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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Artie's efforts to stick to a vegan diet continue to fail spectacularly. In his defense, Half Baked is a pretty great flavor.

And yes, Mell considers blowing up Ecuador a nonviolent solution.

Many readers suggested that the pain of the breakup itself could cause Dave to go mad. But Dave is stronger than that! In the end, Helen's big mistake is in not realizing that Dave will want to stay not just with her, but in her whole mad little world. Spoilers, I know.

This is, of course, all Artie's fault.

I like this strip a lot. I should have done more strips of just Helen and Mell talking, because their respective brands of outlandishness play off each other well. Also, I drew some great random heavy equipment.

SPOILER: The fact that Helen has been using the clone tanks becomes relevant later on.

This strip was mostly written just as a bridge for the surrounding strips and was written much later, but it works pretty darn well. I'm glad Dave is taking care of his Battle Beasts. Also, I like his little hat.

This is another one that was really hard to write, somehow. I rewrote the last panel at the very last minute while I was scanning and cleaning up the strip on Photoshop. I don't often bother to do that.

I drew that corridor a lot in the later years of Narbonic. Usually it has eyeballs swimming in it. Where'd all the eyeballs go?

This is a very self-indulgent strip. I felt kind of embarrassed about doing it even at the time, but I liked this song for Dave, and I was feeling sentimental about the encroaching end of Narbonic. All me my squishy moments!

Leon Arnott (l) says: Monday:

Office meetings: 7. Helen is lucky to have such close friends as employees, that she doesn't have to hide her emotions from.
Maricruz Villalobos-Zamora (maki_p) says:

Suddenly I feel glad no one knows Costa Rica exists. Or that we don't have a funny name

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Nope... instead, it's Helen's subtly-planted farewell comment.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Twilight Zone", Golden Earring)

(Somewhere in an underground lair,
There's a woman who's decided
To sacrifice her happiness for her love ...)

Well now, today,
Is Post-Dave One!
I'll get back to working
Now that Dave's gone!
I hope that guy'll ...
Not snap and go insane now!

I know that I will miss
Not seeing him each day,
His clumsy awkward kiss,
His hands that liked to stray,
His goofy smile ...
His super-sexy brain now!

   Dave is living out in the world that's sane!
   If he is lucky, there he will remain!
   I really tried not to be too hard,
   But if his mind should shatter, in a million shards,
   Then I'll be far away ...
   When the feces hit the fan!
   Yes, I'll be far away ...
   When the feces hit the fan!

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: One of the interesting things about Helen as a character is that she's a surprisingly decent person - for, well, you know, an insane mad scientist ever teetering on the brink of Complete Monsterdom. Then again, that's kind of key to Narbonic as a strip - if she wasn't so sympathetic, the strip wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable.
Rachel S. (masamage) says:

I agree. This dynamic is awesome.

Matthew Mather (madtinkerer) says:

Look, Mell, I told you: you can kill off characters that never appear on panel. That's like, your main running gag.

You can kill off characters that do appear on-panel that Shaenon has no use for. Rare, but it happens.

You definitely cannot kill off characters which have major story arcs. Especially protagonists. Come on, Mell. You know this. We've talked about it.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Mell's only slightly altered expression in panel 4 is what makes this episode.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Seventy-Six Trombones", Meredith Wilson)

Seventy-eight percent, I'm behind you now!
'Twas a hundred before you told me to stop!
But we gotta get rid of Dave
If the world we're gonna save ...
In his butt, a cap we gotta pop!

Seventy-eight percent, I'm supporting you ...
But that's only for working hours, nine to five!
Then I'm gonna head out the door
With my Magnum forty-four,
And the chump won't end the day alive!

    How I love to hear my automatic thundering!
    Pondering, wondering, what's the best way now?
    He'll destroy the world with all his blundering,
    Sundering ... feelings for Helen now!

    Got a message from my future self, imploring me,
    Flooring me, warning me, "Kill the Davenport!"
    Saying what I need to do
    To save the world, and Artie too!
    But hell's bells, I'd do it just for sport!

Seventy-eight percent, I am on your side,
I will say as a friend you can count upon!
But if Davenport's mind should go,
Then I'll say, "I told you so!"
As the world is blown to hell and gone!

Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

This strip is surprisingly sad.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Amazing Grace", John Newton)

You saved Yak-Face, you tracked him down
Through time and space to find ...
But now you say, with somber frown,
You're leaving him behind!

Old Doctor N., your chain she jerked!
A trip through time implied ...
You showed her how the death ray worked,
And then your brain got fried!

You gave him up, back in the past,
To save from greater loss ...
He was returned to you, at last,
The night you goinked your boss!

But memories now give you pain,
You'll stuff him in a drawer ...
When will we see Yak-Face again?
Perhaps "Toy Story 4"!

Matthew Mather (madtinkerer) says:

I think Artie is beginning to have regrets.

Kathy Moon (flipkat) says:

Is it strange that I remember "You died for Yak-Face!" as one of the comic's most poignant moments?

Jennifer Rutherford (jenfullmoon) says:

That and "You don't want to go among mad people." No, it's not strange.

John Lindsay (l_aine) says:

"You died for Yak-Face" is a great line. Especially since it's literally true.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

Such a great line.

And now, thanks to Ed, I'm going to snicker every time I open a hymnal for the rest of my life. Well done, sir.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: They can't bear to look.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" Pete Seeger

Where have all the eyeballs gone
From the corridor?
Where have all the eyeballs gone?
They just swam away
Where have all the eyeballs gone?
Couldn't bear to look upon

One lover who love spurns
While other lover yearns

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: (From Friday) Where did the eyeballs go? That's easy. They just couldn't watch this happen, man.
Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

I like the apparently unintentional implication of depth of those speech balloons in panel 3 - Dave's "See?" recedes into the corridor behind Artie's balloon, which in turn is behind Dave's "Exactly."
Kail Panille (kail_panille) says: Beaten to the punch by Burns yet again! Burrrrrns!
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

            Regarding Saturday's strip, which isn't up on the N:DC page (still showing Friday's), but shows when you hit the back arrow to reveal the whole week:
            At one of the launch parties, Shaenon said that Dave and Helen's daughter does have a first name, unrevealed in Narbonic, and that it comes from both DNA and Shakespeare.
            Is it "Rosalind," in honor of biophysicist Rosalind Franklin and As You Like It's heroine?  That would be so lovely.

Joseph Abbott (faxpaladin) says:

[SPOILER ALERT] Nice self-contol on the kid's part, not even hesitating before "mister" with someone she met a long time before (even though I believe this is the first time Artie's met her...)

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