In After the Gold Rush #1, the last living scientist, Scout, returns from Saturn’s moon Titan to her ancestral home of Earth to discover the people aren’t very friendly. With the Kickstarter campaign for issue #3 set to end this Friday, August 4, Miles Greb returns in another AiPT! exclusive to discuss how Scout makes her way through the unfamiliar, surprisingly superstitious world.
AiPT!: Here we see Scout being pursued, but she’s got other things on her mind. What are you trying to show here?
Greb: Scout keeps her cool. She comes from a culture with a scientific culture, so the norms and expectations of people are a bit different. She isn’t a super human or anything, but she thinks like a scientist before panicking. That might not always be the right thing to do however – she didn’t really get away.
AiPT!: Some geology, and some more Carl Sagan! Although I feel like this panel in particular is more about Scout herself.
Greb: Yea, I grew up with those “Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Section” books that would show castles, Star Wars tech, Egyptian constrictions. So the love for those books inspired the creation of this page. [Artist] Issac [La Russa] and I went back and forth on how to lay it out – since it’s kind of an odd page. But I am very happy [with] how it turned out.
As for the Sagan quote – I almost put that in issue #1. I feel it’s the perfect quote to sum up the story. You may notice it’s part of the Sagan quote that started issue #1. Might be a pattern there.
AiPT!: I love this page. The fallacy here is something skeptics are very familiar with.
Greb: This is the first time Scout has ever encountered “alternative medicine”. So if you’re a skeptic or well-versed in science … reading this of course you know the whole “egg treatment” sounds nonsensical. But Scout’s first thought was not that it was “woo” but that it must somehow work! The idea that people would behave in odd superstitious ways is new to her. So, yeah, I too like this part. I think it helps me set the stage for the plot – but also it’s [a] pretty relatable scene for skeptic folks.
Also the “in two or three days letter thing” is pretty much like the “I prayed, and took an aspirin, and now my headache is gone” comments atheists are used to hearing all the time.
AiPT!: Is it too much to hope that this is the actual chemical formula for penicillin?
Greb: It sure is! Well, it’s the chemicals that you would apply to the mold in order to make penicillin. I am pretty sure I got this right. But if I did not – please feel free to write in and correct it!
AiPT!: Here’s a nice nod to the differing environments of Earth and Titan. Is this something we can expect Scout will continue to deal with?
Greb: She is pretty weak. It’s kinda sad. Her enthusiasm does not match her physical abilities just yet. Growing up on Titan, and its weaker gravity, will result in less bone density and muscle mass. On her journey to Earth she was put into cyrosleep, and [given] a dose of steroids and supplements to help her body deal with this. Without that, someone who grew up on Titan couldn’t really get around on Earth as well as she has. However, this will change … over time.
If you missed out on the first two issues of After the Gold Rush, you can get all THREE in the current Kickstarter campaign, ending August 4! It’s fully-funded, but you can still get in on cool add-ons like posters, T-shirts, album art-inspired variant covers and more!