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Cosmos
Mind over matter!
Bromancing the Stone

Cosmos

Starting from Comic #661: Bromancing the Stone
Bromancing the Stone
Uh oh - is Gene about to form his own freaky little cult of 'stache rocked worship? I wouldn't put it past him, sadly. Once Mr. Ellis becomes fixated on something (usually some new piece of Star Wars-related shwag), there is little to stop his devotion turning just that little bit weird.... and that's when he's on his normal 'default' setting. The Mystery Rock, in particular, ticks any number of boxes in Gene's mental checklist of awesome: it's random. It's unexpected. It's bizarrely cool. And it represents a tantalizing mystery that maybe, maybe, he can bring to heel if only.... he stares.... long enough. Failing that, he gets to annoy all his friends by being utterly aggravating - that's always fun!
Unstoppable force, meet immovable object
You've got to wonder whether Artie, Macy, Ax and Jenny have started to wonder at this point 'Hang on, is Gene just winding us up?' Their good friend is well known for his elaborate, head-scratching psych-outs; and staging a 'find a mysterious object in the woods, and drive everyone to distraction philosophizing over it' scenarion would be exactly the kind of long game he might choose to play. Unfortunately, if they're thinking that, they'd be wrong.... justified in their paranoia, but, nope, wrong. The Mystery Rock is a genuine head-scratcher, and Gene's aggravating absorption in it might just be a bonafide power that he / she / it has over him! Has he gone to work in the last few days, for example? No idea. Gene is right on one thing, though - its composition is definitely closer to a Granodiorite than a basic granite: there's only 60% silica minerals (rather than around 70 as in granite), a much greater concentration of sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar, and slightly lower levels of quartz. That's what a degree in geology gets ya, folks....
The big ol' Stare-Down
What's more embarrassing here, Gene: the fact that you're engaged in a staring match with a freakin' rock, or the fact that you were one to blink first? There's on doubt that by this point, Mr. Ellis is being propelled ahead more by a sense of pugnacious stubbornicity than any spirit of scientific enquiry - when he goes all out in trying to come out on top, regardless of his opponent, logic and objectivity can just go jump themselves! Still, the Mystery Rock is looking pretty smug right there.... better pack a lunch, folks, because wearing it down is gonna be an all-day job....
Blink and you'll miss it
If there's one thing to be learned from Gene's uphill battle over the last 6 comics, it can only be this: don't mess with enigmatic, moustachio'd geological samples, let alone attempt to match wits with them! Okay, so it's not really a lesson that's applicable to a broad range of experiences in life, but in the right circumstances, who can say you won't be slumped in defeat on your own carpet and think 'Boy, why didn't I pay more attention to the cautionary tale that is Eugene Carmichael Ellis?' Really, you'll just feel silly. And nobody wants that. And yes, I know, technically speaking, a sound can't break the sound barrier - but how else could I encapsulate the sheer primal rage of Gene's explosive frustration? Sometimes common sense just has to step aside and let artistic license take over!
Origin of the Species (featuring guest art by Jeremy 7!)
Prior to the instigation of the 2019 Halloween Crossover Exchange, Cosmos fan and fan art supplier Jeremy 7 (he of Lectro! and Pine Hill Creature Feature fame) very kindly provided me with this absolute gem of a piece, where - to quote his inspiration - 'Jenny as a werecat, Artie as a Frankenstein's Monster-type, and Gene as a mad scientist. And Macy's judging them. In all the chaos, whatever got to the others missed her. Probably for the best, because she can still save them.'. Which is brilliant: there's any number of alternate versions of the Cosmos crew running around in my stories (Artie Kong, Gene Thing, Myra's Goth Loli transformation, Jenny's Magic Scout Kitty-Jen suit etc.), so this was another set, free of charge, to add to the roster! Yay! But once the Crossover Exchange rolled around, and I sat down to think up ideas for my submission, I thought to myself 'Hang on - why don't I take Mr. 7's concept.... and set it loose to see where it leads me?' So, yeh, the mad, mad, mad story that resulted is all his fault, basically....
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