When I stick to drawing nothing but gerbils, Narbonic looks pretty good. You know, overlooking the fact that they look nothing like actual gerbils.
I like the way the gerbils think they’re too young to read but old enough to speak articulately and destroy the humans with their death ray. Also, man, this storyline’s got a high body count.
25. “Don’t Look Down,” by the Sugarplastic
Facts and science, this kangaroo alliance
A pallid pair when everything is at stake
What would they choose, if their feet were in my shoes?
The likes of Newton, Faraday, von Heisenberg, and Planck?
From Heroes and Villains: Music Inspired by the Powerpuff Girls, which is an awesome album. Seriously, it’s got songs about the Powerpuff Girls by Shonen Knife, Devo, Frank Black, and the Apples in Stereo. What more do you want out of a cartoon soundtrack? Anyway, “Don’t Look Down” is sung from the viewpoint of Professor Utonium as he watches his superdeformed creations fly off to battle Mojo Jojo. Excellent mad-scientist song, albeit focusing on those pitiful fools who choose to harness their genius for Good.
Oh, Shaenon of the past. You can’t even draw a damn rectangle in perspective. Sigh.
As of this strip, the rebel gerbil forces are reduced to Dana and an unnamed second gerbil. It’s probably either Allison or Jaye, since those three were my housemates in my senior year of college.
Today, July 31, marks the seventh anniversary of Narbonic. Yikes.
26. “Maybe It’s Crazy,” by Seanan McGuire
I like a man who knows things men weren’t meant to know.
Who grabs ideas in his teeth and then won’t ever let go.
I know that I’m no Bride of Frankenstein,
But we could be electric if he’d just be mine–
Maybe it’s crazy, but baby, love usually is.
Seanan has written a couple of awesome Narbonic filks, but they haven’t been recorded yet, so for now I’ll have to content myself with this henchman love song. Heads-up to devotees of mad science music (I can’t be the only one, can I?): Seanan is planning an entire album of mad science and horror songs, Red Roses and Dead Things, which I am told will in fact include a song about Narbonic. Keep an eye on her website.
This strip doesn’t really have a punchline. I try not to do that kind of thing, I swear. Also, how does that elevator work? It’s got like a rope attached to the top that’s dragging it up. Honestly.
27. “Livin’ in Deep Thirteen,” by Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank
I was alone with the world to tame
I was evil but feelin’ blue
Lookin’ around, talkin’ to clowns
Never guessing that I’d find you
What, like you don’t own both Mystery Science Theater 3000 soundtrack albums? This song has personal significance because I used the first two lines as my senior quote in the Vassar yearbook. Now it always tears me up a little. Good times…
I don’t have much to say about this strip, but I do like how these storylines can start out fairly mundane and wind up, weeks later, with two superintelligent talking gerbils arguing over their death ray after killing the rest of their group.
Okay, song list:
28. “Transmission C,” by the Incredible Moses Leroy
It’s a quarter past eight
He’s rubbing his own face And dreaming of the day
His name’s in the books
And how they’ll all say
They knew him when he was
A genius in the brain and a light to the fools
I swear this song is about the relationship between Reed Richards and Sue Storm in The Fantastic Four. But you gotta love that scientist romance, and I’m big on the Incredible Moses Leroy. Incidentally, I may have the lyrics wrong; this is the first song on the list for which I’ve been unable to find lyrics online.
As you can see, I made extensive use of the white gel pen for this one. Also, I think Dave is definitely looking at Mell’s butt now.
29. “So Far I Have Not Found the Science,” by Soul Coughing
I don’t mind the worry following me like a dinosaur
I don’t fear I am descending into the molten core
So far I have not found the science
But the numbers keep on circling me
This is a great song! Also, it’s one of those songs that consists of the same lyrics repeated over and over, like a lot of R.E.M. songs. For some reason, those things tend to be darn catchy.
And now, for no particular reason: an extra-long strip! I just thought it’d be fun. No, I don’t know how the remote manages to continue working with a gaping bullet hole. Dave’s just that good, I guess.
And I squeeze in another “to be continued” caption box! Go me!
30: “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades,” by Timbuk 3
Well, I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise
I’m a peeping-tom techie with x-ray eyes
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades
Surely the coolest song ever recorded about studying to become a nuclear physicist. Or any kind of physicist, really. Ah, the ’80s, when anyone could be a beer-chugging rebel who played by his own rules, from Michael J. Fox to the staff of Fermilab.