Madness: October 16-21, 2006

As I’ve said before, the bit about filling the swimming pool is a reference to the video game “Maniac Mansion,” where failing to refill the swimming pool is one of the few ways to die. I wrote this strip at the same time as the strips in the time-travel storyline setting it up.

The Cartoon Art Museum has an exhibit up right now of work by Sam Kieth, creator of The Maxx, who is an excellent guy. One of the pieces on the wall is a little sketch-lesson on drawing women, and, among other things, Kieth asks how often you see cartoonists try to draw bra straps through a shirt. So here’s one attempt.

This is one of the strips Andrew really likes. He also likes the one where Madblood’s Theft-Bot grabs Helen’s boob, and the ones with Dana the gerbil riding around in a lobotomized hippie. Make of that what you will.

Man, the third panel looked better in the thumbnail. It always bigs me when that happens. Zeta still looks good, though.

“We’re your totally sexy rescue squad!” makes me wish I’d had Zeta interact with the main cast more.

I drew too many little lines on Artie in the last panel. Naked passed-out guys are hard to draw.

I figured I should do at least one strip tackling what, exactly, Zeta’s relationship with Narbonics Labs really is. I don’t know if Artie feels the same way, but probably. I like the way this one came out a lot. It’s pretty solid across the board, except that sometimes, drawing Narbonic, I couldn’t figure out how Artie’s dreadlocks worked. He’s got like four giant locks.

I was very worried about the plausibility of characters surviving a fall from a flying island into a swimming pool, so I added in Artie’s shape-changing ability and a force field to explain how the fall resulted only in cracked ribs and hurt feelings. I hope everyone is satisfied.

Artie is very cute in the second panel, which is kind of disturbing given how hot he was a strip or two before. Sometimes it’s best not to think too hard about Narbonic.

Just so we’re all on the same page, this is the teleporter remote that Mell snagged from the Dave Conspiracy in an off-panel battle that included alligators, a remote originally designed by Dave from the future. Also, Artie’s little sling is adorable.

The idea of Zeta and Foot going through the rubble together, looking for salvage, is… fascinating.

28 thoughts on “Madness: October 16-21, 2006

  1. Cheesecake pictures will get you more page hits than comedy.  Or, as they say, “Bras before ha’s”.

  2. This is entirely in character. Not just for Madblood, mind you. I mean this is entirely in character for roughly 46% of the human race.

  3. Never mind Saturday’s strip.  THIS is the one that should get all the awards.

    Note to Lupin:  Emptying the pool takes more resources than simply shutting off the heater and filter.

    Of course she can’t get dry clothes – he would not have stocked the base with anything her size.  Goodness, how could anyone possibly suspect that such a gentleman would have any other reason to say “No”??

    How nice that you were able to get Andrew to schedule the Kieth exhibit to coincide with this strip’s reappearance.

  4. Leon, a filled pool is not the same as a heated one.  And a water-logged down coat can sink even a strong swimmer, especially if you factor in hypothermia.  That said, can’t anyone stop looking at her breasts long enough to get the poor woman a towel or a blanket?

  5. Y’know, Helen, if you’re going to feign modesty, it’d be more convincing if you put your arms back down.

  6. Tetra, simply shutting off the heater and filter for an outdoor pool in the Arctic is a predictable way to get a huge block of ice in the pool.

  7. My now husband introduced me to this comic just after it wrapped up. I devoured it within a few weeks. I always saw a little of Helen in myself, and a bit of Dave in him, even before their romantic interest. (I think it was her evil tshirt, and his glasses/beard.)

    I was forced to end my nightly binge of comics on this very comic, and head to bed. Later, when my husband came to bed, I apparently, in my sleep, thanked him for filling the pool. He has never let me forget that, though I really don’t want to. <3

  8. @Steven: Several strips in this and the prior arc, in particular that of May 22, 2006 lead me to think that this was an indoor pool. (It isn’t now, of course!)

    Yes, this means that Artie had to be seriously injured crashing through a dome roof even before hitting the water.

  9. So “Totally Sexy Rescue Squad” would be a three-way animated crossover between “Totally Spies”, “Stripperella”, and “Rescue Rangers”?

  10. And we see the disadvantages of Mell’s personality… despite her boast, it’s Zeta who actually rescues Artie.

  11. Sorry, Stripperella doesn’t count as sexy. I got the DVD set for $7.50 and tossed it in the trash after watching two eps.

  12. Wednesday:

    Human Artie’s naked body is extremely shiny.

    Frankly, Zeta should be glad her fingers didn’t get blown off – that l’il guy is basically a hunk grenade.

  13. (TUNE: “Sister Golden Hair”, America)

    Well, we try to rescue Artie,
    But he’s heavy and he’s wet!
    If he’d only do his part, we
    Could get far as we could get!
    I will stay, I won’t desert him,
    But he’s quite a load on me!
    But I’ll take it, ’cause
    He’s quasi-family!

    On a normal day, he’s very
    Strong and muscular and buff!
    But for now, I’ll have to carry,
    ‘Cause his day’s been kinda rough!
    I admit, when I first met him,
    Then I thought we’d have a fling!
    Now it’s squicky, like
    A Luke-and-Leia thing!

         I will release him when I’m ranting!
         I will release him when I rave!
         Though I am winded and I’m panting,
         Still, his butt I’ll try to save!
         For a sec, I’m stopping
         To give a cheer for
         The guy I’m dropping …

  14. (TUNE “He Ain’t Heavy”, The Hollies)

    The Arctic’s cold,
    These corridors wind and turn,
    Artie’s turned human again,
    Who knows why.
    But I’m stong,
    Strong enough to carry him,
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

    So on we go,
    Escaping from mad hamsters,
    Into Madblood’s secret lair,
    We’ll get there.
    For I know,
    He’s a gerbil hybrid like me,
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

    If I’m laden at all,
    I’m laden with sadness,
    That Davenport’s brain,
    Has been filled up with madness,
    And he’s threatening our mother.

    It’s a big, big dome,
    I don’t know if we’ll return,
    While we’re walking through the lair,
    Why not share?
    And the load,
    Doesn’t weigh me down at all,
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

  15. @Daibhid, if I hadn’t used that tune just a couple of weeks ago, I would have done the same.  Good on yer, mate.

  16. To be fair to Mell, if anyone in the current focus group is going to be able to determine the degree of mayhem caused with any decent precision, it is gonna be her.

  17. Oh dear, Arabic spam.

    Why would Artie think this is not the time? He doesn’t have much to do while Mell’s doing her thing.

  18. @Rex: It’s the messiah complex. He thinks only he is capable of stopping Helen, because he forgets that at least one and possibly both of his companions was also highly enhanced by her.

  19. What I find fascinating is that Mell and Zeta are running around a site open to the Arctic air and wearing nothing heavier than a light jacket.

    These are some tough people.  Don’t mess with them.

  20. Likely, Foot ran while Zeta sacked.  ‘Cause trying to do it the other way around would just be silly.

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