Oh, poor Dave Barker. I’m sorry, Dave! Incidentally, this is about the closest we get to seeing the present-day Dave Barker.
One of the other head Daves from the “D-Con” arc can be seen in the demon’s clutches. He’s wearing an aloha shirt, obviously, because they just came from Hawaii.
Mell’s one of the flatter characters in Narbonic, but it was nice to be able to develop her character a little, mostly in the background of the story, to the point that it was plausible for her to become a lawyer, have a more-or-less-normal romantic relationship, etc. Recently Jeff Wells told me that Mell was his least favorite of the central characters when he first read Narbonic, but rereading it he developed an appreciation for her. I feel the same way. When I go through the archives like this, I generally like the way Mell turned out.
Also, the pajamas-and-briefcase combination is charming, I don’t care what you say.
Another part of Caliban’s never-to-be-developed backstory is that he actually worked for many centuries as a purchaser of souls. I was thinking of the Friar’s Tale in The Canterbury Tales, where demons apparently just hang around on Earth chatting with people and waiting for souls to become available. (I totally love The Canterbury Tales and, if allowed, will recite large chunks of the General Prologue until smacked.) Anyway, Caliban got taken off the job, probably because he got too chummy with the humans, and was put on more restrictive duties like working the gates of Hell.
I’m not crazy about this strip, but I do like all the griping about dawn.
Aw, Mell’s negotiating on the party table. Remember when this storyline was about a Valentine’s Day party? Yeah, me neither.
Another strip with way too much dialogue. Getting through the plot is hard. And yes, that’s an economy-size box of alfalfa on the counter in the first panel.
I do like Mell in lawyer mode. This is one of the very few times in the strip we get to see it, too.