Demons: June 21-26, 2004

“What the hell?” doesn’t sound like a reference to anything, but I was specifically thinking of an episode of “Mr. Show” where Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are attacked by Adult Superstar, their daughter from the future, and Bob yells, “What the hell?” in this strangely rednecky tone. So if you’re reading this strip aloud, please try to use that voice. Thanks.

“Acid pits and alligators” was probably inspired by the issue of The Tick where Chairface Chippendale throws the Tick into a pit full of man-eating alligators and cows. They end up kind of canceling each other out, although not necessarily in the way you’d assume.

So, basically, everything in this strip is lifted from other sources, plus it’s carefully structured so I don’t have to draw anything difficult. I love this strip.

Mell does not care for complex continuity. She’s got some serious crazy eyes in that last panel.

See, sometimes Artie’s pretty smart. I wrote this one way early. Some of these old scripts are burned into my brain because I had them sitting around for so long before using them.

Look, it’s Dave’s little tweed hat. I always like it when he wears that thing.

The movie Mell is describing is Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, which, as mentioned before, was a huge influence on this storyline. Caliban is wearing a T-shirt for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who perform in the movie for absolutely no other reason than that they were friends with Wim Wenders. The completely crazy sequel has U2.

Most movie theaters haven’t sold popcorn in those striped tubs in about a thousand years, but I always draw them that way because it looks cute. I still really like the way Mell came out in that panel. Around this time I started sometimes drawing her with her hair pulled back from her forehead like this, rather than falling down over her glasses, and it generally looks pretty good that way.

So here’s Iris, the new member of the gaming group mentioned by Seth way back at the beginning of this storyline. It had always bothered me that I didn’t have any women in the gaming group, and Seth’s disappearance into the gaping maw of Hell provided a vacancy. Hence Iris. Like all the members of the gaming group except Dave and Seth, she’s based on a real person, in this case my friend Laura.

My friend Laura, on whom Iris is based, is a writer and editor for a tech magazine, and at the time I wrote this she was running a Sailor Moon RPG. Somebody in the comments yesterday said that Iris looks kind of like Tip from Skin Horse; this is, of course, mainly because I can only draw a limited variety of facial features, but Laura has commented that she and Tip had the same hairdo for a while.

Iris does eventually get to run her Sailor Moon game. ZOMG SPOILERS.

And thus ends “Demons.” It’s one of my least favorite storylines, but it does end pretty well. So there’s that. Next up: a guest week, and then we move into the beginning of the end of Narbonic. Really.

41 thoughts on “Demons: June 21-26, 2004

  1. Monday:

    It’s interesting how the word “GIGANTUMUNGUS” calls to mind a very specific kind of largeness that is more silly than it is imposing and frightening.

  2. I still maintain that hearing Mell describe what went down is a whole lot funnier than any actual depiction of it could possibly be.

    And the Chairface Chippendale episode is one of the reasons that I maintain that, good as the cartoon was, the comic was worlds better. No man-eating cows in the TV show!

  3. (TUNE: “My Favorite Things”, Rodgers & Hammerstein)

    Wrestled and won with this big nasty ‘gator,
    Then I ran into this Dave who’s a hater,
    Threw him in acid; well, he wasn’t thrilled …
    These are few of the things that I killed!

    Girl-eating cows and a fire-breathing fungus!
    Big nasty robot that’s gigantumungus!
    Hands that had buzzsaws, and kneecaps that drilled …
    These are few of the things that I killed!

    In that hell-zoo, as I tell you
    How I dodged that trap,
    You tell me that Dave built this teleport thing?
    You think I’ll believe … that crap??

  4. Whenever Mell has this much dialog, in my head it sounds like my niece who has developed a circular breathing technique that lets her talk faster and faster for minutes on end at higher and higher pitches until only dogs can heat her.

  5. Strictly speaking there was one man-eating cow in the TV series, in ‘The Tick vs. Arthur’s Bank Account’. [pushes glasses back up nose]

  6. Tuesday:

    Mell steadfastedly refuses to acknowledge Helen’s shocking revelation.

    (That strategically placed sinewave thing-on-the-wall is a nice touch.)

  7. @Leon: I think that’s a DNA double-helix.  Probably from Dave, he’s kinda tightly wound.

