Cosmos: Old School (2002) – part nine

Last time, on Cosmos: Old School – tasked with disposing of all the unwanted / expired / openly hostile leftovers in their fridge by his partner, Macy, Ax Maxwell goes about his business with grim determination; ousting everything from fossilised cheese to the eponymous and mysterious Crispy Crud. Too late, however, he realises he has crossed through a Narnia-like doorway…. into the frozen wilderness of the Fridge that Time Forgot! Oh, and the Largely-Stereotyped Ick People are EXTREMELY happy to make his acquaintance….

Fridge 8
Above: One thing I have to say about the Fridge that Time Forgot – everything is very clearly labeled. Perhaps its a tradition handed down from people storing the primordial leftover ancestors of its inhabitants in plastic containers with ‘Beef stew’, ‘Auntie Flo’s fudge brownies’ and ‘Jim’s chicken curry – Do Not Touch’ written on them? I seem to remember the Walrus-dog from a page of critter sketches I did in the early days of Cosmos (or even pre-Cosmos?), so he’s also a leftover of an entirely different kind, as well….

Fridge 9
Above: Really, Ax? Too corny? In a story written by a guy who lives, breathes and occasionally sneezes Transformers? Frankly, I’m surprised the gag didn’t show up half way through Train of Thought instead! At least it baffled Ax’s pursuer long enough for him to reach that suspiciously well-placed elevator…. much to the chagrin of  Chief Ebirah and the Ick People.

Fridge 10
Above: So that’s where Macy’s peace symbol badge goes when it mysteriously disappears – this crustaceous behemoth keeps stealing it for his own personal use! See, I told you there was a logical explanation. Although, I’m not sure Mr. Snow Lobster’s intentions are entirely going to reflect the values that badge espouses….

Fridge 11
Above: I’m not sure why the Digimon Tentomon is hanging out with the Ick People (panel 2), or why in fact I even chose him to cameo in the story at all; instead of, say, a snowman, Yeti or other theme-appropriate character. It was probably for the same reason I stuck R2D2 in a couple of pages earlier – which was to give future versions of myself a reason to question my own sanity! And what is it with giant monsters and their need to smash violently through the local topography? The Snow lobster did it, the guy above has done it twice now: maybe they just like to make a dramatic entrance?
The road sign in panel four is particularly apt, given the vintage sci-fi novel this story is homaging – Caprona is the setting for The Land that Time Forgot, The People that Time Forgot and Out of Time’s Abyss; while Pellucidar is the subterranean world from At the Earth’s Core, Pellucidar, Tanar of pellucidar and others.

Fridge 12
Above: Geek I may be, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, would induce me to sample the culinary delights of that officially-licensed meatloaf. Weeeell, maybe if you paid me…. And bought me a new car….

Fridge 13
Above: Several things to note, here – 1) Everything in panel one is tilted at a 30° angle, except for Macy; who seems to be completely horizontal…. and well above of the level of the floor. Is she standing on the panel border? 2) Also in panel one – Crispy Crud lives, and its on the loose! 3) Panel 3 thru 5 hosts a flying cameo by Murph’s rodent pal Newton, whose precise anatomy 2002-Jon clearly hasn’t worked out yet: I’m looking at you, four-fingered hands and stripy tail.

Fridge 14
Above: Much like Ax’s comments about the Cosmos Monster Movie Mashtacular, the front page story on the Pago Grande Tribune is another reference to a proposed (but never actualised) Cosmos Comics story, Hopelessly stuck…. In Time Amok! I did actually plan out and do rough sketches of all the pages – in order to prevent the destruction of his lab, Professor Pod travels back in time to stop his past self from activating his (their?) new invention; only to get into a blazing row with himself – as you do – which results in the lab being annihilated anyway, for a completely different reason. Putting aside their differences, the pair both time-jump to stop themselves from fighting…. and then things really get complicated. Looking at the doodle-script now, I can see why it never got any further: it is a fair number of pages long (at least 18), with numerous detailed action sequences; and the dialogue is far wordier and more exposition-heavy than it actually needs to be. Still, there’s nothing wrong with the plot itself; and with a bit (okay, a lot) of streamlining, I could easily revive it and set it rolling anew! Now if I could only find enough time to make it happen….

TO BE CONTINUED….

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