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Webcomic Artists Pay Tribute to the Mars Curiosity Rover

After the tense clicking of cameras, the victory hugs and Bobak Ferdowsi’s awesome mohawk, I came away from Sunday night’s Curiosity rover landing with a lingering rush of excitement. We’re back on Mars! We’re looking for the building blocks of life on another planet! Humanity just accomplished a truly amazing feat of engineering! Go humans!

The webcomics world was primed to celebrate as well. Already predisposed toward all things geeky (and with a special affection for robots), many webcomic artists have paid tribute to Curiosity and NASA in the best way they know how: with lots of funny pictures, plus the occasional cat.

Up top, Joel Watson experiences a moment of enlightenment in HijiNKS Ensue.


Jonathan Rosenberge’s Scenes From A Multiverse often plays with science themes. (His characters aren’t just scientists, they’re Science Masters.) I’m sure this one has something to do with the “no intelligent life, just malls” trope, but I’m honestly just hypnotized by alien Ferdowsi’s skull stars.

Speaking of Ferdowsi and the haircut that charmed the Internet, Lar deSouza, co-creator of the webcomic Least I Could Do, did a victory dance with his pen and gave Marvin the Martian a mohawk in lieu of a broom on his head:

He also sketched portraits of a few of the mission members:

And over at Least I Could Do, deSouza and Ryan Sohmer broadcasted their message to the young’uns:

I can’t disagree with the sentiment, but ’tis time to retire “The more you know,” joke. It was old back when Family Guy was playing around with it.

Mike Russell of CulturePulp and The Sabretooth Vampire also decided to caricature the Curiosity mission crew. First, he gave our beloved Mohawk Man a makeover:


Then he outfitted Adam Steltzner in NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz’s rockabilly-style white vest in honor of his hairdo (and noted that Steltzner is, in fact, a rocker):

Meghan Murphy, of the deceptively cute comic Kawaii Not, decided to illustrate Curiosity herself in a way that is undeniably adorable:

While Chris Cusack of Waiting on Tables explains how to make your own Mars rover at home:

And Javis of Legacy Control speculated on the writer behind Curiosity’s twitter account:

Yes, it’s a hipster joke, but let’s not forget how memetastic Curiosity’s first tweet on Mars was:

Some cartoonists imagine a less than happy fate for Curiosity. Irma Eriksson, whose webcomic Cosmical anthropomorphizes our solar system’s celestial bodies, wonders if Mars doesn’t have mustache-twirling plans for Curiosity and her sister rovers:

While Maki Naro’s Sci-ence [Editor's Note: The first "e" is a schwa] has Curiosity encountering life, but only life interested in taunting the rover:

And Rosscott’s installment of The System would have made more sense if NASA had flubbed the landing:

R. Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties focuses on the most important thing we all learned this week: that robots are better than people:

Randall Munroe’s xkcd comic was probably the most passed-around webcomic about Curiosity:

But my personal favorite image comes from James Anderson’s fantastically charming webcomic Ellie on Planet X, which stars a cat-shaped robot exploring a distant planet. In honor of Curiosity’s recent Show and Tell, Anderson posted the first image Ellie photographed upon reaching Planet X:

There are a handful of artists I was hoping to see jump on board the Curiosity cartooning celebration, like Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak (although he has posted a few notes about Curiosity), Christopher Baldwin of Spacetrawler, and Tom Dell’Aringa (whose webcomic Marooned is set on Mars). Perhaps we’ll see some Curiosity-themed drawings from them over the next few days. If anything could make up for their absence, though, it’s this set of animated gifs from Pusheen the Cat:

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