The story behind the scene #3

No #3

Departure From The Thirsty Hound

U.S.S. Weiner takes off from The Thirsty Hound in pursuit of sausages. If you look closely you can make out a small yellow figure hurrying to a space craft.

All is revealed a few pages later when the pugs come under fire on Bonio 5.

The introduction of a third pug, Taser, a Pugs In Space fan and wannabe…

To the rescue in her space Uber, it’s Taser who blows the aggressors away and allows Major Ron and Lieutenant Lola to make a narrow escape.

And here she is. Life on board U.S.S. Eisner will never be the same.

The story behind the scene #2

No 2: The Thirsty Hound scene.

No sooner have they been thrown off the International Space Station as a result of Lieutenant Lola’s inability to grasp the concept of a zero gravity lavatory, the pugs head straight to the pub for a rendevouz with a mysterious space-fish character who claims to know the whereabouts of the missing sausages…

Tim Southwell

After a disagreement with Dr Ted about his being excluded from the trip to the pub, the pugs make their entrance. The first Star Wars movie Star Wars IV – A New Hope had a brilliant scene where the crew members all went to a space bar inhabited by all manner of ne’erdowell alien types. We couldn’t resist doing the same.

Also lost to the finished illustration is the juke box playing Arlo Parks’ Black Dog. We just thought that might be a bit depressing…

Note the character at the end of the bar reading the newspaper, and also Lieutenant Lola’s Covid-19 reference.

It’s basically a mix of space canines, aliens and robots. Illustrator Jay’s 6-year-old son Milo created the character with the big teeth at the back. Putting some serious pressure on the old man, there!

In the original rough sketch, Pike, the mercenary who the pugs are about to meet is seen at the bar. He doesn’t make the cut on the finished version.

By my reckoning – it’s hard to keep track of who you have and haven’t counted – there are 64 other characters that do make the cut, 66 if you include Major Ron & Lieutenant Lola.

If robot bar men could sweat this one would be.

The story behind the scene #1

Here’s the first in a series of development work compared to the finished article, with author notes revealing some of the inspirations behind the scenes.

No 1: The Chase Scene On Bonio 5.

Not sure who’s driving in the original sketch but Major Ron takes charge by the time they flee. Dr Ted’s “Predilection for high velocities” quote comes directly from the Data / B4 character in Star Trek Nemesis played by Brent Spiner who says the same thing to a speeding Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart). No, it’s not stolen, it’s an homage!

Tim Southwell

I love how Major Ron keeps getting irritated at Dr Ted continually referring to him as ‘Captain’ as opposed to ‘Major’, so much so that his Bonio 5 rant about ‘respect and the good old days’, blind-sides him to impending doom…

I also love the three panels on page two where Fat Cat’s revved up maniacs get closer and closer to the pugs, with the final panel revealing some proper Whacky Races style weaponry.

Inside the artist’s den…

How Taser became Taser… Taser…

The third pug in space proved to be quite elusive…

Taser proved to be quite a tricky customer to create. We wanted her to be edgier than Lola and even more of a nuisance for Major Ron. Jay spent a lot of hours getting her just right,
We went back and forth with various looks. We knew for some reason that she had to be a space Uber driver, someone who drifts all over the universe looking for fares and accidentally getting into trouble along the way. Her real ambition is to one day meet the Pugs In Space. Her absolute dream is to team up with them on one of their intrepid crusades.
Taser’s Uber ride. Inspired by the Delorian from Back To the Future and a lot of other stuff going on in Jay’s head!
She’s coming along nicely but she’s not quite right…
Still not quite there. She looks a bit too cutesy pie, not quite daft enough.
There she is! Absolutely spot on. Green and white sneakers on, she’s ready for action. And she looks just like Ernest Borgnine…
At your service, Major Ron!!

But if you cross her…….