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<   No. 1052   2005-12-13   >

Comic #1052

1 {scene: James Stud's hotel room, at night. He lies asleep in bed. A tarantula crawls slowly across the floor.}
2 {The tarantula reaches the bed and climbs up.}
3 {The tarantula slowly crawls up the sheets to Stud's face...}
4 {It is really close now...}
5 {It changes its mind and slinks off to a corner of the room...}
6 {Where it keels over and dies.}
7 Professor Dent: Curse it. Even for a female spider, being in bed with Stud is too traumatic.

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For the James Bond aficionados out there, I apologise for not recreating this scene exactly. I couldn't reproduce the obvious sheet of glass between James and the spider that you can see in the film.


2015-03-10 Rerun commentary: Nevertheless, I'm quite pleased with the images for this strip. The close up of the spider in the bottom left panel with the shallow depth of field is particularly cool, if I do say so myself.

In the film, the tarantula which Professor Dent uses is portrayed as being deadly. In reality, although tarantulas do have a venomous bite which can cause intense pain, they are not fatal. No deaths have ever been recorded from tarantula bite.

When I visited the Amazon jungle on a trip a few years back, our guide warned us to avoid getting too close to any tarantulas we might happen to see, not because the bite was particularly dangerous, but because of the tiny barbed hairs which the spiders have on their bodies and which they can brush off and eject in the direction of any perceived threat. These hairs penetrate human skin and cause a painful rash which persists for days.

(We were staying in a lodge in the jungle. On a walking tour through the forest, our guide showed us a tarantula nest, and persuaded a huge tarantula to appear from the depths of the web by poking a stick into the nest. We thought it was neat. When we returned to our lodging for the night, I noticed on every single tree in the immediate vicinity a mass of webs just like the one in which that tarantula had been...)

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