H Is H: September 12-17, 2005

I can’t remember when and how I came up with Foot, except that he was an excellent way to avoid drawing an entire robot. I like drawing feet. I put myself, Andrew, and our friend Mohamed into the fleeing crowd in the first panel, just for the heck of it.

I can’t remember when or how I came up with this plot development, but I think it was pretty last-minute. Most of this storyline was written off the cuff. That said, it still makes me smile.

Ruby’s last line is lifted from an episode of “Red Dwarf”: “If you’re God, why that face?” It makes sense in context.

Yes, so Foot is an invention of Professor Madblood’s, sent to eke revenge upon the hamsters, who, by posing as a pro-machine-rights hacker in Winnipeg, abducted some of Madblood’s android duplicates for their own nefarious purposes. Sometimes this strip, like the dinner, is weird.

Madblood mentions being the creator of Foot very briefly later in the strip, but, sadly, we never get to see them together. There’s a fanfic in there, probably.

I love this one, especially Dirk Tiede turning into a blob monster. Artie’s superpowers are kind of useless sometimes.

Hey, an action scene! Good for me! Plus ANTONIO SMITH and Artie in his suit and the semicolon… this is a fine, fine strip.

In Narbonic, rope-swinging rescues represent romance. Sadly, it’s not always reciprocal.

Yeah, so Artie is gay. I’ve mentioned this before, but originally he was going to be bisexual, but as the strip went on he kind of got gayer and gayer in my mind.

Besides, who can resist the raw sexual magnetism of ANTONIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST?

31 thoughts on “H Is H: September 12-17, 2005

  1. Monday:

    The punch-line to this one is actually pretty good. ANTONIO SMITH’s place in the Narbonic world suddenly makes a bit more sense.

  2. (TUNE: “We Will Rock You”, Queen)

    NO GOT


  3. Tuesday:

    This is definitely a highlight of this storyline – the discovery that even these perfect strangers, in this rarefied establishment, have to put up with the same super-science nonsense that assails our heroes, from both outside and within.

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot about these guys. Any chance they’ll turn up in Skin Horse at some point? Of course, maybe the guy on the left has already been seen but we don’t recognize him…

  5. (TUNE: “My Favorite Things”, Rodgers & Hammerstein)

    I am an android, constructed for battle!
    Rain makes me rusty; when jogging I rattle!
    I’m on the run from the mi-li-ta-ry …
    I think my owners are coming for me!

    I am a life form that soft and shape-shifting!
    I ran away, and since then I’ve been drifting!
    Small and bespectacled, with a goatee …
    I think my captors are coming for me!

    I’m unstable,
    And I’m able
    To become minute!
    A superintelligent gerbil am I,
    And my mother thinks …
    I’m cute!

  6. I don’t remember what happened to Mike and Ruby after this. Assuming they made it out okay, I hope they got in contact with a paranormal nonhuman-social-sercives group, ’cause they sound like they really need one…

  7. Wednesday:

    I’m glad that Madblood did, in fact, follow up on that blown-up robot beetle kerfuffle. How he found out that his enemies were rodents in spite of their masterful disguises is beyond me, though.

  8. (TUNE: “Are You Ready For Some Football”, Hank Williams Jr.)

    It’s the Knipl dinner,
    And it’s no fun!
    All the grant winners are on the run!
    It seems that Madblood
    Is quite annoyed …
    There’ll be no one left,
    ‘Cause Foot is right!
    Surprise for the guys in disguise tonight!

    So, attention!
    And did I mention
    It’s time for contentioooooooon …!

    Are you ready for a Foot ‘Bot?!
    Are you ready for a romp!
    The damn li’l hamsters run
    When they hear “FOOT STOMP!”
    The guests aren’t prey,
    As they all feared …
    The winners say the dinner is gettin’ weird!

  9. @ Tiff: Madblood playing footsie with Foot?! AAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHHHHH!!! Cannot unsee!!! *heads for the Brain Bleach*

  10. Well, let’s be fair.  He can also make people weak-kneed with lust.  Against Foot, he’ll be able to . . . yeah, he’d better just stand behind Arthur and Ruby.

  11. They make fun of his ability to calculate primes; but, since Artie’s vegan, he can’t take a prime rib.

  12. Thursday:

    I approve of this momentary shameless dip into overly chatty superheroics.

    The slight drooping angle of Artie’s finger in panel 4 reveals the insincerity of his booming declaration.

  13. That “blob monster” seems slightly reminiscient of Apple Butter Man from Hell on Wheels.

    Also, consider who does save the day here… someone who doesn’t seem to have any powers….


  14. At least Aquaman can breathe underwater, withstand crushing pressure, see in near-total darkness and communicate with fish…

  15. Foot is much bigger than a car.

    Anyway, it’s not like Artie can lift a car, like, over his head. Just, you know, if he needs to straighten out a parking job or something.

  16. Artie’s going the wrong way in this case. His power isn’t turning into a gerbil, his power is to turn Human

  17. Artie’s going the wrong way in this case. His power isn’t turning into a gerbil, his power is to turn Human.

    Wait. Artie can lift a car?

  18. (TUNE: “Sultans Of Swing”, Dire Straits)

    Against a giant foot, Artie’s got no chance!
    “Damn it, don’t throw your life away!”
    Though rope-swinging rescue represents romance,
    It’s not reciprocal, sad to say …

    Against that ‘bot, what has Artie got that he can bring?
    A furry shape and twelve-digit primes?
    Rescue rope tied ’round his heartstrings!
    Swept off that foot in the nick of time …
    Artie’s saved by,
    Artie’s saved by a swing!

  19. I always loved this strip. “I can hear the semicolons” is one of my go-to examples for a metatextual gag.

  20. (TUNE: “One Fine Day”, Gerry Goffin & Carole King, performed by The Chiffons)

    Artie’s gay,
    He’s not bi …
    SMITH told him “Stay away,
    Or you’ll die!”
    Artie’s gay,
    Forensic linguist makes him swoon!

    Artie’s gay!
    Love is blind!
    This lack of romance has him
    In a bind!
    Artie’s gay!
    He needs to get some action soon!

    Guys he’s likin’!
    See heart icon?
    It’s seems he’s got a little crush!
    He’ll confess, sure,
    That Professor

    Artie’s gay,
    As a man …
    For him to lean that way was
    Shaenon’s plan!
    Artie’s gay!
    We’re now a PG-rated ‘toon!

  21. Aha, so this is what they are! (When Ruby shows up in Skin Horse, the commenters got into some kind of hyper-referential mode that made the comments almost unbearable to read; I had to stop reading SH to instead crawl the archives of Narbonic. Which I’m still doing.)

    Also, “twelve-digit primes” is probably random, but indeed the twelve-digit composite number 118670087467 is the first that is a Miller–Rabin pseudoprime to bases 2, 3, 5, and 7. (What’s important isn’t so much finding primes of a certain size, but checking whether a number is a prime.)

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