1. Whether the comic is not worth reading, or delightful, either way suggests that you get what the joke is supposed to be. Can someone enlighten me, it’s still a CIDU For me.

    (I recognize SBSP, of course.)

  2. You know… this one and the previous Pardon my Planet about the fig leaf and desert make me think cartoonists (like all of us) live in our own little minds where we find certain little ideas quirky and amusing. And we assume something quirky and amusing will be easily expressed an appreciated by others. Except of course, they aren’t; they just come across as illogical and weird.

    So I think the cartoonist thinks Spongebob Squarepants is kind of weird and it’d be surreal and strange to be surrounded by a bunch of him. And alien life would be weird. So it’d be amusing of you go to Mars and find the life is all a bunch of Spongebob Squarepants. I think to the cartoonist’s mind that gave him a chuckle. And I can empathize. I can see that in the law of human nature that a specific concept X might cause a specific person Y to chuckle.

    But it doesn’t transport to anyone else’s mind.

  3. Of all the comic characters to have populate Mars, why pick one that lives at the bottom of the ocean?

  4. It would be very strange that a planet with a slight atmosphere and no free water (besides ice) would evolve life that lives in a pineapple under the sea. “SpongeBob Square Pants” Those would be some very dried out sponges. I liked the David Bowie reference.

  5. Perhaps modifying it to “intelligent life” would put it across.

    60s variation: The aliens are all pathetic looking and in rags. One astronaut tells the other, “This is going to raise heck with our foreign aid program.”

  6. Yeah I guess since Spongebob has mastered living in one environment that can not easily sustain human life, why not Mars too.

    Maybe the fact that they all have black noses has something to do with the joke, or maybe it’s just a bad color job.

  7. Another way of looking at it is that Spongebob is NOT “life”. He is an animated character. So if you go to Mars and find that is like a scene from Toontown in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, is there a sign of life?

  8. If he can roast marshmallows over campfires at the bottom of the ocean, he can survive on Mars.

  9. “James, aren’t they as much alive as McPherson’s astronauts?”

    Depends on how meta you want to go. Pictures of Bob Hoskins projected onto a screen in a theater aren’t alive, either, but they’re on a different level of not-alive-ness than pictures of Donald Duck projected onto the exact same screen.

  10. Okay, now I can’t remember the original lyrics (though they probably don’t make any more sense).

    Yes, I know I can Google it.

  11. James, Hoskins on film is an image of a live person, while both Spongebob and McPherson’s astronauts are fictional, vaguely-humanoid creatures.

  12. @ W.W. – The problem is that this panel is based on a fractured premise. The reader ends up having to interpolate McPherson’s intentions (woozy’s explanation is an admirable example), or come up with corrections, such as M.A.’s “intelligent” improvement. During this whole process, one has to compensate for (or ignore) the fundamental errors in the illustration. In addition to the buttocks, sleeves, and noses mentioned above, there is also the impossibly crooked lander, and the rollerball “shading” of the facemasks. This has the advantage of obscuring the astronauts’ ugly faces, but it makes it look like the glass is about to shatter.
    P.S. The whole purpose of CIDU is to analyze difficult comics, but at the end of a thread, it would be nice if the end result is worth the journey. In the case of “Close to Home”, no matter how many explanations are provided, it never seems to be worth the work.

  13. I enjoy remembering related comics and adding to them, so long as Bill doesn’t mind. I wonder, tho, does EVERYone have email alerts for ‘new’ comments, or am I doing this for just a few hardcore fans + Bill?

  14. @ Andréa – I’ve tested e-mail alerts a few times, but always come to the conclusion that it’s just too much additional traffic. It’s easier for me to look for unusual thread titles in the 15 most recent comments. There’s also the option of using larK’s Comment Harvester, so there are probably more people reading than you might think.

  15. Now, I’m the opposite . . . I get alerts from this and many other sites I follow. A couple dozen more emails a day isn’t an issue with me. When I was still involved in Airedale and Cairn Rescue, 200-300 emails/day was normal (yikes!). I’d rather have the alerts than constantly have to go back to the sites themselves to see if they’ve updated since the last time I checked ’em.

  16. I check LarK’s scrape page a couple times a day and read all of the updated threads. I don’t get any comic alerts. Just boring bank and credit cards ones.

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