There’s no prior strip announcing the Name Dave Contest, so I must have announced it on the website itself. I guess I’d decided that Dave should have a last name. People were saying he needed one. If I remember correctly, the 353 entries arrived via emails from about 50 different people, which was far more feedback than I’d received on Narbonic at that point. All the names floating around on scraps of paper were, of course, actual entries, as was “Dave Egg-Bacon-and-Spam.”
By suggesting “Stone Cold Dave Austin,” Dave reveals, for the first time, his fondness for pro wrestling. His unexpected interest in opera also crops up again.
Mark Fey was a guy my mother knew in high school. Most of the other entrants named here were college friends.
The newly formed Narbonic mailing list announced its existence to me by flooding me with emails demanding that Dave be named “Dave-Luc Picard.” This campaign was, of course, the brainchild of the nefarious Dave Barker, who kicked it off with the following post to the mailing list:
OK gang, it’s time to tell Shaenon that this list exists, and at the same time, to fight for what we believe in. I’ve fought. Karoline’s fought. But now we must cry out with one voice, and demand justice:
HIS NAME IS DAVE-LUC PICARD!
So today everyone needs to send the following message to shaenon@… :
as a member of the Forensic Linguistics “Li’l Helper” Special Forces Unit, the Evil Interns with Evil Intentions Organization (E.I.E.I.O.), and the Narbonic Fan Email List Secret Weapons and Gerbils Team [email@example.com], I MUST INSIST that Dave’s full name be Dave-Luc Picard.
From the moment I first saw Dave, I perceived his heart-wrenching story. One day in high school, drunk as a fish, our poor hero wandered to city hall and renamed himself for his hero. Now he wants his old name back, but it’s impossible to find your way through the bureaucracy sober.
I am making this request of my own free will and am not under any kind of duress.
It would be tragic to use something other than Dave’s real name in the strip. I hope that you will find the strength and courage to name your character Dave-Luc Picard.
your name here
There it is, so send it, and send it now! If you don’t agree with it, send a followup message explaining that I threatened you with a gerbil inseminator, but send her the message!
(legally David Wan Kenobi, but let’s not go into that)
The name I chose, Davenport, came from Caitlin Feeley, another college friend. It’s her middle name. Later, in the gender-swap storyline, I tried to make the female Dave look a little like her, except that Caitlin is much, much cuter.
The nearly-illegible dialogue in the last panel: “AUGH! What have you done to me? Suddenly I feel the weight of generations of Massachusetts bluebloods, now down on their luck! I think I was raised Episcopalian! Help me!”
Except that I misspelled “Massachusetts.”