Thiotimoline is a time-displaced chemical in a series of spoof scientific papers by Isaac Asimov. It exists one second ahead of the rest of the universe, and Asimov’s thiotimoline essays involve coming up with clever applications for this property. Helen is working on the time machine she’ll unveil a month from now in “Dave Davenport Has Come Unstuck in Time.”
Aside from obscure foreshadowing, the purpose of this strip is to give Helen a brief but much-needed appearance. It bothered me that she was mostly out of action in this storyline (and, later, in “Unstuck in Time” and “Mad Science Is Decadent and Depraved”).
This kind of foreshadows some stuff that happens to the computer at the very end of Narbonic. But that was still way down the line at this point and I wasn’t really thinking of it.
Fortunately for Madblood, Mell gets so distracted by this problem that she forgets about killing him. Remember how she was going to kill him?
Generally I like Mell’s slang, but sometimes I wish I’d picked more obscure stuff. Trying to talk British when you’re not actually British is a nerd thing, and Mell’s not a nerd. I’m not 100% sure what she is, but she’s not a nerd.
This is all pretty silly, but I do like the crowd of Madbloods. Thank you.
All things considered, the “Madblood robots have to obey people who look like Madblood” concept and the “Madblood robots unite against their human masters” concept dovetailed pretty nicely at the end. Nonetheless, by this point in the storyline I was pretty damn sick of drawing Madblood.
I think this strip was a last-minute addition to the storyline. At this point in “Doppelganger Gambit” I was writing by the seat of my pants. But I got to have somebody smacked upside the head again, so it’s all good.