740: The Tell-Tale Beat

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The Tell-tale Beat
You fancy me mad. Could a madman have outsmarted the greatest electronica/techno artists of our era? Next to fall will be Roderick Usher's house/trance band.
Title text: You fancy me mad. Could a madman have outsmarted the greatest electronica/techno artists of our era? Next to fall will be Roderick Usher's house/trance band.


Daft Punk was a French electronic music group. The beat used in electronic music can be vocalized or spelled as "unn-tss". 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, in which the narrator tries to appear sane while describing how he killed a man and hid his body in the floorboards. Eventually, he imagines he hears the dead man's heartbeat through the floorboards. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is referenced again in the later comic 2344: 26-Second Pulse.

Cueball narrates that he killed Daft Punk and hid their bodies under the floorboards, as the narrator of 'The Tell-Tale Heart' did. (Having to outsmart a band named Daft Punk is quite ironic.) He says he has been haunted by the sound of the band's beats.

In the title text, the narrator continues trying to assert his sanity. The line, "You fancy me mad," comes directly from The Tell-Tale Heart. He then insinuates that he will kill Roderick Usher's band; Roderick Usher was a character in 'Fall of the House of Usher', another story by Edgar Allan Poe, making puns on 'house' and 'trance', genres of electronic music (the character of Madeline Usher in the story suffers from catalepsy, frequently falling into trances). The title-text is also a pun on the musician Usher; although Usher does not have his own band, one of his best-selling albums was titled Confessions, appropriate to the themes of Poe.

The title text mentions techno music, which is the subject of 411: Techno and is also mentioned in 586: Mission to Culture.


[The three panels show portions of a single scene. Although the characters are still stick figures, the artwork style is heavily crosshatched and shaded.]
[In the first panel there is a desk with monitor on it, and a painting of a woman above that. Next to it is a bookshelf.]
Ever since I murdered Daft Punk
[There is a fireplace, with no fire. A rug lies before it. At the left end of the mantelpiece are two bottles, one tall, one round. Another photograph of a woman is in a frame at the right end. The bookshelf continues from the previous panel.]
And hid their bodies beneath the floorboards, I've been haunted
[The narrator is clutching his head and leaning forward. A grandfather clock is behind him, next to a doorway. Above the doorway is a pallid bust of Pallas.]
By this pounding.
[White text on black.]

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He had a chance to refer to Usher the musician instead. Oh well. I still laughed. 21:24, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

There is a computer monitor, desk, bookshelf, fireplace, and many other things drawn in great detail. But the characters are still stick figures. And they are shaded! 21:26, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

At I think he *was* referring to Usher the musicican; he was making a homonymic joke, by mixing the two Ushers (one by name, the other by genre). (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Oh god this comic hits differently now... Beanie (talk) 14:25, 22 April 2021 (UTC)