And a new storyline officially begins! The title “Everlasting Ices of the North” comes from the final chapter of Frankenstein:
What his feelings were whom I pursued I cannot know. Sometimes, indeed, he left marks in writing on the barks of the trees, or cut in stone, that guided me and instigated my fury. “My reign is not yet over” (these words were legible in one of these inscriptions); “you live, and my power is complete. Follow me; I seek the everlasting ices of the north, where you will feel the misery of cold and frost to which I am impassive. You will find near this place, if you follow not too tardily, a dead hare; eat and be refreshed. Come on, enemy; we have yet to wrestle for our lives; but many hard and miserable hours must you endure until that period shall arrive.”
Scoffing devil! Again do I vow vengeance; again do I devote thee, miserable fiend, to torture and death. Never will I give up my search until he or I perish; and then with what ecstasy shall I join my Elizabeth and my departed friends, who even now prepare for me the reward of my tedious toil and horrible pilgrimage!
Just so we’re all on the same page, this is a callback to the first Sunday strip (and one of the very few Sunday strips that’s in continuity). I forget when I wrote this strip, but it was fairly early. I always liked the idea of Dave and Madblood teaming up.
I came up with “my refrigerator’s running and I need help catching it” at the last minute, and it’s still one of my favorite things I ever did. Jeff eventually wrote the refrigerator into Skin Horse as a character, which, now that I think about it, is kind of insane.
I wrote this one really early and tweaked the dialogue over the years to match changes in the plot. Remember, Dave still thinks Lovelace was Madblood pretending to be a girl, as opposed to Madblood’s computer pretending to be a girl. Which is obviously very different.
SPOILERS: And he does!
This was the last strip I wrote for this week, and I basically wrote it just to fill out the week and add some exposition. That said, Madblood’s self-aggrandizing dialogue is never unwelcome. He’s such an easy character to write it almost feels like cheating, but what the heck, he’s fun.
MORE SPOILERS: On the wall in the first panel is a diagram of the Arctic lair where most of this story arc will take place. Madblood’s been working on it for a while. I don’t know what the little device under the diagram is, but it’s kind of adorable.
Yeah, I draw people drinking out of mugs all wrong. I know.
Apparently Dave joined the henchmen’s union represented by Titus Misanthropie back in “Lovelace Affair,” because now he’s got a card and everything. It’s all very professional.
Strangely, this is not the last time Madblood’s coffeemaker will figure in the plot.
I’m glad I decided to put a dramatic spotlight between Dave and Madblood in the last panel. It looks very final. Also, Dave is kind of giant compared to Madblood.