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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon A few moments before Mark sent me the pencils for today's page, I watched Jay Leno interview Burt Rutan, the founder of Scaled Composites (the company that built SpaceShipOne) and Michael Melvill, who piloted the first X-Prize flight of SpaceShipOne.

For those of you who aren't familiar with American television, or for those Americans who are living in cabins in Montana penning Luddite manifestoes by candlelight, Jay Leno is a talk-show host whose specialty is interviewing celebrities. His program, the Tonight Show, is light entertainment.

And he interviewed the winners of the X-Prize.

Space is once again a common part of public discourse, and popular enough that the world's first commercial space pilot is getting huge cheers from a studio audience. Welcome to the future, population: you.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that giant mile-long battle cruiser is our heroes' new ride. I've been waiting quite a while to introduce it. Let us say that when it comes to attacks on their spacecraft the Martians operate under a policy of "fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, be introduced to the business end of this multi-terawatt exotic physics cannon."

Speaking of new rides, I wish I'd known about the SpaceShipOne interview in time to see it! Still, though, there will be further opportunities. The Discovery Channel will be running an updated version of their X-Prize documentary, "Black Sky," today (Thursday) at 9:00 PM EST. This is really more a reminder for me personally than anything else, although I certainly won't be offended if you choose to tune in as well.

Today's comic link is Reed Hawker's Culture Shock. Mr. Hawker is an online artist community acquaintance of mine from back in the day. I mean back in the day. The Fan Art HQ day. The Impromanga day. You darned kids have no idea. Anyway, he has this comic and it's good and you should read it and stuff, so there.