I believe all the titles and authors on the spines of the books are from The Thackery T. Lambshead Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases. The Narbonicon people had given me a copy. Highlights include Amphibian Neuropathology, Guide to Psycho-Tropic Balkan Diseases, and International Gingivitis Review.
Helen does take this seriously. As far as she’s concerned, it shouldn’t be possible for the lab to be hacked by someone who’s better at computer-y stuff than Dave. Such a person should not exist. Or if she does exist, she’s a threat worth getting serious about.
When this strip went up, one hundred billion people immediately wrote to point out that the numbers on the IP address aren’t actually possible. I think Eric Burns was the first person to figure out that the numbers correspond to MY MOM’S. I… I’m sorry. I think these things are funny sometimes.
I always liked this strip, but mostly for Dave’s expressions. The last panel came out better in the thumbnail, but it’s still pretty good.
At this point the lab staff still assumes that Lovelace is a real person and not Madblood himself, a possibility that will be broached later on. Is that a spoiler? Aw, come on, that hardly even counts.
This is the first time Mell and Caliban have appeared together since the end of “Demons,” when they went to a movie. They never got together on-panel; it just kind of happened in the background, and now they’re apparently dating. Go figure.
Many thanks to Mell for bringing everyone up to speed on the plot.
Mell’s mission is revealed later in the storyline. She’s being deliberately cagey about it. SPOILERS: It’s a mission for Helen, not for the military as she disingenuously implies.
Back when I was a nerdy high-school comic-book fan, there was an issue of Sandman where an American character responds to a comment with, “I suppose you must do.” In the next issue, some fan wrote in to yell at Neil Gaiman in all caps for using British English and not knowing how to make Americans talk right. That was my introduction to the hard truth that, if you write for a geeky audience, many of them will only be reading your work so they can correct you about it. Soon after that, in 1996 or so, the Internet was invented, and all those people found a home. Meanwhile, Gaiman’s innocent mistake made a deep impression on me, and I vowed to be careful about where my British-speaking characters left their modals.
So Caliban says, “I have done.” Thank you, Neil Gaiman. Your suffering was not in vain.