Cosmos: Old School (1999) – part four

For better or worse, our friend Eugene Carmichael Ellis usually headlines whatever story he appears in; being pretty much an unstoppable force when he sets his mind to it. Kind of ironic then, that he is merely a bit-player in this next series of Cosmos strips—and only co-originator of the Type Three Cosmosian body-form! As with the other main cast members, he had a fairly low-key start, serving as a sounding board for the ramblings of another (unnamed) character:

Ignoring the rather, um, low-brow tone of the strip (Please? Can you do that for me?), we can see that Gene is A) named, B) sort of kind of wearing his signature costume, and C) already fitted with his signature snark. Nevertheless, he seems somewhat more restrained than he ended up being; and definitely plays second-fiddle to his cartoonist friend—almost as if…. GASP!…. he wasn’t intended to go any further. And for the rest of the month, he didn’t. The Type Three Cosmosian was in town, though, and rapidly added to the variety of the ad-hoc species Cosmos sapiens….

Artie also made a return performance here, looking even more like his distinctive self; and again hanging out with his Type One companion. The Type Two and Three variants were easier to individualise than the Type Ones, as I could give the former a more complete wardrobe than, say, ‘add a hat’ or ‘put eye-lashes / hair on it’; which is obviously why I kept using them after I introduced them—variety, as well as flexibility. Could I have gone as far with Cosmos if I’d just stuck with the Type One guys? Hmm, probably not; especially since, in their raw state, one generic Cosmosian looks exactly the same as another. My strip had to expand beyond its initial ‘random guys and random jokes’ motif to have any sort of a future…. and what do you know? Now it did!



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