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 ( 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 too far 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. This is one of Cosmos’ ‘missing links,’ so unless at some point i go back and re-visit it….
1999-Jon, you lazy fool! This is all your fault! Still, it works as it is, I guess….
TO BE CONTINUED….