I’ve learned so many interesting, random facts while researching this comic. Did you know that all United States Senators have the same desk!? That’s right! In 1909, the carpentry firm S. Karpen and Brothers manufactured 125 identical mahogany desks for the opening of the Russell Senate Office building. (Why 125 is something that baffles me. There were 46 states at the time, 92 senators. Were S. Karpen and Bros. anticipating that sixteen new states would eventually join the union? But if so, what was the odd-numbered desk for? Or did they think suspect their incredibly sturdy desks would gradually break over the centuries-long history of our glorious republic?)

As soon as I discovered this, I knew I had to draw the desk properly. Alas, my attempt at “mood-lighting” on page 168, though moderately successful, resulted in most of the wood being blacked out in shadow anyway. Here are my preliminary pencils, where you can see the form of the desk a little better.

By the way, I’m only sporadically accurate about these things. For instance, I don’t actually know if the capitol dome AND the Washington monument are visible from any window of the Senate Office Building – I suspect they are not. I am indulging in that same cinematic shorthand whereby the Eiffel Tower can be seen out any window in Paris or Peter Parker’s crummy Manhattan apartment still has a breathtaking view of the Empire State Building. This is called poetic license, and I fall back on it every time I don’t feel like doing research.

Seriously, identical desks!