Monday, May 23, 2011
Fit 6, Page 63, Panel 1 … Cricklewood Snark Greens (Sugar the Snark)
The Hooded Utilitarian very kindly posted a eulogy I did for the late Jeffrey Catherine Jones, here. I remember poring over her work in the National Lampoon in the seventies, stunned and delighted that such things could happen on paper. Her run in Heavy Metal was equally daunting for a young wanna-be. Sic transit gloria …
Meanwhile … THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist and explained here, page by page, panel by panel …
Well, isn’t this jolly, all of us having our tiffin in this lovely English garden waiting for the sun, and if the sun don't come, we’ll get a tan from standing in the English rain. What a clever way with words these Brits have, always joking around and making light of the darkest (and wettest) situations. Here we are, in the very thing-um-a-jig of a Snark Hunt, crosshatching to the left of us, crosshatching to the right of us, and our merry lads have seen fit to burst forth into song, a semimelodious bit of Old English galdor reminiscent of the salad days of Aethelred the Unready and suchlike skaldic mumbo-jumbery.
All of which affords this illustrator a bit of artistic license sufficient to render a thimble, some forks, an esperant anchor, a smile and some soap, ie., five-sevenths of the afore-mentioned Snarkic prophylaxes. He’s also taken the liberty of laying on some cakes and ale (on an illustrator’s meager pittance of a moon and sixpence, no less!) and has even hired a band-cum-bandshell, all of which should provide sufficient innocent merriment for the B-Boyz and their Protosurrealist demimondaines, at least enough to show ‘em that this illustrator cares.
Naturally, this illustrative care increases our stanzel’s Combined Snarkic Prophylactic Level (CSPL) to six-sevenths …which fraction, when its numerator and denominator are multiplied, provides us with the number 42, a number mooted by some to be The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything in It.
Lewis Carroll thought enough of the number 42 to provide it with a comfortable home and small pension, way back in the Good Old Days of Fit the First. There are certain small-minded persons who will always look askance at such instances of numerophilia, they will mutter darkly of alphanumeric miscegenation and kabbalistic cabals and all that sort of thing which they suspect is always going on at parties like the one pictured above. Which is why those sort of people never get invited to this sort of party, huzzah!
And so, ladies and gentlemen and sundry weirdos, proclaims this illustrator as he sways drunkenly onto his feet, I propose a toast!
Let’s hear it for Lewis Carroll (tipsy shouts of hear, hear!) … the best Anglican maths-tutor-cum-nonsense-wallah Oxford ever produced (gurgled cries of approval emanating from a giant thimble full of wine) … a true friend of man and anaepest alike (slurred bleats of rhubarb-rhubarb, custard-custard) … and the most important Victorian poet to ever use the words railway-share! (exeunt all, with general bedlam light to variable).