This is the first strip I wrote for this storyline. Everything else is built around it. I wrote it pretty early in the run of Narbonic, wrote a few more strips around the idea of Dave infiltrating Madblood’s headquarters, and couldn’t think of any other material for a long time. Then one day I came up with the idea of Dave infiltrating Madblood’s headquarters on the moon, and the whole thing magically fell together.
Andrew helped me with a lot of the plotting of this storyline, especially later on.
This one has a lame punchline, but I like the initial conversation between Dave and Helen. Sometimes I like the beginning of a strip much better than the end.
It’s probably worth noting that I ran the Sunday Robot Battle Anthem Contest without telling anyone what the robot army would actually look like. So, um, here it is. A whole mess of Madbloods. I hope the anthem writers weren’t too disappointed.
You know, that really is a lot of Madbloods.
The computer’s being snobby here; whether or not the androids are quite as self-aware as she is, they certainly seem to have some level of self-awareness and personalities. In fact, they’re probably too advanced to make good battle robots, but Madblood got carried away when he was making them.
At this point in the story I have given myself entirely too many Madbloods to draw. In fact, from here on out most of the cast of this storyline will look like either Madblood or Dave–or, more often, both. I thought it would be funny and didn’t consider until it was too late how sick I would get of drawing Madblood.
I’m sorry, I still enjoy this ridiculous conversation. How did Madblood learn to speak in such purple prose? It’s like he comes from another century.
It suddenly occurs to me that the third panel, after Madblood takes off his spacesuit but before he puts on his lab coat, may be the most undressed we ever see Madblood. No, I tell a lie–I think he has his sleeves rolled up at some point in “Professor Madblood and the Lovelace Affair.”
The art in this strip was strongly influenced by the way Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer draw chibis. The fleeing crowd in the second panel includes me, Andrew, and Hutch Owen and Oswald, characters of Tom Hart’s who appeared in our comic Trunktown. The best detail in the strip, however, is Madblood’s drawing in the last panel. Yes, those are heads on pikes.
I was still pretty bad at drawing hands.
Yeah, so now the moonbase contains 15,002 Madbloods, one computerized voice, and Mell. I keep getting into drawing crowds of identical characters. Don’t know what’s up with that.
I like that there’s a “Please Do Not Tap Glass” sign outside the enormous chamber that contains Madblood’s robot army. That could irritate them!