“The Camp Coffee earned a Skeptical Reaction from a Sphinx.”
The sphinx, in the Knotted Rope, is a strange(ish) kind of person with a human head, a quadrupedal but humanoid body with four large hands that double as feet, and an animal’s tail and ears. The Knotted Rope sphinx has its origins in the sketchbooks as I tried to work out a “logical” (to me) solution to the “being with a human head and an animal body” trope found in so many cultures. Keen observers will notice that I still haven’t quite decided how a sphinx’s back legs work. I originally decided to make their legs two sets of arms, giving them four elbows as a riff on the elephant’s famous “four knees”. But while that’s interesting in theory, I keep forgetting to draw them that way and most sketchbook sphinxes end up with knees in the back and hands instead of feet, as we see here. It must be either more logical or just easier to draw them this way (or both), so I think the character design may end up yielding to the way the characters are actually drawn.
When I draw sphinxes, I seem want the emphasize that their hands are not just sturdy feet, so unless they are standing on all four of them I usually give them something to hold. Almost always, it’s a cup of coffee. I don’t know if this says more about me than it does about sphinxes, but they seem to like their java as much as I do. Of course, the stuff that’s brewed over the campfire (and served in the slightly whopperjawed enameled steel pot sitting on the small crate) is not as reliably good as the coffee sketchbook sphinxes usually drink in quaint independent cafes, and small town donut shops and even, when forced, as carryout from Starbucks.