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I don't have anything profound to say about this strip. I just like it. Especially "I only hit loam." Actually, this whole week is funny and weirdly poignant at the same time. So enjoy, won't you?

It's previously been mentioned that Mell uses a squeaky voice to imitate Helen. That aside, you have to admit that's a pretty good Artie impression. "Dangerous Gas Storage" comes from Jeff Wells's Very Long Fanfic.

Mell has a lot of good facial expressions this week.

It didn't occur to me until Jeff used it in one of his stories (Starbuck Avenger, specifically) that it would make perfect sense for characters to call Caliban "Cal." I was so upset when I realized that. Think of all the space I could have saved in word balloons!

I've mentioned this before, but all the stuff with Madblood and submarines is kind of an oblique tribute to my dad, who is a submarine engineer. Really. That said, I fear the design of Madblood's minisub draws primarily from the "Jaws" game for NES.

I drew some boss underwater scenes in this and the next strip, but I'm drawing better ones now for Skin Horse. Like, right the moment. It'll show up in a couple of weeks.

The marine life in these strips was mostly based on Ernst Haeckel engravings. That guy is awesome. And look at my adorable squid!

At the time I wrote this strip, we had the NES hooked up in the living room, and Andrew had gotten kind of obsessed with Tecmo Super Bowl. We no longer have an NES in the living room, of course. We have a Super Nintendo in the living room, and the NES is in the basement.

Jellyfish are cool.

31 comments:
David Palmer (viadd) says:

Actually she hit only chocolate ganache, which is a surprisingly effective armour.  Dana was a genius.

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

To everybody here: DO NOT MISS TODAY'S GOOGLE DOODLE. <3 <3 <3

Lenore Hoyt (landsnark) says:

You don't have to post this comment if you've already seen a mess of these, but OMG TEH CUTE GOOGLE DOODLE TODAY!  I'm so grateful to you that I have a little of the necessary context...

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

OK, some of you have probably seen it already, but how's <a href="http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/10/alt-text-data-gerbils/">this</a> for a shining example of real-world gerbil-based mad science? Seriously, folks, this is a thing that can happen very very soon. I have seen the future, and it is small, furry, and alfalfa-scented.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Tuesday:

Mell has been missing having friends to grouse about work with.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I just figured she was one of those people who only uses her partner's full name.  I remember as a kid reading that David McCallum (with whom I was besotted) and his second wife did that, and I thought it was so classy that I've done it ever since.  That's really pathetic, isn't it?

tune: "You Can Call Me Al," Paul Simon

An angel falls from Hell
He says, Why am I soft in the middle now?
Why am I corporeal and
Why is that part so hard?
I need an outlet for sensation
I want a dangerous companion
Don't want to waste this new-found body
'Fore I reach the graveyard

Soul-taker, Soul-taker
Did that forever
Don't wanna do it anymore
To live forever, forever
Not what it's cracked up to be
Rather live and die with Mell, the woman I adore

If you'll let me be your guy
You will be my only gal
Though my name is Caliban
When you want to call me
You can call me Cal
Call me Cal

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Somehow, I think demons would be prone to Full Name Syndrome - (My name is James, not Jim; Richard, not Rick; Thomas, not Tom;...). Somehow, I just can't imagine a dialog between Wormy and Screws.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Wednesday:

Why wouldn't Mell be willing to admit that Helen is having even worse problems at moving on than Dave is? ...Ah, yes, because of the necessary pretense that Helen willingly ended the relationship.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "All Of Me", Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons)

Caliban ...
She calls me "Caliban" ...
I'm her man,
That's what my name is!

    If some friend
    Should call me "Callie",
    They would end
    Up in the alley!

Me and Mell
Both were kicked out of Hell!
Her name's swell,
Mine truly lame is!

     We share our hearts
     (And other body parts)!
     So why call me "Caliban"?

Paul Gadzikowski (pgadzikowski) says:

Tiff: That, and Dave might not care for the notion that he can seemingly be so easily replaced? With himself?

