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Apparently there's a whole zoo date adventure I didn't bother to draw. Good work, me! I remember spending some time figuring out which two animals would be funniest to combine into a monster. And make venomous.

Artie's ultimatum ends up triggering the events of the final year of Narbonic. But that's still a few months away. As I've mentioned before, Artie has perfectly good reasons to be concerned about Dave, but on a subconscious level he's also driven by the fact that Helen and Dave getting it on kind of squicks him out. He does not want to hear about Dave's hot, hot body.

I always liked this strip and was strangely proud of the word balloons in panel 2. Sometimes it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Artie and Helen's feet are really huge in this strip. And yes, my characters tend to all wear the same sneakers.

This is a filler-y plot-advancing strip that doesn't have much of a punchline, but at least we find out that Helen kept the rose Dave gave her on their zoo date. I'm sure you were all holding your breath over that.

SPOILERS: Helen's line in panel three is repeated in the last Narbonic strip, which I'd probably already written at this point.

I wrote this strip very, very early on and waited years for a chance to use it. And here it is! Hooray! It obviously owes a debt to Steve Martin's discovery of his purpose in The Jerk, a movie to which my parents exposed me at an unwisely early age.

No, I have no idea what Artie is examining. It looks like a little bathyscape.

I wrote this one early; not as early as yesterday's strip, but well in advance. Artie almost always uses metric measurements because he thinks he's so smart.

I had reservations about giving Artie his little soul patch, clearly visible in panel 2, but decided that it was an accurate reflection of the amount of evil Artie contains. Total evil, of course, would merit a goatee. Artie has shaved off his soul patch for Skin Horse because I got tired of it. I am unaware of his current level of evil.

The sign in the first panel reads, "Employees Must Irradiate Hands." I used that one a few times.

Of course, most apes are not constantly in heat. Humans are just weird. SEXY weird.

Dave really is annoying when he's getting laid. I mean, look at him, smiling away. You can pick him up and shake him and he doesn't give a crap.

I know I ask this a lot about random things I drew into the backgrounds of strips six years ago, but what's that thing in the first panel? That thing looks awesome.

26 comments:
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Well, in fairness to Artie, we've all seen Dave's body, too.  Not naked, but still—if you're not looking at it through Helen's love-goggles, the "hot, hot body" thing is a tad disturbing.  And it has to be disorienting to someone with an actual hot, hot body.  Besides, as John Campbell said, this is basically Artie's mom, telling him about her sex life.  Squick, indeed.

tune: "Give It Away," Red Hot Chili Peppers

What I see in Dave's a really hot, hot body
What I see in Dave is lookin' kinda shoddy
What I see in Dave's a hunk, but why? Don't ask me
You promised me that you'd reveal you are Tinasky

What he's got I gotta get it put it in me
What he's got I gotta get it put it in me
What he's got I gotta get it put it in me
Stop the sex talk, you're gonna squick and chagrin me

Tell the truth, were you lying when you promised?
No but ev-er-y-thing changed when Dave and I kissed
Didn't know 'bout all the lovin' that I had missed
Sorry, you can't keep him in the dark. I've gotta insist

Send him away, send him away, send him away now
Send him away, send him away, send him away now
Send him away, send him away, send him away now
Not gonna happen, 'cause I'm lovin' the foreplay now

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Photograph", Nickelback)

See my gorillaphant!
Ev'ryone was yelling, "Do not want!"
The state troopers went and gunned it down,
And then the people chased us out of town!

Then my falcopotamus
Ate the helicopter chasing us!
What a lovely afternoon!
Artie's reminding me that, very soon ...

I, I, I,
I must try ...

I must try to cure insanity so Dave lives!
If I don't, I have to choose between alternatives ...
I'll try to save, or play with Dave's ...
Hot bod!  Hot bod!
Artie's wishing he could just forget I said it,
But he can't because his memory is too eidetic!
So depraved to hear of Dave's ...
Hot bod!  Hot bod!

D. Connolly (theogrin) says:

Of course, one teeny-tiny part of Artie does, in fact, want to hear about every minute (or not-so-minute) part of Dave's hot, hot body.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I'd just assumed that their feet got bigger and smaller because Helen had dosed them both with Tex Averium.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: But is it heirloom antimatter?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh heh heh.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

Silent(?!) Penultimate Panels: 42. It seems almost like our author has been getting crafty and has started including the bare minimum of sound in these beat panels.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Love And Marriage", Cahn & Van Heusen)

An-ti-mat-ter, an-ti-mat-ter,
If released, could cause the world to shatter!
Helen wants to rule it,
So just in case, I'd better ... cool it!

Cry-o-gen-ic, cry-o-gen-ic!
So it won't get over-energetic,
While I start constructing
My tokamak, super-con-duc-ting!

Try, try, try some combinations,
Making cold fusion!
Might, might, cause a conflagration,
And ... create contusions!

Human Artie, human Artie ...
He's a killjoy at the science party!
Has to be the one, now,
Who makes us be
So cautious, gee!
He won't let me
Have any ... fun now!

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

It doesn't count as not commenting when you point out how much you're not commenting, Artie.

