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No. 127: Progenitor

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Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/pomh/?comic=127

Strip by: Ian Boreham

{John Hammond, founder of Jurassic Park, has fallen down a slope and injured his ankle. Some small dinosaurs (procompsognathus) are approaching him tentatively.}
compy 1: This guy who just fell down the slope - is he our creator, John Hammond?

compy 2: It's hard to say... He's wearing the same clothes, and he's got the stick with the amber knob. His voice sounds right.

compy 1: Is his beard the same colour?

compy 2: His beard? Aaargh! That horrible mammal facial growth is really freaking me out!

compy 2: I'm going to spit venom in his face!

John Hammond: Ow! Ow! Ow! My ankle!

The author writes:

Fans of the Jurassic Park franchise would know, of course, that this scene is based on the Jurassic Park novel, not the films. John Alfred Hammond died after falling and injuring his ankle, then being subdued by procompsognathus venom and eaten. The venom was invented by the author, Michael Crichton. In the movie, John Parker Hammond (did they change his middle name to make it clearer that he owned parks?) got off the island.

The little dinosaurs were procompsognathus, meaning "ancestor of compsognathus", compsognathus itself meaning "elegant jaw", and not actually a descendant of procompsognathus, as it turned out. In the books and movies, both these species are referred to as "compy". For some reason, people often write the plural of this word as "compys" instead of "compies". This irritates the heck out of me. I seem to remember it was even written that way in the book, which is surprising -- in spite of his various failings, Crichton was a good writer.

I realised after drawing this that the compy venom was administered through biting, and it was actually the dilophosaurus in the stories that spat blinding venom into people's faces. I regret not being able to work that in as another meaning of "face blindness".

In conversation the other day I wanted to use the word "prosopagnosia" (the medical condition also known as face-blindness), but couldn't remember it, and what came out was more like procompgsognathus, thus giving birth to this strange strip.

You could interpret prosopagnosia to mean "agnostic about faces". I guess aprosopism would mean not believing in faces at all.

Drawn in Krita and Inkscape.