Demons: January 12-17, 2004

This strip was based directly on something Derek Kirk Kim said about Dave once. I found it very touching. Anyway, Dave is finally starting to admit that he’s awesome, which is a major leap forward in his personal development. The time-travel arc had a pretty big impact on him.

See, Dave is thinking. Eventually it’ll be his downfall, but right now it shows Character Development.

I don’t know what he’s talking about with the smoking, though. Dave never smoked.

I wrote this one really early. It’s still good. Dave’s gesture at the end makes it.

Artie is sitting on a volume of The New Journal of Malology.

By this point I was getting better at drawing Dave’s shoulder sprites. They’re looking pretty darn cute here, especially his increasingly-ignored good side. I of course seized on any opportunity to draw these guys.

The joke is an old, old one, but you’ve gotta respect the classics.

Dave’s rational side is a little Borg. Holy geez that is adorable. Common Sense appeared in some of the early strips, but at this point he hasn’t appeared in a long time.

Narbonic probably would’ve been a lot more popular if I’d given up on the plot and characters and just drawn these sprites all the time.

This is one that looked great in the thumbnail and less satisfying in the final. It was hard to fit all the sprites into one panel. Nonetheless, it’s all worth it for the dialogue between Good Helen and Evil Helen in the third panel. As usual, there’s very little difference between them.

48 thoughts on “Demons: January 12-17, 2004

  1. Heh. He’s at “Most Awesome Loser”… which is actually not a terrible description of him at this point 😛

  2. “I am honored to be their king.” has always been one of my favorite lines from the series.

  3. Monday:

    Madblood did want to take Dave’s life. The only thing Lupin was misinformed about (apart from Dave’s now-erased addiction) was Dave’s intimate connection to Helen – and if that’s all that separates our Dave from perfection, then by Jove, he might as well reach out and grab it.

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

    See, all the sad pathetic people!
    See, all the sad pathetic people!

    Just look at Madblood,
    With all his robots and moonbase, I find out that he
    Wants to be me!
    I’ve been a woman,
    Killed and revived, and then hunted by all my own kind …
    Still, I don’t mind!

    Sad, pathetic people
    Who suck at ev’rything …
    Sad, pathetic people,
    I’m proud to be their king!

  5. Also notable is that Dave equates Helen’s sporadic, unconsummated interest in Madblood with Madblood “getting all the girls.”

  6. Oh hey, just noticed the wrestling poster behind Dave. Wonder if it still has the lip marks on it?

  7. Which just goes to show, thinking is bad for you. That is why the Government (TM) pay people to think, so that nobody else has to.

    First Panel: That sign behind Dave says “Caut… E…” Wonder what it’s warning about?

    Personally, I think it says “Caution Exposition!”


  8. Given that this is Helen’s lab, that sign probably reads, “Caution: Everything!”

    And if that’s a weapon in the last panel … Big Freakin’ ™ Gun count = 36.

  9. The smoking thing has always been my favorite plot device in Narbonic. This is exactly how people would respond.

  10. Artie plays Voice of Reason.

    Dave plays Alternate Timeline!

    DAVE WINS!  and collects TIMEPIECE BADGE!

  11. @Fandarel: You’ve always got to be cautious about Ellmans (Ellmen? What’s the plural here?)

  12. @kicking_k: That’s how he got bad ass.

    (TUNE: “Copacabana”, Barry Manilow)

    I went with Helen … to her reunion …
    A lock of hair around each ear,
    And a dress cut down to here!
    And then she threatened … all of her classmates!
    When she discovered all their fears,
    She said, “See you in five years!”
    And then she walked away …
    I had no words to say,
    So I reached out and took her hand,
    And I was blown a-way!

    Now I’m evil!
    An evil minion!
    I’m bad now, that’s just my opinion!
    Yes, I’m evil,
    An evil min-ion!
    Could not have planned it,
    But please, understand it,
    Now I’m eeeeeee-vil!
    (And I’m in love …)

  13. Ed, are you some sort of robot designed for the purpose of writting great filk songs?

    Great, now I’ve got the image of Robot Ed singing Barry Manilow in a robotic tone.


