Fun fact, your brain burns about 20% of a resting human’s calorie needs. Roughly 300 a day – not a LOT like Dabbler is saying, she’s emphasizing her point for a soundbite oriented press. Her point is 300 calories ain’t nothing, especially when times are lean. The bad news is that while thinking really hard does burn a few extra calories, it’s not enough that you can think your way to a six pack.

It should be noted that having good depth perception doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any good at gauging distance, but I didn’t have room to make that point in the comic. FYI, in case it’s a little too small to see here, the green woman in panel five has 4 eyes. I sometimes forget to take the finished size of the page while I’m drawing it.

This page was hard to write because I’m trying to compress Dabbler’s fairly complex argument into two thirds of a page. I could have given her a little more room, but I couldn’t let go of the scissors gag once I thought of it. Which… describes 90% of my writing process for the comic to be honest.

I’m continuing her lecture on the next page, so I won’t be exhaustive here, but basically she’s saying, yes, three eyes would give you better depth perception than two, but it’s a minor upgrade. Ah, you say, but what if the eye was in the back of the head, giving a creature better environmental awareness? That would be nice, and there are probably aliens that have evolved that way, but you can’t just plop an eye in the back of a head for free. There needs to be a socket, and that either takes up space in the skull, impacting brain size, or has to protrude further from the body. So you either increase the mass of the lifeform, or shave that mass from elsewhere. Growing a body takes a lot of calories over a lifetime, and before all these species had spaceships and grocery stores, they had to survive long enough to get to that point. Don’t forget that at one point, there was some catastrophe, probably disease or a bad crop or whatever, and humanity was down to about 1,000 individuals at some point in our distant past. If that was caused by famine, what if we all had prehensile tails that required another 200 calories a day to break even?

Basically, she’s saying that every survival advantage a species evolves is great when food is abundant, but can spell doom when times are lean, so two eyes gives depth perception, two legs lets you run, two arms lets you climb and manipulate the world around you. Less is more.

Speaking of ergonomics. It would be a real pain in the butt if you were manufacturing for an alien populace. Right now, car makers have to make cars that drive on the right and the left sides of the roads, and they have to reasonably accommodate people from about 4’10” to 6’6″ I’m guessing. Plus or minus two to five inches there. But imagine having to accommodate klingons, who average about four inches taller than the average human. Well, the background ones do. The ones with a lot of dialog are curiously closer to human averages, heh. Okay, 4″ isn’t too bad. You could adjust the amount of padding in the seat. Klingons prefer less padding anyway. But what if you’re building your car for a protoss? Those dudes are like 9-10 feet tall. Now you basically have to build a whole new cab. Same thing for a faerie. They’re like 18″ tall. It’s conceivable that one of them might need an F-250, and adding stilts to the foot pedals isn’t going to offer those customers a luxury experience.

Usually the solution to this is modular ergonomics. If a faerie buys a big pickup truck, the dealership can replace the whole crew cab with a much smaller one with appropriately sized controls and seating. The advantage being it comes with a ton more storage space. That could be customized with bus-like seating, or simply enough cargo space to fit your whole tailgating party in. A grill, several coolers of beer… or ambrosia or whatever faeries knock back when rooting for sports teams. You wouldn’t even need the bed of the pickup truck for anything. That’s why most faeries go with economy cars.

Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like!