Monday, August 15, 2011

Fit 6, pg. 67/1 … Aguirre, the Snark of God

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist and explained here, page by page, panel by panel … right now we're in Fit the Sixth, where the Barrister (played by Martin Heidegger) is dreaming of prosecuting a pig …

Transportation for life … it's not a pretty sentence, not even a pretty sentence fragment. Has the Defendant Pig been deprived of his Lexus and condemned to using the subway for the rest of his life? Has he been reduced to riding a bicycle to and from his sty? A skateboard with obligatory tattooes and iPod prostheses?

Gosh, no, he's been deported to one of the British penal colonies, such as Australia, where he can endure the agony of fresh air, sunshine and limitless social and business opportunities instead of the customary Victorian British urban pollution, pouring rain and stifling class system. Although, to be honest, I don't think that by the time the Snark was composed (1874-1876) the British were deporting felons to Australia anymore but I think you get the picture … or even better, you don't get the picture!

Cue evil laughter here, and meanwhile, peruse carefully the above picture. Now compare it to the one at the very top of this posting, the version which appeared in print.

Would it surprise you to learn that this artist often draws that-which-is-not-to-be-seen by the reader, ie., he goes to the bother of drawing whatever it is that the word-panel will obscure when it is positioned later in the production process?

I didn't think you did, smarty pants. Frankly, how could you? How could you guess that I would go to such ridiculous, creepily epistemological lengths to subject various players in my Snark to the dreaded … transportation for life!

The more thoughtful reader will quickly grasp that this curious graphic practice is the visual equivalent of the literary "softly and suddenly vanishing away" which the poet has utilized as the First Cause of his Snarkish plot engine. Pictures aping words aping pictures aping words, and all that. Such complex and delicately crafted levels of conceptual meaning have proved to be a reliable turn-off for the general book-buying public, I can assure you.

Lazier (and faster breeding) readers will content themselves with observing that various members of the jury have themselves been transported for life and that it serves them right. They might even exclaim aloud: This is not a legal system, it's utter Nonsense, I mean, good lord, look at them! Everyone resembles Martin Heidegger. That's not justice and it's certainly not legally sound nor even a legal sound.

Say it slowly, to yourself … Heidegger … Heidegger … it's more of a sneezy ejaculation, a snorty, snirty, snarky clearing of the upper respiratory system with viscous, Flemish connotations … it won't hold up in any court of law, much less a dream court populated by somatic body doubles.

Next week: a cease and desist letter from the Heidegger estate and a hearty thanks from the North American Swine Producers Council.

NB. Attention comix fans!
The Hooded Utilitarian has published the results of its Best Comix Poll Ever, the collated opinions of various artists, writers, critics, vendors, etc. As always with the HU, the results are instructive and they're currently expanding upon the subject with explanatory essays, rebuttals, detailed break-downs, etc. This artist's response to the poll should appear there shortly and is guaranteed to please any fellow devotees of Mixtec and Mughal comix art …

The HU's poll is worth a look, especially for younger illustrators. To be honest, the results confirmed my worst, elitist suspicions about the circular ruination of North American illustrators/comix wallahs … you are what you look at and if this is what some of us are looking at, yikes.

Inking towards Gomorrah, with scarcely a penny in my pocket and the debt-collector at my heels, drawing well is the best revenge. Second best is seeing well.

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