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….