Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fit the First, Page Four and Five as a Spread (The Meaning of the Snark!)

Meaning, meaning, meaning, nor any drop to think! Bad punnery must be excused, for The Meaning Of It All is a weighty burden for any one to bear, much less an impecunious artist wrestling with the eternal question of Snarkology. 42 will still have to do for now.

In the meanwhile, feast your eyes on this page spread and despair! It's all turned out rather nicely, the textures, the page flow, the surreal imagery redolent of nothing in particular, just the idle reveries of the middle-aged snarquiste confronted with a dwindling bank account, a paltry client list and an unrequited obsession with late-Victorian, proto-surrealist nonsense poetry.

As part of my on-going program of conducting imaginary conversations with imaginary readers, I offer the following remarks concerning the pen-and-inkery jiggery-pokery that goes on behind the scenes: I use No. 1950 Gillot pen nibs, I always keep two by me, a stiffer new one for detail & an older, springier one for the heavier bits. Very fine details are done with a Hunt 104. My flavour of ink is FW Steig acrylic artists' ink, it's reasonably black and of medium viscosity. I once preferred Pelikan but it made my throat hurt. I draw a very tight pencil on tissue (samples to be scanned and posted later) and then ink atop either denril or drafting vellum. I dislike lightboxing and bristol board for one very important reason: I make mistakes. Fixing them on bristol board involves pro-white or even paste-ups & rubber cement, while denril or vellum allows me to use my prized Rotex electric eraser. I just zap the offending work and re-ink, often more than once. Nibs are cleaned with window cleaner spray, the ammonia smell gives me Diazo machine flashbacks from the 1980s. I do plan to post more detailed scans & explanations of the practical nature of pen & inkery whenever my legions of readers clamor for it.

This entry seems devoid of the usual jokes and tomfoolery for the simple reason that we live in a cold, cruel and harsh world, a world in which, to give examples, I've read somewhere (will post the URL eventually) that the Disney Corporation is contemplating some new, even "better" Lewis Carroll-themed audiovisual extravaganzas. This is in addition to the long-awaited Marilyn Manson version of the same. Huzzah! This way to the laughing gas, ladies and gentlemen!


  1. Although your conversations with imaginary readers may be more rewarding, you should not despair of having non-imaginary readers too.

    I've been dropping in and lurking for a few weeks now. The artwork is fantastic, and your posts are always fun. Keep at it!

  2. Thanks, Scott! I see from your blogs that you're also in the arts and doing Shakespeare, must be very demanding. At least I can work alone, with just the voices in my head urging me to draw faster.

    I also see that you're doing Anthony & Cleopatra, very tasty indeed! Lots of dense speeches and opportunities for neat stage sets. I love the theater and I'm trying to give my Snark a classical theatrical feel, it's so artificial anyway, symbols nested within symbols, etc.

    In fact, if I ever finish this, I'm contemplating an illustrated version of Pere Ubu, a perfect chaser to Lewis Carroll!

    Stay in touch, good luck & thanks!

  3. Ah, Ubu. Plenty of potential for madness there.

    Actually, your philosophical bent and wheels-within-wheels symbolism makes me think of Tom Stoppard's work (still under copyright, unfortunately). But there's lots of hallucinatory potential in a play like King Lear, too.

    I'm done with A&C, and my current blog is over at