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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Space Moose Annotations

The following comments were written by Adam Somebodyorother, the author of Spacemoose. In some cases I have edited them to remove his real name, as per his wishes (that's right, Somebodyorother is not his real surname).

The dates given indicate when the comment was written, not when the strip was penned.

  • A little something from abroad
    This strip was published way back at the beginning of 1993 and then lost. I never reclaimed the original nor kept a copy. As the archive was put together piece by piece over the last year, this strip remained the only missing episode. Inexplicably, the original turned up a few days ago in Stephen Notley's apartment (of all places).

    This is Marlo Smefner's first appearance. He sure looked different back then. Also, we get to see Space Moose's belly button in the last frame, answering an e-mail query I received some time ago. [July 10, 1996]

  • I want my $100 back
    The best part of this strip, I think, is the second frame where Space Moose does all that weird mumbling followed by an emphatic "Woo-hoo!" I still find myself doing that once in a while. I do not know why the hooker slept over. Perhaps Space Moose booked her for a full evening. But then, $100 seems a pretty low price for an all-nighter. Maybe she is just starting in the profession. [July 2, 1997]

  • I don't think she knows what a dik-dik is
    This strip inspired a minor uproar within the students' union government at the time. Jo-Anne Bishop, one of the SU vice presidents and mother of the Safewalk program, summoned me to her office to explain that she was deeply concerned about the negative implications of this cartoon. Safewalk is a program on the U of A campus which provides frightened students with free escorts to walk them home, thus protecting them from rapists and other evil-doers in the night. I told Jo-Anne about my intentions to do a follow up to this strip, and she did not seem very enthusiastic about it. [September 23, 1995]

  • The faster, the safer (2 parts)
    In this double length strip, Space Moose dispels all doubt that he can be a powerful and effective Safewalker. Our hero leads his "potential victim" fare on a high-speed (but safe) journey through the jungle of rapists which is our university campus. Although the ending is dubious, I think it's fair to say that Danean made it home all right.

    About a year after this strip ran in the Gateway, I gave a copy to Safewalk director, Joseph Ferenbok, whom was interested in using it in the Safewalk newsletter. [August 2, 1995]

  • A urinal puck for dessert?
    Astute readers will have noticed that Space Moose's head is rarely seen from any angle other than the standard partial profile. Occasionally, we see the back of his head and sometimes he even gives us a full profile. In frame 2 of this strip, he is seen for the first time with his head thrown back. With the exception of a few lame attempts in the first year, I never draw him straight on. The reason for this is simple. Whichever side we view Space Moose from, the eye nearest to us appears larger. Such is not contrary to the principles of optics, but considering the vast size difference it is clear something else is at work here. Is it possible that Space Moose can alter the size of his eyes depending on where we view him from? Maybe he has eyestalks by which he can thrust one eye right at us taking advantage of the 2-dimensional medium and our lack of depth perception. In either case, would not the people on the other side of him (for example, Marlo in frame 1) notice something? I am certainly at a loss to understand the phenomenon.

  • Ticket to Thailand
    The Gateway comics page has never featured a more self-righteous, vapid strip than "Love in a void" by Ken Dare. Every week, Dare's gothic Edward Scissorhands heroine (who, I believe, was modeled after the lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees) delivered one of her threadbare diatribes against the government, corporate America, or anything else that feeble-minded black-clad punk rock anarchistic pot-headed Sisters of Mercy fans might find cool to complain about. Here, she confronts Space Moose about his indulgent holiday plans. Ken Dare followed this strip up with an attack of his own. Here is his ham-fisted rejoinder. [November 21, 1996]

  • Space Moose and the Time Machine (4 parts)
    This is my absolute favorite Space Moose strip. It was conceived and drawn in just one evening. I have to thank Gateway managing editor at the time, Chris "Fish" Griwkowsky, for both encouraging me and giving me the opportunity to make this cartoon. It was the end of the school year, and one day before production of the last Gateway when Fish approached me with the idea of a full-page Space Moose comic. I guess he thought I might not continue Space Moose the following year, and this would be the final hurrah. I told him that with such short notice, I probably could only do half a page (particularly since I had no fresh ideas), and he assured me he would save room for it. I remember brainstorming for hours and staying up all night to finish this quadruple-length strip. It was worth it. [September 5, 1995]

