Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit: February 3-8, 2003

Obviously, the funnest part of this week of strips was drawing Mell’s crazy hair. I really liked the way she came out in these strips. Dave’s hair is pretty good too.

That’s right: I have nothing constructive to say about this strip except for comments about the characters’ hair. But, again, I really like the hair.

My favorite part of this strip is Dave letting the space pen float away in the second panel. It came out looking very natural. Also, it’s a totally boss space pen, or whatever it’s supposed to be.

Also, the surface of the Moon looks pretty great. I wish I could’ve gotten it looking this good on a consistent basis. Plus, again, Mell’s hair.

I should’ve swapped the order of the Tuesday and Wednesday strips in this week. The story would read better that way. Oh well.

I was careful to use “micro-G” instead of “zero-G” because zero gravity technically doesn’t exist; even in deep space, objects continue to exert a small amount of gravitational force on each other. I was also careful to include a pee joke in this week of strips because peeing is funny.

Argh, that computer font is headache-inducing. I like the way the defense shield satellites came out, though. And, of course, the hair.

Man, I draw pudgy fingers sometimes.

Anyway, this strip is pretty cute even though I had to introduce a running gag about the transmogrification process grossing people out just to give it a punchline. Also, I find Dave in Madblood’s body wearing just a T-shirt strangely attractive. I don’t know what this means, but I’m also very attracted to Toofer in the episode of “30 Rock” where he dresses as Frank, and this might stem from the same impulse.

Hey! It’s Nikola Tesla’s birthday today! Let’s raise a glass to the patron saint of mad science and forget all about my weird sexual hangups!

Dave and Madblood really do have a lot in common. In another life, perhaps, they could have been friends…

And this is the last strip with Mell’s floaty hair. Goodbye, floaty hair!

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52 thoughts on “Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit: February 3-8, 2003

  1. Monday:

    They should never have allowed Mell’s hair to return to microgravity – its natural habitat. Now it’s shed its sharp pointy exoskeleton and is metamorphosing into its adolescent form. Its tentacles reach for the blood of a new host to succor its years-long thirst.

    Once again meddling, suicidally irresponsible women force Dave’s mind into a life-or-death struggle against several laws of physics at once. It’s a good thing Mell’s wearing glasses, ’cause a mouth that fat would have her cruising for a bruising… so to speak.

    P.S: Dave’s eyes aren’t lined up to Mell’s in panel 1.

  2. I like how even in freefall, Dave manages to give the impression in panel 4 that he’s slouching his way off panel.

  3. Of course not, Leon. Men rarely look at a woman’s eyes when they’re talking to us…. if you follow his sightline in panel 1, I’m sure you’ll be unsurprised where he IS looking. 😀

    • I’m told the correct term is “Gainaxing”. ^_^

      As an aside, there’s a great exchange in Robert Heinlein’s _Friday_ where the title character is talking to her (at that point former) employer’s lawyer, who’s on the moon, and Friday expresses disbelief at Ms. Wong’s being a grandmother. Ms. Wong explains that it’s one of the advantages of living in 1/6 G–_nothing_ sags! (Okay, she doesn’t exactly explain it like that, but still, that’s part of the upshot of the conversation…)

      And if you ever want to start serious arguments at any SF convention, ask people whether Heinlein was a better writer before or after he became a dirty old man… -_^

  4. If you watch NASA TV — well worth doing while there’s a shuttle mission on, BTW — you’ll know that you get real life zero gravity bad hair. One of the recent female space station astronauts seemed to have a thing about wearing her hair in really odd ways. You haven’t seen real bad hair until you’ve seen a zero-g afro.

  5. It’s hard to keep looking Mell straight in the eye when she’s in constant motion like that. That’s Dave’s story and he’s sticking to it.

  6. Seeeee herrrrrr HAIR!
    See her hair!
    See it float from here to there!
    Shaenon drew it
    and just knew it
    would give Mell that certain flair!

    See it flow
    to and fro
    Count them Gs: it’s zero!
    Her stylist disapproves
    But hey, what the heck does he know?

    See her tresses, they’re unfettered
    life was good, but now it’s bettered
    as her locks just float around without a care!

    It adds a certain grace
    when Mell’s trav’ling ’round in space
    See her hair!  See her hair!  SEE HER HAIR!

  7. Of course, only a chivalrous twerp would be looking Mell in the eyes.

    Anyone who knows what he’s doing will be watching her <i>hands</i>.

  8. (TUNE: “The Bear Necessities” from Disney’s “The Jungle Book”, by Terry Gilkyson)

    Look for the …
    Hair in zero G!
    Whatever Mell’s hair wants to be!
    You never know which way her bangs will hang!

    That’s why her
    Hair in zero G
    Could use a scrunchie, maybe three,
    To keep it all from getting in my “Tang”!

  9. It’s allllmost “Be Our Guest” – it’s Mr. Burns’ “See My Vest” from The Simpsons… which is pretty much “Be Our Guest.”

  10. Tuesday:

    Mell should have the sense of mind to realise that her (presumably) first and (quite possibly) only microgravitational experience is rapidly coming to a close, and she should make the most of it with the requisite spit marbles and infinite somersaults, and the other childhood games that our distant descendants will take for granted.

  11. I have been on holiday and want to express appreciation for both this week’s strips so far, and zero-gravity in general. Also Mell’s angry face when she realises about the plasma cannon.

    I have often wondered what my hair (which is a foot or so longer than Mell’s) would do in null-gee. Float all around my head like a mermaid’s, is my guess. It is surprisingly disappointing when hooked up to a Van der Graaf generator because its length makes it too heavy.

