Madness: September 11-16, 2006

This late in the game, that last panel isn’t even necessary.

Man, I was having fun drawing sound effects around this time. Old Cerebus comics guilted me into working harder on those.

In my opinion, this is the worst thing anyone ever does to Madblood. And look how threatening he is with his enormous oversized fists! Drawing is hard.

One of the plot holes in Narbonic is that the future lab Dave visits in the time-travel storyline is called Narbonics Labs, even though it’s Madblood’s old base and Dave is running it. It always bugged me, and this strip is my effort to patch that hole. I guess it makes sense if Evil!Future!Dave is still sentimental about Helen.

All in all, this strip is kind of an info-dump, but Dave’s bit about Madblood’s tie is good. Poor Madblood. Not even Dave is intimidated by him anymore.

For once Madblood has the right perspective. Who knew?

I love doing the crazy font.

As you can probably tell from my comments, I like a lot of strips from this storyline. This is one of my favorites. I’m happy that I could develop Dave’s character far enough for him to have insights like this, while also being evil and insane.

I really admire Madblood for, at long last, correctly identifying himself as comic relief. And not long after Artie has been forced to admit that he’s not.

Everybody lists uncomfortably to the side in the first panel. That happens in my art a lot.

41 thoughts on “Madness: September 11-16, 2006

  1. Every woman is more trouble than she’s worth.

    Well, except for you, Shaenon.  And my wife, of course.  Oh, and my Mom too.  And the nice lady in Tech Publications at work.  And Sigourney Weaver.  And June Foray.  And Kaja Foglio.  And the lady at the convenience store near me.  And Spike Trotman.  And …

  2. I’m imagining that thing sounding like George Jetson’s space car. If that’s not the noise it makes, I’d like to know, so I can correct my imagination.

  3. I like that Madblood screws up the Spanish in the second panel.

    (“Mano a mano” is “hand-to-hand”.  Mano y mano would be “hand and hand”, which is really more how lovers would walk down the street.)

  4. @see: He’s a mad roboticist, not a mad linguist. As a Spanish speaker myself, I see that error a lot.

  5. He possibly *could* have stopped the hamsters if Dave hadn’t disconnected the missiles….

    I went back through the “Unstuck” arc to look for a 20-years-older Madblood shuffling about somewhere.  No luck.  Too bad that was still Shaenon’s “minimal background” phase.

  6. Granted, Dave out-classes him in just about every way, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the classical villain dialogue that Madblood does so well.  I’m holding out hope that the reason we didn’t see Future!Madblood was because he eventually got fed up with his ‘servile flunky’ job and set out to persue his own evil schemes again.

  7. What’s Madblood’s least attractive feature?  His egotism, his overblown ranting, his clothes, or his whole physical appearance?

    It’s a tie.

  8. I get Dave’s meaning; that the fact that Madblood wears a tie aftter he’s reached that level of success means he has the mindset of an employee rather than an employer, but some people just like wearing ties to work.

  9. @jdreyfuss: I always interpreted Dave’s comment as a reference to the style of Madblood’s tie, like it was the sort of weak-willed tie a person who’d accept a role as a servile flunky in his own facility would wear. But your take on it–that the very existence of the tie means that Madblood is thinking more like someone else’s employee than like the self-employed scientist he is–is interesting, too; I hadn’t considered it that way.

  10. The best thing about this strip is… well, the best thing is Dave summing up Madblood’s entire character in two words.

    But the second-best thing is Madblood’s total incomprehension. I can almost see him thinking, “My tie? Why is that dolt casting aspersions on my tie? This is stylish and comfortable attire for the dashing mad-scientist-about-town. Far superior to the slovenly appearance he affects.”

  11. Ooh, maybe you missed your calling! I read this really cool article about the top font designer that I can not recall. You might need another but crazy font is a great start. You could be like a boutique font designer, for the discerning cartoonist.

  12. (TUNE: “In The Navy”, The Village People)

    In the Northern Ices,
    Dave, he realizes,
    In the future, he will win!
    Madblood now is losing,
    This is so confusing!
    See his patience getting thin!
    Dave is smug and gloating,
    Madly, he’s emoting,
    Chattering, he just won’t stop!
    He’s a bit confused, too,
    ‘Cause he isn’t used to
    Coming out alone on top!

    Win for Dave D.!
    He’ll rule the Ices of the North!
    Win for Dave D.!
    He won’t be second, third, or fourth!
    Win for Dave D.!
    A rare and welcome victory!
    Win for Dave D.!  Win for Dave D.!

    Win for Dave D.!
    Though he’s behaving rather odd,
    Win for Dave D.!
    Though he might want a brand new bod,
    Win for Dave D.!
    He’ll conquer Helen, wait and see!
    Win for Dave D.!  Win for Dave D.!

  13. The saddest thing about Mad-Dave is how much he reverts to his nerd-rage former self, how much he can’t understand that he’s been awesome all along (or at least since 2001 or so).

  14. Back when I was in college, I used to grow the full Fidel Castro every winter.  Shaved it off on the first day of spring.

  15. I grow a hell of a beard, except for the two little spots on the sides of my mouth connecting the moustache to the beard. Alas, I could never move to Williamsburg, because I lack the basic facial hair necessary to be either a hipster or a Hassid. 🙁

  16. I like that the comments section has turned into Beard Talk.

    I would say something about my own beard, but instead I’ll note that the combination of clearsightedness and insanity that seems to be the hallmark of the newly-minted mad scientist is convincingly terrifying to me.

    (Also, my beard is pretty great, if I do say so myself!)

  17. My beard can be pretty bothersome, since it grows enough to cover my face in a couple of days… and then stops growing altogether. And that’s why I could never have the beard braids that I always wanted T_T

  18. In handwriting analysis text going up (L-R) indicates optimism/mania, and text going down indicates depression/insecurity. What does leaning artwork indicate?

  19. It indicates right-handedness. It’s one of the most common errors people have to train themselves out of. Lefties have their art lean the other way.

  20. In spite of it, Shaenon, you’re still a terrific cartoonist.  (How’s that for a left-handed compliment?)

  21. How sinister.  At least it’s not a reference to Dexter, never watched that show.

    (and yes, another southpaw chiming in with his $0.005 worth.)

  22. Was “picasecond” a pun, since the actual term is “picosecond” while “pica” is a font? (Well, it’s also an eating disorder.)

  23. Well, of course they’re uncomfortable.  They’re standing or floating upright.  I always find a comfy chair when I need to make lists.

  24. … You know, it’s interesting that despite being uploaded into a supercomputer, Dave seems to be running in roughly normal human time. I mean, if he’d been proportionately accelerated by the upload, the forcefield should’ve been up a leisurely few microseconds after they express their intent to board the sky-car thing.

    … Well, okay, he’s mad so who knows what he’ll do, but…

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