When these strips first ran, people asked why the oubliette has spikes on all four sides, which would kind of make it hard for the walls to contract neatly. The answer, of course, is that I got carried away drawing spikes.
I’d been looking for an opportunity to use the word “oubliette” since the first time I saw Labyrinth.
Man, this is a wordy strip. The best part is easily Artie referring to himself as “the short, hirsute one.”
He really doesn’t mean to stare at anything.
I wrote this one way, way early and liked it so much I had to include it, even though it’s kind of out of character for both characters. Oh, well, it’s fun anyway. I loved writing strips from Artie’s point of view.
Mell has never mentioned to her coworkers that she’s been dating Caliban. She’s pretty circumspect about her personal life. I don’t know much about it myself.
I love the lazy way I drew the spikes on the walls of the oubliette. Sometimes you’ve got important things to do elsewhere, you know?
And yeah, [LITTLE SPOILERS] that’s the first and last time Artie kisses a girl. Probably.
Artie came out looking really good in the third panel. I mean, really good. I’m just saying. I also like Mell’s pose in the first panel, but, you know, Artie. I was finally figuring out how to draw him at this point.
I believe this is the first mention of Caliban working as a barista, which comes up a lot in later Narbonic strips. The bit about Caliban working on a screenplay was partly because I thought I might do a storyline about that later on (Caliban became some kind of writer in most of the early stories I wrote about him), and partly because it was the kind of thing a guy would do while working as a barista, especially if he had previously been a demon.
Since I wrote this, gerbils have been moved to the family Muridae (and the subfamily Gerbillinae…aww), ruining my comic strip, but the Wikipedia entry on M. unguiculatus does eerily resemble what I wrote here.
Unguiculatus means “clawed warrior,” which is pretty badass. At one point my friend and current cowriter Jeff Wells was threatening to write a fanfic about Artie channelling his Mongolian warrior heritage, which would have been a pretty good storyline, come think.