Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit: May 26-31, 2003

I know I heap a lot of unwarranted abuse on Dave in this storyline (and all storylines), but I’m still very fond of this strip. The computer has a giant crush on Dave anyway.

It’s true. Machines like Dave, including pretty much all artificial intelligences he meets over the course of the series. This may be a sign of his latent abilities, or maybe he just happens to be really charismatic if you’re a machine. His tinkering with the computer here may be a factor in her continued interest in him later in Narbonic.

Once again, Madblood talks like Dr. Smith from “Lost in Space.”

I included this strip just to establish that Madblood no longer thinks Dave is romantically involved with Helen. Not that Madblood seems to be able to remember Dave from one storyline to the next anyway. He has kind of a Mr. Burns thing going with Dave.

I like the writing on the strips this week, but the art is on the sketchy side even by my standards. Drawing Daves over and over was starting to take its toll.

I like that the alliance doesn’t even last the length of one strip. And Madblood’s expression in the third panel. As with Dave, you almost never get to see his eyes from the front like that. This is one of the strips that still makes me smile even though it doesn’t really have a punchline. What can I say, Madblood’s an amusing little man.

More unwarranted cruelty to Dave. Unsurprisingly, Madblood considers himself quite the handsome fellow. I can’t argue. I never thought of him that way, but over the years I’ve heard from more than a few readers who find Madblood hot. Maybe it’s the little beard.

That’s a very Chuck Jones-y smile on Madblood’s face in the last panel. Like “How the Grinch Saved Christmas!”-era Chuck Jones.

Yeah, Madblood’s got kind of a short attention span. This is another strip where the dialogue really crowds out the art.

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46 thoughts on “Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit: May 26-31, 2003

  1. Monday:

    If there’s one break that most of this webcomic’s characters simply cannot get, it’s the possibility of their preferred Bond swooping in and penetrating their defenses. (For starters, it assumes the existence of someone in this weird world who possesses even a metric modicum of competence and charisma. Is there anyone, anyone who doesn’t ever stuff up most thoroughly, even once?)

  2. (TUNE: “My Sweet Lord”, George Harrison)

    Roger Moore!
    I adore!
    Love galore!

    I truly am a fond girl!
    I wanna be your Bond girl!
    Don’t wanna be a Sean girl,
    I’ll be your whore, Roger Moore …

    Roger Moore …
    Not Al Gore …
    Want more Moore …


  3. Yay! Another Roger Moore fan! (My “man-crush” on him actually started with “The Saint” TV series that I got to in re-runs. Got me interested in reading the books too!)

  4. And I almost wrote a filk based on “Gay for Madblood” to the tune of “On Wisconsin!”. Unfortunately, some of the lyrics crossed that invisible line of bad taste. 🙂

  5. Hmmm…

    To the tune of ‘The Theme to Green Acres’

    • Gay for Madblood, but I stopped myself!
    • Gay for Madblood, this I can-not help!
    • Gay for Madblood, don’t mean to be rude…
    • Nevermind the ladies, gimme that geeky dude!

    My apologies for the terrible formatting, first filk attempt + 2am. The rest of my apologies go directly to Vic Mizzy.


  6. @halfelven: Hey, I never let that stop me …

    (TUNE: “Over You”, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap)

    We’re hidden deep inside Madblood’s base …
    Mell’s bent on shooting me in the face …
    She’s got a robot army!
    Oh, please don’t let her harm me!

    First I’ll crack your top right CPU!
    I’ll re-write your OS too!
    With an upgrade or three,
    Your boss will be …
    Only me!

  7. It could be simply that he’s really nice to the computer, particularly compared to everyone else in the series.  Helen and Lupin just rant, Mell skips right to violence, and even Artie just dives in and reprograms them.  Dave…well, let me paraphrase today’s dialog:

    I acknowledge that you are likely aware of anything happening in the base.

    I politely ask you for a favor.

    I knowledge that your restrictions are not your fault.  May I suggest a way around them so that we can both achieve our goals?


    Dave is really decent to the computers.  Even during the later AI rebellion, he agrees to work as their union rep.  No wonder they love him, he’s the only human that thinks they’re people! 

  8. Wednesday:

    Hope shines eternal for Madblood. She’ll be his some day, oh yes. (Dave, conversely, is resigned to his self-fulfilling fate of futility.)

    Dave is, of course, going to input Madblood’s password in little-endian binary ASCII using an electrified safety-pin and a nicotine-steadied hand. To make it easier, he’s underclocking the security CPU to 1Hz as we speak.

  9. (TUNE: “Killing Me Softly With His Song”, Roberta Flack)

    I know I’ve got a hot boss,
    I know she’s smart and cute …
    But if I ask, she’d laugh
    And turn me down, to boot!
    Her mind is so frenetic …
    My looks are so pathetic …

    Crushing my hopes for a good day,
    Shooting me down with a smile …
    Killing me somewhat with death ray,
    Made me a zombie, for some while,
    Killing me somewhat … is her way!

  10. I love that Madblood thinks that you can use a knack for mechanics to seduce women.

    Or maybe just seduce Helen, in which case, he might be right. 

  11. it’s punchline enough seeing madblood using his own [one assumes] self-appointed nickname when speaking of himself.  I imagine one can hear the quotation marks, even.  come to think of it, his entire name is probably self-appointed.