Pete (westrider) says:

Helen's reaction in panel 4 is pretty awesome, too. This is another I've always liked, myself.

Wayne (wayne) says:

The reason for the same sneakers is either (a) bulk discount at Payless, or (b) Helen clones them.  They're not living, or at least so they'd like to think.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

"(...)Tex Averium."

*frantically scans Periodic Table of Elements*

Um...is that anywhere near Chuck Jonesium or Friz Frelengen?

Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Helen's explanation is so incredibly wishful thinking that her postscript dismissal of responsibility in panel 4 feels like a relieving return of reason.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I loved this one so much - the way it defines Helen and Artie - that the original is on my studio wall. :-)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

I just finished reading The Perfect Collection (thank you thank you thank you), and if I'm not  mistaken, it's Helen's line in panel two that gets echoed in the last strip.  Do I win a No-Prize?

(TUNE: "It's Impossible", Armando Manzanero)

It's improbable that our love might have a chance, it's just improbable!
It's improbable for a gerbil to wear pants, it's just improbable!
After Artie has a hiccup, then his clothing he must pick up ...
Can this thing with Dave end quick?  It's quite improbable!

Though I know it's bad for Dave to be with me, it's irresponsible ...
When mad genius starts to warp reality, we're both unstoppable!
In the last strip, when we find out that our love is undefeated,
Then my line in panel two will be repeated!
Bend to future to our whims?  It's quite improbable!

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

Being right only enables you to win arguments if the person you're arguing with is even attempting to use logic or facts to support their postion. You'd think someone who'd been involved in as many online debates as Artie would have realised this by now.

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

@Daibhid;  There's also the problem that nearly everyone who engages in an argument believes that they are right.  Obviously, not all of them can win!  (Artie is more willing than most to openly claim that he alone is right, and that those with whom he argues are wrong; not (IMHO) one of his more endearing characteristics.)

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Artie's expressing in panel three is beyond wonderful.
I was going to filk "Once in a Lifetime," by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, but the song is perfect for Dave—and his purpose—exactly as written:

Just once in a lifetime
A man knows a moment
One wonderful moment
When fate takes your hand
And this is my moment
My once in a lifetime
When I can explore
A new and exciting land

For once in my lifetime
I feel like a giant
I soar like an eagle
As if I had wings

For this is my moment
My destiny calls me
And though it may be just once in my lifetime
I'm gonna do great things!

Joe Glow (joe_glow) says:

Artie's purpose!  After all these years, I only just now made the connection.  I've always read Dave's comment as a punchline, but in the context of the potential dystopian future and the much later strip addressing the same topic, it's actually pretty sinister.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

This is also a great episode. Artie's frantic, horrified outburst in panel 3 is funny enough to be the punchline proper, rather than drawing attention back to Dave's lack of sufferability.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Heat Of The Moment", Asia)

When I was young, and in my gerbil form,
My old hormonal cycles were the norm ...
They were predictable and functional!
My thoughts were calm and clear (though rather dull) ...

But now my brain's inside a human shape!
I find myself reacting like an ape!
My body's making all these strange demands!
I get a constant message from my glands ...

'Cause it's the heat of the primates,
Making it hard to think straight!
It's the heat of the primates,
(Isn't it great?)

And now I hate the state that I am in!
Complain to Dave, who wears a constant grin!
Completely missed the point that I had made ...
He's so annoying when he's getting laid!

'Cause it's the heat of the primates,
The heat of the primates,
The heat of the primates,
(Isn't it great?)

John Lindsay (l_aine) says:

Obviously, it's a large economy-sized death-ray projector or a battle-capable laser cannon.

Brian Rogers (billionsix) says:

Yeah, well, Artie seems to have come to terms with the "constantly being in heat" by the time we see him again in Skin Horse.

Pete Bleackley (pete_the_mad_scientist) says:

Fan theory time:

Note that every gerbil Artie ever expressed an attraction to was female. Also, when first transmogrified, he was attracted to Mell, who doesn't fit his subsequent preference in humans. Artie's gerbil brain was used to only having to deal with those annoying hormones when exposed to the scent of female gerbil in heat. Now he's in human form, and having to deal with them all the time, his brain is doing some hasty rewiring to cope. In the process, it's wired his mate selection preferences up to "same sex".

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

I just confused myself, looking at the comments for the week ... did I write a filk and forget to post it?  On Friday, I wrote a response to Kay's comment, claiming that one could improve on the original lyrics (since Dave wouldn't be content with bedding Helen just once in his lifetime).  Apparently I forgot to actually post it (too many distractions that morning).  ANYway ...

(TUNE: "Once In A Lifetime," Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse)

As often as I can,
I'll have sex with Helen!
Desirable Helen,
Who's totally mad!

We did it last evening,
And once more this morning!
Discovering parts
That I never knew girls had!

I feel like a love god!
A pure, golden love god!
I'll tell you about it,
As I buy us drinks!

She's calling me now, girl!
(She really likes cowgirl!)
As long as it lasts, as often as we can,
We're gonna mate like minks!

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

That? It's a flux capacitor accordion tube.

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