So I’m doing research on cartoon music for the next strip (spoilers!), and I came across an article regarding a piece of music called “Powerhouse,” by Raymond Scott. “Powerhouse” is that mechanical music that comes on in cartoons whenever there’s a factory scene or a Rube Goldberg device. It was quoted frequently in Looney Tunes cartoons by Carl Stalling (partly because Warner Brothers bought Scott’s catalog), but never in full; not until Animaniacs, another WB property, used the whole thing in a 1993 Christmas short called “Top Shop Terror.” From an archived page of

In fact, the entire 4-minute “Toy Shop Terror” episode was animated around Richard Stone’s brilliant, Spike Jones-like arrangement of the complete “Powerhouse” (a feat Stalling never attempted). “It’s a strangely wonderful piece of music”, Stone told a BBC interviewer in 1996. “It’s like it was written on Mars.” As Music Director for the series, Stone had been prevented from using Scott quotes because Warner no longer controlled the publishing. Then “Toy Shop Terror” came along and, according to Stone, “The show’s producer decided, ‘Let’s just buy it for this one time. We’ll pay the money.”‘ It was a heavenly experience for Stone. “I must tell you”, he confessed, “The opportunity of standing in front of 40 pieces and hearing them play ‘Powerhouse’ — was better than sex. It was the greatest moment in my entire life.”

Those last two sentences: why this comic exists.