Space Babe was Ellen Klages' idea. "Jeanne, the Tiptree Award needs a mascot, a tough, science fictional woman, preferably holding a gun," and set me the task to draw her and I did. I don't remember who first called this kick-ass gal with a ray gun "Space Babe," but the name stuck and her image became inextricably tied to the award. We made and sold Space Babe tattoos and Space Babe t-shirts and hoodies to raise money for the award. Ellen created stories and artwork that fleshed out an alternate reality in which Space Babe flourished. Tiptree supporters made Space Babe artwork too. It was all so much fun that we hardly noticed that Space Babe was looking more and more out-of-date as the world changed around us. In 2017, it became clear to me that Space Babe needed to be more than just this one white woman, whose hair and costume recalled a middle-class, American, 1940s heroine. She needed to be many women, of many colors, of many ages, of many classes, of many professions, and, in fact, of many genders—all ready to fight for the rights of all.
I became rather obsessed with discovering and drawing new Space Babes. Scott and I would be enjoying a pleasant conversation and then an idea would occur to me (a spray-painting space babe tagger artist!) and I would lose track of the conversation. "You've got another Space Babe idea, don't you?" Scott would say. At first I didn't know what I could do with all these drawings. Fellow Tiptree Motherboard officer, Pat Murphy, became a little unsettled as she began to receive new ideas via email from me every week. But then I had a brainstorm: I could put all these space babes into one book, a COLORING BOOK!
With colored pencils, folks are invited to reimagine the future with images of gender-fluid space babes, young space-babes-in training, explorers, activists, construction workers, bakers, athletes, intergalactic pirates, a woman POTUS, and other Space Babes of different shapes, ethnicities, jobs and attitudes.