  • Thanks for the Fritos (2 parts)
    Space Moose underwent his most grotesque physiological change after the summer of 1994. It seems his gluttonous eating habits finally caught up with his metabolism. This strip kicked off the "morbid obesity" series which went on for a few weeks. [July 5, 1995]

  • My friend is morbidly obese
    Part 2 of the "morbid obesity" series takes place at the hospital. Space Moose receives little sympathy for his self-inflicted condition. A few people thought that the whole "fat" plot was a poignant commentary on society's negative attitudes towards obesity. Nah, I was just making fun of gigantically fat people. [July 10, 1995]

  • Pizza delivery for Leona Bambi
    In this, part 3 of Space Moose's struggle with morbid obesity, our hero finds himself in the clutches of some sort of fat encounter group. I realised at this point that the best way to draw his pudgy hands is like they were inflated rubber gloves. For you anagramatists out there, take a crack at Leona Bambi. Here's a hint, the anagram accurately describes her. Therefore, it's not "A lean bimbo" which, unfortunately also works.

    To see the anagram, click . [July 14, 1995]

  • Deflabinator
    Billy's biomedical genius cures Space Moose of his morbid obesity in this strip. Our hero seems less than grateful as he delivers a bitter hypocritical diatribe against fat people, and orders the Luddite-esque destruction of the Deflabinator. Man, what an asshole! [July 19, 1995]

  • Heads up, ladies!
    Pennies these days have so little value that they are almost not worth owning. But in this philanthropic strip, Space Moose demonstrates how a fistful of cents can be cashed in for pure entertainment. This strip did pretty well in the reader poll, but not as well as I had hoped because I consider it one of my best works. I can only take credit for stealing the ingenious punchline which was the brainchild of Colby Cosh. [September 17, 1996]

  • One of the zombies
    Zombies are inherently funny in the same way that really slow, stupid people are. For a while, I had the idea of employing them for cheap laughs as Space and Billy's inept servants. Eventually, I became disenchanted with this idea. Zombies made only one more appearance after this in Whore fury.

    This strip was clearly drawn in haste. Keep an eye on Space Moose's right antler. It disappears in frame 2, and somehow slips behind the zombie in frame 5. [August 13, 1997]

  • New character
    Late in 1994, a fellow named Chris Stewart from the University of Calgary's student newspaper, The Gauntlet, asked for permission to run Space Moose on a regular basis in their comics section. Always in favor of increased moose exposure, I told Chris he could print any strip that appears in The Gateway as long as no changes are made to it. The following week The Gateway published this strip, but it never appeared in The Gauntlet. In fact, no subsequent Space Moose strips ever got picked up by The Gauntlet. I still do not know why.

    Again, I should reiterate that any similarity between characters appearing in Space Moose and anyone in real life is strictly coincidental. [March 4, 1997]

  • Whore fury (2 parts)
    This is the sequel to the ever-popular Heads up, ladies! strip. Sometimes, when I need to draw a new face, I grab the nearest magazine and use a random photo as a model. In the case of the pimp, I used a copy of Watchtower which some kind Jehovah's Witnesses dropped off at my place a few days before. The young chap seen here was actually on his way to a mission in South America. [March 18, 1996]

  • PhD in defecation
    Some guy named Mirsky elected this particular strip the "Worst of the Web" about ten days ago. What followed was a furor which made this web site more popular (or unpopular) than ever before. The access log was clocking over 500 users a day who checked out only this one strip. The furor seems to have finally died down. The moral of the story is, if you want to make your web page more popular, put something offensive on it, and then notify this Mirsky fellow.

  • Fellatio Barn
    I would like to kick off the 96/97 school year with one of the all-time favorite strips. When I submitted this one to the Gateway at the end of 1994, managing editor Tami Friessen snapped it up and read it right in front of me. When she got to the last panel she exclaimed, "she's sucking him off! How is this funny?!" Sheepishly, I muttered something about irony and then scuttled off fearing that the strip would not get published. But, it did and I am now of the opinion that Friessen rocks.

    The strip is now sported on more than 150 "Fellatio Barn" T-shirts around the world. Months ago, I wore mine to a nightclub and received several compliments including one drunken rave from a guy who claimed to have been to the Barn. Yes, the shirts are creating quite a stir. I even heard one story about a "Fellatio Barn" T-shirt mysteriously disappearing after an enraged female roommate declared it abominable. [September 4, 1996]