Lovelace and Babbage Vs The Organist Pt 10

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series The Organist

Greeting from Beautiful York on this New Years Eve! I swore I would get The Organist up before midnight*! Your slightly hysterical fearless sequential artist is battling against spotty B&B wifi but fingers crossed and champagne guzzled to bring you..Lovelace and Babbage vs The Organist, Part 10!

In an unusual, alcohol fueled move, the notes will be postponed until I am more sober, I am sure in the morning we will all agree this was the right decision. So have a very very happy New Year whatever spot on the globe you inhabit!

**and the ‘don’t post while drunk’ award goes to… Sydney Padua!! whooo!! thank you thank you..

*actually, I swore I would finish The Organist before the New Year, but it KEEPS GETTING LONGER.

EDITED TO ADD: and here are the notes:

“Wheastone has given me some very striking counsels. I did not think the little man had such depth in him. I can’t write it all to you, or even a small part, but I know you will agree fully, with him when you do hear it.” — Lovelace writes this to her husband, in regards to Wheastone’s schemes for Lovelace’s scientific writing career, or else it’s about the world domination plans. We may never know!


The Organist

– Here is some visual reference of that Shadowy Kingpin The Organist being EEEEEVIL:


Machines that have absolutely nothing to do with each other that coincidentally use similar mechanisms to perform operations to pre-defined patterns

– This enchanting little machine is a serinette or ‘bird-organ’:

These machines go back to the early 18th century, and I’m told the purpose of them was to teach canaries to sing (though surely it would be starlings that can learn tunes?). Ada Lovelace was an enthusiastic keeper of birds- she and Babbage were both big animal-lovers– isn’t it nice to think of her having demonstrating one to Babbage? It’s not very loud and he could have watched the mechanism!

– Babbage’s Analytical Engine used both peg-barrels and punchcards. The punchcard roller from which our heroes are fleeing is of this kind:


– The Genius/Music chart–

Babbage gives us a single data point on this issue:

This is simply not enough information from which to construct an accurate chart, so I you should know the Genius vs Music Exposure graph in the comic should not be used in any citations. I thought of just having a simple linear progression, or else maybe the effect only really sets in under severe exposure? However given the unending cliffhangers of this storyline and the extreme levels of music to which pocket-universe Babbage is subjected the inevitable convergence on zero was too dire to contemplate. So I went with a tapering slow-in and slow out of the effect:

In actuality it could actually be anything really– I mean it could be a bell curve where at some point the effect reverses:

But that would just be silly.



I am reentering Gainful Employment in a couple of weeks, this is what I’m doing:

I spent all weekend trying on metal bikinis and turns out they want me to play the Giant Monster! Oh well. Fear not for the continued life of the comic however! Perusing the history of postings to this site I’m surprised to see that I’m producing very nearly as much comics when I’m on a film as when I’m not.. I think when I have too much time on my hands the comic becomes more of a ‘job’ and loses the all-important feeling of skiving off that is so essential to creativity.

Sorry to be so late on replying to comments, I’m several months late at this point I believe. At some point I will compose replies, no doubt long after the original commenter has forgotten they ever read the comic. Please believe that I love each and every comment I get and my only difficulty is in making an adequate reply.

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  1. Remy Creecy on March 2, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Fun stuff, as usual.

    Being an incurable Burroughs fan, I sure hope they do justice to the book. Isn’t Pixar doing the heavy lifting on this one?

  2. The doodler on January 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    This is _awesome_ as usual. :D I love how hobbit-like
    Babbage looks.

  3. barsoomcore on January 10, 2011 at 3:53 am

    The stories get steadily more complicated, but the jokes keep coming!

    This is my favourite web comic… ever.

    Though I was hoping the Organist would bellow out some variation of “This time around, the revolution will NOT be TELEGRAPHED!”

  4. Tallulah on January 7, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Does Babbage have spelling issues? “Avarage” is written on
    his graph while the spelling should be ‘Average’ – Though given the
    circumstances under which he wrote it my quibble regarding spelling
    is minor…. Unless it’s a cunning mathmatical pun which I caught
    but didn’t understand.

