Lovelace and Babbage Vs The Organist Pt 10

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series The Organist

As promised, an Amusing Epilogue..

–EDITED TO ADD: That’s Minion, still coping with the monkey aftermath.. come on people, he had a whole panel five months ago!– also, I usually treat typos with devil-may-care insouciance, but those were BAD, man. I need sleep.

Now that really IS the end! There aren’t really any notes for this one, except that John Stuart Mill and Wilkie Collins were amongst the signatories of the petition to regulate street music. The Musical World weighs in:

But Babbage, Bentinick, and Bass have a special plea; “the public,” we are told, “really want the nuisance to be abated;” and in proof hereof we are favoured with selected facts. Sundry eminent individuals, with highly sensitive nervous organisations, are pressed into the witness-box.


So that’s The Organist! Believe it or not it comes in at over 100 pages.. D: !!! and could have easily been much longer. I confess by the last couple of episodes (I’m not very happy with those) I was slashing material with abandon… like the giant dance number! The Organist’s big number is mean to be this one, you can imagine the mass-mersmeric-musical-multimedia extravangaza to this irresistible beat:

I’m also sorry that I ran out of energy for the groovy cymatics episode. And the huge subplot with Lovelace’s mother, not to mention the stereoscopic sequence! These are the perils of free-associative storytelling.

Personally I’ve learned many Moral Lessons from The Organist, the main one of which is, Stick to Your Rules! I think the last couple of episodes would have been stronger if I’d been firmer of purpose in keeping to the outline of the story, which (for those of you who made it all the way through my lecture) is based on the Orpheus myth. I was too lazy to stage my way around the critical point that Lovelace (the Orpheus figure) not look at Babbage until the very end of the story. Partly it’s just really tricky to stage that sort of thing, and also I didn’t want to lose the gag, “You’ve been reading poetry! I can see it in your eyes!” Only now has it struck me how much funnier “You’ve been reading poetry! I can tell from the back of your head!” is. Anyways it would have really helped keep the tension in the relationship there if I’d stuck to my guns.

With these melancholy reflections it is a comfort to tell myself that what I’m doing here is a first draft of something. I’m often asked, in those comments I guiltily stare at and procrastinate on answering, whether I intend to do a book at any point. I understand that authors become either WEALTHY and CELEBRATED, or STARVE in BOXES, and I’m much disinclined to the latter. At some point though I think I’ll be unable to resist the urge to go back and clean stuff up, though this is probably still a ways away. I’m at a point now where I could either make the existing comics fit for human consumption, or Press Onwards, and I’m in a pressing onwards spirit.

When I started these shenaningans there were really only two stories I had in mind, one was The Organist and the other was Vampire Poets, but that’s even longer than The Organist if you can imagine such a thing. We need to regather our energies here at 2dGoggles Emalgamated Comic Industries SO, I’m putting Vampire Poets to one side to simmer and the next series is (GOD I HOPE) much shorter and will be in a bit of a different format. It’s called ‘User Experience’ and I’m pretty excited about it. BUT what with the Giant Monsters on the rampage and so forth it will take some time before I can get it drawn up.

For the next month or so I’ll put up some more worky-in-progressy sketches and stuff if you don’t mind. I’d also like to try to stick to a bit more a schedule. You may think the life of an imaginary comics artist is a sunlit field of lighthearted caperings and irresponsible outbursts of creativity, but actually it’s riven with constant low-level anxiety. Any free moment is one in which you really ought to be drawing comics. It’s been suggested that I try for shorter, more frequent comics, but that’s not really how I roll. However I do have a ton of exploratory material I can put up so I’m going to aim for some sort of post every other week on Monday, with proper comics posts probably monthly, I don’t think I can promise anything more frequent than that what with all the giant monster attacks these days.

Anyways I hope you all enjoyed The Organist even if it WAS a bit too long and disorganised! User Experience takes us more into the Difference Engine and its denizens, same bat-time, same bat-channel, which is to say, sporadically here at 2dgoggles.

