Dave Vs. Dave: July 22-27, 2002

Okay, so if you’re on a reconnaissance mission to your covert tropical prison island, obviously you have to wear matching aloha shirts. Which you will ideally wear over your souvenir T-shirt from the annual secret meeting of your Illuminati-type organization. Man, I love the Dave Conspiracy. Hope they’ve got some kind of all-terrain wheelchair there.

That’s actually not a bad boat in the background.

If I were in my protagonists’ place, hiding out from an all-powerful conspiracy on a deserted island, I would do exactly what they’ve done here: spend several weeks half-heartedly constructing a no doubt faulty trap, which would then turn out to be miles and miles from where my enemies would eventually land. I don’t know which of my friends would be the one to go feral and viciously attack me, but I’m betting on Jason Thompson.

Yes, this was drawn in some ancient time before there were tons and tons of Lego sets based on licensed nerd properties. If you’d told Dave there would eventually be video games based on Lego sets based on licensed nerd properties, his head would’ve exploded.

At least the Daves have the grace to look mildly chagrined about the whole assassination thing. If Dave knew the circumstances, he’d probably be no less aggrieved, especially considering that [SPOILERS] the person who convinced the Daves to do it is currently eating insects out of the shrubbery in the foreground.

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You know what’s hard? Drawing word balloons. It is like super hard.

Some good expressions on Dave, though. Actually, there are a lot of nice expressions and poses in this sequence. You can tell I was happy to get back to drawing the main characters after weeks and weeks away from them.

Why did I draw ears so big? Check out Wheelchair Dave in the last panel. What the heck is up with that?

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Yes, Mell is eating a fish. Merry Christmas!

Want the original art for this strip?

No, Mell is not capable of snapping out of her feral state at any time. Only when it would be funny.

I wrote big chunks of the time-travel storyline early on, so at this point I’d already decided what was behind the Daves’ decision to have Dave assassinated. Only now do they realize what a terrible idea it was.

Both “sort of a primal intern” and “that monkey thing” are excellent descriptions of Mell.

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I wish the balloons were more legibly drawn and laid out (I still had no idea how to lead the eye), but this is still a pretty good strip as far as I’m concerned. Again, it’s more of a conversation than a setup-gag arrangement, which is good. And the extra little WHAM! is a nice touch. That’s the pride in a job well done that Mell brings to the team.

44 thoughts on “Dave Vs. Dave: July 22-27, 2002

  1. Monday!

    The Daves should have also been open to the possibility that the one month succeeding that action-packed February afternoon may have worn our quirky quartet down to the “ladyfingers they taste just like ladyfingers” stage of castawayhood.

    It suddenly occurs to me – if the Daves, here and now, simply leave David in his (seemingly self-imposed) exile, as they had originally intended, what of the world at large? As castaways on the island, he and Helen have no motivation to pursue the malicious sciences. To hunt him down now will merely motivate his escape, his return to the world of laboratories and secrets.

    Instances of the word “dude”: 12.

  2. “Do not worry sir, I have a cunning plan …”

    At the first sight of the invaders landing, Helen triggers the booby trap, which will wobble, collapse, and catch itself on fire.

    Helen then triggers the concealed catapult, hurling the mass of burning wreckage directly onto the Daves.  Would David and Mell survive?  Who cares, it looks cool …

  3. From Mell’s expression, “EFNU!” in this context seems to be “No!  No! I get to kill him first!”

  4. Tuesday:

    Yuck. I’m sure butterflies would be dusty on the tongue. Then again, possibly Mell deserves it.

  5. Tuesday:

    Of course, that’s a bit of a bold metaphysical assertion. Can we really consider ourselves, now, to be the same as the person we might become? Is Dave, right now, the same person who causes the death of you-know-who, even though, in this particular timeline, it turns out that he will not? (Incidentally, the Daves are killing David not out of justice for crimes yet to happen, but out of simple preventive utility, so the morality of their orders has no particular relevance to this question.)

  6. No real butterflies were harmed during the drawing of this strip.  Mell is actually eating an icantbelieveitsnotbutterfly.

  7. Leon: You know, that very metaphysical question came up, as the tough questions always do, while we were watching the Richard Donner cut of “Superman II.” After Superman changes history so he never gave up his powers, he goes back to the truck stop and beats up the redneck who kicked his ass while he was the powerless Clark Kent. This despite the fact that he, the redneck, and the truck stop now exist in an alternate universe where Kent never got his ass kicked, and he is now beating up the redneck for something the redneck never did.