  5. derek on January 5, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Hasta la vista, Babbage!

  6. mark v thomas on January 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Re: Kazzz’s comment
    What, and deny us “The Return Of The Organist”, sometime in the future…?
    After all, if Moriarty is Sherlock Holmes’s recurring adversary/ nemesis, then “The Organist” is surely Babbage’s…
    I suspect that the Organist’s apparent “Death Cry” (t.m), as he gets minced by his own diabolical device, (for example), will be “I’l be Bach….”

  7. Jeff D on January 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I just wanted to finally leave a note thanking you for these comics. I love what you are doing here =)

  8. Kaazz on January 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    DEEEE-LIGHT-FUL!!! Will Lovelace come up with an escape plan in time? Will Babbage recover his wits & return to full genius status? Will the Dastardly Organist get his just reward?? Will Sydney learn to spell (or at least learn the hazards of posting while slightly tipsy)???

    This intrepid reader breathlessly awaits the answers!!

    (Oh, and thanks, Sydney – simply brilliant, as usual!)

  9. Roberta X on January 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    It’s perfectly wondrous! It’s stupendous! …It’s another cliffhanger!!!

    Suits me. I’m almost sorry to see each arc end.

  10. E-wit on January 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Hurray, another great episode! Hate to think of it as being the penultimate, though. Yes, some spell-checking needed: whinNey, and avErage. But who spell-checks on New Year’s eve? Anyway, you know we care. love to all from E-wit.

  11. Ann Timoney on January 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you, Ms Padua, you made my year. I’m sure you’ll
    greatly improve my 2011 too (no pressure, though).

  12. Nimrod1943 on January 2, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Oooooh brilliant as always! Thank you for providing an amusing, witty, and wonderful, episode to start the year! Happy 2011! Here’s to more Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage! *clinks glasses*

  13. sam on January 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Yay!!! Great episode (as always)!
    Monkeys will never get old.
    Babbage will never stop being hilarious.
    Ada, I will always love you best. (And you are nothing like Lady Mcbeth.)
    Happy New Year!

  14. John on January 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Whinney! Another episode!

    I love the “punchcards” panel and the opening “splash,” though…is Ada getting enough sleep? Those look like bags under her eyes…

    I notice the monkeys have been less flowy than they used to be. Change in tactics for the endgame, or just conserving ink?

  15. clheiny on January 1, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Images – check. Monkeys – check. Intrepid duo – check.
    Laughing till beer comes out of my nose – check. A most excellent
    way to ring in the new year, and I’ve still got 3 hours to go here.
    Many spiflicated thanks and an intoxicated tip of the brass
    planetary gear to you, Sydney. May your new year be

  16. Mary Ellen on January 1, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Oh, Syd-a-ney (to quote Kenny Everett’s punk goddess Deirdre, addressing her equally punk boyfriend), this is just superb. Art, Science, Hooray! And also happy Hogmanay! (To everyone here.) We’re just shy of 2011 here in the New York Longitudes by about 1 hour and 9 minutes.

  17. Nate on January 1, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Wonderful. Thanks for making my 2010 much better with your work – I love it.

    Happy new year Sydney.

  18. Giles on January 1, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Typos ( I assume): On the graph, penultimate frame:
    avArage? Final frame, Lovelace is missing an ‘e’ Why yes, some of
    your fans will spellcheck at 2:11 am on New Year’s, why do you

  19. Cirret on January 1, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Bravo and happy new year! There were images, but something seems to have gone wrong. “More sober” may be the key to fixing this, possibly.

  20. fluffy on December 31, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Looks like a bunch of auto-formatting linebreaks got inserted into the middle of your img tags. You might want to edit the entry in “raw source” mode and fix things up (although I think in WordPress even that gets screwy).

  21. tudza on December 31, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I’m seeing lots of markup and no images. Must remember to visit later.

  22. JA on December 31, 2010 at 11:56 pm


    Slightly OT, but to any tropers here, you might be interested in helping out with the Lovelace and Babbage entry here:

  23. Brian on December 31, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    The penultimate episode?!