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  1. David Moncoeur on September 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    My brain just puts the t in then forgets about it.

    • David Moncoeur on September 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      That was supposed to be in response to yon whea- stone pedant……very well drawn, the pipe-smoking individual is particularly well drawn…….made me think of David Hume refusing to compose music because he couldn’t believe one would not exhaust the possible combinations of notes – can’t you steal a Tardis, go back in time with the Beatles (or with Tanya Donelly of the Throwing Muses, or all of them)…..and sshow Mr Hume that we haven’t yet exhausted all of these possible combinations…….?

  2. Krissy on December 17, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Oh my goodness, obsessive Ada is so cute! Draw her like this more please. ^-^
    I just love this comic.

  3. Lucas on December 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I can’t even believe this is real! Keep up the amazing work!

  4. Timo on June 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Dear Ms Padua,

    I am catching up on your most entertaining and informative webcomic, currently on episode nine. By jumping the queue, as it were, I hope that the expression of my profound enjoyment and appreciation of your intellectual, artistic and historical efforts will be noticed. I simply could not bear waiting until my sporadic www sessions enabled me to post a current and specific comment.

    Your work is to be commended for its (sic) educational and enjoyment value, and it would be dem hard to apportion the said value to above variables.

    I remain,
    your devoted servant,

    former officer and a scholar, currently a mere historical re-enactor
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  5. Elmo on March 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Sydney, I couldn’t begin telling you how much joy, wonder and learning your work has brought me. Please keep it up!

    Anyway, reading the Coda for The Organist reminded me of the introduction to Douglas Hofstadter’s “Le Ton Beau de Marot”, so I re-read it at amazon’s “Look Inside”.

    If you haven’t read that book -or at least the intro- you simply must. You will find much amusement and solace vis-a-vis some of the “sorrows” of creative work.

  6. jimmy c on March 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm


  7. sydney on February 14, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Many, many thanks for all your kinds words, folks– Comments mean a lot to me! And welcome to the avalanche of people from Hark A Vagrant– cheers, Kate!

    Kristin– Ada Lovelace Day is being moved to October this year, but it will be awesome as ever!

    James– Hah! First appearance of Brunel-

  8. Anna on February 14, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I discovered your comic through Kate Beaton’s link on Hark A Vagrant and wanted to let you know how immensely I have been enjoying it. I love your various works and I thoroughly enjoy your notes. The research you’ve done for this project is a bit staggering. Really, just keep up the good work.

  9. Kristin Norwood on February 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Any news on whether there will be a Lady Ada Day 2011?

  10. James Hutchings on February 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Is the resemblance between brunel and wolverine deliberate?

  11. Dr Marsh on February 13, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Dear Ms Padua
    You and your drawings were, for me, the find of 2010. I have long been fascinated with Charles and Ada, and Victoriana in general, and you do a wonderful job of sharing and spreading your own enthusiasm. I echo what others have said: produce (or not) according to your own whims and fancies. We, your audience, will follow. And invariably applaud.

    Thank you.

  12. Anon, a Mouse on February 13, 2011 at 1:21 am

    PS. Thank you, thank you and thank you again for the prisencolinensinainciusol video. You have made my day, week and rest of the month.

  13. Ceridwen on February 12, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I wasn’t expecting this. :D Thanks for the surprise! I’m kinda sorry the cymantics didn’t get in there – imagine London being vibrated by a huge table full of salt! Anyway, on to the users! Hooray!

    A book at some point would be a good idea. Maybe you could offer in e-format as well as regular for the links and all.

  14. Vryce on February 11, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I do hope you continue to get as much joy out of creating the comic as we take in reading it. You are the artist and _especially_ if you aren’t making a living off of this you should make yourself happy. Also the storytelling and feel of webcomics that throw out a short strip every day vs those that will occasionally publish pages are very different, and though they are both good in their own way I feel 2D Goggles would be a very different comic on a different schedule, and I happen to like it as it is. See, I am a selfish reader who likes the current approach, so now that I’ve said that you can either do what you want OR give in to the voices on the internet and STILL not have to change your pace.

