This may well be the wordiest week of Narbonic, which is saying a lot. Man, I wish I’d picked a more legible font for the computer. I did reletter it for the print collection.
Dave is, of course, unconcerned about the immanent robot attack because he’s so delighted by the coolness of Madblood’s computer system and his own awesomeness at getting into it. This is yet another indication that Dave is a lot more suited to his job at Narbonics Labs than he may first seem to be.
I remember Andrew liked this one for some reason. I just thought it would be funny to establish that the androids are really well designed and have this cool wireless network hive-mind thing going, but they’re still not very bright. This comes up again later in “Mad Science Is Decadent and Depraved.”
Also, I really liked drawing Mell in that outfit.
I don’t have much to say about this strip, except to note that I did a bunch of strips in a row that are just Mell talking to the Madblood robots and/or Madblood. Again, I really liked drawing her in that outfit.
Obviously, the funniest part of this strip is the robot’s line in the second panel.
On one hand, this plot development is ridiculous. On the other hand, it does follow logically from elements set up in the previous strips: Madblood arrogantly believes he can take back his army unassisted, Mell has complete confidence in her ability to beat Madblood, and the Madblood robots are pretty stupid. So actually I’m a genius for writing this strip. Thank you.
You can tell I really liked the dialogue I wrote for this installment because I didn’t cut any of it and IT FILLS THE ENTIRE STRIP. The best part is Mell’s greeting to Madblood in the first panel, which was inspired by the fact that I really don’t know how to pronounce French words.
Readers often described Mell as a mad genius or tried to figure out what mad discipline she fit into, which always bothered me a little. (Same with ANTONIO SMITH.) She really isn’t any kind of genius, or even especially mad. As I hoped to explain with this strip, she’s a budding evil overlord. This comes up again in “Dave Davenport Has Come Unstuck in Time,” where the Mell of the future manages to amass considerable power (and, as a still later storyline mentions, wreak a whole bunch of destruction).
This strip came out of a conversation on the Narbonic message board about Madblood’s pistol in this week of strips. It appears to have a flintlock, because I never thought very hard about how the devices in my strip actually worked, and people started speculating about why a super-science weapon would need such a thing. I stole their snarky suggestions and incorporated them into this awesome exegesis on the nature of mad genius. It’s ridiculously wordy (my poor, poor artwork), but I love Mell’s cockeyed, yet accurate, explanation of the way the mad scientists in Narbonic work, so I’m still very fond of it.
[SPOILERS] “…and probably Dave someday” is an astute and, later on, extremely important observation on Mell’s part. She may not be a mad genius, but she ain’t stupid.