Yes, the friend whom I based Igor on is one year older today.
(You can send him best wishes at jinshu1 AT yahoo.com. Or just leave well-wishes here, and I'll make sure he gets them.)
By way of a birthday present to Scott and/or Igor, here is the coolest thing I think I've ever had happen to my characters.
Igor has gone into space!
A couple of years ago, Doug S. (of of the nice, non-swearing Canadians variety), a bona-fide Major General in the Army of Dorkness, asked me if I'd draw Igor for him...on a piece of metal...to send into space...on a spacecraft, launching in 2006.
Here's Scott and Doug at last year's DorkStock, with the drawing:
But I'll let Doug tell the rest of the story:
Members of the Army of Dorkness hold a variety of interesting day jobs. At least one of them builds satellites, and was determined to sneak Igor aboard: me.
John was kind enough to draw Igor on a sheet of aluminum alloy. The design was then engraved into the metal and the ink and fingerprints washed off with solvent to prevent outgassing in the hard vacuum of space.
Here's a picture of the engraved plate:
The plate became the lid of a spacecraft electronics box, responsible for power control and data collection. After many months of integration and testing, the satellite was recently launched into space. Igor now orbits the Earth, and will continue to do so for years to come. Rumors that Gilly is now in astronaut training should not be discounted.
So, Happy Birthday, Igor, and enjoy the view!