Space Moose

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Space Moose was a Canadian underground comic strip that appeared in the University of Alberta's student newspaper, The Gateway, between 1989 and 1999. Almost all of the strips were penned by Adam Thrasher, a mechanical engineering student at the university. For career-related reasons, many archives refer to the author by his pen name Mustafa Al-Habib.[1]

The strip follows the adventures of Space Moose, an anthropomorphic, nihilistic, pansexual moose with asymmetrical eyes and a Star Trek uniform, as he violates every behavioral norm and societal taboo he can find. His roommates Marlo Smefner, Billy the Bionic Badger, and Bald Dwarf are often the accomplices or victims of his actions. The strip often focused on scatological or sexual themes and often seemed to delight in tweaking readers' sensibilities; as a result, Thrasher found himself in hot water on several occasions.

In October 1997, The Gateway refused to publish a strip satirizing the Take Back the Night March, in which Space Moose and Billy prepared to open fire on a feminist demonstration. The strip was nevertheless available on the cartoonist's web site; its presence there ignited a controversy on campus that polarized public opinion and led to Thrasher being charged with discrimination under the university's code of student behavior, a charge that was overturned on appeal.

In February and March 1997, Space Moose ran for Students' Union President and finished a close third with 1400 votes (only 11 votes behind the second place candidate, Hoops Harrison). This led to changes being made in Students' Union rules that would prevent any future "joke" candidate from actually winning an election.

A book collection, Triumph of the Whim, was published privately, also in 1997. Most strips are available on the Space Moose web site.


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