Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Leave no snark behind

Still talking Jubjub and you’d better pay attention because our lecturer, the Butcher, is explaining it all in a popular style.

And just what is this popular style in which the Butcher speaks?

It’s a two-fisted exposition of all things Carrollian and Snark and Jubjub, yeah! It’s got footnotes for the egghead squares who dig such things and it’s all in pictures for those hipster jive-cats who can’t be bothered to read!

This is our very own bright, shiny Age of Information, dear readers, and as far as Lewis Carroll and the Butcher are concerned, it has been spawned in the Boschian bowels of Hell, otherwise known as North American public schools, grades K-12. Ouch!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Felonious monk

In today’s fast-paced urban lifestyle, even the most ordinary Butcher can demonstrate the mathematical properties of the Song of the Jubjub by utilizing just a few writing implements such as can be found in the typical personal effects of any passing Beaver.

Why? Because he’s a brain-worker! This ancient and noble profession was first established in the Middle Ages by a gang of ergotamine besotted monks who became known as Scholastics. It was they who founded Christ Church College, where the Eminent Victorian, Lewis Carroll, eventally penned the very verses which we are now perusing.

Alas, the noble vision of Scholasticism fell into disarray, seduced by the twin evils of Squaring-Reality-With-Theology and certain other strange creepy creatures of the same phlegmish ilk. The groves of Scholasticism stand silent today … no one remains to hear or even count the haunting, melancholy, arithmetical Song of the Jubjub …

Ye gods, even laughter is probably doomed to disappear, one day …

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The sound of one hand snarking

Many comix artists posting their work on-line like to liven things up for the kiddies with a bit of well-intended blather concerning Process. This particular stanzel, in which the Butcher logically proves the existence of the Jubjub through the application of the Clochetic Rule of Three, is chock full of the overflowing, down-home goodness of Process.

So, how did I draw it?

Simple! Take a fresh, full bottle of black ink and dilute it entirely with white paper. Or if you prefer, starting at the beginning of the drawing, continue until you see the end, then stop. Or, even better, just keep drawing until the picture in your head runs out of room and is forced to move onto the drawing board.

Proof complete, times three! Yeah, baby, gimme some of that hot Process!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A confederacy of jubjubs

One can never know too much about Jubjub birds, don’t you agree? They constitute an important nexus in the entire Carrollian Multiverse, occupying as they do important roles in both The Hunting of the Snark and Through the Looking Glass.

Here’s how they appeared in Tim Burton’s recent production of Alice in Wonderland, as designed by Bobby Chiu. Now please compare that splendidly hyperactive specimen of full-blown Disneyiana with this artist’s own shabby conception of a hastily-folded together scrap of paper as shown above, fluttering out of the Beaver’s reach.

Pathetic, isn’t it? The work of an utter dunce without even the excuse of a full-blown scholastic upbringing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I heard the Jubjub call my name …

Lewis Carroll compared the voice of the Jubjub to a pencil that squeaks on slate. This is a peculiarity of Carrollian English, the word being spelt as p-e-n-c-i-l but pronounced as « chalk » by many speakers.

Such are the byzantine quiddities of the English language, quiddities which are the very meat and drink of the grammarians and linguists who haunt the groves of academe. The Admirable Carroll was himself a mathematician but he haunted the same borogroves of academe and as such, he had many opportunities to regale his most deserving students with the Song of the Jubjub, a cringe-inducing specimen of avian mal canto which goes something like this, only worse.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

painted jubjub

The scream referred to above is the legendary Song of the Jubjub, that paradisical bird which figures so prominently in Fit the Fifth of The Hunting of the Snark, better known to the Illuminati as the Beaver’s Lesson.

I use the term paradisical in the traditional postlapsarian sense, the very same directional sense now being employed by the shamefaced Beaver and Butcher as they make their hasty way towards the exit. As we discussed in an earlier exegesis on this stanzel, they had been caught red-handed fooling about with each other’s masaccios despite the managment’s strict warnings not to do so!

Alas, all they that lend ear to the Song of the Jubjub must fall from grace! Verily, The Falls of these transgressors shall reach unto the very depths of the anglo-avian cinematic tradition so nobly engendered by the Jubjub and his creator, Lewis Carroll. Yowsuh.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The fall of the house of snark

If you’ve ever spent years of your life and several gallons of thick, gooey, tepid cafeteria-style India ink in illustrating The Hunting of the Snark, you’ll be keenly aware that words are just a fancy name for pictures that can make sounds. When words gather and roost together overnight, they form large flocks which we call language. These language flocks will then awake in the morning to fly off somewhere else, making a mighty racket whilst pooping on some luckless illustrator’s car parked beneath them.

Smart inksters know, like the Beaver as seen above, that it’s best to attend to every word right from the start by clipping their wings with a judiciously placed pun, before the po’ flighty things take panic and go stark ravin' mad.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Snark, Strangeness & Charm

Over at The Comics Journal, Dave Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp has been taken hostage and been given a good tickling with a lead-weighted feather duster. To be truthful, the whole discussion (which really is worth reading if only for the cut-to-the-chase comments of Eddie Campbell) makes this artist’s brain hurt.

It seems that comix can, if put on a strict diet of giggling art-school coeds and gin-soaked compresses, aspire to the condition of Art, with all the usual accessories of Meaning, Culture, Reference, etc. … the mind boggles, and having boggled, moves on.

To all of which we Snark Hunters must say — pshaw! It is we, the Carrollian Thickies of the Sequential Art World, who shall proudly stand up and remind the artistic world that deep underneath it all, The Hunting of the Snark is quite shallow. False pretences begone!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where’s Kiki de Montparnasse when you really need her?

Know thyself is easier said than done when you’re a Snarkhunter equipped with the cerebral capacity of a concussed bee.

We see here the Bellman doing his best to keep his crews’ spirits up with a bit of anapestic music-hall-cum-ontological crosstalk, all of it involving some sort of terribly misplaced sense of the Socratic Method … a peripatetic method which requires the use of one’s legs, legs which are now growing comfortably numb as the hemlock works its way downwards.

Season of woe indeed!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Yamini!

Since yesterday was my daughter Yamini’s birthday and since she is a Francophile sans pareil and furthermore, since she is far away in the City of Light right now, I thought it appropriate to cook up some Choice Fables of Jean de La Fontaine, seasoned with obscurant shadows and a soupcon of W.H. Auden and Pieter Brueghel, all for her!

Observant readers will remember that the above landscape is the very same one in which the HMS Snark sailed through on its way to Snark Island …

A Dog Who Took His Prey for Shadow (VI; 17)

There’s only illusion on offer down here:
all the fools chase their shadows till their
swelling numbers soon appear
to make the wise despair.
Aesop’s dog was of that obscurant race
his prey reflected on the water’s face,
left one for the other to give chase
he nearly drowned with little grace
but returned enlightened to river’s shore
and mistook shadow for prey no more

Le Chien qui lâche sa proie pour l’ombre

Chacun se trompe ici-bas :
On voit courir après l’ombre
Tant de fous qu’on n’en sait pas
La plupart du temps le nombre.
Au chien dont parle Ésope il faut les renvoyer.
Ce chien, voyant sa proie en l’eau représentée,
La quitta pour l’image, et pensa se noyer.
La rivière devint tout d’un coup agitée;
A toute peine il regagna les bords,
Et n’eut ni l’ombre ni le corps.