Cosmos: Old School (2001) – part three

Randoms – and, to a lesser extent, Sundays – are the bread and butter of Cosmos: anyone can read them, in any order, and get their regulation serving of gag-a-day humour without having to know the first thing about who is who, where they are, or what happened ten to fifteen strips ago. To say nothing of the fact that I can do pretty much whatever I want without busting continuity upside the head….

ABOVE: Unwritten rules of the universe, no. 1 – wherever there is a city, model or otherwise, there will be an appropriately-scaled monster to go on a rampage through it. Looks like poor Tony didn’t know that one.
On a related aside: in the title bar, we get our very first view of the planet Cosmos – and, because a bog-standard sphere (yes, yes, oblate spheroid; thank you, science nerds) would be far too boring for my little green friends, their home is some sort of elongate donut, complete with hole in the middle! I’m not sure where I got the idea from, but it certainly makes things interesting….

TOP: When good advice goes bad, it REALLY goes bad. This is one of those jokes where I’m glad I didn’t try to stick any further ‘explanation’ into the dialogue – it’s not one of my top ten favourites, and the situation may be sliiiightly contrived, but it works nicely enough for what it’s trying to do. What’s interesting to note, though, is that in the fourth panel the corner of the crate (and, therefore, the entire thickness of the crate) is somehow wedged BETWEEN the mover guy’s eyes and the front of his face! What the huh, 2001 Jon?
BOTTOM: Another in my series of ‘defying the laws of cartoon physics’ gags, in which nothing makes sense until the fourth panel – and even then, you still wonder if you were suffering from some weird cough medicine-flashback….

TOP: Dialogue-free and loving it! This one needed absolutely no words, and I was happy to oblige; given the obligatory unexplainable absurdity it involves. I’m a little torn about how it turned out art-wise, though – while there’s nothing fundamentally wrong, perhaps I should have  had far less unraveled thread in the heap in that third panel, to provide a clear contrast with the fourth. As it is, it looks as if Gene has simply snapped off the end of the thread between the two panels, rather than actually unraveling any more; and making the lower half of his body simply vanish, rather than being obviously unraveled as well. Or am I just overthinking it?
BOTTOM: As I may have said somewhere before, Artie is the main cast’s common sense dispenser; combining good advice and a down-to-earth view of life with philosophical musings on pretty much every driving issue of the day. This is often very necessary, given the rather oddball nature of his friends…. I’m pretty sure that the ‘someone’ that Artie is quoting there is me, given that I just made up the er, ancient proverb out of whole cloth especially for the occasion. It still makes sense, though – thanks for sharing, Artie.

ABOVE: Serving as a comic strip-within-a-comic strip (or even TV series-within-a-comic-strip), Captain Confusion is the Cosmosian equivalent of, say, Dan Dare or Buck Rogers; fighting intergalactic evil (namely Baron Dethblow) with the aid of his loyal allies Sgt. Smite and Mekana the Android Girl. I floated the idea in the Tony’s Comic Utopia story I did back in 2000, then revised them a bit here – adding Mekana to the team, and changing Smite from a Type three Cosmosian to a Type four. The gag for this strip, I imagine, came during one of those ‘random junk in my head at 4am’ moments, when out-of-left-field scenarios like this (inevitably) come along. Plus, it allowed me to make a comic strip with eight panels, but only have to draw five!



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