  12. Punchlines aren’t necessary, if the strip still delivers the funny. In a way, the punchline came in the middle.

    I notice it seems to be tradition to have someone say a funny thing at the end (a punchline) then have someone do a sort of “follow-up punchline” to punctuate it. I’ve noticed it since Bloom County back the the day. So the transformation is the joke/punch, and the last panel is the follow-up. Still has a joke, just an unconventional structure.

  13. Thursday:

    I get the sense that Madblood both figuratively and literally did a 180, seamlessly repurposing his outstretched arm.

    Incidentally, the real punchline is the complete lack of response that both of the remaining Daves have to Madblood’s overblown theatrics.

  14. (TUNE: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, The Beatles)

    Just today I lost my lunar base!
    Lost my army and I’m losing face!
    I propose that we unite, we three,
    And we’ll share the spoils of victory!
    But then from panel two to three,
    I find that once again I’m me!
    Ha!  Professor Lupin Madblood’s back!

    I am Professor Lupin “Wolf” Madblood!
    My body shape has re-evolved!
    I’m Professor Lupin “Wolf” Madblood!
    So our alliance is dissolved!
    I’m Professor Lupin,
    Laughin’ and a-whoopin’,
    I’m Professor Lupin “Wolf” Madblood!

    My robot doppelgangers
    Will lead you to your death …
    They’ll throw you out of lunar dome,
    Who knows, you just might make it home
    If you can hold your breath!

    Now I’m eager to be back in charge!
    Back to conquering and living large!
    As my lovely battle anthem swells
    That was writ by Jeffrey Channing Wells!
    Though computer has been re-programmed,
    I charge ahead, torpedoes damned!
    Now Professor Lupin Madblood’s back!

    (Da … ven … port!)

  15. @Leon: I get the sense that Madblood both figuratively and literally did a 180, seamlessly repurposing his outstretched arm.

    I think Madblood learned that move from watching “Thriller”.

  16. Not to mention, Wolf’s so excited, he forgot what Dave was doing a few minutes ago (in last week’s strip).

  17. I thought the sound effect was “splort”. “Fzzp” betrays a terrible inconsistency in this carefully crafted universe.

  18. Zara’s Id, you forget that they are on the moon. The airlessness outside distorts the sound effects.

  19. @silentspeaker, That’s not it! You can’t flip pancakes on the moon, the gravity’s to weak and that’s how you get the splort sound, so instead, Shaenon just had the sound-effects gnome, (off panel), stick his tongue in a light socket. Simple, really, when you know how it’s done.

  20. @Joyce: that’s so much cooler than the explanation in continuity; it’s splort when your cellular structures collapse and fzzp when they knit back together.

  21. You can see that same smile on Wile E Coyote sometimes. And on the little daydreamer who ends up fighting the numbers on the blackboard.

  22. Friday:

    Say what you want about Madblood, but it’s a fact that Dave never acted quite like this when he was un-feminised or de-Madbloodied.

    Fzzp is canon. That is all.

    Hey, I almost forgot – off-panel head inserts: 17.

  23. (TUNE: “Whistle While You Work”, Frank Churchill and Leigh Harline)

    Once again I’m me!
    I’m as happy as can be!
    I shout aloud,
    “That grotesque shroud
    Is gone, at last I’m free!”

    My body is my own!
    I’m no more a clownish clone!
    Farewell, old chum!
    The time has come
    To make the Earth my throne!

    At last the proper shape!
    No more a big fat ape!
    My hair is dark, my skin is fair,
    And lookee, no excess nose hair!

    Oh, once again I’m me!
    Now I sing with evil glee
    My fav’rite song!
    Come sing along!
    It’s, “Me me me me me!”

  24. I wouldn’t know about handsome, but I feel that Madblood would make a rather attractive woman if somebody slipped him some gender-reversal potion.

  25. Dave here starts to assume his rightful mantle of awesomeness, rather than just being the poor shmuck that stuff happens to.

  26. (TUNE:  “All I Know”, Art Garfunkel)

    There’s no “we”!  There’s just me!
    Watch me gloat with evil glee!
    Just wait and see,
    You bumbling fool!
    I will win, and the Earth I’ll rule!

      With my robot corps
      That I had before,
      You will be beaten by my Iron Dogs Of War!
      They sing my battle song, with a mighty roar!

    But as Madblood runs off, Dave won’t sweat …
    The computer he’ll reset!
    For once, he’ll get
    His plans to work!
    Madblood’s smart, but he’s such a jerk!

  27. Saturday:

    At least Artie’s rat-like attention span is a bit understandable.

    Dave’s Scheme Score: 3. Well played, puny little man.

  28. Sarge, you keep complaining about your dialog crowding out the art.  Have you never seen Subnormality, over at viruxcomix?  😉

  29. “I can’t decide if “I’ve been listening” is plaintive or supportive.”


    I took it as indignant, really… 

  30. I take it to be a statement of smug solidarity. Dave and Lovelace are and remain the two people on the moon who get along and understand one another best.

    (Well, okay, except for any given two of the robot duplicates.)

  31. I love Dave’s smug awesomeness in the last panel. One starts to understand just what Helen sees in him.

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