Dave Davenport Has Come Unstuck in Time: December 15-21, 2003

This is very silly. Seriously, this would happen in a manga.

I wrote this one early on. In this and the previous storyline, Dave is clearly starting to enjoy the adventures Helen puts him through, but he still claims that women are out to get him. At this point it’s possible that he doth protest too much.

I started to do more shading on the characters around this time. Good for me.

When this strip ran, people made fun of me for the weird way Dave’s head is twisted in the first panel. Bite me, I’m awesome.

I wrote this one so early on. I… I’m sorry, Barker. I harassed you so much. But it was cute at the time.

I’m sorry, but look at Dave’s little sack lunch. That’s friggin’ adorable. He’s been lost in time, and now he’s going to eat his sandwich and his apple.

“I’m a mad scientist. My interest here is strictly mad-scientific” is one of the lines I’ve always liked. Also, Helen’s expression in the last panel is good. So good work, me!

Aw, poor Dave. He really does value Helen’s opinion. I wasn’t fond of this strip when I first drew it because I didn’t think it was funny enough, but now I find it strangely touching, the way Helen and Dave commiserate.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but it’s amazing how many of these storylines end with the characters going out to the bar.

58 thoughts on “Dave Davenport Has Come Unstuck in Time: December 15-21, 2003

  1. Monday:

    Are you saying I spent the better part of the afternoon completely at the mercy of two mentally unhinged young women?

    Continuity error: Mell’s initials seem to have swapped from Dave’s right cheek to his left jowl.

  2. I can’t believe Mell chickened out of the clown suit thing…

    Totally out of character.

  3. Leon Arnott says: “Continuity error: Mell’s initials seem to have swapped from Dave’s right cheek to his left jowl.”

    Or she’s drawn and erased stuff on him several times. Dave Davenport: Human whiteboard…

  4. Aha! Finally I’ve progress far enough into the Director’s Commentary to leave a comment on the comic of the day! Huzah!

    And my comment for today’s comic shall be: I love the looks of expectation that Helen and Mell are giving Dave in that third panel.

    Also, I want a Dave Davenport Human Whiteboard. Hours of non-toxic inking fun.

  5. “Hours of highly toxic inking fun!”

    That’s the trouble with mad science.  Poor public relations.  A good advertising agency or spin doctor could turn that into a plus in no time.

    Hmmmmmm…  That just gave me an idea.  Mwa-ha-hah…

  6. Technically water can be toxic. It’s called Hyper Hydration, a condition that can fatally effect the brain functions when the balance of electrolytes becomes unbalance because of drinking to much water.

    God, I’m such a nerd.

  7. Tuesday:

    Once again Dave cuts to the core of what’s simultaneously important enough and unimportant enough to be entrusted to Helen.

  8. Hmm. How to keep yourself from going bald … the MAD SCIENCE way!

    My suggestion would be to keep a couple of cloned heads on ice, then swap them when you start losing hair. Other suggestions?


  9. (TUNE: “Cocaine”, Eric Clapton)

    If you’re gonna go bald,
    Just buy the stuff that’s called
    ‘Cause if you wanna grow hair,
    No other drug can compare …
    I must buy, I must buy, I must buy …

    You know, it’s no big
    That I was your guinea pig
    I didn’t mutate or die,
    So tell me, why should I
    Now bye-bye, I must fly, gotta buy …


  10. Helen can take a few follices and mutate them to make a living wig for Dave.

    Which will immediately start to abuse him, like everyone else.

  11. I seem to remember she’s already doping the office coffee with an anti-aging cocktail (mentioned at the class reunion, right?).  I imagine that unless she’s into baldies, she’ll add a little something to the ‘house blend’.  Mind you, there could be side effects.

  12. Knowing Helen, the side effects from this hypothetical anti-balding drug may include becoming extremely hirsute and/or developing gerbil characteristics.

    And isn’t drugging the coffee just a common courtesy at Narbonic Labs?

  13. I’m making fun of you for it now!

    …srly your awesome (but it does look like Dave’s head does a 180).

  14. After all the things Helen’s done to Dave, I’d be more surprised if his head COULDN’T do a 180 by this point.

  15. Wednesday:

    All I want to know is where that wooden sideboard in panel 3 came from, and how it promptly vanished again.

    Silent penultimate panels: 22.

  16. Must be all that Owl DNA Helen’s been adding to Dave’s coffee to help him become more nocturnal.

  17. I would think that Dave would need more gerbil DNA to make him more diurnal – geeks do so well a night, after all. 

  18. (TUNE: “96 Tears”, ? And The Mysterians)

    I’m not old … not a teen … not a brat now!
    I’m not shrimpy … or pimply … or fat now!
    I ricocheted … from the past … to the future …
    I never stayed … long enough … to be sure …

    And after going
    Through dozens of hells,
    I ended up growing
    Into Orson Wells!
    But now I’ve gotten
    To my own time and place!
    I’d almos forgotten
    My own manly face!
    I say to the mirror,
    “Dammit, I’m fierce!”
    I’m back to my normal
    Twenty-six years!

