About the Petri Dish
In the summer of 2011, The Petri Dish was originally one of several ideas John had for his artistically gifted daughter to encourage her to use her drawing talents. The idea failed to inspire her, but comic strip ideas for The Petri Dish kept piling up inside of John's head. Since there's very little room in there to begin with, John decided he had to start writing and drawing the strips himself. After drawing dozens of comic strips and pestering his co-workers to read them, John started posting them online in January of 2012.
The Petri Dish is centered around the antics of Doctor Thaddeus Euphemism, an enthusiastic but inept scientist who focuses most of his efforts around genetic engineering. He is kept company by two of the very few successful innovations in his career: Bob, a robot with a human brain and iBall, a robot built with spare iMac computer parts and a giant whale eyeball.
They are joined on their day-to-day journey by a host of other recurring characters. Here's a list:
Doctor Thaddeus John Euphemism is an ambitious — albeit inept – genetic engineer working at a small medical sciences company called "Clones R Us". What Dr. Euphemism lacks in competence he more than makes up for in perseverence.
Bob (short for Brains On Board) is one of Doctor Euphemism's few successful innovations. Bob is a human-robot hybrid: he has a [decidedly male] human brain (and a few other vital organs) supported by mechanical systems. Technically he is a "research project" but he helps out around the office now and again.
iBall was designed as a (platonic) companion for Bob. He was assembled from a whale eyeball and spare iMac parts from the computer lab, and an artificial intelligence algorithm designed by the I.T. department. His major goal in life is to get himself an eyelid, mostly so he can flirt with the ladies and frown at Bob.
Boss Gordon Noble
Gordon Noble is a senior manager with Clones R Us and is Doctor Euphemism's supervisor. He often finds his sanity put to the test as he is usually responsible for cleaning up the collateral damage left behind after Doctor Euphemism's experiments go awry. He does have quite a large collection of snazzy ties, though.
Since the lab rats filed a restraining order against Doctor Euphemism, he decided to do a little "free range" experiment on the squirrels in the local park, feeding them intelligence enhancing food pellets to boost their 'cerebellar granule cells', whatever that means. The newly smart squirrels have embarked on some hairy adventures including assembling a ninja team, successfully suing for the intellectual property rights for the intelligence-enhancing food pellets, and declaring the park they live in a sovereign nation.
To support local universities (and get some cheap labour) the company occasionally hires interns from the local university. Although they seem more intent on keeping up-to-date on their social media postings, Doctor Euphemism comes up with inventive ways to keep them on their toes.