    • I hear that NASA offers would-be space tourists flights on the infamous “Vomit Comet” so that non-astronauts can get a taste of microgravity…

      Of course, if you do get the chance, you wouldn’t mind posting pictures, would you please?

  12. I note that, in the fourth panel, Dave and Mell are actually looking into each other’s eyes.  Or at least into each other’s glasses.

    It occurs to me, somewhat belatedly, that Artie is the only significent cast member who doesn’t wear glasses.  Which must make Jeffrey very, very sad.

    In my experience (which may be due to geography or the low and vulger social circles I travel in) only women say “pee”.  Men say “piss”.  I dunno what the significence of that is.

  13. Wednesday:

    What on Earth(?) happened to Mell’s eyebrows in panel 3? …Oh, and panel 1 breaks conventional Narbonic physics by having Mell’s glasses involuntarily part from her nose.

  14. “Mell, I wouldn’t say ‘pee’.  I’d say ‘urinate’.  Of course, if your t*ts were bigger, you’d be a ten.”

    Oh, come on, SOMEBODY had to say it …

  15. Things that people inverted in microgravity discover:

    1) Boobs float.

    2) So does nose hair.

  16. Thursday:

    That’s an awfully specific warning message.

    Mell only has one defining urge and now she claims it doesn’t even work full-time?

    I just realised something else we never got around to seeing – a microgravity chase scene where both parties spin their legs uselessly in midair a few feet from each other, causing themselves only to rotate on the spot until their foreheads collide with a pathetic clunk.

  17. (TUNE: “Gimme Three Steps”, Lynyrd Skynyrd)

    On a trip to the Moon
    With a murderous loon,
    We were stuck in micro-G!
    Threw some stuff out the hatch
    So the ship wouldn’t crash;
    But she said, “Dude, I gotta pee!”
    The transmogrifier
    I had to deny her,
    Though she was ready to fight!
    She said, “Ready, set and …”
    Right then we got threatened
    By a killer satellite!

    (So I said …)
    Give her ten secs,
    Give her just ten seconds
    For to shoot me in the face!
    Give her ten secs,
    Give her just ten seconds,
    Or we’ll both be sucking space!


    • I want to say Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Marquis Alphonse de Sade, and/or Sigmund Freud, but it’s probably Alfred Kinsey.

  18. (TUNE: “Eleanor Rigby”, The Beatles)

    Aaaah, look at all the genius mad men!
    Aaaah, look at all the schemes he had then!

    Nikola Tesla
    Knew that electrical current should best alternate …
    Met a sad fate!
    Now he’s a unit,
    Lending his name to the measure of magnetic flux …
    That really sucks!
    All the genius mad men
    Who show off lightning tricks …
    All the genius mad men;
    Why can’t they score the chicks?

  19. Raises a glass, and a radio to Tesla.

    And the “fzzp!’ and special effects in panel two are nifty. 

  20. “It’s Nikola Tesla’s birthday today! Let’s raise a glass to the patron saint of mad science and forget all about my weird sexual hangups!”

     You say it like the latter has nothing to do with mad science.  Or maybe that’s just *my* weird sexual hangups that do…

    • Let’s raise a glass to weird sexual hangups! Or, as a certain Dr. Furter would say, “A toast!” {ducks several loaves’ worth of flying toast} “To absent friends!”

      (Just had to get that in there somewhere.)

  21. I must like Madblood ’cause I also find Dave attractive when he’s using his body.

    And Happy B-Day for the Patron Saint of Mad Science. We owe you so much…

  22. Patron saint of weird hang-ups? That would be Nikola Tesla. Happy Birthday, Niko; we’ll get you 18 forks.

  23. (TUNE: “I’ve Got A Gal In Kalamazoo”, by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, played by the Glenn Miller Orchestra)

    Se-ven, six, five,
    Four, three, two, one,
    Oh, what a shock!
    A girl is aboard!
    It seems quite absurd,
    But this mis’rable nerd
    Has actually scored!

    Madblood said he’s
    Good with ladies;
    That’s such a crock!
    His boasts I’ve ignored …
    Now my brain’s numb,
    ‘Cause the End Times have come
    If Madblood has scored!

  24. You know, I’v always believed that Madblood would never notice the change. I still like him though, he’s funny; if he and Dave would have been friends…..

  25. I do have to make one teeeeeny little criticism of Saturday’s comic.  Panel 1: M’s arms down, hair up.  Panel 2: arms thrown up, hair down.  Panel 3: arms down, hair back up.  Alas, it would be the exact opposite since throwing her arms up would drive her body downward, leaving her hair up.  (And the first person who tells me there is no “up” or “down” in micro-G gets a rude noise made in their general direction.)

  26. WAIT WAIT!!!  I stand corrected!  Notice M’s head relative to Dave’s – when she threw her arms up, she must have also “jumped” a bit, pushing off the floor.  And that WOULD push her hair down.  Never mind!  Shaenon rules!

  27. ‘Madam, I am programmed to welcome you and offer you wine’ still makes me giggle. 

  28. Wait, don’t Dave and Madblood end up friends(kinda) in the end?  And in the victorian storyline.

    Either way, the two of them, if they ever joined forces, would be a force capable of taking over the world.  Or, at least, making a really awesome computer game.

  29. … I can’t help but notice that in the panels where Dave is doing the repairs, we see his eyes around his glasses.

    I seem to recall you saying that sort of thing was very intentional. It’s a nice touch, if so.

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