I was flipping through my sketchbook and ran across this scribble I did of Chris Grine’s character Chickenhare, from the comic of the same name. Go check out a wonderful comic with great characters, story, and artwork!
This week we opened our email here at Mission Control and found this amazing rendition of Jeff by Denver Brubaker, creator of the fantastic comic-noir Tales of a Checkered Man!
And how cool is it that Denver’s drawing depicts Jeff’s sense of smell the same week we’re focusing on one of his other senses? Denver says, “It’s been a long time comin’ but I finally finished my Ellie fan-art! I have had the pencils done on this pic of Jeff for quite some time now, but wanted to wait until I got more comfortable inking with a brush before I took the next step.” Using a brush is no easy feat, but it looks like he’s settled right in. It’s wonderful work and I’m tickled and touched that Denver’d spend so much time putting this together.
So, speaking of taste, go exercise yours by visiting Denver’s tribute to adventure pulps and caped crusaders: Tales of a Checkered Man! And if anyone else has a drawing of Jeff or Ellie, or even Muffin, send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click on the contact button in the menu bar at the top! We’ll post them right here!
Jeff’s got some weird anatomy and it can be a challenge to draw. Sometimes he’s a quadruped, sometimes a biped . . . sometimes standing on his back leg-like tentacle appendages, sometimes on his front ones. Sometimes balancing on just one. Usually his legs are pretty short which makes it interesting when he has to reach his head. Luckily the Warbling Orange-Crested Quadrapus doesn’t have an internal skeleton (except for a pretty thick skull) so he can stretch those arms far enough to feed himself. Here’s a bunch of sketches of Jeff and his alien anatomy.
An anonymous reader asked in the comments if the Strang Institute is affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis. I answered in the comments section, but I thought I’d add the answer here too in case anyone missed it. I didn’t know why Anonymous asked that until I Googled Washington U. So everyone knows what I’m talking about, the Strang Institute logo from 1966 (like what appears on the Symposium announcement from the last post) looks just like Brookings Hall, the main gate, at Wash U in St. Louis. I was told that the gatehouse at the Institute was designed after Trinity College at Cambridge University in England. Well, sort of. Here’s what I found out:
More fun things I didn’t know. It’s always assumed that Carver Agricultural College and Carver Hall are named for botanist George Washington Carver. Though that makes a good story, Carver was only just out of college when the agricultural college was built. It’s actually named for Aloysius Carver, a local and very successful farmer who bred new and “interesting” produce. He created the college from his success. When he died he bequeathed a portion of the campus to his good friend Cornelius Strang for his own research projects. The rest is history. Carver Agricultural College still maintains a small presence on the campus of the Strang Institute and their gardens provide all of the produce for the institute. Some of it very “interesting”.
So there you go!
There was a symposium held here at the Strang Institute forty five years ago to discuss plans to send a probe to explore Planet X, mere months after its discovery. All the while NASA was already making plans to send men to the Moon. It would be another six years before Ellie would be sent on her trip in 1972, three whole years after the Moon landing. Of course it would take her thirty years to reach her destination in 2002, and another eight years for her signals to finally reach us. That’s lots of years. Makes you wonder what’s going on there right now, eight years after the story we see unfolding before us has taken place.
Here’s the announcement for the symposium as it appeared in some science journal or the National Geographic or some such magazine. The scientists who spoke at the event are the same people who were recorded for Ellie’s greeting. They’re the first human beings that Jeff and Muffin had ever seen!