coal skinkThe larger piece is “Patrick”, and will shapeshift a new head soon; the smaller piece will crumble into inert dirt. In case you were curious.

Early in the planning of the comic, I thought about having Cohen forge a new Being for himself. It didn’t end up fitting the plot, but it was a serious-enough possibility that I seeded some clues like this.

Came up with a shortlist of animal forms, too. I wanted it to be (a) the first and only Being that wasn’t an African/Eurasian animal, as a low-key clue that this one was New and Different, and (b) black-and-white, to go with Cohen’s Aesthetic.

Again, for the curious, here’s the list:

  • Beech marten
  • Buttermilk racer
  • Coal skink (pictured)
  • Mountain goat
  • Nilgiri marten
  • Raccoon
  • Skunk
  • Spotted salamander
  • Virginia opossum

And so . . .

Woman: Mmm . . .

Cohen: Hey, babe . . . Guess who’s got a few million bucks and a physical inability to accidentally get you pregnant?

Scientist: No, he’ll recover enough to transform in roughly five minutes. The only question is, which piece is “him”, and which is now dead weight?

Cohen: The Contract . . . ! No, don’t fade away! I need to transcribe you!

Lawyer: Are you sure you don’t want to wear a tie, sir?

Cohen: It’s only buyout negotiations. They’re lucky I bothered to wear a jacket.

[Caption: Miranda Imani Lake]

Secretary: What do I do with this, boss?

Cohen: Stick it in a file.

Created by humans, but artificially limited to fighting each other . . . Can that be the original design, or did someone come along later and depower them?

Cohen: Patrick, if it’s possible to create more Beings, do you think it would be ethical to do so?

Patrick: If you want to try it, sir, I don’t see why not!

Cohen: Yeah, I knew you would say something like that.