  19. Dave Davenport can see eeeevvvvrrrryyyyyythiiiiiinnnng…

    *head swivels 360 degrees*

  20. @Leon Arnott: Sideboard?  There never was a sideboard. And Dave never smoked.

    Alternatively, the ‘sideboard’ might have actually been the side of a wheeled cart that Helen pushed out of frame in the last panel.

  21. People complain about a 180?  Oh come on, Linda Blair can do a 360, so surely Dave can do at least a 540 or so!

  22. Dave can do a 360 with his neck because he’s gone to the future. Since he has that unique perspective, everything he does up until he makes the complete change is hindsight.

    And as we know, hindsight is 20/20; but Dave wouldn’t be Dave without his glasses. He can’t see a /thing/ without his glasses. So instead of 20/20 vision, he gets 360 vision. Without surrounding his head with eyes (and thus /again/ changing his glasses) it was simplest to merely make his neck a ball-joint.

  23. For some reason I start chuckling over the phrase “… descended into a bitter, secluded adolescence… ero I wouldn’t have become a computer programmer…”

    Oh, Dave, you slay me.

  24. Wait … Shaenon is … is … apoligizing to Dave Barker??  That’s like Captain America telling the Red Skull, “Hey, sorry ’bout that whole ‘crushing the Thousand-Year Reich’ thing.  Tell ya what, Red … can I call you Red? … lemme buy you a beer.”

    Now picture Cap and the Skull going out cruising for chicks together, then staggering home the following morning with their arms around each other’s shoulders.  “Heyyyy, you c’n be m’ wingman anytime, man …”  “Ficken Sie, you c’n be mein …”

  25. And then… after this… the time machine is never used again.

    Helen, you chicken.

  26. … in THIS timeline, the time machine is not used again, but in the ALTERNATE timeline…

  27. Oddly, though I had been shipping Dave/Helen for a while, this was the strip when I KNEW, absolutely, that they were meant to be.  “He’s OUR nemesis now, Helen.”  They must be soul mates.

  28. Huh, it’s only just occured to me to search Fanfiction.net for Narbonic fanfiction. This is what happens when you use the word shipping, Emily.

    And the only thing that comes up is a crossover with Kim Possible of all things.

  29. Ed Gedeon says: “Now picture Cap and the Skull going out cruising for chicks together, then staggering home the following morning with their arms around each other’s shoulders.  ‘Heyyyy, you c’n be m’ wingman anytime, man …’  ‘Ficken Sie, you c’n be mein …'”

    That is *THE* most-disturbing-yet-Epically-*AWESOME* thing I’ve heard all week! In the paraphrased words of Cap, “Lemme buy you an internet.”

  30. And so the first pieces of the fabric of *SPOILER* their relationship emerge. If they hadn’t already.

  31. Friday:

    Because there’s nothing more irresponsible that being drunk and giving access to knowledge about the future to a mad scientist.

  32. Friday:

    Helen’s so callous. How could teeny little Artie ever do wrong with this sort of information? Turn them into men again?

  33. She’s gonna buy … five or six beers!
    She’s gonna buy … five or six beers!

    Wait, I just used that song … drat.

  34. This is why Narbonic is different from mainstream comics.

    Dilbert always packs a banana.

    In his lunch.

  35. I have the same lunch as Dave, most days. But yesterday I was too tired to make a sandwich and all the good lettuce was gone. And now I can’t find my apple.

  36. Saturday:

    It’s awfully forthright of Dave to even be revealing this to Helen. Most cartoon characters I know simply wouldn’t be able to bring themselves to mention it.

    It occurs to me that this time travel arc has only brought these two together even further – they’ve literally become childhood friends.

  37. Oh Dave, I’m so disappointed. This was a perfect opportunity to say “Heh heh heh” when anyone asked what the future was like.

  38. (TUNE: “Twilight Time”, The Platters)

    Having a beer at Manganello’s Irish Pub …
    But this disturbing mental image, I can’t scrub!
    For Helen’s brain will end up … floating in a tub …
    Unless we re-direct the Line of Time!

    Helen looks so concerned there in her “evil” shirt!
    If there’s one thing she’s learned, then it’s that … love can hurt!
    But in the far-flung future, we both (spoiler alert!)
    Because we re-direct the Line of Time!

  39. I’ve often wondered if, in the future that will occur now that Dave has changed things, the cast elaborately staged everything that young-Dave originally saw to ensure that the changes would perpetuate.  I particularly love the idea of *SPOILER* Helen hiding somewhere off-stage reading her lines while controlling a puppet brain in a tank.  But then I wonder how Mell could have possibly been convinced to stick to the script.

  40. Emily:  It’s a valid concern!  One of the most basic paradoxes of time travel is that if you go back in time and fix something, how will you know to go back and fix it?  I think we can conclude that in this timeline, everything works out for the best, but what about the timeline that the Dave who never smoked created?

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