We lost David Bowie yesterday, and that’s no laughing matter. It’s quite sad. But we’re in the business of funny here, and I’ve found myself listening to “Space Oddity” over and over. It’s one of several songs (Elton John’s “Rocket Man” also comes to mind) that played on NASA’s square-jawed test pilots and their dangerous and incongruous role as “spam in a can.” I always looked at the astronauts as heroes (and I still do), but they were never the super-human androids that NASA made them out to be. They were human, flawed, and complicated. And from the counter-culture perspective it was easy to see them as tools (and maybe even victims) of the military-industrial complex. Certainly, whatever else they were, they were propaganda weapons of the cold war, and these songs reflect this.

Anyway, this panel is my humorous take on “Spam in a can.” The capsule is actually a GI Joe replica of John Glenn’s Mercury capsule. The rocket is just a cardboard tube concrete form covered with some silver shelf-paper. The trusty guard tower from yesterday’s strip serves as rocket gantry. As in Sunday’s panel, No. 1 seems to be getting the upper hand over Number Two here, another example of that rare event.