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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Helen and Artie are returning from the adventure hinted at in the phone message of the previous week. I really like this strip, not least for the implication that this kind of thing happens all the time. Poor Artie.

When this first ran, people guessed the identity of the mystery man right away. That surprised me, just because I didn't think people would remember that far back. It's hard to predict what readers are going to pay attention to.

All those flying eyeballs still crack me up. I have kind of a morbid sense of humor.

Dave's dialogue in the last panel is from Fantastic Four #51, "The Man... This Monster!", one of my favorite comics ever. In general, Narbonic owes a lot to old Lee/Kirby Fantastic Fours.

This strip is perfect except that Caliban is too tall for the door in the first panel. That only bugs me as much as it does because, again, the strip would be totally perfect if I'd drawn the door correctly. I mean, look at that thing Mell's holding. It's the apotheosis of Mell Guns.

Also, eyeballs. Thank you.

Seth always thought Iris was single, which is why Dave, way back when, also thought Iris was single: Seth told him so. But mostly I just wanted to ruin Seth's awesome rescue scene.

You can tell Seth has gotten cooler, though, because he's not constantly sweating like he used to. I guess the average room temperature feels more comfortable after you've spent the past year in the fires of Hell.

I am not ashamed to say that I loved writing Seth's backstory and still enjoy "the devil queen Sh'zk'ra."

Seth has a lot in common with Nick in Skin Horse. I love angry little nerdy guys.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday:

Off-panel head inserts: 33. It occurs to me that Artie could get most of the bile off by just changing into gerbil form. He won't do it, though, because he's too annoyed at Helen to even ride on her head.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

And after they blew up the whatever-it-was, Helen apparently saved some of the residue.  Because, you know, a sandwich just isn't a sandwich without ...

Reuben Phillips (psychohippie) says: I want to hug Pouty Helen on the last panel. She looks so pitiful.
Joe Glow (joe_glow) says:

The mystery man's return is one of my favorite things in the entire run of Narbonic.  I think there must be a pretty basic and widely held fantasy of being plunged into a horrible trial, and not only triumphing, but coming out the other side an utter badass.  Neal Stephenson mentioned something of the kind when first describing Raven in Snow Crash.  Also, I guess, like 90% of superhero origin stories.  It's a really satisfying kind of tale to read at any rate, even when it's played for laughs.

Also, everybody loves extreme continuity, right?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

My first thought was, "He'll murdalize the guys with flyin' eyes", but I just used that tune.  Well, something else then ...

(TUNE: "Help!", The Beatles)

Help!  Oh, please, somebody!
Help!  Really, anybody!
Help!  (Within reason, though!)

When we were playing at our weekly D & D,
These guys with wings and eyes,
They all came after me!
But I've been saved by someone I have seen before ...
He's in the shade,
He's got a blade,
He's steeped in blood 'n' gore!

Help he did, no ifs or ands or buts!
But if that is who I think it is, it's nuts!
He says, "When you cry, don't step in guts!"
Why did he-e-e help me,
Help me, help me-e-e?

Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

The only weird thing about those dismembered eyeballs is that most of them are gazing toward the reader... or, perhaps, the artist in the act of drawing them. (Accusingly?)
Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Freddy's hysterical inarticulateness is delightful. It feels like trademark Shaenon humour, if I dare make such a bold claim.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Colin Claut (xeethra) says:

"Like all men you marvel at the least of my genius, and I find your grudging admiration laughable." Dr Doom

Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

That gun is just two ammo drums welded together with a nozzle bolted on the front. I bet there isn't even a trigger.

The return of 8-ball jacket is quite welcome. But speaking of jackets, I really hope Seth isn't leaving one shoulder hanging because he thinks it's fashionable. Deary me.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Big Freakin' (tm) Gun count = 48

Eyeball count = about 200, give or take a dozen

Also note that Seth's infernal imprisonment just ended, and Mell wants to hit on him.  So she's ending HIS sentence with a proposition.

N B (daveclone7) says:

Kudos for the oblique Hitchhikers reference also.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:

This one kind of needs a few more panels, I think. You can't do an almost really cool rescue scene that quickly.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Hooray For Captain Spaulding", Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby)

It's Seth the Demon Slayer!
To-wards him, things are winging!
His bloody blade he's swinging!
Touche, touche, touche!

He's res-cu-ing the damsel!
With axe, he is attacking!
And Iris' lips he's smacking!
No way, no way, no way!

But Iris now is stopping!
Her sloppy lips she's mopping!
And "married" hints she's dropping
All day!

Poor Seth the Demon Slayer,
He cannot catch a break now!
Surviving Hell
And Mell as well,
But girls still run away!
Oy vey, oy vey, oy vey!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: It is cool, though!
Reuben Phillips (psychohippie) says: They're horny gamers, Iris. You have to drop a LOT of hints.
Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

...Seth and Nick need to team up and fight... something.  Whatever.  I'm not picky.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

Seth, I suspect it's the "dimension-hopping" bit that's losing them. Can't you upgrade it to "plane-striding" or even the perennially stylish "globe-trotting"?
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Seth still can't get no Respect!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Seth has a blade that chops up demons.  Nick has a blade that chops up cypress trees and zombies.  Now, what would you call their team-up movie?  "Blades of Gory"?  "The Good, The Blade, and The Ugly"?  "Seth: First Blade, Part 2"?  "Don't Axe, Don't Tell?"

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