Monday, July 2, 2007
Fit the First, Page Three, Panel Two
A Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share —
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.
Immediately to the right of the Bellman is the Broker, AKA Karl Marx. To the latter's right is the Billiard-Marker, AKA Raymond Roussel. If — and the thing is wildly possible — the charge of drawing nonsense were ever brought against the illustrator of this brief but instructive poem, it would be based, I feel convinced, on this panel. Messers Marx and Roussel were both notable figments of each other's imagination, each believing the other an opiate of the masses or a mass of opiates.
In a related matter, it's come to my attention, thanks to the current Max Ernst thread on the message board at The Comics Journal, that there is some genuine doubt as to my existence. The treason of reality, so scandalous, so flattering! Or even better, to paraphrase Magritte (who knew a thing or two about snarks and boojums) —
CECI — IL N'EST PAS UN ARTIST.