Demons: April 12-17, 2004

See, Helen was right to worry about her pajamas not having matching slippers. Don’t ask me where she got Strawberry Shortcake stationery.

Caliban’s dialogue in the last panel was originally different, which is why it doesn’t fit very well into the balloon, but now I’ve completely forgotten what it originally was. Sex, probably.

I’m not particularly happy with this week of strips, but drawing the cute stuff was fun.

Yeah, see, I hate all these plot developments. Too complicated and not fun. Sometimes the story gets in the way of everything.

Caliban looks a little too shocked in the last panel. I was trying to draw more interesting poses. It was hard sometimes.

This is a really early script. I had this plot development planned almost from the beginning of Narbonic. I get attached to weird ideas sometimes.

It’s been noted at the comments that Caliban has no particular reason to be honest to Dave about this. He’s a pretty decent guy by the admittedly low standards of the Narbonic cast. Besides, what else are they going to do with their time? Deal with the demon horde about to devour them? I think not.

21 thoughts on “Demons: April 12-17, 2004

  1. Tuesday??:

    It turns out at the end that the real demons are Dave’s grudge against Cal, which must be exorcised through the power of forgiveness.

    Artie, the current designated Sufferer of Fools, isn’t skipping a beat here.

  2. The front page has the right strip (Monday, April 12th) up, but the WCN page is showing Tuesday the 13th’s.

  3. I suggest clicking the “back 1 day” button, which will show Monday and Tuesday’s strips in order.

  4. Monday??:

    The notion that overly sugary sentimental glurge is the perfect antithesis to incarnated evil isn’t an uncommon one in gag-a-day webcomics (see, for instance, Piffany in Nodwick). Few webcomickers can resist the subversiveness implicit in making kitsch into a deadly weapon, turning aesthetic repellence into actual repulsiveness. I must say, though, that I’m a bit worried by the implication that cuteness is equal to holiness – a care bear having equivalent power to a cross.

    Of course, what is also common in webcomics is the inverse – making cuddly flowery sweetness the illusory facade behind which unspeakable Lovecraftian horrorterrors lurk (see, for instance, “Let the Squiddles Sleep”). Insipid saccharine can cut both ways, it seems.

  5. The one thing that doesn’t work with the whole information-as-currency thing is that – unlike, say, cash – once you’ve learned a piece of information, you can’t *unlearn* it. Then again, Hell strikes me as the kind of place where someone might make up a nonsensical economic system to stave off boredom…

  6. What, am I the only one that found this funny, then? But then I also found funny the fact that demons in the Buffyverse use kittens as currency.

    Anyway, it does make sense if you assume that all demons can’t easily pop to Earth to get the info (like: maybe they’re stuck on sulphur pit cleaning duty and don’t get a break until next decade). For example, let’s say you want something from a recently damned soul and for one reason or another you can’t just torture it out of them. What information would those souls likely find most valuable? Exactly.

    Also, as I pointed out elsewhere for a completely different milieu, it’s possible that different souls taste differently. If celebrity souls are the tastiest, info about them would be the most precious.

    Or it could be a worship thing. Celebrities get as much worship in this era of rising atheism/agnosicism as the gods used to. Of course demons would want to keep tabs on them, Especially if there’s anything remotely Pratchett-esque about the cosmology.

    So there’s plenty of semi-serious reasons why this would be true.

  7. So you could conceivable be the richest entity in Hell with a Microsoft Encarta CD?  Come to think of it, that confirms what most people believe about Microsoft …

  8. Or, since they don’t seem to care about the accuracy of the information, the way to be a wealthy demon is to be Jimbo Wales. Hmmm….

  9. Matthew Mather says: “What, am I the only one that found this funny, then?”

    Not at all. I lol’d. The thought of celebrity gossip (and, come to think of it, political gossip and rumor no matter how unfounded) as being the lucre of Hell seems highly appropriate to me. (It would certainly explain quite a bit about Rupert Murdoch and FauxNews…)

  10. Thursday:

    If there’s one thing Cal understands from his time as an eternal unchanging un-aging demon, it’s that the rigid immutable frameworks of bureaucracy and authority must never be violated. That way lies certain obliteration.

    If there’s one thing Cal understands from his time as a human, it’s that women be dangerous.

  11. Friday:

    And so the real real purpose of this storyline is upon us: to provide yet another backwards-pointing street sign on Dave’s road to love. Will he ever be rid of these travails?

    That column-like object in panel 1, attached to what I can only assume is the ground, suggests an… unusual perspective for our foreground characters.

  12. That’s a seal ring. You can see the pipe extending into the junction between Caliban’s head and Dave’s arm if you look close, but the figures obscure the sides so it’s easy to mistake the delineation for a cowlick on Caliban.

    It’s interesting that Caliban feels compelled to blurt out the truth here.  Nothing calls for him to do it except maybe his conscience.  No wonder he wasn’t comfortable in Hell.

  13. Strikes me as a little unfair – well, okay, with the exception of Mell. Helen and Dave, at least, seem like relatively nice people when they’re lucid. Evil, of course, but emphasis on Affably Evil.

  14. Saturday:

    This is a pretty good punchline – it makes sense as a feeble attempt at saving what’s left of his ego, but Dave’s emotionless expression makes it appear at first glance to be an out-of-character non-sequitur. It wouldn’t really work if Dave had a sad, resigned expression, is what I’m saying.

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