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Third panel is awesome.
Bernard Sheehan (smilodon) says:

I thought you were doing a Phantom Menace reference with this.

Zarathustra's Id (zarathustrasid) says:

Cross-comic spoiler alert!

Leon Arnott (l) says: Thursday:

Madblood waited a heck of a long time to introduce Dave to this vehicle. I'll just assume he'd had him drugged for security purposes. Dave's evil coffee complaint actually got through.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Yellow Submarine", The Beatles)

I'm a e-vil mastermind!
I'm a scientist ... who's truly mad!
See the craft ... that I designed!
No one else's ... help I had!

Now we tra-vel to my lair
Safe inside ... this sturdy hull!
And we're soon ... arriving there,
In my black ... submersible!

  [CHORUS:]
    Here we go in my black submersible!
    Black submersible!  Black submersible!
    Here we go in my black submersible!
    Black submersible!  Black submersible!

With my hench-man now aboard,
Soon a triumph ... I'll have scored!
Just like "Jaws" for N.E.S.!
[insert clip of "Jaws" music]
  [repeat CHORUS]

And I've said ... a dozen times,
We're not going ... to my mom's!
Now bear wit-ness to my skill
In my black ... submersible!
  [repeat CHORUS]

Pete (westrider) says:

I always love the references to Madblood living with his Mom :)

Wayne (wayne) says:

Your dad designing submarines is definitely cool.  My wife operates a 3.5 meter telescope and bounces a laser off the moon.  I'll have to say that my wife's job is cooler, but that's a vested interest.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Friday:

Let's admit it: Western pop culture is sadly lacking in undersea narratives. What've we got apart from Jules Verne and Hans Christian Andersen? I weep with envy for the alternate universe where Dave is geeking out and spouting lines from Sea Wars and Sea Trek right now.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Personally, I like the second panel.  Could you come to my house and draw my garden for me?

James Albright (todo-que-brilla) says:

But for comics artists does "orthography recapitulate phylogeny"?

Jacob Haller (jwgh) says:

Madblood's last line here always makes me laugh.

Rex Vivat (sirgarberto) says:

That is an adorable squid.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

todo-que-brilla: No, no. Ontogeny recapitulates orthography. That's why you get more mature as your drawing and handwriting improve.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

Also, to Sarge: Please tell me that "Look at my adorable squid" isn't innuendo for something.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Andrew: I'm willing to bet that there's nothing innuendo-worthy on Shaenon (or anyone else) that could reasonably be described by "adorable squid."  At least, I pray there isn't.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

 

Ebony Sable (ebonysable) says:

Cute jellyfish! And yesterday's squid was extremely cool.

Leon Arnott (l) says: Saturday:

I really like the way this episode is staged.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Desperado", The Eagles)

My Nintendo ...
I've got it down in the pump room,
The cramped, elbow-bump room
Where I work late!
Well, if you care to,
Then you can be second player!
But do as I say, or
I will soon extirpate!

    Don't you touch my Tecmo Super Bowl,
    My league is sheer perfection!
    My players and my teams are all just right!
    Other games, I've got a closet full,
    You see the wide selection!
    Yes, my N.E.S. can keep me up all night!

My Nintendo ...
I keep it close within reach, yes!
That cute Princess Peach is
Invading my dreams!
And madness, my madness
Is relieved when I'm playing!
So heed what I'm saying,
And don't touch my teams!

Tetra Valent (4_valent) says:

Jellyfish are indeed cool, especially large swarms of them.  This must all seem rather tame to Dave, though, considering what he's seen swimming in the tanks at the lab.

Yesterday: All that the squid needs is a whale to attack.  That parrot fish is pretty cool, too.

Backgrounds are fun!

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

Okay, for some reason my comment didn't post. (Curse you, Internet!!!) I simply wanted to remind Leon Arnott that, aside from Jules Verne and Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Kingsley wrote the ocean-centric "The Water Babies" in 1863.

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