And we return to your regular, crudely-drawn Narbonic storyline, finishing off the week-and-a-half. Dr. Narbon’s dialogue is a direct nod to my old “Mystery Science Theater 3000” newsgroup, which used to talk about this kind of thing all the time. By definition, we all enjoyed horrible things. Sorry about that.
Helen’s T-shirt logo, “Candy Stryper,” came from a list of fictional band names I collected at one time. I probably did a few more of these over the course of the strip. Mell is carrying a stack of mad-science periodicals; I can just about make out the title of The New Journal of Malology.
49. “Stamping Ground,” by Moondog
Machines were mice and men were lions
Once upon a time
But now that it’s the opposite
It’s twice upon a time
Might as well include a piece that was actually quoted in the strip. Dave quotes the intro to the otherwise instrumental “Stamping Ground” at a crucial moment, way off in the final months of Narbonic. Moondog, a blind composer and musician, was both a pioneer in the field of minimalist and avant-garde music and one of history’s greatest street characters, famous for hanging around 54th Street and Avenue in New York City in full Viking costume, playing his original compositions.
“Stamping Ground” may also be familiar to movie buffs and/or stoners, as it was used in The Big Lebowski during the scene where the Dude finally puts all the pieces together.
Mell’s odd infatuation with Dr. Narbon begins. Like I said before, misplaced hero-worship seems to be a recurring trope in Narbonic.
I’m not sure if Dr. Narbon really is the original Dr. Narbon. I imagine there were clones before her, and the bonus story in Narbonic Volume 4 (with art by the wonderful Irony Chan) suggests that Dr. Narbon’s mother was also a mad scientist. Dr. Narbon talks herself up a lot.
50. “Lecithin’s Tale Of A DNA Experiment That Went Horribly Awry,” by Of Montreal
The three-legged hyena cicadas migrated to the small northern sea port village called Durschfuch. The horrible insects congregated above the Durschfuch elementary school and would spend an indecent amount of time circling the playground. The citizens of the village were very alarmed by these new visitors, but since they were a God-fearing community and were not allowed to bring any harm to any of God’s creations, they had to pretend to ignore the large grotesque arthropods and continue on with their lives as if there weren’t any menacing predators swooping over their offspring. In time the hyena cicadas became hungry, and this was when the real terror ensued.
The whole album, Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse, is chockabloc with weird mad-science adventures, what with Lecithin the inventor and zombies and frozen islands and so on. Dave mentions the hyena cicadas much later in Narbonic.
Dave’s already so jaded. I like the way Mell’s eyeballs vanish when she imitates Dr. Narbon.
Dave’s computer, incidentally, looks pretty much exactly like my computer at the time, before I got the awesome Mac I use today. I don’t know where he got the deely-boppered fuzzy thing stuck to the top.
51. “It’s Not Easy Being Evil,” by Zorak
Bobby’s with his scout troop, Muffy’s playing tennis
No one gets to play with Zorak–Zorak is a menace!
Susie’s at the shopping mall hanging with her schoolies
No one gets to hang with Zorak–he’s just too unruly!
It’s not easy being evil, but evil’s what I be…
From one of the Narbonicon albums. And Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. I love Zorak.