Because I had written about Girl Genius and Dresden Codak in the previous weeks, I now have MAD SCIENCE on the brain. Specifically, mad scientists of the female variety, which brings me to the now classic daily webcomic Narbonic. Narbonic is the story of Dave Davenport, a chain-smoking recent graduate in Computer Sciences who lands a job as a henchman with Narbonic Labs right out of college. His new boss, Dr. Helen B. Narbon, is a certifiably mad and and gerbil-obsessed scientist with a penchant for buggy doomsday machines. Her cheerfully amoral gun-toting intern Mell is searching for some direction in life but until then has a large stockpile of grenades. Later on one of her experimental gerbils, Artie, achieves sentience and tries to be the voice of reason, but usually fails miserably. Dr. Narbon’s lair is frequently attacked by her rival, amorous mad scientist Lupin Madblood, the vigilante hero Antonio Smith: Forensic Linguist, her own twisted creations, and her diabolical mother. What at first appears to be a light-hearted comedic strip seductively lures you into an intricate story of madness and morality, love and the fear of intimacy, and the many different shades of good and evil. Many a “throwaway” line becomes a Chekhov’s gun much later, so pay very close attention!
Narbonic is mostly a black and white daily strip with the Sunday strips in full color. The colored Sunday strips are very rarely part of the main story line, but are usually some type of side story, fan art, fan songs, or fan poetry of the main story. This includes long palindrome songs sung by Helen’s Giant Ur-Gerbils. This is another opportunity to watch an artist evolve and refine her technique, although the artist’s style remains consistent. In the beginning it is a much rougher hand drawn style and smooths out beautifully over time. Not only is the comic a long cohesive story, in the original website Dr. Helen Narbon’s secret origin story was hidden in the file names of the images, a few words at a time. A fan compiled it into this text file. The comic ran from 2000 and was completed 2006 and the comic has been re-running with Director’s Commentary for a few years now. I recommend reading it and the hidden backstory file after reading through the original comic. It has also had a few print runs, and the books can be acquired here.
The Author and Her Other Works
Narbonic was Shaenon K. Garrity’s first webcomic, but it thankfully wasn’t her last. She’s either created numerous other webcomics, as well as numerous published short stories columns and you can peruse her body of work in her gallery. I shall draw attention to Skin Horse, her current long running project which has some connections to the Narbonic universe She has been an editor with Viz Media since 2003, a colmunist for Comixology, and is a long time volunteer and advocate of the Cartoon Art Museum located in San Francisco. The Cartoon Art Museum is the only Comics and Cartoon oriented museum in the western Hemisphere. You should visit and/or give them money. You should also read Garrity’s brilliant retelling of The Trouble with Tribbles in the style of Edward Gorey.
GonnaGeek.com Show #332 – Gonna Go Back To 2016
Posted May 24th, 2020 -
This week on the show, Sunkast joins us from the year 2016 to discuss Wink changing to a subscription model, NASA paying Russia for another Soyuz seat, Google Pixel staff changes, the future of Google ...
GonnaGeek.com Show #331 – Gonna Talk Apple Rumors
Posted May 15th, 2020 -
News points include a new a new Microsoft Office feature to kill mass reply-all strings, iPhone 12 leak, Yevgeny Mikrin passes away, Mavic Air 2 delays, information rumored about a new Apple TV, and Community ...
GonnaGeek.com Show #330 – Gonna Celebrate Sunkast Day
Posted May 7th, 2020 -
This episode was recording May 4th, 2020, also known as Sunkast day. News points include scientist finding evidence that a meteorite once killed someone, Google meet rolling out to personal accounts and ...
GonnaGeek.com Show #329 – Gonna Poorly CGI Hair On A Mermaid
Posted May 1st, 2020 -
This week’s news points include: iPhone SE tear down, Pro gaming leagues see a huge spike in viewership, SpaceX’s SN4 passes a key pressure test, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands early ...
Ion Fist S02E01 “The Fury of Iron Fist” and S02E02 “This City’s Not For Burning” Review (A Marvel Comic Universe Podcast) LoS329
Posted April 29th, 2020 -
The Legends Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director SP and Agent Michelle discuss the Netflix series Iron Fist season 2 premiere episodes “The Fury of Iron Fist” and “This City’s Not for Burning.” The Agents ...
GonnaGeek.com Show #328 – Gonna Work From Home
Posted April 25th, 2020 -
This week’s news points include: Facebook Live Gaming App, a Pokemon Go cake-gifting story to give you a smile, and NASA works from home controlling the Mars rover. Plus, we debate the new iPhone ...
Jessica Jones S02E13 “AKA Playland” Review (A Marvel Comic Universe Podcast) LoS328
Posted April 22nd, 2020 -
The Legends Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director SP, Agent Lauren and Agent Michelle discuss the Netflix series Jessica Jones season 2 finale episode “AKA Playland.” The Agents debrief you on Jessica’s last ...
Better Podcasting #223 – Showing Appreciation For Your Listeners
Posted April 19th, 2020 -
This week we talk about the importance of showing appreciation for your listeners. We’ll discuss why it’s mutually beneficial and different ways to show appreciation for your listeners. In ...
Jessica Jones S02E11 “AKA Three Lives And Counting” and S02E12 “AKA Pray For My Patsy” Review (A Marvel Comic Universe Podcast) LoS327
Posted April 15th, 2020 -
The Legends Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director SP, Agent Lauren and Agent Michelle discuss the Netflix series Jessica Jones season 2 episodes “AKA Three Lives And Counting” and “AKA Pray For My Patsy.” The ...
GonnaGeek.com Show #327 – Gonna Let Chris Toilet Talk
Posted April 10th, 2020 -
This week’s news points include: A Smart Toilet, SpaceX’s SN3 collapsing, Google rolls back some Chrome changes due to COVID-19, and Pixel 4 fixes face-unlock problem.
Plus SP does another ...
Jessica Jones S02E09 “AKA Shark In The Bathtub, Monster In The Bed” and S02E10 “AKA Pork Chop” Review (A Marvel Comic Universe Podcast) LoS326
Posted April 8th, 2020 -
The Legends Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director SP and Agent Michelle discuss the Netflix series Jessica Jones season 2 episodes “AKA Shark In The Bathtub, Monster In The Bed” and “AKA Pork Chop.” The Agents ...
Fred Ashman – Advocate for the Audience
Posted April 3rd, 2020 -
Filmmaker and Author Fred Ashman returns to the podcast to talk about what we can do to stay on our game during the global crisis.