    If you want to come back later and make The Organist more to your liking I don’t expect you will be torn to shreds by angry fans because you dared to tamper with “Canon” or something like that. It is far too early for there to be Purists who grew up on the Original 2D Goggles ans will accept no other.

    I have learned so much from your comic, and have been inspired to go off and learn even more. Thank you for mixing Humour and History and bringing joy into our lives.

  15. Joe on February 11, 2011 at 12:28 am

    “Press Onwards” would be an excellent name for a publishing house.

  16. Redshift on February 11, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Interestingly enough, I find that I mind the intermittent pace of production less than in some other webcomics. Somehow the fact that it’s so irregular makes me happy whenever there’s something new, whereas comics that are supposedly on a schedule but subject to unannounced pauses bug me more.

    So, no complaints here. I love all of it, and happily take it as it comes.

  17. barsoomcore on February 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    A very fitting finish — thanks so much! Whether you choose to polish existing work with the plan to produce a printed version, or carry on producing more new stuff, doesn’t matter to me. I’ll be in line to buy the book, and I’ll just keep refreshing the page when you’ve promised a new comic.

    You’ve created something very wonderful here. Thank you.

  18. butting on February 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Bravo! Bravo!

    *throws Jacquard cards stamped with flower motifs*

  19. John on February 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    We’ve ourselves to blame if it’s too long…but it’s not.

    A book, I’m sure, we can drum up at LEAST 83% support for, even if the schedule is “eventually.” I’d love to see the “final” versions of these “drafts.”

    Regular updates? Sure! Though regular comics could set you down the wrong path, the occasional reference/source wouldn’t be unwelcome.

  20. John Spencer on February 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Yes – the book. No doubt many will be checking future footnotes for a discrete pre-order reference. But the book must have all the notes and the URLs, though how you get those to leap off the page and into a laptop beats me.

    • Mary Ellen on February 10, 2011 at 1:26 am

      As for how to handle the notes – how about the good old “annotated” format, where the strip appears on (say) the right page of each double page spread, and the corresponding notes on the left, in double column? Old-technology esthetics, you say? Sure – but it works. It’s a good User Experience. As for the URLs… Ada and Charles and Isembard between them would probably be able to think of some miraculous method. Steam-powered, and linking, via that new telegraphy system we’re now hearing about, directly to the Reading Room at the British Museum.

  21. Lance on February 9, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I’m a bit surprised by the almost apologetic tone of your notes. Let’s get one thing clear Sydney, you have an exceptional talent, not just the artwork but for story telling, humour, and bringing some wonderful characters to life. And to think you do all this for nothing in your spare time…

    “if you don’t mind” – Seriously??? :-)

  22. John the Monkey on February 9, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Really enjoyed this adventure – and that last panel with minion is just wonderful. /applauds

  23. Hugh on February 9, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Does Lovelace have a monogamous relationship with the Engine, or could she be (gasp) tempted into infidelity with a faster calculating machine?

  24. Eric S on February 9, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Longer format is welcome. Just stretch it out and use your imagination.
    I wait in eager anticipation for more…

    Thought the community would get a laugh of of this, which I stumbled upon ….
    Just in time for St. Valentines Day

  25. TuringTest on February 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    OMGosh! User Experience is my favorite topic in computing. Now I’m pretty excited too!

  26. Andrew K on February 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I must say I have been exceedingly pleased by this last comic, and that you shouldn’t be too concerned about longer format. So long as you are updating rather than stockpiling that is.

    In any case, excellent work!

  27. David Rysdam on February 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I hate to mention it, but….”Wheastone”?