    If I were that redneck, I’d be so pissed.

  8. This whole strip in general, and panel 3 in particular, features some seriously fantastic facial expressions.

  9. I kind of figured Dave would be the sort of nerd who would point out that the proper term is “LEGO bricks” or “LEGO sets,” and not “Legos.”  But I guess the pressure of the situation was getting to him, and presumably the Dave Conspiracy is more powerful than LEGO’s lawyers.

  10. Shaenon:

    This despite the fact that he, the redneck, and the truck stop now exist in an alternate universe where Kent never got his ass kicked, and he is now beating up the redneck for something the redneck never did.

    If I were that redneck, I’d be so pissed.

    Well, I think the whole world knows by now that Superman is a dick.

  11. Shaenon, don’t imagine that the unhappened assault on Clark was the only time when that redneck ever bullied someone, at least in that locale. When Clark requests his seat back in the original incident, the countergirl complains to the redneck [at least in the original cut; I haven’t seen the Donner cut] about recovery from damage done to diner property “the last time” having only just been completed.

  12. (TUNE: “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King)

    I wasn’t happy … I wasn’t thrilled,
    When by my leaders I was killed;
    I’m so angry, yeah it makes me seethe …
    I’ll warn the Daves … at least I’ll try …
    But my story … they won’t buy …
    Just because … I stand and breathe.

  13. Okay, I can’t see Davenport’s cigarette in the second panel, but its position in the first is just plain absurd. The thing’s at least six inches from his face, and much farther from either hand. Either he’s hanging it from his sleeve (to train it to like being where it’s put?) or the boy’s got MAD! MAD, I SAY! telekinesis.

  14. Thursday:

    This punchline is pretty good, even though it’s well-trodden comedy ground. And they have been taking their sweet time in disposing of what they’ve been led to believe is the most dangerous man on the planet.

  15. (TUNE: “Jingle Bells” by James L. Pierpont)

    Sic ’em Mell!  Sic ’em Mell!
    Jump into the fray!
    She will save
    The guy named Dave
    In a violent kind of way, hey!

    Sic ’em Mell!  Sic ’em Mell!
    “Urg” and “Arg” you say!
    Have a fish,
    And let me wish
    You a Merry Christmas Day!

  16. We wish you a Melly Christmas,
    We wish you a Melly Christmas,
    We wish you a Melly Christmas,
    And a Hel-en new year.

  17. The Toon credo: They can do anything, up to & including defying the laws of physics, but only when it’s funny.

  18. Friday:

    This strip is tremendously rewarding to the veteran Narbonic reader. Not only do we have fooooreshaaaadowing in panel 3, but we’ve got David almost receiving a complete explanation in panel 2. I don’t think he ever gets the full explanation for his murder, now that I think about it.

    And, of course, Dave and Dave unintentionally withholding the key piece of information that connects this, this and this. Of course, the final major piece of information uniting this into a coherent whole is the existence of time travel, which at this point has only been implied. Today’s Lesson Learned: it is most advantageous to plant your foreshadowed information in ascending order of importance!

  19. (TUNE: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, traditional)

    Oh, cripes, what now, Mell Kelly?
    Primal intern monkey thing;
    The Daves, they take one look at you
    And then start panicking!
    Who knows what dark and evil deeds
    The coming years shall bring?
    Oh, foreshadows of drama, doom and gloom!
    Drama and gloom!
    Oh, foreshadows of drama, doom and gloom!

  20. Johnn: Well, there’s “capable of speaking English and using hair care products” states.

  21. Leon: I suspect Artie would’ve told Helen once he got back, and either one of them might have let Dave know after the strip finished.

    What this would entail for Mell remains to be determined.

  22. Let’s see. Two Dave Patrol, goatee Dave, wheelchair Dave. Eight kneecaps, although two may not be relevant (if he can still feel, the pain will slow him down). So, my guess is that the first six whams are kneecaps, and the last one is axle-breakage.

  23. (TUNE: “O Tannenbaum”, traditional)

    Insanity!  Insanity!
    As Mell rejoins humanity!
    There’s violence and there’s crudity!
    (But sadly there’s no nudity!)
    Bikini grass that hides her a**,
    Oh, where is my lawnmower?

  24. Saturday:

    There’s really quite a large amount of running for one’s life in this webcomic. It’s a wonder that someone like David never just keels over out of overexertion one of these days.

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