08/09/11 Base at Brograhm’s Teeth


Today’s strip was really fun to draw. Including laying out panel 4 to mimic the image of Brograhm’s actual teeth from this strip (panel 7).

not much to report. I am at the Albuquerque airport, waiting to leave, and all I can say is, it’s been lovely. Hope to see you again soon, Albuquerque.


  1. Eris Lobo

    “The G.O.B. station is the located in the middle of the stream.”

    Is the … what … located? Or should that be … “is the location”?

    Just thought I’d check …

    By the way, quite intriguing strip today! *smiles*

  2. Leland

    @metaphizzle, yeah, I came across white hole in my search.

    My point is that white geyser is much more apt description and Chris deserves credit for it if he’s the first to use it.

  3. Debris as big as… wait, is this another one of those “Pluto is not a planet” arguments?

    And Garrapiñadas… well let’s just say they’re not inappropriate when referring to someone with disfigured teeth

  4. CBob

    I feel like a black hole that well-fed should have an accretion disc that’s lit up like a Pink Floyd concert, but I guess that would kinda ruin the nifty dark/light duality thing in the art.

  5. Leland

    @Frank, we haven’t found any yet because math isn’t physics. Just because “the math” says it’s possible doesn’t mean it has any relation with reality (e.g. string theory).

  6. CompaniaHill

    I like “white geyser” as it immediately implies material being ejected in a specific direction, whereas a “white hole” sounds like something that would emit matter in all directions indiscriminately.

  7. James Smith

    Technically, a black holes gravitational pull is the same as it was when it was a star. You would have to be within it’s orbital range to feel the gravity. It pulls things in when you go past the event horizon. I’m wondering if the author is aware of this, it is not the first time science fiction writers tend to go into a subject with little knowledge about it simply because it is a cool idea. The station wouldn’t be in too much trouble from the black hole itself, unless the black hole is of an unusual type. There is only so much we can theorized of something, even if we know enough about it.

  8. Christopher

    @James, well, it’s true that I could not say that Spacetrawler is good science while keeping a straight face. But I do read up some before writing, and was aware of basic black hole principles. In this case, here’s my rationale: there has been such a huge non-stop addition of mass from the white geyser, that it’s orbital range is enormous, enough to have pull on the station. 🙂

  9. I love this description of Brograhm’s Teeth! Just enough physics technobabble to make the place sound very interesting to visit! I imagine scientists studying that weird matter flowing out of the geyser very closely–assuming all the Eeb advances haven’t slowed galactic scientific interest to a crawl.

    Anyway, Mr. Zorilla, as always, is a hoot! I think he’s got a kind of Arthur Dentishness lurking in his personality. For example, usually when Ford Prefect or Zaphod or Trillian would say something very weird about technology, space-time warps or galactic politics, Arthur out of sheer culture shock and parochialness would always drag the conversation back to something staggeringly and reassuringly dull about Earth. I see Zorilla doing that in these panels.

    And I sympathize. I don’t know how I’d hold up in conversation with a fish-like creature who kidnapped my daughter for purposes that barely make sense to me.

  10. CBob

    The gravitational thing is easy to explain: the white geyser is in a tide-locked orbit around the black hole, and a much closer orbit than its velocity alone would allow, due to outward thrust generated by the constant unidirectional spewing of matter. This would also explain the relatively consistent arc of said matter, and why any object wishing to stay fixed relative to a point in that arc would have to use constant thrust to maintain that position: it can either be in orbit at that altitude, or synched with the matter stream, but not both.

  11. A Reader

    To add to the debate, perhaps flow in panel 4 might be improved with:
    “It’s a river of debris, much of it as big as a planet…”
    “Imagine a river of debris, much of it as big as a planet…”

  12. http://www.optcorp.com/edu/articleDetailEDU.aspx?aid=720

    Here is a photo of a smile shaped artifact near a black hole.

    I think there is no way this would happen without giving up a lot of energy in that bright glow and harsh radiation the environment within that station would have to be highly shielded.

    I imagine that the GOB station could leave its position and travel as a large spaceship and its thousand space trawlers would be a weapon as potent as a deathstar.

    That thing could fly through a planet like a cookie cutter couldn’t it?

  13. Christopher

    @A_Reader, I think I originally wrote it with the pronoun “it” but ended up avoiding “it” because “it” could have referred to the river OR the debris.

    @Plane, awesome link. And yes, like a cookie cutter, I’m sure, or maybe like “what planet?”

    @Kathleen, ha! 🙂 (oh, and which planet are you referring to?)

  14. Leland

    @Christopher, I think Kathleen is referring to the Prute planet, Geenar-7. https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2011/01/16/spacetrawler-111/

    I understand her confusion. For the longest time (i.e. until this comic), I thought something called “Brograhm’s Teeth” would be directly related to the Prutes.

    But I get it now. “Brograhm’s Teeth” is the name for a stellar feature (object, thingee??) that looks similar to that disgusting bastards bad smile, and has nothing to do with the Prutes. I is smart!

  15. Tom

    wait wait wait…how long ago did Brograhm’s death happen? if the story was old enough to allow the name to stick to a stellar formation (a stable one at that), where did all the debris come from? dimension x?

  16. I didn’t mean to be so confusing. This is simply an astonomical thing that’s been around a long time, probably previously called “that really bad place worth avoiding.” then, after Brograhm the Prute did his thing, it got named after him.

    I am considering doing some slight clarifying adjustments to this strip now. Hmmm…

  17. Tom

    or maybe the black and white things are in fact connected, and that the black hole is just swallowing whatever it spews out from the other end, like that simpsons episode where marge built an entire human digestive system model using pork parts…and nelson ended up attaching the exit back to the entrance…I’m sorry but that scene was just so disgusting…

  18. CompaniaHill

    @JamesSmith: The black hole’s event horizon is the “point of no return” for everything, including light. Outside of that, its gravity tapers off just like anything else’s and you’d “feel” its gravity no matter what your distance. (Gravity doesn’t have an “orbital range”. The further out you go, the longer it takes to orbit, without limit.) I suspect that the Brograhm geyser orbits the black hole, which would naturally cause its ejected material to curve as it is pulled down the gravity well. The G.O.B station, at a closer distance, would either need to orbit faster, or maintain constant thrust to hold its position in the geyser stream. (Like Dr. Hans Reinhardt’s ship the USS Cygnus.) I’m quite impressed at how cool and consistent this whole construct is.

    @Kathleen: Cue Penny Priddy on the Oscillation Overthruster’s power source…

    @Chris: Over the course of the strip, you’ve established that “Brograhm’s Teeth” is just a nickname for this area, and that it’s a nasty place to be avoided. You don’t need to over-explain, especially since today’s strip is pretty clear that only Eeb technology can navigate it safely.

    @Tom: Attaching the exit back to the entrance? Eww. I did *not* want to think of Human Centipede.

  19. Leland

    Backstory idea: the Prutes are famous in galactic lore from even before the creation of the GOB (simlar to the Wrlrlrl https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2011/05/10/spacetrawler3/).

    Thus, “Brogranhm’s Teeth” was a common curse in galactic lingo.

    When the White Geyser/Black Hole formation was found, the discoverer noticed the similarity to Brogranhm’s ugly mug, and named the it after him.

    THERE! All nice and neat! You want I should put a bow on top of it?


    PS ooooh, movie casting idea! James Cromwell for Mr. Zorilla!

    PPS @Chris, hey, for SPX, if you want to save the cost of the hotel, I can host you. You’ve got my email. Just let me know more than 48 hours in advance so I can clean up a bit! 🙂

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