  28. lns on February 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I am sorrowful at the end of my thrilling waits for each episode… no more excited checking to see if the next episode is up yet…
    But O! sydney, what a woman you are.
    Frankly, you’re going into my list for Women In Science for next year’s Ada Day – your notes have taught me a fair bit I didn’t know, and made me scurry off into libraries to read more and I’ve even signed up for an extra-mural class in the Philosophy and History of Mathematics at my local university, so I’d say that counts as you being a woman who researches, presents her findings and both encourages and increases the understanding of science and mathematics amongst other women!

    Book, yes, please but it MUST have the notes.

    Is there a shrine somewhere, where we can leave votive offerings to you? :-)

  29. CC on February 8, 2011 at 8:13 am

    “Anyways I hope you all enjoyed The Organist even if it WAS a bit too long and disorganised!”

    It was awesome. Keep up the fantastic work.

  30. Luke on February 8, 2011 at 6:23 am

    oh, also… Panel 2, ebarassing… maybe it’s just a pun I don’t get or a word I don’t know, but we might’ve missed an “m.”

  31. Luke on February 8, 2011 at 6:20 am

    A lovely little cadence to a very harmonious digression.

  32. musiccaptain on February 8, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Pardon my Thickness, but who is the figure with the mop?

  33. kaazz on February 8, 2011 at 5:41 am

    SQUEEEE! A bonus comic!! I was smiling before the page even loaded – just so excited that there was MORE to the story! Loved it! (“Telegraph poll…” Brilliant!!) OH, and Lovelace’s eyes as she’s holding her beloved: even more brillianter! ;-)

    And, yes, while I am one of those clamoring for a book, and pleading for more frequent comments, I truly realize that the Real World demands much of your time and energy. So, truly, I’m just excited to see whatever you can offer.

    May your muse never fail you and always give you joy in your creations!

  34. MarkyMark on February 8, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Glorious from start to end. We worship at your drawing board. Engineers! Poets! Programmers! Musicians! What more could we ask for?

    Not sure whether you saw my suggestion before, but your mention of going “into the Difference Engine and its denizens” leads me to re-iterate my hope for the appearance of a Coin-Operated Boy or some such. Who knows, perhaps that is he in the final panel.

    • MarkyMark on February 8, 2011 at 5:38 am

      I suppose I should have said “We worship at your Wacom” but it doesn’t sound nearly steampunky enough. Unless of course it’s reconceived as some marvellous evolution of the Difference Engine, complete with pens and brushes on elaborate lever mechanisms.

      • sydney on February 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

        Fortuitously, I have my Wacom on top of my drawing board, so worship away.

  35. Woot100 on February 8, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I understand her missing the dif…..math….THINGY.
    I have not had anyone that i like but you undate something
    in FOREVER!

    • Woot100 on February 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

      *UPDATE not undate!

  36. Anon, a Mouse on February 8, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Too long? What on earth are you talking about? It had the right number of notes. And footnotes! Thank you very, very much! More! Bravo! Encore!

    As much as we’re all clamoring for it, no hurry on producing an actual printed book. Just build your fan base, update as you see fit, prepare for world domination… As for the (unfounded) fear of starving in a box due to the cost, a lot of creators do pre-sales of books to finance the production. Then they sell the rest of the print-run as they go along.

    Can’t wait to see the next jewel in your crown, be it vampire poets or giant monsters. Hooray!

  37. Mary Ellen on February 8, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Sydney, as long as you’re excited and want to press on, all is cool, all is good. And I mean ALL!
    Let creativity and fun prevail.

  38. Leifbk on February 8, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I just want to say: Thank you very very very much for this wonderful adventure! Along with the glorious drawings and the amazingly convoluted storyline, I’ve particularly enjoyed your hilariously geeky puns.

    This is classic Steam Punk in the making. Go for the book; I’d like to preorder my copy.

  39. Jeanie Babbage on February 8, 2011 at 12:06 am

    As a Babbage I thoroughly enjoy whatever efforts you put forth. When I met my husband in 1971 I had little idea who Babbage was. Now I have grocery clerks ask if there is a connection. The more people who hear about Charles, the happier I am!