Here we go! Here’s something special! It’s an item that goes by many names : like The Project That Time Forgot, or Merchandise Item #00001…. or Mr. Potential Lawsuit. Toward the end of 2000, I began to consider what applications Cosmos had beyond a simple comic strip – so, just because I felt like it, I created the one-and-only prototype of an ‘Officially-licensed Cosmos board game’:
Cosmos Cosmonopoly was a, uh, loving homage to another well-known board game, set (obviously) in the Cosmos universe. For this project, I needed to greatly elaborate the framework of characters and localities that the game could draw from; as Cosmos, at that point in time, was a bit sparse. Several places that have since appeared in the strip actually got their start in Cosmos Cosmonopoly; and numerous characters (including unused concepts) made their first appearance here also.
In addition to the main cast (recently added to by Tony Corvell and Professor Pod), there was also Macy’s one-shot wonder maybe-relative Jamie Styles (down by the ‘Chance’ card box); Professor pod’s Explorers Inc colleagues Artimus Frink, Co-Pilot and Tork; The Dog Next Door; Peter Anderson’s mother Meg; the members of the ill-fated rock band ‘Fuzzy Dice’ (Fancy Dan, Alexis Rhodes – making love hearts at Artie, D’Jon Mayo and his guitar, and Captain Catfish); The Big Boss and Rufus T. Maxx, astro-truckers; and dozens of Cosmosian critters….
As in M*N*P*LY, the outer ring of the game board featured a range of different properties, most sufficiently adapted for Cosmosian sensibilities – while ‘Chance’, ‘Tax’ and ‘Community Chest’ were unchanged, the Waterworks became ‘Hydro-stations’, and train stations and airports became ‘Hoverboard Depots’. Of course, there were also the obligatory ‘Collect $200’ and ‘Go to jail / In jail / Only visiting’ corner boxes as well – I certainly liked flirting with copyright infringement, didn’t I?
Sadly, this was as far as I got: I never got around to creating any Cosmonopoly money, cards or playing pieces – I blame either university exams, or post-exam burn out…. either that, or the potential of being sued – so the gameboard is the only result of the entire project. Still, in terms of expanding the scope of the Cosmos-verse, and actually designing something different with my characters, it couldn’t have gone better!
TO BE CONTINUED….