Cosmos is not Earth. Despite the preponderance of human-style pop culture in the strip, and the strong resemblance Cosmosian society bears to our own, the two planets
are not mirror-images of one another. Case in point: the wildlife. As shown in the last chapter, the locals don’t have pet cats, they have furry, anaconda-bodied cat-snakes -
and you’d think that the same sort of rule would apply to whatever the Cosmosian equivalent of a dog is, right? Well, it does now.... but it didn’t back in 1999, apparently:
Those are clearly terrestrial, Earth-style canines, aren’t they? Yes indeed, they are - something of a problem canonicity-wise, since (apart from one further ‘Beware of the dog’
strip in 2000) the Cosmosian ‘dog’ became a short-tempered, sea serpenty-looking thing with fins in place of its ears and legs; typified by Murph’s future arch-nemesis,
‘The Dog Next Door’. Much like Gene’s newspaper strips, they are a continuity speed-bump I can’t quite iron flat....
Gene’s calculated assault on logic and common sense continued unabated in the successive strips - he may have been a passive (and often silently baffled) participant in
the ‘Beware of the Dog’ strips, but when he’s on-form, reality generally just has to get out of his way. Artie, as ever, is the calm, unflappable eye of the storm - which is
probably why they make such a great double act. I have to say, though, Gene’s idea of coffee seems to be something you’d want to approach with a whip and chair;
or in the worst case scenario, a heavy suit of armour....
TO BE CONTINUED....
I've done a fair few illustrations for 'Island of the Bargain Basement Dinosaurs' so far.... What's that? You don't believe me? Well, here's a bunch more to prove it; all focussing on the prehistoric paradise itself!
Behold! My latest selection of artwork from The Island of Bargain Basement Dinosaurs - introducing Marie, Jeff, Anna Singh and
Ronnie Hernandez; and the world of cliffs and caves!
Following my Comic Con and Cosmos Trek stories (thanks for the guest blogs, Artie and Gene!), the development of Cosmos continued apace - I now had a
(vaguely) regular rhythm of both one-off strips, nowadays called ‘Randoms’, and multi-part stories; frequently featuring my freshly-minted main cast.
That didn’t mean new elements couldn’t spontaneously arise, far from it:
Murph T. Catt, much like the spot-sneezing Kangaroo Guy before him, was a random non-Cosmosian (and non-green) creature that originated in a doodle I’d idly done a
year or so earlier; as part of a wider selection of designs. I pulled him out, dusted him off, and - because he was particularly unique - stuck him into the strip. He could very
easily have gone the way of Kangaroo guy, except for the fact that A) he looked pretty neat, B) I’d decided to colour him in a bright, eye-catching blue and yellow, and C) I’d
paired him with our friend Gene; his kind-hearted solution to Murph’s insomnia clearly indicating he was a beloved house pet and companion. This proto-Murph looks
very different than he does now - with longer ears, no whiskers, no yellow stripes down his belly, and a truncated body that seems more eel-like than snake-like. This
was his first and only appearance in 1999, and he didn’t show up again (far more refined) until a few months into the next year....
Ahhh, yes, Mail-X. This was intended to be the next long-form Cosmos story, primarily featuring Gene; but also tracking the trials and travails of the conflicted self-aware
mailbox, who pushes Mr. Ellis just a liiiittle toofar in the second strip. I had a vague plan as to where the story was going to go - Mail-X is ‘convinced’ to go into therapy by
Artie and Gene, with Dr. Nitro (for whatever reason) lumped with the task of getting him back on his feet - but for one reason or another, I never scripted or sketched out
any further strips; and the story pretty much went nowhere. It is, unfortunately, one of Cosmos' 'missing links', so unless I create a new version of it at some point....
1999-Jon, you lazy fool! This is all your fault! Still, it works as it is, I guess....
TO BE CONTINUED...
TO BE CONTINUED....