The Book of the Green Planet follows E.T. as he leaves Earth and returns to his home planet. Intrigued by Sean's post, I was happy to find that my local library had a copy of this book and, during what little spare time I've had over the past week, I've been reading about life on the Green Planet. E.T.'s peers include a variety of creatures such as Jumpums, the Flopglopple, and Micro Techs. As with any book, the reader is left to create an image in his own mind of what these characters look like. But this weekend, in a completely random and coincidental stroke of luck, I came across a magazine that gave me a much more detailed perspective of these Green Planet inhabitants.
For 50 cents at a local flea market, I came home with a (beat up) copy of the July 1985 issue of The Electric Company Magazine. When I bought it, the magazine was wrapped and sealed in plastic so I picked it up based on the cover alone. For 50 cents, I figured it was worth a gamble. Getting it home, I was pleasantly surprised by the contents as this issue was published at almost the exact same time as The Book of the Green Planet.
The first feature in this issue is titled "Welcome to E.T.'s Green Planet" and introduces readers to the other creatures that live on E.T.'s home planet -- the same creatures I had been reading about off and on for the past week. It shows E.T.'s gourd-like home as well as the Jumpums, fluteroots, timpanums, and trompayds.
With a shot of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the text describes how the Challenger will be spending seven days in space "early this month." The mission being referenced actually began on July 29, 1985 and was followed by another mission the following October. Sadly, as anyone old enough remember certainly does, these were the final successful missions for the Challenger.
Quite honestly, this issue of Electric Company Magazine is lucky to still be around. With a torn cover, my mom would have tossed this one in the trash upon sight. But I'm thankful for whatever reason this magazine has survived the test of time as I can now finish The Book of the Green Planet with a clearer picture of the characters involved.