D, D’: March 27 – April 1, 2006

I think this was the first strip I wrote after I came up with the Clone Dave concept. Because really, this would be awkward.

This strip happened because at one point I’d written a “Battlestar Galactica” joke into a Narbonic strip, and by the time I got around to actually drawing it, the joke was ruined by the existence of the new “Battlestar Galactica” show. Thanks a lot, “Battlestar Galactica.”

“I’m on it, bonnet” was something Vera Brosgol said to me once that I thought was awesome.

Judging from Mell’s expression in the first panel, she’s just come in from Monday’s strip.

This is just a move-the-plot-along sort of strip, but I like the giant electrical coils in the background. I wish I knew what this room was for.

I wrote this one super early on. I was sitting on it for a couple of years at least. Dave’s expressions are supposed to mirror the Kubler-Ross stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. That said, I like his expression in the last panel best. He’s either upset about missing his passionate affair, or annoyed that Helen would even try to convince him that such a thing happened.

More importantly, Helen still has her “Hang In There, Baby!” gerbil poster and the three-eyed smiley mug.

The Narbonic universe operates with what the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books called the Somebody Else’s Problem Field and TV Tropes calls the Weirdness Censor. To be honest, though, I think this is basically the way people operate in real life.

When this strip first ran, some people complained that “American Idol” didn’t even exist in 2000, so Clone Dave shouldn’t have any memory of it. These people clearly didn’t understand how powerful the SEP field can be.

This is another strip I wrote really early on. Also, the Ripped-Shirt Riker action figure is awesome and I totally owned one in high school. He and Data went on many adventures.

I hope that Clone Dave giving away his Yak-Face is significantly moving. I always found it very sad.

25 thoughts on “D, D’: March 27 – April 1, 2006

  1. Monday:

    Mell really doesn’t care about the enormity of this situation. It’s kind of shameful how lax she is about maintaining Helen’s elaborate half-decade masquerade.

    What does it say about Dave that he’d have the same Linux manual after six years?

  2. Now I’m imagining Clone Dave leafing through these, while the “Stuff We Did” music from “Up” plays softly in the background.

  3. I miss Vera, wanted to see where she was going with Return to Sender. Ah well, she’s in a better place now . . . 
    Animation or something?

  4. Given the context, I would assume it’s the networking room.  It would be just like Dave to set it up to serve both data and power.

  5. Shaenon:  Is that electrified barbed wire?  No, I’m sure you really don’t want to know….

    Leon: It says any of the following:
        1) He doesn’t use flighty distros that change every year (*cough*Ubuntu*cough*)
        2) He is following Mad System Admin Best– er, Most Evil Practices
        3) He hasn’t looked at the book in a long time because his favorite book of all is:
    <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Theo-Grays-Mad-Science-Experiments/dp/1579127916″>this</a>

  6. Wednesday:

    In this episode’s defense, the shorter cast members doubting Helen’s ability to follow through on responsibility is bitingly wry of them.

  7. Clearly, it’s the Approaching Dave For Awkward Conversations Room.

    I like Mell’s expression in panel 3.

  8. Thursday:

    Helen wants to get this over with quickly, but opening with “the real Dave Davenport” is undeniably cruel. Even the “real” Dave Davenport is technically a clone (even though he still bears the soul he was born with).

  9. Just for you, Marni:
    tune: “Big Bad John, ” Jimmy Dean and Roy Acuff, 1961

    (Real Dave, Real Dave)
    Well in 2000 Dave Davenport came workin’ here
    Had a tight little ass, and before long it was clear
    That he was my babboo, and I was his honeybunch
    Even though I would poison his coffee and his lunch
    Real Dave, Real Dave, Real Cloned Dave (Real Dave)

    Sure my mom killed that Dave—I was sleeping with a clone—
    But to me he’s original, and now I’m all alone
    So I cloned you from him, hoping that would be a fix
    By the way, you should know that it’s now 2006
    Battlestar Galactica is now back on the air
    But George Bush is still president. Nope, no progress there
    Now I see you going through ev’ry stage of grievin’
    But it’s clear you’re not him, it’s myself that I’m deceivin’
    Real Dave, Real Dave, Real Cloned Dave (Real Dave)

  10. Given revelations from next week, I suspect the only parts of that ginormous speech balloon that Dave’ actually heard and understood were, “We had a passionate affair, which ended badly. It’s the year 2006.”

  11. Friday:

    Now that you mention it, it is pretty hilarious that Dave’s mind can spontaneously acquire new facts to ensure the survival of his identity.

  12. To Artie, it’s perfectly clear
    That six years just don’t disappear!
    Dave takes it in stride,
    It’s plainly implied
    His brain is not wired for weird.

  13. Presumably Dave’s seen some episodes since he was decanted, and references to prior episodes.

  14. Dave’s attitude toward Yak-Face gives a third way for it to have disappeared in his youth.  (The others were shown on May 18, 2001 and Dec 2, 2003.)  I like that he can’t even remember its name – that’s such a contrast.  But wasn’t the version of Dave that Helen downloaded the one that Dr. Narbon bribed with Yak-Face?  Helen must have spent quite some time selectively editing Dave’s memories!

  15. I hope Mell hung on to Yak-Face so Original!Dave could get it back (after doing her bidding in some ridiculous fashion, of course).

  16. @Tetra: Or it could be a side-effect of the <SPOILER> madness cure.  Helen mentions that it also alters his personality. </SPOILER>

    Tetravalent?  Are you carbon, silicon, tin, lead, or germanium?

  17. Saturday:

    My favourite part of this episode is that Mell really did take the Yak-Man. It’s basically family by now.

  18. @Tetra: I think it’s more an effect of Clone Dave’s “mundane-ness” (or whatever Helen calls it; I don’t want to search through the old Narbonic archives for tomorrow’s strip for fear it might damage the continuum) that he no longer cares for science fiction-y things any more.

    Science fiction, mad science, regular science: it’s all “meh” to those who take them for granted.

    Kind of like cell phones. Friggin’ videogames on telephones, man. This really is the 21st century!

  19. @Ed:  On-line, I’m silicon (carbon-based life forms don’t seem to fare so well around Helen).  Off-line, I should be carbon, but when I try to run I’m clearly lead.

  20. According to wikipedia, about a year and a half after this comic, the Fangoria warehouse containing all the back issues burned down.  Those back issues are now quite a bit more valuable.

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