain
I should make him leave, but let me explain:
I'm his little baby-doll!

I never thought we
Would cuddle and kiss
I know it's unethical, but there's this:
I'm his little baby-doll!

I'm evil and I'm loopy
Don't say "I told you so"
But Dave calls me his shmoopy
So I just can't let him go

Oh, he may still go mad
I walk a fine line
But don't have a cow, 'cause love is divine
I'm his little baby-doll!

Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Silent(?!) Penultimate Panels: 41. Artie should know better than counting on his fierce and logically sound disapproval to have any sway over Helen, especially after how she's been treating him for the past few weeks.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Jolly Old St. Nicholas")

Little Helen Narbon, please,
Listen to me rant!
Let me tell you what I think,
Then I'll stop and pant!
I once thought, if I were big,
Then my words you'd hear ...
Thanks for disabusing me
Of that dumb idea-r!

Dave is your experiment
As you try to find
Triggers of mad gen-i-us,
Messing with his mind ...
Weakening his sanity,
Priming it to fall!
You don't care, because your his
Little baby-doll!

Wayne (wayne) says:

Clearly Shaenon is conducting genetic and neurological experiments on Andrew while WEARING a babydoll.  And I'll bet he likes it, possibly volunteers for it, which makes it informed consent.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," Cole Porter

These rats on ice
Are awf'ly nice
But they don't explain this heat wave-y
Yet, still I say
It's a scrumptious day
'Cause my heart belongs to Davey

We're underground
Yet I expound
On sunshine down here in our cave-y
Come, dance with me
We'll twirl and be twee
'Cause my heart belongs to Davey

Yes my heart belongs to Davey
Though I know our goinking is bad
His sweet loving's what I crave-y
'Cause I'm mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad

So don't get all rant-and-rave-y
I know where my duty belongs
But my heart belongs to Davey
And my pixies play Porter songs

Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

This is a good strip, despite not being much of a joke. Even though Helen's relationship frustrations haven't been dwelt upon anywhere near as often as Dave's, her ability to stomach the heady liquor of new love isn't any better.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: "Twee" is a lovely word, too!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I Love Paris", Cole Porter)

Dave loves Helen with his body ...
Dave loves Helen with his soul ...
Dave loves Helen unencumbered ... no conditions!
And Dave loves Helen in a hundred ... weird positions!

Dave loves Helen with a passion,
And it's mu-tual-ly agreed!
Love each other,
Mell just sighs and says, "Oh, brother!"
Because they Did The Deed!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Madness has even more fun with love....

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

And the strip ended with the word 'goink'.  What a wonderful day!

Sean Kinlin (seaking) says:

Frozen rats are just not as good as the fresh ones...

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

All with boxes of frozen rats in her arms. <3

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: She had Steppe Fever.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)," Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman.  I'm a Gene Autry fan, but this is one of the few Christmas songs that I actually loathe.  (Jesus and Santa in the same song?  Sorry, I know the history, but that's just wrong.)  However, the melody is catchy.

Helen made a man
Helen made a man
And I think that he's grand

Crashing my chair
My cup's in my hair
He's tall and hunky and tanned!

Hide his clothes now, watch as he goes now
How entertaining is this?
Built him for me now
Who knew she knew how?
'Cause naked Artie is bliss

Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:

This is one of those highly indulgent once-in-a-lifetime moments which pretty much defines the tone of this story arc: Mell, the invincible and untouchable, fainting from astonishment at a certain glimpse of Artie's body, and getting her head soaked in the least flattering way possible. Truly, the Narboniverse has been turned head over stockinged heels.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Helen is inventive!
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Making him look like Dave would have produced an entirely different set of jokes at Helen's expense....

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler On The Roof, Bock & Harnick)

Gene-splicer, gene-splicer, splicing his genes!
You've got the smarts!  You've got the means!
Frame must placed
To the north of his waist,
Or else it's not safe for teens!

Helen, oh, Helen, oh, look at that there!
Look at that bod!  Look at that hair!
Look at that junk
Like an elephant's trunk!
Now Mell's falling off her chair!
    The girls are hiding his clothing!
    The guy is feeling dismay!
    He's filled with shame and self-loathing!
    (Man, he's got enough there to play croquet!)

Gene-splicer, gene-splicer, look what you've done!
See Helen grin!  She's having fun!
First, she made Artie to be super-smart ...
Then gave him some arms,
Gave him some thighs,
Gave some parts
Way oversize!
And Mell can't believe ... her eyes!

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

I don't think that was a faint. I think Mell was just paying more attention to twisting around to watch Artie go than to keeping her balance in her tipped-back chair.

On an unrelated note, is it possible with this comment system to set up an approval whitelist, so us regular commenters don't have to get individually approved every time? It'd reduce the amount of active moderation necessary, and also the instances of nine people posting the same joke about, e.g., Andrew experimentation because previous comments hadn't appeared yet.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Yeah, what John Campbell said yesterday: I had the same thought about a white list.  Great minds think alike, and all, but we're stepping on each others' punchlines.  Can we get Frequent Filker points, too?

tune: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.  Another attempt to redeem a Christmas song that I despise.  Sure, the authors meant well, but they still produced a song that's breathtakingly condescending, white-man's-burden racist and Christian supremicist.  Unfortunately, they wrapped it all up inside a freakin' brilliant melody, so we'll probably be listening to it forever.

He asked me out
We've been dating ever since
We get along
There's never a groan or wince
'Cause in the world we live in
That's what normal people do
That's what Caliban and I are doing, too

But, where's the angst?
Where's the anxiety?
The sleepless night of thinking it can never be?
When you stare outside your window
Stomach knotted up with fear
As you think that what awaits you
Is another lonely year
And you'll never touch her hand, although she's right there next to you
Nah! We said, "lets see a movie, then we'll screw"

And there won't be drama, not for Mell and Caliban
Space-time continuum won't have to shift
Nobody has to die
Or bitch or moan or cry
Can love be that simple after all?

Dave and Helen began in time to see
Mell and Caliban's anniversary
Can love be that simple after all?

Kiss the girl!
Can love be that simple after all?
Kiss the girl!
Can love be that simple after all?
Kiss the girl!
Can love be that simple after all?

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

i love it that mell and the ex-demon are the "normal folks".

Pete (westrider) says:

I've been trying to start dating someone* recently. Lots of awkwardness and not sure if we're getting the message right from each other. And meanwhile, a friend of mine just had an amazing relationship fall together without even trying.

So yeah, this one's been stuck in my head for quite a while now.

*A specific someone. Not just "someone" in general.

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Thing is, I tend to think that if Dave really *had* just bypassed the drama somehow, things would've somehow gone horribly wrong anyway.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Well, sure, if you're okay with just settling for a celestial being or a future President of the United States... but some of us have standards for our romantic engagements.

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