    (TUNE: “The Rain In Spain”, Lerner & Loewe)

    What pain!  It’s plain, Mell sprained her brain again!
    (That isn’t all right!  This isn’t all right!)
    What pain!  It’s plain, Mell sprained her brain again!
    (She’ll feel it all night!  She’ll feel it all night!)

    Where does it pain, when we explain?
         In her brain!  In her brain!
    Why does it not hurt Helen’s brain?
         Insane!  Insane!

    What pain!  It’s plain, Mell sprained her brain again!
    So please refrain, or else the pain won’t wane!

  8. Wednesday:

    All I have to ask is, how does Artie sit idly on the edge of those fairly tall glasses without them tipping over?

  9. The glass alone probably outweighs Artie. Full, it certainly does, and by a considerable amount. He’s not going to overbalance it.

  10. If I hadn’t used “The Rain In Spain” yesterday, I could have written, “Oh dear, I fear the beer in here’s not clear” today.

    OK, we know the window reads “Manganello’s Irish Pub”, but what’s the sign behind Dave in panel 1?  “Guinness strength”, perhaps?  (Factoid:  my stepdaughter and her husband have a “Guinness as usual” poster in their kitchen.  I like them.)

  11. (TUNE: “Danke Schoen”, Kaempfert, Schwaback & Gabler)

    German thing … three-hour German thing …
    Caliban, on a date, will bring …
    Melody … stares con-fus-ed-ly,
    With her colored-stripes
    Popcorn tub,
    Saying, “Cripes,
    Where’s the dub?”

    Something “Wings”?
    U2 sings
    German things …

  12. Other things that haven’t been like that for years but which are still portrayed as such in cartoons (off the top of my head):

    • Telephones (rotary dial, or even the old original Bell hanging-earpiece ones)
    • Doctors’ head mirrors
    • Impoverished people wearing barrels in lieu of clothes
    • Round black bombs with lit fuses
    • Computers with CRTs and floppy disks and coiled keyboard cords
  13. I’m incurably romantic, and my favorite films are Wings of Desire, Casablanca and Bulworth.  Anyone who took me to one of those on a first date would be staring down the business end of some serious nookie.

  14. Friday:

    Dave seems to be somewhat unaware of the threatening light in which he has cast this retelling of events.

    I wasn’t sure if Seth really was vacuumed up feet-first, so I checked that strip again, and not only has my hair turned bright silver from sheer terror, but I’m suddenly wondering how the demon managed to engulf him by his legs while he was standing upright. Oh well.

  15. What you’re missing Iris, is that the ‘weirdo power struggles’ are just another level of ‘Gaming’.  Just wait till the generation of gamers that come from when it’s ‘socially acceptable’ go into politices, business, etc. 

    “Heh, heh, heh” 😉 

  16. @Pete:”It eats you, starting with your bottom,” at least according to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 🙂

  17. Unaware? I’m pretty sure Dave was making a deliberate (and successful) Intimidate check there. He’s finally starting to embrace his Evil.

  18. Actually, it was David’s being sent to the moon, followed by being stuck (or, rather, unstuck) in time, causing him to miss 10 weeks of D&D, that got him kicked out of the gaming sessions. giving Iris his spot.  It was Seth’s feet-first departure that allowed Dave to return.  See January 26 & 27, 2004.

    • Actually, if the girls playing the game are anywhere as cute as the actresses that were in the Live-Action version, that could be fun to watch, nyao!

      Of course, I could never actually play–I’d be too busy trying to kidnap my favorite sailor senshi and drag them off somewhere private to do naughty things with… {giggle} Ah, I’m such a bad kitty…

  19. Saturday:

    Iris has decided to take their word for it that Dave being a girl was kind of hot. Presumably she thinks that questioning that aspect would be seen as implicitly accepting the time-traveling moon zombie story verbatim.

    Okay, s’pose maybe I’m wrong, but I’m getting strong feelings that the frame with Mell & Caliban in the movie theater is referencing a certain Daniel Pinkwater Novel. My only hope now is that I cannot be tracked down and killed by the forces which created this comic. Seeing as I gave them my E-Mail by protocol, I suppose that would be nil. Oh well, guess it’s time to hide in my bunker and wait for impending doom.

  21. Rereading this now, I think you’re too hard on this arc. It has a lot of great moments. Mell negotiating, the Emma Frost outfit, Roger, “Dawn sucks”… and honestly, I like the supernatural elements. They really help sell the Anything-Goes craziness of this world.

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