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It's true. He did.

Mell's really mean to Dave sometimes. Poor guy.

The hardest part of this strip was drawing a zoo. As you can see, I ultimately gave up and just had Helen hold a balloon with ZOO printed on it in big letters. Drawing is hard.

In the first panel, you can see a couple of Dave's Battle Beasts (the deer and the cat) and a flier for the Valentine's Day party. This strip is brimming with Narbonic nostalgia.

This is one of my absolute favorite Narbonic strips, especially the line, "Blood would pour from every orifice." If only I could write lines like that every time. Helen's hat is also sort of charmingly dorky.

This strip is good, but Helen's face is out of whack in the third panel, and her face is the entire focus of the strip so I couldn't afford to screw it up, but I did, and now I can't stop staring at it. This is the kind of thing that probably only bothers me. At least Dave and Helen look good in the first and last panels. Dave clearly has no chance in this relationship.

Obviously I'm a big fan of breaking the fourth wall, at least in Narbonic (not so much in Skin Horse), and this is some first-class fourth-wall breakage, if I do say so myself. Yelling at the readers is always a classy move. Ha ha! Readers!

I also think this is one of the more touching strips, but what the heck, maybe it's just me.

I wrote this strip early. Really, really early. Like, in the first year or so of Narbonic. I waited years and years to draw it, and it did not disappoint.

Dave had not been in many relationships before Helen, but each one was weird in its own way. The previous one was Lovelace, for instance.

32 comments:
Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday:

Mell is conveniently forgetting that everyone has seen Dave naked. And four years earlier!
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Of course , that undergound lair was his mother's basement....

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Does he have Ass Scrappler?
Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

The punch-line in this strip is pretty good.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Obladi Oblada", The Beatles)

Dave is taking Helen on a date tonight,
Not too sure of what they're gonna do ...
Mell is telling Dave, "Here's how to do it right,"
And so they end up going to the local zoo!

CHORUS:
     Okapi!  Wallaby!  Wapiti!  Yeah!
     Sample DNA from all!
     Okapi!  Wallaby!  Wapiti!  Yeah!
     Helen's having such a ball!

Mell is sure what Dave is gonna try to do ...
"Comic-con? Oh please, don't make me laugh!
This is more romantic, and it's simple, too,
And if you screw this up, I'll break your legs in half!"
   (repeat CHORUS)

   In a couple of weeks, Dave, you bet
   You're gonna die!
   So a couple of dates is the most you'll get
   Before your butt goes bye-bye!

Helen's having fun, collecting DNA!
Got a helmet and new balloon!
Dave appreciates the help from Mell today,
Although he doesn't like the fact that he'll die soon!
   (repeat CHORUS)

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

It says a lot about Dave's life that "I'm plotting to kill you" registers as a veiled death threat.

I'm sure there was a word in The Meaning of Liff about the increase in zoo takings caused by people who are in love and think the smell of lion dung will somehow enhance this feeling, but I can't find it.

Mason Kramer (masonlk) says:

"Veiled?"

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Why can't it be both, Dave? Why can't it be both?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "On The Street Where You Live", Lerner & Loewe)

I have often gone to the zoo before,
But I never shared an afternoon with you before!
Helen, I suppose
You might like a rose?
I'm not sure how your mind seems to work!

Here's bacterium that you named for me ...
If released, the population would be maimed for me!
Blood would pour, like this,
From each orifice!
'Cause that's just how your mind seems to work!

    Your thoughts are flashing like lightning!
    There's so much you're capable of!
    It's so impressive (and frightening)
    To know you'd decimate the world to show your love!

All my instincts say to be flattering,
But your lovlieness against my heart is battering!
We both risk our necks
Having crazy sex!
'Cause that's just how your mind seems to work!

Bo Lindbergh (blgl) says: So how do you pronounce "escherichia" in Latin?
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

The hat and the black balloon are the perfect ensemble for a carefree day of screening for mutations.

Wayne (wayne) says:

Why does "Good job today, Wesley, sleep well.  I'll most likely kill you in the morning." come to mind?

(great filk, Ed!)

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Has to be the former, because it's been well-established that Dave has no survival instincts, especially where Helen Narbon is concerned.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Fix for the face in panel three: Move the eyeballs ever so slightly closer together. She's crosseyed with the stress of delivering that line. :)

Jonathan Yao (jonathansce) says:

I really thought that the balloon said 200 and not zoo...

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I Got You, Babe", Sonny & Cher)

You ask me what we've got right here ...
And all I do is hem and haw, "Oh, dear ..."
I ought to tell you, honestly,
But I want you, and I know you want me!
Dave ...
I want you, Dave!
I want you, Dave!

     What I do
     Is so bad ...
     Driving you
     Totally mad!
     And though I know
     That this is wrong,
     I can't let go!
     I'm not that stro-o-o-ong!

So I'll go steady, Dave, with you,
Assuming you'll go steady with me, too!
And I'll admit, the sex, I find,
Just blows what's left of my insane-ish mind!
Dave ...
I want you, Dave!
Let's go scr*w, Dave!
I ... want ... you, ... Dave!

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I always liked panel 3 - there's a mix of scientific directness, breathless anticipation, kitten-eyed cuteness, and the thousand-yard stare that happens when your mouth and your heart say something that your brain doesn't want them to.

P. Ipsum (vitupera) says:

Huh, go figure.  I always liked panel three; she looks so unguarded right there.

Rex Vivat (sirgarberto) says:

@jonathansce: Actually, I thought that too the first time around. The line about the okapi was enough for me to know they were in a zoo.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I can't imagine any punk readers being grossed out by panel four.  It's one of the most romantic things I've ever seen, and definitely the most romantic thing I've seen at the zoo.

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

This strip, with the balloon adorably floating away, is one of the three strips I desired to, but could not, possess.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:

I can confirm that you have done it at least 65 times thus far. That's over two straight months of meta!

But what's really memorable in this episode is the released balloon. It's perhaps the defining image of this chapter of Narbonic's overarching storyline.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Wall", Pink Floyd)

Love has so long been denied us ...
Now it's found us, there's no doubt!
Grossed-out readers, they can bite us!
They can watch us making out!
... Hey!  Readers!  Watch us making out!
They're appalled, becasue we're
Breaking down the fourth wall!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

That balloon  reminded me of Edie's drone....

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

No, YOU eat it.

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Is this the first time Dave defines himself as "evil"?
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Wait... how was Dave's college relationship weird?
Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

Then again, there's only so much they could have done here, in public, in front of the steely, judgmental gazes of the civets.
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: ...It was an anonymous internet relationship with a classmate of his. They were in love on the web, and disliked (loathed? hated?) each other in real life. (Not sure of the details, offhand)
Wayne (wayne) says:

Each relationship being weird in its own way is by no means limited to evil geniouses.  Take my wife, please.  Astronomer, our sleep cycles are almost totally inverted from each other.  Makes it difficult planning trips.  And I haven't destroyed the earth too many times.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

"(...)a little deadly"

That's like "slightly pregnant", right?

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, she's helping Dave build up an immunity to death. He's allergic to it, annat.
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile