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<   No. 60   2003-03-25   >

Comic #60

1 Narrator: No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.
2 Narrator: No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinised as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets.
3 Narrator: And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us.
4 Martian 1: What about germs?
4 Martian 2: Psssh! We don't need to worry about those.

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Those of you familiar with H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds will notice these are not exactly the opening lines of that novel. Those of you familiar with Jeff Wayne's musical adaptation will recognise them as the slightly condensed version used for the opening of that recording. I would have preferred to use the novel's wording, but it was hard enough squeezing in the shorter version.

Panels 1 to 3 were created with POV-Ray, freeware raytracing software.


2012-01-07 Rerun commentary: Ah, the Martians appear for the first time. This makes nine themes (including Miscellaneous, which I assigned the theme number of 6). The Martians would nearly always be seen in front of that ubiquitous background set piece, and with a table of unexplained controls between them. The table of controls here is an early version. It would become standardised later on, when I decided to leave it intact rather than disassemble it each time.

Oh, and if you don't get the joke in the comic, you probably need to read The War of the Worlds. Although I may have spoiled the ending for you.

The book was published in 1898. I feel no shame whatsoever in spoiling the ending. There's a statute of common sense limitations on these things, you know.

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