254: Comic Fragment
Title text: No one wants an explanation more than us. Except Ms. Garofalo.
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In this comic Randall has gone missing from the office, and his 'editors' have found only this panel from an unfinished project (of which Mr Munroe seems rather proud). The panel depicts an amalgam of science fiction disasters.
- A crippled space station falling from orbit.
- An exploding volcano.
- Rampaging dinosaurs.
- A lone hero in what appears to be a hopeless situation.
Janeane Garofalo is an actress and comedian associated with strong feminist roles and opinions. She is an unlikely choice for an action hero but has fringe appeal.
The strip itself is rather intriguing; how did Ms. Garofalo get on on the space station? How did she get the motorbike there? How is she on it, outside the space station? Why is she planning on fighting Tyrannosaurs (dinosaurs are a favorite topic of Munroe's) with only a dart gun? Why is the satellite crashing into a volcano in the first place?
The title text is written from the 'editors' perspective, expressing their extreme puzzlement - outshone only by Ms. Garofalo's confusion.
Later on, in December 2007, Randall Munroe suggested in a speech at Google that a motivation to draw this comic was to put an end to reenactments of his comics (such as the Richard Stallman and Cory Doctorow comics which inspired real-life happenings)... or challenge anyone to reenact such a complex one:
- I've been doing these comics and people have a habit of acting out the comics. I first — I did a comic about Cory Doctorow; you know, he wears red cape and goggles when he blogs and a week or so later, he was given an award. And he went up on the stage; they presented him with a red cape and goggles. I have done a comic little before that about Richard Stallman suggesting that he sleeps with the katana, you know, just in case. And, sure enough, they sent him, some fans pitched in together and sent him a katana. He had never heard of the comic. He was very confused. And I decided, okay, this is going to get out of hand. So, shortly after all that, I did a comic about Janeane Garofalo jumping a motorcycle off of the International Space Station as it crashes over an island with a volcanic eruption and Tyrannosaurus. And I said, okay, if someone can make that happen, but until they do that...
- Editor's note: Mr. Munroe has been missing for several days. We have recieved no submissions from him for some time, but we found this single panel on his desk in a folder labeled 'MY BEST IDEA EVER'. It is clearly part of a work in progress, but we have decided to post it in lieu of a complete comic.
- [Single panel illustration in color with one small panel embedded within, showing a zoomed-in version of Janeane Garafolo on a motorcycle. The background is a gray landscape beneath a falling space station, a large volcano with smoke rising the only discernible feature of the landscape below.]
- As the damaged space station fell deeper into the atmosphere and started to break up around her, Janeane Garofalo tightened her grip on the motorcycle.
- The volcano was looming ahead, and her tranquilizer pistol only had six darts left - barely enough to bring down even one Tyrannosaur.