    • What if … Ed is GODOT (of Skin Horse) in another medium? (Or vice versa?) Does one hear his fliks, even though there is nothing around that should be making those sounds?

  14. @Daffyd: Not a robot, I just have an overactive imagination, access to a rhyming dictionary, and ***error positive_attribute[3] not found***

  15. Thursday:

    Personality sprites: 14. Seeing these well-rendered fluttering fellows makes me wonder if they deserve more than just these brief interstitial incidental interruptions in unrelated story arcs. Maybe Employee Brain Scans was onto something when it put these fellows under the scanner and, so it hinted, on the screen – the sprites literally becoming sprites. I don’t really know what kind of science you could perform on metaphysical mental manifestations – flashing indicator bulbs of one’s inner being – but it couldn’t be any more peculiar than what’s already happened to Dave’s mind and soul.

  16. I’ve always wondered what someone talking to thier sprites looks like from the outside. Do they appear to just be talking to themselves, or does the entire conversation occur on a metaphsical realm, making the subject just appear to be spacing out a bit?


  17. (TUNE: “Hello, Goodbye”, The Beatles)

    One says “Run!”
    One says “Flee!”
    One says, “Shun!”
    And one says, “I agree!”

    Oh, me!
    They both agree;
    It’s Me versus Me!
    How strange to see!
    It’s looking grim
    When He and Him,
    They both agree!

  18. I imagine the sprites hanging out with Merv Pumpkinhead and Dream between appearances.  (OK, they’re not exactly bats, but from a distance….)

  19. I believe the main muscle in the Emperor’s New Groove (the movie) was show talking to his shoulder sprites… from the rest of the worlds point of view.

  20. “The Emperor’s New Groove” is such a weirdly Narbonic-confuent movie. When Yzma and Kronk appeared at the bottom of the roller coaster in their lab coats, I plotzed.

  21. Friday:

    It is almost a certainty that Dave rolled the ‘r’ in romantic.

    I don’t know if Dave’s holding a circuitboard in panel 1, or one of those DNA… sliding around… line… things. I hate those things.

  22. Wait just a thought: [SPOILER WARNING] If Dave uploaded himself onto Lovelace’s mainframe, did he also upload his personality sprites?

  23. @Daffyd: Yes, but now they’d be 8-bit sprites.  (Aack … can’t … erase … mental image!  Must … draw … fanart!  Well, crap, there goes my weekend.)

  24. Saturday:

    Episodes with sprites: 16. Helen’s voice of Good has perchance also been reading that management strategy tome of hers.

    (I don’t know what it means when you see both of the shoulder angels extolling the person to do something that we all know is most definitely not going to happen. Some other force… some other angel must be overriding their decisions. I guess it’s Apathy. Who, of course, never bothers to manifest at all.)

  25. (TUNE: “Incense and Peppermints”, Strawberry Alarm Clock)

    Good side, evil side, they both agree!
    See her?  They concur, deadly to me!
    You’ve been dead before, not a fun ride!
    It’s no metaphor, it’s suicide!

    Danger!  What a thrill!
    What if she won’t?  And what if she will?

    Hey, look to the right!  Shaenon has drawn
    Helen’s shoulder sprites, urging her on!
    See her evil side, looking to rut!
    Good says, “Go outside!”  (Check out her butt!)

    Do it!  You clueless nerd!
    You can’t believe … the thngs we just heard!


  26. Yay!  This is my favorite strip in Narbonic!

    Now I think about it, it’s kind of a weird one to like.  Maybe because I love the good sprite’s “logic” and the idea that personality sprites can overhear each other.

  27. … Huh.


    Dave speaks in that curlicue script font when he mentions his “creative” side… which hasn’t been seen in years.

    You know… if I had to choose whether mad science aligns more with Spock or with McCoy, despite the whole ‘science’ angle, it’s really more the McCoy…

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